The Fred C. Beyer High School Band program dates back to the fall of 1972 when Beyer High first opened its doors for students. The band’s first director was Mr. Ward Stine and the number of students enrolled was approximately 50 musicians. Since that time, the band program has been led by seven other directors and five assistant band directors with enrollment as high as 140 musicians and color guard members.
Students participating in the Beyer Music Program have opportunities to perform in many high caliber ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, brass and woodwind chamber ensembles, Winter Percussion Ensemble, Winter Guard, and the illustrious Patriots Marching Band and Color Guard.
The Beyer High School Marching Band has a reputation for excellence that is known around the world. The group has traveled through 21 of the United States, Canada, England, Wales, and Ireland. The Beyer High School Marching Band has garnered thousands of trophies and awards in its 40 years of existence. These include being named the 1987 Bands of America – Class AAA Summer National Champion, the 1990 Fiesta Bowl National Pageant of Bands Champion (the band has participated in the Fiesta Bowl competition on 3 occasions), the 1994 Bands of America Western Regional Champion, the 1994 Western States Marching Band Champion, the 1997 Winter Guard International Friendship Cup – Seattle Regional Champion and the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Western Band Association AAA Champions.
In 2005-2007 Beyer was also named the WBA Class A/AA/AAA Combined Grand Champion. In 1993, the Beyer High School Marching Band was named the number one high school marching band program in the United States by earning the coveted Sudler Shield awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Superior, award winning performances are common occurrences for Beyer High School Band students.
The Wind Ensemble applied for and was accepted into the prestigious Bands of America 1994 National Concert Band Festival in Chicago. The Beyer High School Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band have consistently earned Superior ratings at festivals from the California Music Educator’s Association (CMEA) and the Wind Ensemble has been led by such internationally famous conductors and composers as Alfred Reed, Ron Nelson, David Maslanka, and David Holsinger.
The Jazz Ensembles have attended CMEA festivals on three occasions and have earned Superior ratings each time as well as earning a 4th place finish at the highly competitive Reno International Jazz Festival in 1993. The Beyer Jazz program has played host to world renowned jazz artists such as Bill Watrous, Stan Marks, Dominic Spera, James Moody, Clark Terry and Bobby Shew.
The Beyer Fall Drumline and Front Ensemble has consistently placed in the top 3 of the WBA A/AA/AAA Championships, including most recently the first-place award in class AAA in 2008. The Beyer Winter Percussion ensemble has earned two WGI medals and has placed in the finals at all four World Championship competitions they have attended, the most recent being an 8th place finish in the Open class in 2009. In 2004, the group earned the silver medal in class “A” at WGI World Championships in San Diego, CA.
In 2007 in Dayton, OH, the group placed third in the Open class, earning a bronze medal. The Beyer Winter Percussion has also earned numerous first place awards at WGI regional competitions over the last ten years, including Las Vegas in 2006, Ceres in 2010, and Union City in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011. They were the Central Valley Guard and Percussion Circuit (CVGPC) Champions each year from 2004-2009, and again in 2011 & 2012. They are consistently a top-notch part of the Beyer instrumental music program. Many of the activity’s leading teachers have come through the Beyer percussion program over the years, including Shawn Glyde, Ed Cloyd, Phil Vallejo, Juan Gomez, David Flores, Shekhar Khedekar and Murray Gusseck.
The Beyer Color Guard has perhaps the richest tradition of excellence of any program at Beyer High School. They were named Best Auxiliary at the 1998 Western States Marching Band Championships as well as the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Western Band Association State Championships. The color guard is also very competitive in the Winter Guard International (WGI) Circuit. The guard boasts the incredible resume of 15 WGI finals appearances dating back to 1992, with the most recent being their 12th place finish in 2008. They have consistently placed high in the final round of the WGI World Championships, including 2nd place in 2002 and 2005, 3rd place in 1996, 1999 and 2003 and 4th place in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2004. The guard has been led by some of the activity’s leading instructors and designers, including Scott Chandler, Mark Metzger, Vince Velasquez, Shavon Garcia, Eric Castro and Samora Mellor.