Student Life

Olympian High School’s band is almost completely run by the students. This ranges from fundraising, uniform distribution, contact of students, and many more. This is to teach the students about leadership which is a very important life skill in this society. On this page, you can learn more about the experiences of students in the program, from the rewards of marching band to taking classes at Southwestern.

Student Nominations


Marco Ledesma, 11th Grade, first year playing – Marco Ledesma started his junior year and decided to play an instrument for the first time in his life, thankfully he chose to play the flute. And as a beginner he has had to work very hard to catch up with the rest of us. To my surprise, he took it upon himself to ask for help. He was the one who arranged his “Monday Tutorings” with Arantza, Analyn, and Karina. Never have I seen a beginner so determined to get better, and actually take initiative in their musical career. Ever since the beginning of marching season it’s been hard for him to march, keep his angle, play, etc. Sadly, he’s been called out numerous of times by other leaders or helpers. If I were a beginner that would have really hurt my confidence or belief in myself. But Marco hasn’t stopped, he still asks for help he still works hard to get better. Never have I heard him complain do the calling outs, but he takes them as things he has to work on. And because of his dedication, perseverance, and way of seeking help I nominate him for student of the week.

Daniela Cano, 9th Grade, experienced – Daniela Cano is not only an amazing flutist but such a sweet person. Whenever someone asks for help in the flute chat she gives them advice and tells them of ways she has done to improve her playing. Not only this, but she also helps out other beginners in our section with their playing. Daniela not only helps others, but knows she can always improve. She always asks questions on how to improve things she knows she can improve, she asks for help in music and countless other things. She has been such a help to my section, and a pleasure to be able to teach. Because of Daniela’s willingness to help others, teach beginners, seek help to improve, I nominate her for student of the week


Nathan Zeigler (Saxophones): For being an exceptional player and marcher, and striving to do the best even when no one is watching

Annabelle Manzo (Saxophones): For demonstrating leadership skills, and helping/mentoring others to be at a higher level


Marvin Colmenares (Tubas): For learning to play on his own, and being an excellent left guide in parade


Bela Carlton (Baritones): For learning the entire third number in a week after her absence Charles Smith (Baritones): For committing the entire trio to memory in mere days after receiving criticism


Claudia (Clarinets): Improving since the beginning of the year, and always striving to succeed and do more


Alex Juarez (Trumpets): For being hardworking and always putting in the effort to improve Rebekah Omengan (Trumpets): For always trying her best and persevering Jordan Jacinto (Trumpets): For having determination and not giving up, striving to do better


Kayla (Horns): Striving extra hard to perform at a level that exceeds expectations Abran Grecia (Horns): Taking up leadership when the current leader is absent, and improving after being given criticism


Michael Fortin (Percussion): For improving in music as fast as he did, as he barely came into percussion last year and now he’s a tenor player for olympian and an independent percussion group Yelka Gonzalez (Percussion): Even though she came a little late into the year, she managed to learn the entire show in like the course of a week or 2


2017-2018 Band Council

President… Asa Smith
Vice President… Karina Sidhu
Secretary… Dariahn Hernandez
Treasurer… Andrea Morales
Head Manager … Emily Neiman (Assistants Arianna Lopez, Justine Hinton, Iliann Montiel)
Director of Student Life … Katelynn Vinegas
(assistants Richelle Monge, Janet Villareal)
Section Leader Representative … Iliann Montiel
Color Guard Representative … Emily Knapp

2017-2018 Managers

Facilities Managers: …Omar Younis
Equipment Managers: … CJ Clemente, Alizah Abubo
Technology Manager: …Mari Lie
Librarians: …Erik Garcia, Rylan Medina
Advertising Manager: …Ivy Nguyen

2017-2018 Section Leaders & Drum Majors

Flutes: … Princess Lao, Stephanie Esparza
Clarinets: … Alizah Abubo, Andrea Morales
Saxophones: …Jeremiah Vargas, Pedro Meneses, Katelynn Vinegas
Horns: …Asa Smith
Trumpets: …Daniel Pak, Alex Payton
Trombones: …Jeanine Echon, Janet Villareal
Baritones: …Erik Garcia
Tubas: …Ilian Montiel
Percussion: …Juan Pablo Caballero, Layloni Torres
Drum Major Field: … Joel Cruz, Princess Lao
Drum Major Parade: … Joel Cruz


• White Gloves: Should be cleaned at home
• Long Black Socks
• Shako and Plume
• Marching Shoes
• Shorts: To wear under your uniform
• Hair Products: No hair should be on your face during competition so students with long hair should bring hair ties, bobby pins, and/or hairnets DO NOT USE HAIRSPRAY AS IT WILL RUIN YOUR SHAKO
• A snack
• Money for concessions
• Extra change of clothes: Jacket, band polo, pants, anything comfy
• Instrument and Music

Saturday Practice

• Water
• Sun Protection: Sunglasses, sunblock, hat, etc.
• White Shirt
• Money For Food: Food will be cooked for the students
• Charts
• Assigned Chips
• Instrument and Music

After School Practice

• Marching Shoes
• Sun Protection: Sunglasses, sunblock, hat, etc.
• Charts
• Assigned Chips
• Water
• Instrument and Music

Football Games

• Band Polo
• Black Pants
• Long Black Socks
• Marching Shoes
• Coat or Jacket
• Instrument and Music
• Money for food

Six Things I Wished Someone Had Told Me About Marching Season
by Paola G. (Alumni)

1. It took me awhile to figure out what marching season meant. It’s what we call the period from August to November where we are dedicated solely to marching. We learn a field show (a 10 minute show consisting of about 4 songs accompanied with synchronized choreography on the football field) and a march (basically, a traditional style marching song that we perform while marching down the streets in precision). For 3 months that’s all we do, we learn the music and perfect it. We learn the marching and perfect it. We do it over and over to get it just right, as close to perfection as possible. While these routines are used at football games, band competitions are what we train for. Marching season is the opposite of concert season; there, no marching is involved, only music, and that lasts from December until the end of the year.

