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Join the Band & Color Guard

So you are thinking about joining the Braves Marching Band...

The basic information listed below will help you start on your path towards being part of one of the most respected groups in the Salesian Community.

The Braves Marching Band is an extra-curricular activity that is comprised of students in grades 9 through 12 from Saint Joseph High School and St. John Bosco High School. The group averages about 60-65 members including Color Guard which begins to prepare for the upcoming season during the late spring. The Band performs at local parades, field competitions and all home and away football games.

What instruments make up the sections of the Braves Marching Band?

Wind Section

The Wind Section is a group of performers who play:

  • Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Alto sax, Tenor sax, Baritone sax, Trumpet, Mellophone (marching French Horn), Trombone, Baritone, and Tuba.

Percussion Section

The Percussion Section is made up of two sub groups:

  • Pit & Battery:
    • The Pit/Front Ensemble is a group of performers who play:
      • Marimba, Xylophone, Vibes, Bells, Chimes, Timpani, and Auxiliary Percussion which include Concert Bass Drums, Gong, Drum Set, and Synthesizer (Piano). The unique part about this section is THERE IS NO MARCHING!
    • The Battery is a group of performers who play:
      • Snares, Tenors, Bass Drums, and Hand Cymbals
      • This portion of the band is referred to as the "drum line" or battery. This popular section proves to be one of the most physically demanding and enjoyable sections in the entire band.

Color Guard

  • Color Guard is a co-ed dance performance ensemble which cultivates personal growth through competitive performances with the marching band promoting self-esteem, education and creativity. Color Guard combines flag, dance, athletic and equipment training (rifle and sabre).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Marching Band?

The Braves Marching Band consists of students from the Advance Band, Concert Band and our sister school St. Joseph High School. Students audition annually so they can be placed in the appropriate band according to their skill level.

What is the Color Guard?

The Color Guard is an important part of the Marching Show. They provide "color" to the overall effect of the show by closely choreographed interpretative dance routines that match the drill design. The Color Guard utilizes flags, rifles, and other props to enhance the overall show and make it visually appealing. The Color Guard is comprised of students from both St. Joseph and St. John Bosco High School. Most of the rehearsals in the Fall are at St. John Bosco. In the Winter, guard rehearsals take place at Saint Joseph High School.

I'm already an SJB or SJ Student and I didn't join the Marching Band my freshman year. Can I join now?

Absolutely! Each year we have new members from all four grade levels. There is never a bad time to join the Braves Marching Band!

What if I have absolutely no experience, can I still join?

It all depends on what instrument you are auditioning for. In some cases you may audition for auxiliary percussion or sound crew and then work yourself up the ladder. In most cases, new members are placed in the cymbal line and often end up playing snare or tenor drums. You may also take the Concert Band Prep Class in the summer or take lessons at a local music store and call Mr. Rivas for audition information. There is always a spot available.

Do you have to be in a music class to be in the Marching Band?

If you are trying out for the color guard, no. If you are a St. Joseph student and play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument, no but it would be wise to take private lessons from a local music store.
If you play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument at Bosco, yes. You need to be enrolled in advance band period 7 this FALL.

Do you practice after school every day?

No way! The Marching Band does have summer practices, but people still take summer vacations and attend sectionals and summer camps in June and July. When school starts and you need more time for school work, we only practice two school nights per week on Tuesdays and Thursday and two Saturday’s a month!

Are there auditions for the Braves Marching Band?

Yes. But, we accept over 95% of applicants. Your attitude and attendance is the biggest factor! The auditions occur in the late spring (May and June) and are not a single "snap-shot" audition, but rather a series of mini-camps that allow us to really see what every student can achieve.

Are there ways to support my child through your booster group?

The SJB & SJ Band Booster club is our lifeline! Without the dedicated volunteers who give us their time and talent, our band and color guard would not be what it is today!


There are many ways to help. You can sew flags, build or transport equipment, chaperone a trip or concert, bake something, donate supplies for camp, speak with your business about a donation or sponsorship, usher guests at a band competition, etc. It is through the work of our parents that we safely and successfully get through each year.

I’m worried about grades and Marching Band. How do the current kids deal with the band and study schedule?

First, we only practice two school nights a week during the months of August, September, October, and November. Second, knowing the schedule ahead of time allows students (with parental assistance) to plan their study time -- a valuable life long skill in high school and beyond. Third, most students budget their time better in the fall and therefore do better in school. Statistically, most students’ grades are better during the 1st term (marching band season) than the 2nd term.

I don't own the instrument I need for Marching Band. Can the Band Program help?

We have complete sets of marching brass, percussion, tenor and bari saxes, and some color guard equipment. All of this equipment is checked out (free of charge) to students who use that equipment. The instruments that we lack are Alto Sax, Trombones and therefore will need to rent or purchase.

The Marching Band offers a wonderful experience; does it cost me any money?

This coming Marching Band season, each student will be responsible for fees that total approximately $500 for Band and $650 for Color Guard. This may seem like a lot of money; but considering the experience and benefits for their children, most families find the financial commitment worthwhile. There are fundraising opportunities and confidential assistance programs available to every student.

My child wants to switch to another instrument. Is that allowed?

We generally encourage students to work toward achievement on one instrument but switching is, in rare cases, the right answer. The best thing to do is to contact the band director and discuss your options. Balance and orchestration is high priority. If there is going to be a switch, let’s get started soon!

Can my child participate in Marching Band and a sport or club?

They can if you feel they can handle it, but Bosco’s Athletics and Marching Band have strict attendance policies. In the past it has been our experience that a vast majority of students cannot handle a varsity sport and Marching band. Clubs that meet after school and some "outside of school" activities are possible. Again, the attendance policy for Band camp (July) and during the school year, is near 100% so if you are concerned, please contact the band director.

Why join the Braves Marching Band?

Why do students return year after year? Here is what they had to say...

  • "I love all of the friends I've made."
  • "I knew more people going into my first day of high school through the summer camp with the Band."
  • "All of the hard work pays off."
  • "It is an experience you cannot get anywhere else in high school."
  • "Getting to play in front of thousands of people each week is a rush!"
  • "Lifelong lessons...lifelong friends"
  • "You develop a discipline and drive that helps in all of your other classes in High School and college"
  • "The chance to get to know 65 people from every grade level and other schools is a blast. I made friends from every grade and every group at Bosco and St. Joe’s"
  • "Who doesn't like to travel all over? Make people cheer, and have fun with your best friends"
  • "The feeling of accomplishment that comes from teamwork, hard work, and a need to aspire to a higher level...it is an irreplaceable feeling!"