Pops Concert: Dons Went To The Movies!

The Dons Go to the Movies! – Acalanes High School’s award winning Instrumental Music Department presented its first concert of the year at the Acalanes Performing Arts Center on Oct 10.  The Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble performed favorite soundtracks and classic music from popular movies!

Pictures are available here.



U.S. Marine Band to Perform at Acalanes

A decade has passed since the United States Marine Band last appeared on stages along the West Coast. However, on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, the band returns and will play a free concert in Lafayette. The 7:30 p.m. performance will be held in the Acalanes High School gymnasium and is sponsored by the school’s instrumental music program. Free tickets are available (limit four per request) by visiting marineband.ticketleap.com. In the style of the band’s 17th Director John Philip Sousa, who initiated the concert tour tradition in 1891, Marine Band Director Col. Jason K. Fettig has chosen a diverse mix of programs from traditional band repertoire and Sousa marches to instrumental solos and a salute to the Armed Forces. The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. President since John Adams. Known as “The President’s Own” since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Don’t miss this very special performance.

Spring Concerts 2019

Concert band

  • When Eagles Soar
  • The Lion King
  • Symphonic Overture
  • Sun Dance

String Orchestra

  • Symphony No. 3 Eroica
  • Perseus
  • Dreaming
  • Concerto for Two Violins
  • Allegro for Serenade No. 1 in D

Symphonic Band

  • Resplendent Glory
  • English Folk Song Suite
  • Disney at the Movies
  • Ave Maria

Symphonic Orchestra

  • Symphonic Suite ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

  • William Byrd Suite No. 6, The Bells
  • Slava
  • K2
  • Go
  • Drumline Selection
  • Albanian Dance

Jazz Ensemble Performances February 2019

Performance with the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra


Opening number for the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra

Bodysnatchers – Radiohead (arr. Fred Sturm)

The Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra joined by four Acalanes Jazz Ensemble musicians for their final number.

El Cerrito Jazz Festival


1. Cruisin’ For A Bluesin’ – Andy Weiner (arr. Peter Blair)

2. Li’l Darlin’ – Neil Hefti

3. Bodysnatchers – Radiohead (arr. Fred Sturm)

Fall & Winter 2018 Instrumental Music Concert Recordings

Fall Concert

Click here to download mp3s.

  • Bluebells of Scotland
  • Clap Happy
  • Iditarod
  • Russian Sailor’s Dance
  • Song for Lindsay
  • Theme from Mission Impossible
  • Undertow

Winter Instrumental concert 1

Click here to download mp3s.


  • Into the Clouds
  • Shine
  • Three Miniatures for Wind and Percussion
  • Yorkshire Ballad

Symphonic Band

  • American Barndance
  • Contre Qui, Rose
  • Fate of the Gods
  • The Machine Awakens
  • Bohemian Rhapsody

winter instrumental concert 2

Click here to download mp3s.


  • Christmas Medley
  • O Magnum Mysterium
  • Overture to Nabucco
  • Three Slavonic Dances

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

  • Carol of the Bells
  • Groovy Loops
  • Lux Aurumque
  • Puszta – Four Gypsy Dances
  • Sleigh Ride

winter jazz concert

Click here to download mp3s

stanley middle school jazz messengers

  • Feliz Navidad

Acalanes Jazz Ensemble

  • Brazilian Love Affair
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Hullabaloo
  • Metroliner
  • Moanin’
  • Prime Time

2018-2019 Letter from Director, Handbook and Contract

August 20, 2018

Instrumental Music Students and Parents,

Welcome to our new students and welcome back to those of you returning to the program! I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and I am so excited to start this year.

For those of you I have not yet had the chance to meet, my name is Lauren Gibson and I am the new Instrumental Music Teacher. I grew up in Seattle, WA and completed my Bachelors of Music at the University of Montana with a double major in Music Education and Flute Performance. I then returned to Seattle where I taught K-5 General Music for four years at West Mercer Elementary. I then decided to continue my professional development and accepted a position as a Graduate Assistant at the University of the Pacific in the sunny state of California. Last year, I was the Instrumental Director at Las Lomas High School. I am thrilled to become a part of this community and make music at Acalanes!

At Acalanes, we offer a full program of performance opportunities and activities for our instrumental students, and take great pride in the high musical level of our performance ensembles. Our students enjoy participation in three Concert Bands, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, CMEA Solo and Ensemble Festivals, County and State Honor Ensembles, Pep Band, Chamber Ensembles, community outreach events, and many more.

The beginning of any school year is exciting and we will settle into a groove throughout the first couple weeks. This is especially true for the music department as we make adjustments to personnel, instrumentation, music selection, equipment assignments, locker assignments, etc. If you have any questions about the program or placement, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please read over the following handbook during the next week. This is an excellent resource for all information about what will happen during the school year. It details class requirements, materials needed, as well as the calendar for this year. Take a few minutes to integrate the performance schedule with your family calendar. All performances are required and this will help everyone stay organized!

Please contact me anytime via phone or email if you have questions. I look forward to all of the expression, creativity, cooperation, and growth that occurs in the music classroom.

Go Dons!

Ms. Lauren Gibson

Instrumental Music Director

Acalanes 2018-2019 Instrumental Music Handbook

AHS 2018-2019 Instrumental Music Student Contract