The Golden West Band Program offers many different performing options. While each ensemble can be very time intensive, it is very common for students to participate in sports, AP courses, and clubs at the same time as band.
The Trailblazer Marching Band and Color Guard
The Trailblazer Marching Band and Color Guard is a competitive group that performs at all home football games and at parades and competitions throughout the state. The band is a member of the Western Band Association (WBA) where they compete in division AAA.
The band has rehearsals throughout the summer and a mandatory band camp starts which 2.5 weeks before the school year. During the fall semesters the band has rehearsals each Monday and Thursday nights from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Each member must be enrolled in the 4th period Concert Band, the 6th period percussion class, or the 6th period color guard class.
The Concert Band is an ensemble that is made up of different woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.The band performs orchestral transcriptions, traditional band pieces, and new works written for band. The Golden West Concert Band can be seen in performance from December through June at different festivals and concerts. The class meets during 4th period.
Each year, The Concert Band gets the opportunity to work with guest clinicians. Recent guests include Tim Smith- Professor Emeritus Cal Sate East Bay, Dr. Gary P. Gilroy-CSU Fresno, Dr. Lawrence Sutherland-Professor Emeritus CSU Fresno, Dr. Erik Leung-Fresno Pacific University, Dale Engstrom-Fresno City College, Dr. Leo Sakamoto-CSU Bakersfield, Michael Tackett-College of the Sequoias, and Jeff Bilden-Professor Emeritus College of the Sequoias.
The Jazz Band is an ensemble that employs traditional Big Band instrumentation (saxes, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section). You can catch the jazz band at festivals and community events throughout the state of California performing music of varying styles that include dance-band, swing, Latin, funk, contemporary jazz, and etc. The Jazz Band is an auditioned group and it rehearses during 5th period. Auditions for the group are held each May or June.
The Color Guard is a performing ensemble that sets dance, flag work, and weapon work to a musical soundtrack. The Color Guard is an auditioned group that competes in two separate seasons. The guard competes as a part of the marching band between the months of August and December and they compete in their own winter season between January and April. The Winter Guard is an active member in The San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review (SJVCGPR), the newly created South Valley Winter Arts Association (SVWAA), and Winter Guard International (WGI). Each member must be in the 6th period color guard class, attend the two night rehearsals each week, and occasional weekend rehearsals.Auditions are held in May and any Golden West or Valley Oak student is able to audition.
Indoor Percussion Ensemble
The Indoor Percussion Ensemble is an auditioned group that combines the marching percussion (drum line) with the front ensemble (pit) to compete in an indoor performance venue. The group performs in competitions and exhibitions throughout the Central Valley between the months of January and April. The Indoor Percussion Ensemble is an active member in The San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review (SJVCGPR), the newly created South Valley Winter Arts Association (SVWAA), and Winter Guard International (WGI). Each member must be in the 6th period percussion class, attend the two night rehearsals each week, and attend occasional weekend rehearsals.Auditions are held in early December and any Golden West student is able to audition.
AP Music Theory
Taught by Mr. Alan McFarlane, this course was first introduced to Visalia Unified School District’s curriculum in the fall of 2012. It is an extremely rigorous course that focuses on the development of aural skills, sight singing technique, different compositional techniques, and analytical skills. In order for this class to be offered each year, 25 students must enroll in the course. A more detailed course description can be found on the College Board’s website here.