A Message From Mr. McFarlane
During the 2019-2020 school year, I accepted an assistant principal position in Visalia Unified School District. While I am excited to serve the students of Visalia Unified in a new capacity, I will wholeheartedly miss The Golden West Band and community. Thank you to the students and families who have given so much of themselves to make The Golden West Band a great organization. Thank you to Mr. Jim Powell for creating an organization that prioritized community and relationships and I was honored to carry that torch since 2011. My hope is that the staff, students, and families of The Golden West Band continue to come together to create amazing relationships, experiences, and performances. With that, please help me in welcoming your new director, Mr. Mike Freel.
Mike Freel has been the band and choir director at Taft 7-12 in Lincoln City, Oregon for 5 years. He has a Bachelor of Performance in Percussion, a Post Baccalaureate in Music Education, and a Master in Education all from Portland State University. Mr. Freel has over 10 years of experience as a percussion caption head and writer for several competitive marching bands and winter drumlines in the Northwest. As a youth, he spent 3 years marching with the Spartans from Vancouver Washington, 1 year with the Marauders from Longview, Washington. Then, marched 2 years with the Blue Devils and received the Blue Devils Hall of Fame recognition in 1994. He has spent time working in music production studios in Portland and Los Angeles, and performing with various bands and the Vancouver Symphony.
2019 Marching Band Wrap Up
Visalia Band Review
Field Show Sweepstakes!
WBA Clovis "Golden State Tournament of Bands"
Fresno State Sierra Cup 2nd Place
Bakersfield Band Spectacular
2019 Spring Concert
Need a Night Out or a Date Night Idea?
Come support indoor percussion and winter guard!
Schedule for the Night
Congratulations Golden West Concert Band!
You are invited to come watch Golden West Perform!
Drive 4UR School
Press the play icon to hear GW's radio advertisement
Support the Band at the 4th Annual Visalia River Run!
2018 Spring Concert
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular comes to Visalia!
El Diamante Theater
All Alumni, Friends,& Family!
Storm's Passage Hits the Road
Come out and support The Trailblazer Marching Band and Color Guard this competition season.
Visalia Band Review (downtown Visalia and the Mineral King Bowl)
Saturday, October 15th
Parade 10:15am First Place!
Field Show 2:45pm First Place!
Fresno State "Sierra Cup Classic" (Bulldog Stadium)
Saturday, October 22nd
Field Show 1:00pm 2nd Place out of 9!
Clovis "Golden State Tournament of Bands" (Clovis High School)
Saturday, October 29th
Field Show at 6:04pm First Place!
Lemoore "Tiger Classic" (Lemoore High School)
Saturday, November 5th
Field Show 7:02pm First Place!
Western Band Association "Championships" (Merced College)
Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th
Field Show 10:34am
Calling All Alumni, Family, and Friends
Golden West's Many Ties to "Marching Music's Major Leagues."
Each summer, the world's greatest marching bands tour the United States as a part of Drum Corps International's (DCI) Summer Tour. Each summer, these drum corps compete in around 30 competitions from coast to coast. These corps are made up of 150 performers ranging from 14 to 22 years of age and they employ some of the world's best coaches and music educators. The Golden West Marching Band has a long history of sending its students and staff to participate in these summer tours and 2016 is no excection. Take a look at the GW alumni and staff members involved in DCI 2016. For more information on Drum Corps International, click here.
GW Member Role at GW Drum Corps Drum Corps Role
Austin Ballard Percussion Tech The Academy Performer-Snare Drum
Daniel Larsen Alumni '12 Santa Clara Vanguard Performer-Tuba
Evan VanDoren Music Arranger Carolina Crown Brass Staff
Mike Bishop Percussion Writer Crossmen Percussion Staff
Nick Monzi Drill Writer Madison Scouts Visual Staff
Visalia River Run 5k & 10K
Run along the beautiful St. John's River Trail in the second annual Visalia River Run. All procedes benifet the Golden West Band and Orchestra. To register, click here and check out Facebook page. "Like" the page and look at the 2015 event pictures.
