Instrumental Music

El Toro High School boasts an outstanding Instrumental Music Department under the direction of Band Director, Mr. Miller. Please see below for more information regarding our talented ensembles. If you would like more information and see upcoming events, visit our El Toro Music website (you will be leaving the SVUSD website): http://eltoromusic.org

The El Toro High School Royal Blue Regiment is an award-winning competitive marching unit that performs regularly during the fall. Throughout the years, the ensemble has performed throughout California receiving numerous accolades. Recently the RBR was a finalist at the 2016 Western Band Association’s Grand Championships in Fresno, CA.

The unit is comprised of three performance groups that unify to become the RBR. These units include the Winds, Percussion Ensemble, and Color Guard making the unit into a group of 110 members.

Marching Band plays an integral role as one of the most visible groups on our campus. It is a spirit group at athletic events, entertainment at half-times, and a competitor at band tournaments. More importantly, it is a group of individuals that feel being a part of a team is the most important part of any activity. The RBR is made up of people who perform music for its own sake and build strength through competition as a team.

2017 Royal Blue Regiment Awards

  1. Ayala Music in Motion - 6th Place
  2. Mission Viejo Field Tournament - 4th Place
  3. Trabuco Hills HS Tournament in the Hills - 3rd Place
  4. Long Beach Super Show
  5. WBA Class 1-3A Championships - 8th Place
  6. WBA Grand Championships - 8th Place

An indoor percussion ensemble or indoor drumline consists of the marching percussion (or battery) and front ensemble (pit or frontline) sections of a marching band or drum corps. The only exceptions are in concert divisions (e.g. Percussion Scholastic Concert Open) where the marching line is absent and the ensemble consists entirely of a pit. Indoor percussion marries elements of music performance, marching, and theater; thus, the activity is often referred to as percussion theater. Although most indoor percussion ensembles are affiliated with high schools, there are also many independent groups that draw participants from a large area. Independent groups typically start rehearsing in October, while high school groups typically start after their fall marching band season ends. Because of this, the activity is often called winter percussion or winterline.

Color guard uses various equipment such as flags, rifles, and sabres, along with dance, to express dynamic passages in the music accompanying the marching band show or winter guard show. The color guard performs during football games at halftime as part of the marching band. During marching band competitions, the guard adds to the overall score of the band and is also judged in an auxilliary category. Color guard heightened its popularity in the 1970s and 1980s when they accompanied the drum and bugle corps. Presently color guard is performed all around the world and is increasingly growing in popularity.

Color guard has since evolved into a separate activity known as Winter Guard, which is an indoor sport where the guard performs unaccompanied by the band, to a piece of pre-recorded music, usually during the winter and spring. El Toro High School's Winter Guard competes independently in the WGASC Circuit.

Winter Guard Awards 2017
• WGASC Huntington Beach – 3rd Place
• WGASC Costa Mesa – 1st Place
• WGASC Valencia – 5th Place
• WGASC Canyon – 3rd Place
• WGASC Championships at Edison – 3rd Place

Wind Ensemble is a concert band comprised of the most advanced musicians and joined by audition only. Depending on the performance, this ensemble may also be called wind symphony, wind orchestra, wind band, symphonic winds, or symphonic wind ensemble. Wind Ensemble consists of members of the woodwind, brass, and percussion families of instruments.

A concert band's repertoire includes original wind compositions, transcriptions/arrangements of orchestral compositions, light music, and popular tunes. Though the instrumentation is similar, a concert band is distinguished from the marching band in that its primary function is as a concert ensemble. The standard repertoire for the concert band does, however, contain concert marches.

Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part (in contrast to orchestral music, in which each string part is played by a number of performers). However, by convention, it usually does not include solo instrument performances.

Because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as "the music of friends." For more than 100 years, chamber music was played primarily by amateur musicians in their homes, and even today, when chamber music performance has migrated from the home to the concert hall, many musicians, amateur and professional, still play chamber music for their own pleasure. Playing chamber music requires special skills, both musical and social, that differ from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works.

The El Toro High School Chamber Orchestra received Unanimous Superior ratings at the 2017 SVUSD District Festival, the SCSBOA festival and the Heritage Music Festival (World Strides)

A string orchestra is an orchestra consisting solely of a string section. The instruments of such an orchestra are most often the following: the violin, which is divided into first and second violin players, the viola, the cello, and the double bass. String orchestras can be of chamber orchestra size ranging from between 12 (4.3.2.2.1 = 12) and 21 musicians (6.5.4.4.2 = 21) sometimes performing without a conductor, or consist of the entire string section of a large symphony orchestra which could have 60 musicians (16.14.12.10.8 = 60; Gurre-Lieder calls for 84: 20.20.16.16.12).

Film scores generally have quite varied string set-ups: for example, James Newton Howard's score for The Last Airbender featured 33 violins, 21 violas, 14 celli and 15 double basses, making it a total of 83 strings.

A 20th-century development has been the reappearance of the concerto grosso pitting of soloists against the full ensemble. During the past eras of pop music, it also employed up to 65-piece string orchestras.

A Symphonic Band or concert band, may also called a wind symphony, wind orchestra, wind band, symphonic winds, symphony band, or symphonic wind ensemble.

A concert band's repertoire includes original wind compositions, transcriptions/arrangements of orchestral compositions, light music, and popular tunes. Though the instrumentation is similar, a concert band is distinguished from the marching band in that its primary function is as a concert ensemble. The standard repertoire for the concert band does, however, contain concert marches.

A jazz band (jazz ensemble or jazz combo) is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands vary in the quantity of its members and the style of jazz that they play but it is common to find a jazz band made up of a rhythm section and a horn section.

The size of a jazz band is closely related to the style of jazz they play as well as the type of venues in which they play. Smaller jazz bands, also known as combos, are common in night clubs and other small venues and will be made up of three to seven musicians; whereas big bands are found in dance halls and other larger venues.

Jazz bands can vary in size from a big band to a smaller trio or quartet. The term jazz trio can refer to a three piece band with a pianist, double bass player and a drummer. Some bands use vocalists, while others are purely instrumental groups. Jazz bands usually have a band leader. In a big band setting, there is usually more than one player for each of instrument.

Jazz bands and their composition have changed many times throughout the years just as the music itself changes with each performer's personal interpretation and improvisation, which is one of the greatest appeals of going to see a jazz band.

In 2017, the ETHS Jazz Band performed at the Irvine Valley College Jazz Picnic and the Riverside Community College Jazz Fest.

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