CHS band on a roll to state competition

The Claremont High School Band will compete this weekend in the California State Band Championships at Huntington Beach High.

“We made it to championships! The kids are very excited about it,” said Melanie Riley-Gonzalez, CHS Director of Bands and Orchestras. “This year is special because we are competing in a higher division than we have ever been and we are being successful.”

The 124-musician group performs at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, November 18 at HBH, 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach. Tickets are $6.25 to $22 and are available online at

CHS is currently rated in the top 5 bands in the state, and has been on a good run lately, receiving the high music award—given to the band with the highest music performance scores regardless of division—at a competition last month at Centennial High School, where the musicians also won first place in their division. And at another October competition at San Gorgonio High School, the band’s 83.7 was its highest score in years. The guard also received a first place in its division. 

“The kids have worked so hard and have overcome so much this season,” Ms. Riley-Gonzalez said. “I could not be more proud.”

Ms. Riley-Gonzalez is in her eighth year at CHS. Over her tenure the instrumental music program has seen a remarkable expansion, going from 55 musicians in band and 19 in orchestra to this year’s group of 124 and 83, respectively.

More info is at the Wolfpack Music Facebook page.

—Mick Rhodes


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