2. Practice truly does make perfect. I, like most, had never learned how to play an instrument before joining band. The only way that you can be on part with more experienced musicians is by practice. Do not underestimate what 30 minutes every day can do for your skill level. Think of practice as homework for a class, you will get so much more out of the program if you practice. The same rule applies to marching. During marching season we have practice every Tuesday and Thursday every day until 5 and once a month we have special 5-6 hour practices on Saturdays. It may seem like a lot at first but with 100+ students and so many things to learn, you’ll see its not nearly enough. Every hour is valuable. And when we nail our field show after practicing it dozens of time, you will find how worth it it all was. The sense of accomplishment once you master a song is like no other.

3. Band competitions exist. I’d never heard of this, perhaps because marching band isn’t well known, yet competitions are serious stuff. Bands from all over the county go to these competitions where we perform our field shows and our street marches in front of judges. They give us points for what we do right and take away points for things we do wrong, the highest score being 100. The judges assess both the quality of the music we are playing and the precision of our marching. There are separate judges for percussion and colorguard, but that’s a bit more complicated. Once the judges have scored all field shows and street marches we have an awards ceremony where the top bands are awarded trophies. There are different categories you can be awarded in and we are separated into groups according to the size of our band (because bigger bands have an unfair advantage when it comes to things like sound quality). There are usually separate award shows for street marches and field shows and we attend about 6 different competitions throughout the season and each is more or less the same. Some are only street marching, and some are only field show. Both are still very competitive and fun.

4. What a day in the life of a band competition is like: These days are pretty crazy, and tiring. You will end up completely drained after it, but with the right attitude you’ll still have a blast. The best part of competition is spending a day out with all your bandmates its like one really long field trip.The competitions are usually on Saturdays and we get to school early in the morning (for one competition we meet up at like 5 in the morning!) and then we hop on about 3 buses to travel one or two hours to wherever we’re going. The day is usually long and hot. When Mabrey tells you to keep hydrated, he’s serious. Hot sun and black wool do not mix well. You will sweat, which leads to stinky buses. Most of your time is spent warming up. The closer you get to the competition the more your heart starts pounding. And in that moment when the judges say “Olympian, the judges are ready”, your heart stops. Then the show starts and you begin what you have practiced literally a hundred times, and you pray you don’t make a mistake but it’s worth it when you hear the audience cheers. Here in the Olympian band our goal is for our show to be as entertaining as possible; it’s what makes us unique. The rush you get when you hear the audience truly enjoying the performance and all the details we put it in is indescribable. That’s when I start to get into more into the music and begin to actually enjoy the performance. For a minute I don’t even care about the score, all I want is for the audience to enjoy it. Of course what the judges think is what matters. Finally comes the award ceremonies,we sit together in the football stadium doing school cheers and anxiously wait for our score. When our school is called, for whatever category, there is a deafening roar of yells as we all stand up and cheer as the drum major or colorguard captain accepts these trophies. That moment is my favorite part of all of marching season.

5. The camaraderie you feel with the whole band as we triumphantly walk back to the buses ready for a well-deserved nap on the way home is something that you have to live to fully understand. Even if we didn’t win a single prize, which happens, rarely do we walk defeated. There is always an accomplishment to celebrate, whether it be a positive reaction from the audience or a day where we truly worked together as a team. There is always something that we as a band make sure to feel good about. It’s what makes the long hours of practice, the tedious repetitions, the sweat and the tears all worth it. At the end of the day we are a family of performers who receive no greater pleasure than knowing that we did our absolute best and received the best score we could have received.

6. Band is tons and tons of fun. Although it does take some serious dedication, there are many moments in band where we just laugh and make the most of our time. In this group of 100+ students you are bound to find a group of friends who have similar likes and interests. Our band director, Mr. Mabrey, is the king of bad jokes and puns, so we’re always laughing at, I mean with him. We’re really all just a big band of goofballs who enjoy making music, hanging out in the bandroom, and messing around in the stands at football games. When I joined band I wished someone had told me that not only was I joining a phenomenal music program under the best director, but also that I’d be having the time of my life performing with a group of awesome people that I’ve come to consider my second family.

Taking Classes at Southwestern College

Make sure you can fit band into your schedule! Taking classes at Southwestern College gives students an opportunity to take courses that are not offered at Olympian and also allows them to open up their schedule so that they can take classes classes that they want in school such as band. Although it does cost money, it gives students an amazing opportunity to understand the process many colleges use for applications, transcripts, and adding/dropping classes. Not only does it look great on college applications but students also have an official college transcript and many of the class credits transfer straight to any UC or State University! Not even AP classes guarantee that.

Click [HERE] to learn about the High School Special Program offered at Southwestern college.

Standby for classes that will be offered in the summer! Summer session begins in early June. If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with Mr. Mabrey.