Notre Dame High School is pleased to dedicate the Band Room in honor of John Combes for his service and loyalty as band director from 1968-2014.

May the Irish Knight Band always continue Mr. Combes' great tradition of musical appreciation and band excellence.

Approved May 20, 2014 by the Notre Dame High School Board of Directors

 



Tribute to John Combes



Pictures of the Celebration - June 7, 2014







46 Years in Images
Message Wall For Mr. Combes


Alyssa Moscotte, 2013

Mr. Combes, I am and forever will be thankful for all your hard work and dedication to the band and Notre Dame. I hope you find your retirement refreshing, unwinding, and restful. May you get the best of everything in life. 
 

Katherine Alipio, 2001

What is your favorite Band Memory?
May Time: performing at Disneyland, celebrating our victories at Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Freshman year: my parents suggested that I take intro to band and learn to play an instrument. Mr. Combes helped me master the flute, taking me from earning the Outstanding Intro to Band award for instrument to becoming section leader. I could not thank him enough.

Wishes for Mr. Combes
Mr. Combes was a great mentor, challenging me to perfect my playing the flute. I am still proud to this day to say that I was part of the Notre Dame Irish Knight Band and under the tutelage of a great teacher. Thank you for everything, Mr. Combes.

 

Julie Oda, 2004

What is your favorite Band Memory?

It's difficult to choose a favorite memory since my best high school memories were all a result of my participation in the Notre Dame Irish Knight Band. The night over in Arizona for Fiesta Bowl was pretty awesome, though!


What is your favorite incident from the past?

I did not know at the beginning of Introductory Band that I would eventually meet my future best friend. Over a decade after graduating, Kate O'Connell and I are still close and I have the band to thank for that.


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Thank you Mr. Combes for everything. If it wasn't for your direction of the Band, I'm positive that I wouldn't have had the wonderful time I did in high school. My fondest memories were a result of your hard work and lifelong achievement. There aren't enough words to express my gratitude. I sincerely hope you enjoy a wonderful and well-deserved retirement.

Michelle Imfeld, (Parent of Andy Imfeld, 2009)

What is your favorite Band Memory?

It was an honor to work with Mr Combes and his staff and all the band boosters. Mr Combes' leadership and dedication was inspiring. We will always be grateful to have been a part of it


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

We wish you all wonderful things!!

 

Keith Myatt

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Calgary


What is your favorite incident from the past?

Winning every July 4th parade. 


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

John. You changed my life. You provided a model for me that got me through college and into my teaching career. By creating the Cavaliers you provided a family for all of us, full of uncles, aunts, and cousins for those of you who didn't have other families. Your dedication to quality, musicianship, and being competitive improved us all. 


 

Gerald Scarpitta, 1970

What is your favorite Band Memory?

As a junior in 1968, I remember hearing fellow students spreading the news that the new band director was really good and good things were in store for ND with Mr. Combes in charge. 


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Best wishes

 

Cosmo Moore, 2001

What is your favorite Band Memory?

3 time Drumline champions, USC-ND games. 


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Wishing you a relaxing retirement with some excitement mixed in. You have left quite a legacy and I feel lucky to have spent four years as a part of it. 

Deborah Sweeney, 1992


What is your favorite Band Memory?

I was a student in Mr. Combes AP History class in 1991 and our cheer squad worked extensively with the band. Mr. Combes is an incredible teacher and man - I still enjoy seeing him at local parades each year (and I share with my two sons my excitement of seeing him with the incredible NDHS band).


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Wishing you all the best in your retirement. Congratulations!

 

Messages to Mr. Combes from Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins


It was in the Notre Dame marching band that I learned so many fundamentals that I applied to my musical endeavors. The band environment is also where I met my partner Stephen Perkins. We owe a lot to Mr Combes for giving us the opportunity to grow as musicians and artists under his instruction. I wish him the very best and am grateful to have had the time I had playing in his band. '

- Dave Navarro, guitar, vocals, keyboards – Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deconstruction

  'I played with the ND band every morning, every Wednesday night, every weekend, every parade, every football or basketball game... Mr. Combs was always there & ready to guide us. He was a huge part of my high school experience and memories. 

