Happy New Year's Eve!
As 2015 comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what the Gahr Instrumental Music Program has accomplished this year together - as students, parents, and instructors. This has been an incredible and historic year for the organization.
The first half of the year we pushed full-steam ahead with our 2nd year having a Winter Drumline, Winter Guard, and Jazz Band! At the same time, our concert groups worked hard preparing for festivals, concerts, and our Hawaii Performance Tour! In the summer, the Gahr band traveled to the Aloha State for the 8th time - including a performance on the 4th of July on the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor!
In the fall, the band & color guard grew again and made the jump to the 5A Division in SCJA (the largest classification - competing with bands that have upwards of 250 performers). Despite a huge hurdle and steep learning curve with many freshmen and 1st year members, our students raised the bar and set a new standards! Our 2015 production, “Under Construction,” excited the audience and consistently earned top awards at competitions. The Gahr Marching Gladiators won 1st place at the California State Band Championship Finals in Division 5. Gahr advanced to Grand Championships and were once again crowned the California State Band Grand Champions!! Gahr earned High Visual Performance, High Visual Effect, High Auxiliary, and Most Outstanding Soloist, Michael Alba - awarded a $500 scholarship.
Highlights from the Fall 2015 season included our August Band Camp, our 1st annual “dress up day,” and the Band Camp BBQ & Concert; beach bonfire; “Shut Up and Dance,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” and “John Cena” rocking the home stands; playing at the away Artesia game; that time we could barely fit on stage at the Artesia Street Festival; props, props, and more props; the 50th Anniversary rally & game; the student, parent, and crowd reaction to our performances; performing with Ross, Haskell, and Fedde at Middle School Band Night; year 2 of the mattress fundraiser; hosting our very own, very successful field tournament!!; Grand Championships; and Disneyland!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing team of parents that made this entire year possible. Your hard work and dedication to the students and our program is invaluable. Thank you to everyone who has selflessly volunteered their time to make our kids look and sound so good. Thank you once again for all the truck loading, truck unloading, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, driving, PROP-BUILDING, transporting, fixing, repairing, chaperoning, sewing, ladder and pipe moving; fundraising, lunches, breakfasts, brunches, organizing, planning, mattress-selling, holiday-decorating, meeting, videoing, supporting, and cheering! Thank you to the Gahr faculty who recognize the importance of the arts in a student’s academic schedule support the program on so many levels. Thank you to our incredible instructional staff whose daily efforts bring out the best in each of our student performers. This all would simply not be possible without the work of our amazing booster parents and their dedication and commitment to our students.
We’re gearing up for a great 2nd semester with our Concert Band, Wind Ensemble Jazz Band, Winter Guard, and Indoor Percussion Ensemble! Thank you so much for your time, hard work, and dedication.
Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you in 2016!
Mr. Darren Loney
Director of Instrumental Music
Gahr High School