"Spartacus" Entertained the Crowds and Judges Alike!
Enjoy a season recap from the 2015-16 band president, Linnea Loeb.
The Blazer Band’s 2015 marching season has been one for the books! We have invested nearly 200 hours into rehearsals for the production of our field show Spartacus, practicing through 108 degree heat and pouring rain. This year, we competed in class 4A, the most competitive division, and our hard work was rewarded with impressive results. Our first competition of the season was the Visalia Band Review held in mid-October. This is the only time all four Visalia high school bands compete in the same review. In our division, we took home first place trophies for both parade and field show, and we were awarded caption awards for best percussion, color guard, and individual visual. The following Saturday, we traveled to Fresno State to compete in the WBA Sierra Cup Classic. This review is most members’ favorite competition because we get an opportunity to watch the best high school bands from across California as well as the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band who perform a field show specifically written for the Sierra Cup Classic competition. At the next band review, located in Selma, our field show scored first place in our division, and we received awards for best percussion and color guard of all 23 bands in attendance! We finished the season on a high note taking home first place from the Tiger Classic in Lemoore on November 14th.
This year, two freshmen are marching in our snare line, a rare occurrence in the marching band world. When I asked Erik Gutierrez, a freshman snare drummer, about his experience so far, he first talked about the amount of effort he put into the fall season. He reminded me our field show was originally written for and performed by Fresno State’s marching band so the music was composed for players with 4-7 more years of experience. He then told me that all of the work required for the season was worth it because in the end, he accomplished his goals and the people he’s met through the program have become family.
Now that the fall marching season has come to a close, it is time to turn the page and focus our efforts on our winter season events. Our drumline and front ensemble are beginning to prepare for their indoor percussion season, colorguard is gearing up for winter guard, and the band has already begun rehearsing the 12 new pieces of music for the production of the Nutcracker Ballet.
As a senior member of the band, I have had the opportunity to watch the program grow and change, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my high school marching band career. The band’s staff has already begun discussing next year’s show, and I can’t wait to see how the Blazer Band continues to improve and prosper.
CBS 47 Visits Golden West
On Friday, October 23rd, CBS hosted their #FridayMorningMatchUp at Golden West High School. They showcased all that GW had to offer and played up the football match up between the Hanford West Huskies and your Golden West Trailblazers. Throughout the morning, the band got some great air time! Check out this video of the GW Band being introduced by senior trumpeter Sadie Jameson at the 1:55 mark. Here are some other highlights from the morning.
Construction is Almost Complete!
Since the opening of Golden West High School in 1979, the Golden West Music Building has been in constant use. The band room, choir room, and two classrooms have seen every GW musical take shape, heard every field show being perfected, and been home to AP music theory, english classes, and more! With over 35 years of constant use, the building was looking pretty beat up. In June of 2015, all music and drama classes were temporarily moved across campus while the building recevies the TLC that it deserves. The building rennovation is estimated to be completed in November of 2015. Here are some pictures of the process!
The construction company is hoping to turn over the keys on Friday, November 6th. Follow the progress with pictures!
Visalia Honor Band
Sixteen Golden West band students participated in the 4th annual Visalia Honor Band. Check out the
article from The Visalia Times Delta featuring the event!
Congratulations Jazz Band and Concert Band!
For the first time since 2002, both the Concert Band and Jazz Band earned a superior rating at the CMEA Music Festivals. In addition to receiving a superior rating, all six judges unanimously gave the bands a superior rating!
2014 Candy Cane Lane Parade
The Blazer Band's streak of great publicity continued at the 2014 Candy Cane Lane Parade! In 2012, the band was featured on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. In 2013, the band made the front page of The Visalia Times Delta. In 2014, the Blazer Band made the December 2nd edition of the Fresno Bee.