 He brought a competitive spirit to the band, which made us better players and better people. 

 Dave N. and I had some of the best times at NDHS ... in, at and around the ND BAND.


  Thank you & congratulations Mr. Combs. For all you have done, for so many students'

 -Stephen Perkins ‘85percussionist  and drums - Jane’s Addiction, The Panic Channel, Banyan.


Robert Read, 1973

What is your favorite Band Memory?

From Maytime to Dublin, John Combes has been a cherished presence in the Notre Dame community and a dominant influence on music education in Southern California. I have so many fond memories of parades, band reviews, and concerts in the early 1970s; of remaining an active band alumnus as we "old boys" were called back to play with the band for various college football games between Notre Dame and USC and, perhaps most memorably, to play and march as alumni alongside current students in the 1987 Tournament of Roses Parade; and of returning each year to play in an alumni pep band at homecoming football days in the 1990s and beyond. 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
I shall always be grateful to John Combes for allowing me to perform as clarinet soloist at Notre Dame's spring concert in May 1973. It was an artistic and technical challenge for me as a nervous high school senior, but our dear Mr. Combes offered me his unconditional support, encouragement, and reassurances.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
You have influenced generations of young musicians, dear John, with your constant insistence upon the pursuit of excellence. As a young man barely older than the students under your tutelage, you took charge of Notre Dame's band program on a provisional basis, never imagining that the Knight Band -- later redubbed the "Irish" Knight Band -- would become your life's work for nearly half a century. Today you are a revered music educator -- and a loving and proud husband, father, and grandfather. Our parents knew you; we revered you; and our own children know you as a legend. Through these many years, your dear Sue has stood beside you and has shared the grand Notre Dame adventure. We are profoundly grateful for all that you both have done for Notre Dame as an institution and for us as individuals. We hope that you will continue to be an important influence on the Notre Dame band program and that you will give of your time to the institution that you essentially created -- and yet we hope as well that you and Sue will be able to enjoy the rest, relaxation, and precious family time that you so richly deserve. May God bless you, John and Sue, in all that you do in the future. And, most importantly, thank you -- for all that you have done, and for more than you can imagine.

Amy Armour, 1995

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Meeting my husband!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thank you for all you have done for us! Our lives were all the better for having you as our band leader. Many wishes on a well-deserved relaxing retirement.
Penny Raymer, 1999

What is your favorite Band Memory?

All the life long friends that we have made from working with the Band Boosters taking care of the Band.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
We wish John a fun & exciting retirement! We are sure he will enjoy camping & spending more time with his wonderful grandchildren.
Sarah Schwartz, 2004

What is your favorite Band Memory?

The ND/USC games and Maytime my Freshman year (2000). 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
At a band review my sophomore year, I watched as Mr. Combes was having a discussion with a band member who did not have the right shoes. Mr. Combes calmly took off his shoes, gave them to the band member and then proceeded to put the band members sneakers on. Mr. Combes just did what he had to do. 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
You have devoted so many years to Notre Dame and the band program. I don't know what you are going to do with your time...but now you get to relax. Enjoy it!
Shannon Koss, 2015

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr. Combes, Many of our treasured Notre Dame memories revolve around the Notre Dame Band and you as the devoted leader. Thank you to you and your family for the many years of dedication. Best wishes in your next chapter of travels and adventure. — The Thompson Family
John Genova

What is your favorite Band Memory?
Running from JV football games to the old band room to get changed into my band uniform just in time to meet the band as we marched into the stadium for the varsity games. Also, after winning the CIF football championship in 1994 at Pierce College, I ran to catch the band as they marched out of the stadium and gave Mr. Combes a hug. Mr. Combes was always very understanding when I had conflicts with football, the musical my senior year, and even my short career as a yell leader. Thank you for all of your accommodations. Band was a highlight of my time at ND and you helped me to be a well-rounded student who was able to participate in many different activities. Thank you!

