Mission Viejo High School Instrumental Music

2022 MVHS Instrumental Music Showcase
Mission Viejo High School is located in Mission Viejo, California, and is part of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). The Instrumental Music program has a long history of music excellence across its many groups. Under the direction of Doug Meeuwsen, along with coaches who are outstanding in their field, students develop not only their musical abilities but their work ethic, teamwork and leadership skills.

The Instrumental Music program is supported by the MVHS Instrumental Music Boosters Association (MVHSIMBA), which provides funds and volunteer hours through the generous assistance of parents. All parents of Instrumental Music students are automatically given membership into MVHSIMBA and are encouraged to actively participate through fundraising, volunteering and donating to the program.

Scroll below to see some examples of our music program in action!

The Concert Ensembles consist of String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and are part of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA). Students enroll in year-long classes that perform four concerts a year in the MVHS Performing Arts Theater as well as at various festivals in the spring. Festivals offer the opportunity to showcase a high standard of performance and receive adjudication by trained and qualified experts in music education, encouraging the development of each soloist, ensemble, and performing organization.

String Orchestra musicians participate in either the Intermediate or Advanced Orchestra. Each spring the string orchestras combine to participate in the Saddleback College Festival where they consistently receive Superior ratings. Also in the spring, interested wind players join the group to form a Symphonic Orchestra, with practices during tutorials and/or after school. The Symphonic Orchestra regularly performs at Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall as part of Orange County Philharmonic’s Annual High School Orchestra Festival. In March of 2017, the full Symphonic Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City!

The Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band classes consist of students whose primary instruments are in the brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument families. Wind Ensemble performs traditional band repertoire such as original wind compositions, light music, popular tunes and marches. Symphonic Band is for incoming students as well as students learning additional instruments. Symphonic Band students audition for Wind Ensemble in late spring of their freshman year.

Students are also encouraged to form and participate in Chamber Ensembles. This gives students the unique opportunity to work in a smaller group setting, choose and arrange the pieces that they perform, work together to decide how the final performance will come together, and perform at specially organized chamber music concerts once or twice a year. Additionally, students can audition for the Pit Orchestra in the spring, combining with the entire Performing Arts department in the production of a Broadway musical. Our Pit Orchestra has been recognized as the best Pit Orchestra for the trifecta The Spirit of the Macy award for Best Orchestra, Cappies Best Orchestra, and Best Student Orchestra JRAY (John Raitt Awards for Youth) 22 times in the last 23 years!

Many of our Concert Ensembles students, including String Orchestra students, also enjoy participating in Marching BandWinter Drumline, and/or Jazz Band. Concert Ensembles students can participate in these other groups with their primary instrument (if applicable) or secondary instrument they are already familiar with, or by being open to learning a new instrument! Some ensembles are by audition only, including Jazz Band and Winter Drumline.

Click here to learn more about the MVHS Concert Ensembles.

Color Guard performers participate in competitive groups throughout the school year. In the fall, Color Guard is the auxiliary that accompanies the Marching Band in Western Band Association (WBA) field performance and adds to the overall visual effect. The Color Guard interprets the music that the Marching Band is playing via the synchronized spinning of flags, sabres, rifles, or other pieces of equipment, and through dance. The Color Guard uses different colors and styles of flags to enhance the visual effect of the Marching Band as a whole. Visit the Marching Band & Color Guard page for details on their season.

When the field season ends, the Color Guard competes indoors and is known as Winter Guard. This auditioned group is similar to outdoor Color Guard, except the performances are indoors on gymnasium floors and the traditional marching band music is replaced with a recording of music. The gymnasium floor typically is covered by an individually designed tarp (called a floor by performers). The performers often compete barefoot, but wearing jazz shoes or modern dance shoes is also common practice. Guards compete against one another based on skill level.

Mission Viejo Winter Guard competes in the Scholastic Open Guard division of the Winter Guard International (WGI) circuit and the West Coast Winter Guard (WCWG) circuit. They perform at various local contests as well as circuit championships, and travel to regional competitions including the WGI West Power Regionals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Winter Guard has also participated in the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, against schools who have all attained a high level of achievement in regional contests to compete in the national and world championships.

Click here to learn more about MVHS Winter Guard.

The Mission Viejo Marching Band & Color Guard compete in Class 2A of the Western Band Association (WBA), a nonprofit organization that promotes high school music education in California, Arizona and Nevada. In 2019, the Mission Viejo Marching Band & Color Guard won the Class 3A Championships and Grand Championships for all 1A/2A/3A classes.

Marching Band season begins with Fall Kick Off and Band Camp one week before school. We are proud to host the MVHS Field Show Tournament, or Home Comp, which begins the WBA competition season and is our major fundraiser for the year. 

Marching Band is available as a 6th period class for all students in the fall semester and counts as PE credit. The band practices after school each weekday as well as Tuesday nights on the football field. They perform pep tunes for Friday night football games and pep rallies, and compete in field show tournaments on select Saturdays from early October to the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Click here to learn more about MVHS Marching Band & Color Guard

Winter Drumline is an auditioned percussion group that performs an original indoor show and competes at various venues in the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) circuit and at the Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion Championships. The Drumline consists of the Battery, which includes snare drums, tenors, bass drums, and cymbals; and the Front Ensemble, or “Pit”, which is the percussion equipment and musicians who do not march but are stationary on the frontline. The “Pit” also describes the area where those percussion instruments are set.

During the fall season, the Drumline performs as part of the Marching Band & Color Guard with performances at school football games and at Western Band Association (WBA) field show tournaments throughout the state. Both Marching Band and Winter Drumline are 7th period classes that count as PE credit. Percussionists also take part in year-long Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble concert ensembles, and many participate in the Percussion Ensemble chamber group and/or Jazz Band. The Battery also plays cadence for community events, including the Mission Viejo March Against Drugs and Relay for Life.

The MVHS Drumline started out in the local competition circuits in 1989, winning SoCal Championships in 1993 and 1994. They have won the WGI Percussion World Championship twice (2001 and 2007), silver medal three times and a bronze medal one time. Most recently, in 2019 the MVHS Drumline was a semifinalist in the Scholastic Open division at the WGI  Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

Click here to learn more about MVHS Winter Drum Line.