Arroyo High School was established in 1955 and the band was formed that same year. Wearing uniforms and playing instruments borrowed from El Monte High School, that beginning band was made up of a small number of musicians who played concert music before small audiences. Over the past almost 60 years, the band has grown and performed all over the state, the country and even the world! Past performances include the 1973 Tournament of Roses Parade, Sweepstakes performances in the Maytime Band Review and Arcadia Tournament of Bands in the 1970s and a performance in Mexico City for the Pan American Games in 1975, all under the direction of the esteemed late John B. Robbins who led the band for approximately 30 years.
Fast forward to the current century – the band has grown leaps and bounds and this year will have about 180 members marching in the combined band and color guard. The band has competed in Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), Marching Band events, Marching Band Open Series tournaments, over the past 10 years. Recent performances have included band reviews in La Palma, Anaheim (Loara), Chino, Riverside and Arcadia; field tournaments in Riverside, Chino, Anaheim (Loara), Rowland Heights, Baldwin Park, Arcadia and the SCSBOA 4A Division Finals in Aliso Viejo last year. For Fall, 2014, the band will take a major step forward and compete in the Bands Of America Regional Competition which is part of a national marching band competitive program. The band has gone on tour as well, performing in concert competitions in San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas (Nevada), and Orlando (Florida). In Spring, 2014, the Wind Ensemble was honored to be selected and perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the World Projects International Washington, D.C. concert competition. The band also perform in 2016 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
From infancy, the Arroyo Band has been committed to excellence in both performance and service to Arroyo High School and the surrounding community. As part of this, the band annually performs at local events including the El Monte Children’s Day Parade, and participates in community service through decorating floats for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Members of the band belong to many school clubs and service organizations and are involved in student government and Advanced Placement classes and programs. The band is one of the largest organized groups on the Arroyo campus and as such, represents the diverse population of the school. Every band member must maintain a 2.0 GPA to be able to participate in band and an average of 25% of the band members regularly have GPAs of 4.0 or higher. A vast majority of the graduating members attend a 2 year of 4 year college or university. Band alumni can be counted on the rolls of the every University of California, a large number of the California State Universities, and private universities including Princeton, Stanford, USC and MIT. Alumni have also proudly served our nation in every branch of military service.