What is your favorite incident from the past?
The fact that my mom talked Mr. Combes into letting me join the Saturday band program when I was in 4th grade instead of fifth grade. I don't think I appreciated it at the time but all of my years that I spent as a part of the IKB is something I will always be very proud of.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thank you for all of the years that you dedicated to helping us become hardworking individuals who strive for excellence! You never settled for "just good enough" and your example has guided me during my career as a teacher and coach. Wishing you lots of relaxation and rest. I also hope you have a feeling of satisfaction from a job very well done! Thank you for everything!
Curtis & Eileen Wong, 2015

What is your favorite Band Memory?

I have been very fortunate to have Mr. Combes as my Band Director for the past 3 years. I have the utmost respect for you and thankful for all the things that you have taught me. (Brandon)

What is your favorite incident from the past?
I have been so lucky to experience Ireland 2012 and will always cherish the parade and camaraderie with my fellow band members. (Brandon)

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
The Wong Family want to extend their sincere appreciation for the time and patience that you have extended to the students and parents. We are so fortunate that Brandon has been a part of the IKB lead by the famous Mr. Combes. As you travel around the States in your RV, remember all of the good times you've had with the kids and how many times you've told them to be QUIET!!!
Julia Antoon, Faculty

What is your favorite Band Memory?

John Combes has an easy going personality. When I came to ND in 1984 as a parent, the first thing that we did was to attend a varsity football game. When the band marched in prior to the game, I got chills. The Irish Knight Band is a class act in itself. The parent workers are the best ever. I have and still am a big fan of our Notre Dame Irish Knight Band. John will be missed by all. 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
I remember when John announced that he and Sue were expecting their first child. Everyone was so thrilled. Now John is a grandpa of two beautiful boys. 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I wish him the best in his retirement, which is well deserved. 
Jason Barbato, 2006

What is your favorite Band Memory?

There are so many. It's difficult to choose one. But I'd have to say that my favorite band memory is playing some of the more difficult musical pieces during my senior year in Wind Ensemble. It seemed like Mr. Combes was picking on the euphonium section by selecting pieces that had particularly challenging euphonium parts. Both March Ponderoso's challenging runs and Amparito Roca's high octive melodies and counter melodies come to mind. But the music from that year was fun as well. American Riversongs's strident melodies and The Pink Panther's groovy swagger were joys to play.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
My favorite incident from the past was playing the soli to Sir Duke on the euphonium during a halftime show.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr. Combes: As you might tell from my previous two answers, you gave me the gift of music--the universal language and truly the greatest of the arts. Music has been an important part of my life ever since I walked into the band room my freshman year, where you persuaded me to join band and play the euphonium. Since then, my life has culminated into what I believe is directly traceable back to my time in high school marching band. Not only did I attain music understanding. I also learned important, life-long values, like hard work, punctuality, attention to detail, and creativity. These values have been critical to my academic, personal, and professional development. Thank you. Importantly, your gift of music led me to join the UCLA Marching Band while I was in college. As a result, I met my best friends whom I still keep to this day. I'm confident in saying that without you, I would not have met my best friends. Thank you! I wish you a happy and long retirement with your family! You deserve it. You have influenced the lives of countless people. I aspire to live by your honorable example as I grow into my own profession. Well done!
Claudia Moscotte, 2013

What is your favorite Band Memory?

The Band singing Mr.Combes Happy Birthday on stage at Liberty Hall. 
 
Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr.Combes Thank you for your dedication to the NDHS IKB program. Your dedication is an inspiration to all of us. It's difficult to think that you will no longer be in the band room on Wednesday night band practice. On the #1 Bus for all the away events. You are leaving a legacy and as a dedicated band booster member (I learn from the best). It will be an honor to continue being part of the NDHS IKB program you gift us with. Wishing you and your family life time of blessing. Claudia Moscotte
Michael Fideler, 2008

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Performing in the bowl parades: Fiesta Bowl of 2006 and Holiday Bowl of 2008

What is your favorite incident from the past?
When I told Mr. P that cymbals were interesting. He laughed and probably still remembers that incident today. Little did we know that cymbals were so easy to play that I would have the opportunity to spend more time practicing the snare drum and become head snare in 2007-2008. Good times.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Good luck to you and thank you for all your musical education, inspiration, and motivation.

