About the VMHS Instrumental Music Program




The Instrumental Music Program was formed in 2003 when Vista Murrieta HS opened. Directed by Donald Wade, the band only competed in parades during its first season. The first parade the band performed in was the Rancho Cucamonga Founders' Day Parade. Because the school was not completely built yet, SPA I was held at Shivela Middle School. Color Guard and Drumline competed during indoor season. The Golden Alliance Marching Band began building the foundation of Vista Murrieta's tradition of excellence.

2004 was the year the Golden Alliance debuted on the field. This was also the first year Vista Murrieta had a Varsity football team, and the band performed pep music during games and field shows at half time. The band competed in SCSBOA Division 4A. The first field show competition the GA competed in was the Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands. Winter Guard competed indoor second semester, improving leaps and bounds under the tutelage of Blue Devils veteran Staysha Davis. Drumline, instead of competing indoors, put on a stage show entitled 20,000 Beats Out on the Street. The Wind Ensemble achieved Superior ratings in concert performance and sight-reading at festival.

The Golden Alliance kicked it up a notch in 2005, performing at the top of SCSBOA Division 5A. The field show, City of Angels, was based on a story of a 1920s film writer who used the big screen to live out his alter ego. The band took First Place at a number of competitions during the season and won the Sweepstakes Award for General Effect at the Temecula Valley Field Tournament. The GA was invited to Championships for the first time and took an impressive 8th place overall.


In 2006, the Golden Alliance competed as a 6A band with over 200 members. They participated in a Bands of America regional competition held at the Los Angeles Coliseum and took 5th place with a score of 81.60. A video of the GA's final performance of the 2006 marching season can be seen here. In the spring of 2007, the Vista Murrieta Wind Ensemble achieved unanimous superior ratings at a concert festival, thus allowing them to attend an SCSBOA Regional Festival. The Wind Ensemble attended a regional festival and was once again awarded unanimous superior ratings.


In 2007, the bar was raised to a new level. With their show entitled "Heroes", the GA made finals at numerous field tournaments including two Bands of America Regional Championships in Flagstaff, AZ and Los Angeles. The band also appeared in the nationally-televised "Hollywood Christmas Parade" on November 25th.


In November 2008, the Golden Alliance competed at the first Grand Nationals competition held in the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Out of 92 bands, the group advanced to semi-finals; a very honorable position, especially considering how young the group was. Most importantly, the band was awarded the "Espirit de Corps" Award which is given to any participating group which displayed the highest level of integrity, respect, and character. This prestigious award reflects the true purpose of marching band: to make better people through music.

Vista Murrieta High School Band

& Color Guard Program

The Vista Murrieta High School attendance zone incorporates a feeder system that includes three middle schools and five elementary schools.  Instrumental music begins at the 5th grade level at all elementary schools.


At the high school level, all wind and percussion students participate in one of four concert ensembles.  The Vista Murrieta Concert Ensembles, offered as yearlong programs, are the foundation of the band organization, preparing and performing several concerts throughout the year.  The Wind Ensemble (top ensemble) is recognized as being one of the best of its category in the state.  Many graduates from the Wind Ensemble have earned full tuition music scholarships to various prestigious university music programs all across the country.


All wind and percussion students also participate in a “Solo and Small Ensemble”festival.  These music festivals are locally sponsored and provide our students the opportunity to perform a solo and/or in a small ensemble and have their performances critiqued by a professional adjudicator.


Many of our concert students go on to audition for and are selected for local and state honor bands including the Riverside City College “John Phillip Sousa Honor Band, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) “All-Southern Honor Band”, and the California Music EducatorsAssociation (CBDA) “All-State Honor Band”.


Students also have the option of enrolling in one of our three award winning jazz ensembles, each known for excellence in their class.  In addition to performing in a number of home concerts and community events, our ensembles compete in local, regional, and national level jazz competitions.  Our top ensembles regularly participate in the Reno Jazz Festival and the national “Essentially Ellington”competition.  The VMHS Jazz program has ushered the way for many students into honor jazz ensembles, audition-based ensembles such as the Riverside City College “Ellington Honor Jazz Ensemble”and the SCSBOA All-Southern Jazz Ensemble.  Our jazz program is also known for hosting acclaimed guest artists, allowing students the privilege of performing with jazz greats such as Wayne Bergeron, Jay Mason, Don Clarke, Charlie Peterson, Eric Marienthal and more.


A majority of the band’s students are also enrolled in the nationally recognized Vista Murrieta Marching Band.  In addition to serving as musical entertainment and support for our varsity football team, the approximately 230 members of the VM Marching Band also represent Vista Murrieta High School at local, regional, and national level competitions, including the Western Band Association (WBA) and Bands of America (BOA).  The marching band was a semi-finalist band in the 2008 Bands of America Grand National Championships held in Indianapolis, Indiana and was awarded the “Al Castronovo Espirt de Corps Award”, presented to the ‘one group most exhibiting pride, spirit, enthusiasm, friendliness, and unity of purpose for the activity of marching bands in this country’(BOA Adjudication Handbook).


At the close of fall marching band season, our percussion and color guard students go on to participate in one of two winter drum line ensembles or in one of three winter color guard teams offered through our comprehensive program.  Each year, our winter drum line participates in the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) competition and has consistently been a finalist in the circuit championships.  Our winter color guard teams perform in local competitions sponsored by the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) and in Winter Guard International (WGI) regional events and have won numerous accolades at circuit championships.


The Vista Murrieta Band Program is consistently supported by the incredible network of parents who comprise the band booster organization. Year after year these individuals, in partnership with our band families, perform extraordinary efforts to provide financial, physical, and moral support to the wonderful students in the Vista Murrieta High School wind, percussion, and color guard programs.


© 2018 Vista Murrieta High School Band

28251 Clinton Keith Road   •   Murrieta, CA  92563   •   951.894.5750  Ext. 6747 or Ext. 6748