All-star bands from across CJUSD join forces for Festival of Bands concert

The annual event brings together 375 student musicians in collective display of the district’s music programs


J. Dollins

High school students from Colton, Bloomington, and Grand Terrace collaborated at the annual CJUSD Festival of Bands.

Colton, CA— On Tuesday, February 28th, student musicians from across the Colton Joint Unified School District joined together in the Ken Hubbs Gym at Colton High for the annual CJUSD Festival of Bands.

This event brought together music programs from Colton High, Grand Terrace High, Bloomington High, Colton Middle, Terrace Middle, and several elementary schools. In total, 375 students performed in front of a packed house of family, many of whom stood the entire time to watch their children perform.

The evening’s program consisted of performances from the high school all-star band, who performed “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Bravada Spirit,” “Uproar,” and “Fire!” Each of the band directors from CHS, BHS, and GTHS took turns conducting.

“I think we performed fairly well,” said Isaac Ornelas. “It was nice hearing everyone. Everyone did a great performance.”

The middle school all-stars performed “Furioso” and “Engines of Resistance,” and the elementary all-stars played two songs, “High Adventure,” and “Pirates’ Cave.”

Because the performances combined players from different schools, the band directors had challenges to overcome. “It’s a lot of collaboration between all the directors and even the students when we rehearse.” said CHS band director Kenneth Taber.

Taber thought all the hard work paid off. “A lot of the songs, especially that the high school did, were better than rehearsed. I thought we had a lot of energy tonight.”

In addition to families and friends, the event was also attended by several of CJUSD’s administrators and school board members, including board member Patt Haro. “I’m a big supporter of the arts, music, and all the different arts programs,” Haro said. “So this is always a very special event to come to. This is also the best of the best and these kids are awesome so it’s wild to be here to support them.”

Before the performances, Taber introduced the evening’s program as Master of Ceremonies. Among other speakers were board member Dan Flores, whose son was performing in the event, along with Superintendent Dr. Frank Miranda.

“I want to thank all of you, the teachers, the band directors for the high schools, and our students for your hard work tonight,” Dr. Miranda said. “It’s amazing what talent we have in our district. And also our parents: please give yourself a round of applause because this doesn’t happen without you.”

Colton’s principal, John Abbott, was also impressed by the students’ success. “I thought the performances were great. It’s amazing hearing our elementary students and then the progression to middle school and high school. It’s just a great performance.”

And with the Festival of Bands being a success, parents should take the advice from Taber and “keep your kids in band.”