Perry Shields

What is your favorite band memory?

I was a member of the Royal Cavaliers Youth Band of Van Nuys from 1977-1979.  John was our director.  My favorite band memory was our two-week midwest tour in July 1978.  I was in the percussion section (snare) and our section won Sweepstakes at our final competition at Northern Illinois University.  I was so proud to be a part of that band.

 

What is your favorite incident from the past?

At our Cavalier Banquet in August 1978, when I told John I was leaving the band in order to pursue Drama my senior year of High School, John looked into my eyes earnestly and asked if I would think about coming back.  That meant a lot to me, to know that John thought highly enough of me as a player to want me in the band.  I did, indeed, come back for one final parade at Disneyland in February 1979.

 

Wishes for Mr. Combes

John, I know that you are a humble man, eschewing showy accolades (ironic in that the bands you led competed for awards, and won countless), but your influence has surpassed the decades and left with me the pride in being able to say I was a member of the Royal Cavaliers.  I am not alone, as you know.  You left us all with an immeasurable gift.  As a teacher myself now for seven years (a mere fraction of your tenure), I can attest to the way we undervalue ourselves and minimize our influence.  Well, I can only say that your influence, while a mere two years in practice, has affected me to this day.  Whenever I hear your name, I pause to think in which ways I, as a teacher, might emulate you.  Teacher of the Millennium is the award I would give you, John.  Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement.

 

Joyce David, 2009

What is your favorite Band Memory?

It was my last May concert/awards back in 2009. I had just received the grand knight award. I was taking a picture with Mr. Combes and my tall flags captain Monique. We had an inside joke of being "triple threat." Us 3 being the powerhouses. And he actually threw up a hand sign and everything that we made. Mr. Combes actually did it! For Mr. Combes the quote of the year was him telling us that other band directors would say "Top 10 bands DON't play 6/8 marches." We obviously proved them wrong!


What is your favorite incident from the past?

This was back when we competed at Arcadia in November 2008. Being a drum major, that is the biggest event to work for. Unfortunately I ended up only getting second place and was kind of bummed. However, as I walked that field and turned back to get my reward I saw Mr. Combes clap and smile as I got it. I felt like it was clap of him being proud. Afterwards he congratulated me on the achievement. Though it may not be first of what I had wanted, the feeling I had of Mr. Combes congratulating me afterwards was icing on the cake for that fall parade season. I couldn't help but smile for this man's support and acknowledgement. 


Wishes for Mr. Combes.

I wish Mr. Combes the best of luck with retirement and the future. Now he can just relax and play with his grand kids. Looking back, I can honestly call him one of my top teachers that had impacted and influenced my life. He was the band director each of the years when I was drum major as well as when my other 2 brothers were drum major. Mr. Combes is one heck of a man to look up to and set great examples for what it means to have a passion for music and teachings kids. To have his dedication and INCREDIBLE patience as a marching band director, I appreciate and am thankful for all he did. I sincerely wish the best for Mr. Combes. Definitely does not fail when it comes to say Mr. Combes is THE MAN, THE MYTH, and THE LEGEND. 


Maryann McYat Ally, 1995

What is your favorite incident from the past?

