MHS Music 


Chris Kaldy Locker

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Frequently Asked Questions


The Milpitas High School Instrumental Music Program has an award winning Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Color Guard with an active performance and tour schedule.  The Music Program and the Boosters have been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), the City of Milpitas, the School Board, and Community Leaders for their continued contributions to education, the arts, and the community.  

Most of the graduating music students attend colleges and universities.  Our music alumni have attended and graduated from such colleges and universities as Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Penn. State, UOP, Cal Poly, BYU, TCU, Duke, Georgetown, Notre Dame, San Jose State, CSU East Bay, CSU San Francisco, CSU Fresno, CSU San Diego, Santa Clara University, Mills, Sarah Lawrence, Irvine, and nearly every other university and college in California.

With good time management, students are able to keep up with their homework and other activities.  Once a student makes the commitment to join a music class, they make lifelong friends, share the unique ability to create music, build on their 21st century learning and leadership skills, and have an exceptional high school experience that will prepare them for the demands and rigor of a college education.


What classes should I put on my “hard card” if I want to take music at Milpitas High?

Marching/Concert Band #7311 (All band and percussion students)

Orchestra #7251 (String players only)

Choir #7451

Jazz Band (by permission only)

Color Guard (by audition only, practices after school, not an official class)




What is the Marching Band?

The Marching Band (class #7311) has 100 members who perform at the home football games and several competitions each year.  The Marching Band members also form the “Wind Ensemble,” an advanced concert band, after the marching season ends in December. The vast majority of the Marching Band members have had no problem with the after school time commitment and performances. More information below.


What is the Pep Band?

The pep band students are enrolled in the Marching/Concert Band class (#7311), but the pep band does not practice after school, and the pep band does not attend or perform at marching band competitions.  However, pep band members will perform along-side the marching band members during the 4-5 home football games. The overall time commitment is similar to most middle school concert bands.  The pep band will also form the “Symphonic Band” an intermediate level concert band near the end of the football season.  


What is the Orchestra?

The orchestra consists of Violins, Violas, Cellos, and String Basses.  Non-string students will need to learn a string instrument and audition if they wish to participate in the orchestra class.  More information below.


What is the Jazz Band?

  • The jazz band is a class that meets before school every day from 7:00 - 8:50 AM.  
  • It only has the following instruments:  Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Bass, Guitar, Piano, and Drum Set.
  • All jazz band students are required to also be currently enrolled in a regular music class like Band, Orchestra, Choir, or are a member of the Band Color Guard team.   


What is the Color Guard?

The Color Guard, also known as the Auxiliary, is an award winning group of 20-30 students that meet after school, Monday - Thursday, during the Marching Band season.  They learn dance choreography and flag work that is used to enhance the visual performance of the Marching Band.  No experience is necessary, but a background in dance is very helpful.  Guard members do not need to sign up for a music class.  This group only meets after school during the marching band season. More information below.


 Can I switch to a different instrument in high school?

Yes, students are often encouraged to learn a different instrument in high school.   Learning a new instrument will help you be a better musician, and it will allow you more leadership opportunities.


 Should I take private lessons?

Yes! Private music lessons on your instrument are highly recommended.   Student's who take private lessons regularly out-perform their peers, and they earn top honors and awards.  These students are also more likely to end up in leadership positions within our music program.  With a strong music foundation, students get greater enjoyment from playing and being part of an outstanding music program.    The MHS Music Boosters offer limited scholarships for students taking private lessons in order to encourage a higher level of individual performance and leadership abilities. 


How many performances/concerts will I have?

Each group has a different performance schedule.  For a complete and current list of events, check our calendar at  The calendar is updated in June for the following school year.


What is the daily schedule for music classes at MHS?




Course #


Jazz Band

by permission only











Marching Band/Concert Band (Wind Ensemble)



Pep Band/Concert Band (Symphonic Band)



Percussion (for the Marching Band & the Concert Bands)




More Information about the Marching Band, Pep Band & Color Guard.


How will I know which group I am in?

  • The Marching Band mainly consists of 10th - 12th grade students. 
  • Most 9th grade students will be placed in the Pep Band (woodwinds and brass) or Orchestra (strings).
  • Occasionally, 9th grade students may audition for an open spot in the marching band, but priority is given to returning members.
  • All percussionists must attend after school trainings and summer practices so that we can place you in the section.  


When are the after school Marching Band practices? 

  • Mondays: 3:00 - 5:30 PM
  • Wednesdays: 2:00 - 5:00 PM
  • August through December only
  • Plus 3 Saturday practices in September (1 - 9 pm)


How many performances does the Marching Band have?

  • 5 Saturday competitions in October and November (Marching Band members only)
  • 4-5 Friday night football games from September to November (Includes Pep Band members)


When is Band Camp?

  • July 27 - 31, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (ALL Band and Color Guard Members)
  • August 3 - 5, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Marching Band Only)
  • Additional Color Guard Camp: tentatively scheduled for July 20 – 23, 2015 (1:00 - 5:00 PM)
  • First Day of School = Thursday, August 13, 2015

Band Camp is mandatory for all Marching Band, Pep Band and Color Guard members.  Pep Band members will only need to attend the first 5 days of band camp. Band camp is used to prepare the students for their marching band and pep band performances.  Marching Band students can also expect to learn 1/3 of their competition music and drill during these 7 days. 


Do I have to audition for the Marching Band Drum Line?

  • Yes, there are a limited number of spots in the drum line and front percussion ensemble. The marching band also incorporates a large FRONT ENSEMBLE (Pit) of percussionists.   All percussionists must attend scheduled after school trainings and summer practices so that we can place you in the section. 
  • Private music lessons on your instrument are highly recommended.   


I heard that marching band conflicts with the sports teams.  Is this true?

  • The only teams that have direct schedule conflicts are Girls Volleyball, Football, Cross Country, and Girls Tennis, so students on these teams should not sign up for marching band. The Pep Band and Orchestra does not conflict with any sports practices.


My parents are worried about me going to the football games late at night.

  • In all my years teaching, we have never had a problem or incident at the football games.  Student safety is always a priority at MHS, and with over 150 marching and pep band members at the games we have never had a serious problem before, after, or during the games.


 Will Marching Band conflict with (Friday or Saturday) Chinese school?

  • Generally, these conflicts are minimal.  Most of the Marching Band's Saturday performances start after 12:00 PM.  If you have any a specific conflict concern, please talk to the music teacher.



More information about the Orchestra 


The orchestra usually has 60-70 violins, violas, cellos, and string bass, students. 

  • There are NO woodwinds, brass, or percussion students in Orchestra.


How many performances/concerts will I have?

  • The Orchestra only has 5-7 performances each year, in addition to 1 or 2 after school practices before each performance. 
  • For a complete and current list of events, check our calendar at 
  • The calendar is updated in June for the following school year.


I heard that there are NO flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, and percussion in Orchestra.  Is this true?

  • Yes, I this is true.  All woodwind, brass, and percussion students must be enrolled in band.   
  • Additionally, most percussion, woodwind and brass students actually prefer playing band music over the orchestral music because orchestra focuses on the string instruments.   Overall, the pep band and marching band are better learning environments for woodwind, brass and percussion students because the focus is on those instruments in that class.


Does the orchestra conflict with other school activities?

  • Most students have not reported any conflicts with other MHS activities or classes.
  • If you have a specific conflict concern, please talk to the music teacher.








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