Marching Band & Color Guard

Marching Band is a unique, choreographed musical experience staged on a football field that combines the artistry of musical performance and visual pageantry. The performance involves students marching on a football field to a designed sequence of formations while playing music. The color guard is a non-musical section that provides additional visual aspects to the performance. Color guards perform choreographed dances and routines with various props like flags, non-functioning rifles, and sabres to enhance and interpret the music of the marching band show. Our students’ work diligently to achieve high levels of excellence in performance and through this process will establish a strong work ethic, develop life skills and build life-long bonds. We compete in the Northern California Band Association (“NCBA”) Competition Circuit. At the reviews (or competitions), we are placed into classes based on the size of our band. We will compete against several bands in our class and will be judged by nine judges, being scored on marching, playing and color guard skills. We are assigned a cumulative score and ranked by the order of the scores.


Experience is required for the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba


Experience is NOT required if you will be auditioning for: Drum line, Pit & Color Guard


Marching Band & Color Guard are open to all grades. Students in grades 10, 11 & 12, who meet the attendance and participation requirements will receive 0.5 PE credits. Freshmen are not eligible to earn PE credits for their involvement in sports.


The season runs from August to November.


After Marching Band & Color Guard season is over (usually the weekend before Thanksgiving), the band students participate in one of the Concert Bands. Both the Color Guard and Percussion start their Winter seasons. Rehearsals usually start in December, competitions start in late February and the season concludes around Spring Break.

Contact: Band Director - Gilbert Iruegas at gilbert_iruegas@fuhsd.org

2019 award winning performance at Lincoln Band Review (Stockton, CA)

Band Terminology

Auxiliary – a group of students who add color and style to the marching band performances with flags and other props. Also known as color guard.


Band Camp - During Band Camp, the students receive instruction on marching and playing fundamentals. Specific attention is given to the fundamentals that are necessary to prepare the students to successfully perform throughout the season. Although the focus is primarily on marching and playing techniques, students will do much more than this - this is where we become a family. Several activities are scheduled during the week that are designed to allow the students to get to know one another and begin to build the bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.


Battery – Marching band percussion section that carries drums and marches; is comprised of snare drums, tenors, bass drums, toms, and cymbals. Also known as drumline.


Call Time - This is the time that the student needs to be in place and ready to start. The recommendation is to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the call time to pick up your instrument and do any necessary set up to be ready to start at the call time.


Caption Head - The staff member who is in charge of sub groups of staff. Included in these sub groups are staff members who instruct Visual, Front Ensemble, Color Guard and Drumline.


Color Guard – see Auxiliary


Dot Books - (See drill for description of dots.) A book that each student will be carrying at all times during band camp and bring to rehearsals after that. Each student’s book is unique and is marked (by the student) with the positions he/she is supposed to be in at each relevant point in the show. An example of a dot description would be “Two steps to the right of the 50-yard line and three steps behind the flute player in front of me.”


Drill – The choreography of the show. It involves the development of patterns in which the band will march while playing the show music. The drill is written with each band member represented by a specific dot. If a band member is not available for a show, it creates a hole where the dot is and affects the visual aspect of the performance. Each dot is essential to each performance!


Drum captains - Student leaders of the drumline and front ensemble. This student leadership position is determined by application / audition / interviews in the spring of the preceding year.


Drum major(s) – Student conductor(s) who direct the marching band as it plays. This student leadership position is determined by application/audition/interviews in the spring of the preceding year. A drum major may come from any section of the marching band.


Drumline – Marching band percussion section that carries drums and marches; is comprised of snare drums, tenors, bass drums, toms, and cymbals. Also known as battery.


Front Ensemble – Marching band percussion section that does not march (plays on the sidelines), comprised of instruments such as timpani, xylophones, marimbas, etc. Also known as the pit.


Field Show - A field show is a type of performance that involves students marching on a football field to a designed sequence of formations while playing music. This requires extensive coordination through in-class preparation and after school rehearsals.


Gauntlets – Wrist and lower-arm covering; part of marching band uniform for some most sections.


High Brass - A band section consisting of the trumpets and the mellophones. During the concert season, this includes french horns.


Horn Line – The non-percussion part of the band; any instrument that is played by blowing air (woodwinds and brass).


Low Brass - The section of the band that contains baritones and sousaphones. During the concert (non-marching) season, this also includes euphoniums, trombones and tubas.


Pit – See Front Ensemble.


Podium – The raised platform upon which drum major(s) stand to conduct.


Plumes – The feathered portion of the marching band hats (very fragile and should be handled with gloves by the uniform volunteers).


Reviews & Competitions - We compete in the Northern California Band Association (“NCBA”) Competition Circuit. At the reviews (or competitions), we are placed into classes based on the size of our band. We will compete against several bands in our class and will be judged by nine judges, being scored on marching, playing and color guard skills. We are assigned a cumulative score and ranked by the order of the scores.


Section Leader – Band student leaders who are in charge of a marching band instrument section; such as “trumpet section leader.” This student leadership position is determined by application/audition/interviews in the spring of the preceding year. Some sections have multiple section leaders.


Sections/Sectionals - The band is made up of sections by instrument. The day to day direction for most band activities will come from the section leaders and the students will frequently warm-up or rehearse with their just section (sectionals). When a student is unsure about anything, the first call or text should always be to their section leadership.


Shako – Marching band hat.


TOB - Tournament of Bands. We are the host of this annual band tournament, and it occurs on the second Saturday in October every year. This is the largest fundraiser for our band program and we need all parents to volunteer for this event to ensure its success.


Woodwinds - Comprised of clarinets, saxophones and flutes. For marching season, the woodwinds are included in the horn line. During the concert (non-marching) season, this also includes oboes and bassoons.