Marching down Main Street USA at Disneyland

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thank you, Mr. Combes, for enhancing my high school experience. My best memories from high school were from all of the fun band events--from winning first place at Maytime to marching down Main Street USA at Disneyland. Because we spent so much time together, my best friends were from the band. I thank you, Mr. Combes, for teaching me about work ethic, the beauty of music, and the joy of teamwork. You also indirectly helped me learn about football. I played the clarinet at every single varsity football game with IKB, and—to my husband’s surprise when he was getting to know me—I can subsequently talk football with the most die-hard fans. So, you made me that much cooler. In all sincerity, I am grateful for having been under your tutelage and to have known you during my four years at Notre Dame. I wish you and your family the best. Very respectfully, Maryann McYat Ally, Class of 1995 
Griffin Kantz, 2013

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Having my arrangement of a march performed at the Spring Concert, under Combes' baton.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
The high-school music community needs you! There are few other directors with the same tenacity.
Paula Sheehan, Faculty

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Best Wishes to you and Sue & your growing family! What a pleasure it has been to work with you and to be so proud every time the IKB performs. I just love to be standing next to those who have never heard our band for the 1st time! They are blown away as I am every time. When marching in to the football stadium you have made so many people proud to be a part of ND!! Thank you for all your years of service and for building a wonderful legend. You will be missed! Enjoy your mid-week RV getaways now! You deserve it! Paula Sheehan

Tom Ceurvorst

Wishes for Mr. Combes.

All the best in your retirement. We appreciate all that you have done for the school and for our son. Spencer has enjoyed being part of the program. He's grown because of it and because of you. Thank you.
Maritza Mendez, 2015

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Parade Season. Attending and marching along the side with the Band for every competition. Making sure their Uniforms look their very best! 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr. Combes Chelsea and I feel so fortunate to have had the years that we did with you in Band. We wish you all the very best, may the rest of your life be filled with God's blessings of happiness, harmony, love and good health. We will miss you dearly, but you will for ever be a memory during Chelsea's High School years. Thank you from the bottom of our heart. 
Carolyn LoBuglio, 2007

What is your favorite Band Memory?
I loved the concerts at Forest Lawn. The friendships my children formed are long-lasting and wonderful. Seeing all the trophies in the Band Center is awesome!!!

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Loved watching every performance, parades, football, concerts at Forest Lawn...THANK YOU!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR MY CHILDREN! ENJOY! AND GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!!!
Ryan Perea, 2006

What is your favorite Band Memory?

As a parent of a Band Alum, I have to say Summer Band Camp was THE BEST! A close second: working with all of the Boosters. It was such a great group of parents!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Wishing Mr. Combes great happiness and good health in his retirement. We loved being a part of the Irish Knight Band - as Boosters, fans and parents! 
Marc Salvatus, 2009
 
Wishes for Mr. Combes.
You were one of the most influential and respected figures of my high school career. Thank you for helping me cultivate my passion for music as well as teaching me the true value of hard work, dedication, and respect. It was such an honor to have been under your mentorship. Have an amazing retirement, Mr. Combes!
The Galvan Family 2012, 2015, 2017
 
Mr. Combes may god continue to bless you and your family during your retirement years. You have touched so many lives in so many ways through out the years that - that in itself is such an accomplishment for one person to have. Melissa will miss you so much during her last year here at ND but she will always know that the foundation you gave her through music will lead her into many more successes. Thank you for all that you do , that you did and will continue to do through your generosity as part of the ND family. With much love and admiration THE GALVAN FAMILY (2012,2015,2017).
Michael Morrisette, 2008

What is your favorite Band Memory?

I especially enjoyed walking onto the campus before the games would begin and hearing the drumline practicing. We really looked forward to the games and hearing the band play throughout. it was the best band ever!! We also appreciated the wonderful relationship you had with the students and the expectation that they would do their best. I could certainly go on and on but the NDH band was our life for a few precious years and our favorite high school memories for Michael.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with the students of Notre Dame high school for all these years. May God bless you with a happy and healthy retirement. All our best to you and your family, John, Lynn & Michael Morrisette
Patrick Montague, 1973

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Too many to comment, but let's go with 1977 - Battle of the Flowers Parade in San Antonio, Texas. First time NDHS ventured out of California! 84 kids,6 alumni chaperones all under the age of 26... and a San Antonio bus driver from Holy Cross High School named Brother William Nick (who knew then?!).

