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Instrumental Music FAQ

What is the IMPA?

The Instrumental Music Parents Association (also known as the IMPA) supports all Instrumental Music programs and directors at MVHS through fundraising and volunteer assistance. Money raised is spent on instrument purchase and repair, uniforms, and travel expenses. All parents of instrumental music students are automatically members of the Association and are encouraged to participate in the program.


Will band and time commitment adversely affect my grades?

Whether you are in activities or not, at Mountain View High School, good grades are dependent upon having a good work ethic and good time management skills. If you are conscientious and organized, band, or any other activity will not adversely affect your grades. If you are not conscientious and organized, grades will be a problem at Mountain View HS, even with no additional activities! The bands' schedules have been carefully developed to work with the school's academic demands. In fact, many of the school's top scholars are in band.


What about schedule conflicts?

In order to meet the commitment to the ensemble and learn their part in the performance, students are expected to review the rehearsal calendar and plan to be at all rehearsals. Where there are unavoidable schedule conflicts, proactively talk to the music directors well in advance. Students in the past have been able to manage commitments to marching band and to religious obligations, Chinese school, outside sports teams, Scouts, etc.

What qualities does the student need for marching band and guard?

A positive attitude and willingness to learn, teamwork, and a commitment to the marching band.


What is the Spartan Sound Pep Band?

Wind instrumentalists and percussionists can sign up to play in the Pep Band. Playing music drawn from popular music and marches, they play at school rallies and sports events and add spirit to the football and games.


Can I hire the band or musicians for work events or personal parties?

Yes! Please talk to Music Directors Ricky Alegria and Jo Smith-Nilsson about your needs. Small ensembles from duets to quartets to large ensembles have performed for hire. Performance fees benefit the music program.

How does participating in the music program affect grades?

Students who learn to balance and prioritize their time commitments end up being more successful later in life. Time and again, we have seen students take themselves out of performances or entire seasons, only to hear later that they did not use their free time any more wisely than when they were in band. Band should not be the only or first reason grades suffer, if a student takes the time to get organized. Being in an active group gives the students the opportunity to learn how to balance school, extra-curricular activities, and other interests.


Will the students be required to do fundraising?

Each instrumental music student is encouraged to contribute to their Fair Share contribution by participating in fundraising campaigns. Each year, there are several fundraising campaigns in which students can participate. Students are not required to do fundraising. Families may choose to simply pay their family’s contribution amount. Any student may participate in the instrumental music programs or any activity, regardless of ability to pay.

Where do instrumental music parents get information about upcoming events?

Information is sent via Parentsquare, from the Music Directors and the IMPA. The calendar will provide the most up to date information. The IMPA President can also answer questions.

What kind of music do the music ensembles play?

Each season, the marching band performs a field show with music arranged or composed specifically for marching band. Winter Percussion and Winter Guard perform shows with choreography and music designed for their unique idioms. Spartan Sound Pep Band performs music drawn from popular music and marches to add spirit to the sports competitions. Often, they perform pieces arranged for Pep Band by fellow students. The Jazz Band plays music drawn from across the jazz repertoire, the Great American Songbook and Big Band music. The concert bands and orchestra perform music drawn from the symphonic orchestra and concert band repertoire, of a variety of styles and eras.


Can I be in both Marching Band and other ensembles?

Yes! Many students participate both in marching band and a concert band or orchestra, as well as in Spartan Sound Pep Band. Many also play in jazz band or winter percussion as well.


Can I be involved in sports and extracurriculars and still be in the music program?

YES! Depending on the sport. The music program includes many athletes in the band, on school teams, club teams, and rec programs. We also have students who participate in a variety of other activities at MVHS, in their religious communities, in scouting, and in the larger community. The key to participating in multiple activities is time management. The time management skills that students learn as members of the band will help them succeed and excel in all of their activities, sports, and academics.


Do I have to be in a band class to be a member of the marching band? Is that the same for the Spartan Sound Pep Band?

Anyone in Marching Band must be enrolled in the marching band class. Color Guard students must also enroll in Color Guard. Winter Percussion students and Winter Guard must enroll in their respective classes. Pep Band members do not enroll in a class; they enroll with the Music Directors.

Which strings class should I take as an incoming freshman?

Freshmen should enroll in String Orchestra (Orchestra on your registration form). 

Which band class should I take as an incoming freshman?

Enroll in marching band if you want to make this commitment! It's a great way to connect and make friends with students from freshman to seniors. We also highly recommend that freshmen concurrently enroll in Symphonic Band.


Is credit offered for instrumental music classes?

Yes. Some of the classes count towards your arts requirement, and marching band can fulfill your P.E. requirements. However, you still have to take Freshman P.E.!


How do I join the jazz band?

The Music Directors hold auditions at the end of the fall semester. The jazz band reflects traditional instrumentation: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, bass, rhythm, percussion. 


Who do I contact if I have questions about?

We’d love to answer your questions or connect you to the right person! Contact: the Music Directors or the IMPA President.


How can I help with the music program and music events?

We have many ways to volunteer, from leadership positions to donating cookies. See the volunteer sign-up sheet, or contact one of our volunteer leads to get started!


Why do you charge for school performances?

Concert ticket sales help cover expenses of the instrumental music department.


My kid likes both music and choir -- can they do both? What about drama?

Perhaps. The music department is pleased to have students participate in as many programs as they wish. Depending on the class scheduling and the student’s placement in their music and choir ensembles, the student may have scheduling conflicts. Also, the student may have to make hard choices in order to take the academic classes the student wants to schedule.


Will the marching band perform at all football games?

The Spartan Sound Pep Band performs at all home football games. The marching band will perform at three home football games this year.

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