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Again, too many to mention but let's go with 1973 - Maytime Parade. Pete Hardash's (Drum Major that year) famous cry as we prepared to step off... "Keep your banana straight!" referring to our brand new uniform shako hats.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
John and Sue! 46 years! What a ride! A lifetime of memories and friendships! Thank you for believing in and trusting us. We are better people as a result of your teaching and mentoring! Look forward to keeping in touch... we are not that far behind you, hahaha!
Bryanna Kolpak, 2011

Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Mr Combes, May your retirement days be fun-filled,stress-free,and full of laughter. We wish you good health and good fortune. Bryanna 2011 Tim 2011 
Michael Lahn, 1981

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Winning the first 1st place at Maytime.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Too many to list, but the pit band for musicals, pep band, and playing Clare Grundman's Down to the Sea in Ships every year are among them.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thank you for everything, John. It was worth it.
Barbara Vining, Faculty

Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Johnny Boy, May every day be a new adventure filled with family, fun and love. All my best to you. Love, Barbara Vining
Peter Price, 2005

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Fiesta Bowl Parade

What is your favorite incident from the past?
When everyone dressed up like Mr. Combs during band camp.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Wishing you many years of traveling and spending time with friends and family. We will miss you! Congratulations and Best Wishes.
Nickie Audia, 1974

What is your favorite Band Memory?

My freshman year Maytime trip to San Diego. We stayed overnight at San Diego State U. John and Sue told us not to eat the crumb cake for breakfast but the other food was so bad, we all ended up eating the crumb cake. We had a small funeral for the rest of the food.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Being able to come back after I graduated to help with the Color Guard. I was a chaperone on the bus trips and one time a few of us missed the call time to be back at the bus. When we got there, the buses were just pulling away. You never saw kids run so fast. And yes, we caught up and got on the bus! With a lot of teasing, of course!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
My wish is that you and Sue enjoy your time to relax and go exploring in your new Rv. That you will remember all your Notre Dame times and people with as much fondness and respect as we have for you. And that you will never stay too far away. You will be missed and loved forever! Thank you for the indelible impression you have made on my life.
Chikatoshi Kitagawa, 2011

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Fiesta Bowl trip.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Telling off the band kids as the truck crew manager.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Hope for a healthy and joyful retirement! I'm glad I got to have you as a mentor!
The Page Family

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Hearing them practice in summer, always exciting for upcoming fall.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Watching our band in Ireland during the parade and seeing the look on so many faces that have never experienced our Awesome IKB. PURE JOY!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
May you have a Great retirement with your friends and family. We thank you for all the memories and wonderful music. You have touched so many lives. Thank you and... Go Knights!
Christopher Rico, 2014

What is your favorite Band Memory?

As the band was walking out of the football stadium in Ireland we gathered around Mr. Combes and we heard him say that this was the best he's ever heard the band sound. That was a really heart touching moment for me.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
When i was a brand new flute all the flutes had to be taken to a seperate room during practice because we were so inexperienced.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I hope you always find something you love and live the rest of your life knowing you changed the lives of so many people.
Chris Turkmany, 1983

Wishes for Mr. Combes.

John- While I never played in the band, I have always taken great pride as an alum of the work you have done and successes you have had during the past 46 years. You brought joy to many, but you also made a NDHS a household name in the band community. My memories as a student include the band, and how it enhanced the spirit of the school. Even today, my NDHS friends will still "sing" The Horse always remembering that it begins the downbeat of the drum. Through my alumni years, it's always given me a little chill when attending games. Thank you for your commitment to NDHS. You will be missed. May God bless Sue and you as you enjoy your retirement. All the best- Chris Turkmany  
Kim Paul Luntsford

What is your favorite Band Memory?
1973 Combine Tour with RCYB. 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Your calm, no matter what crazy things we did in the drumline. 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Joy, peace and contentment in your life. You changed my life. May God bless you abundantly. 
Kevin Herrera, 2008

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Fiesta bowl 2006

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Accidentally mooning Mr. Combes on the band bus after an away football game

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr. Combes, Thank you for everything you have done for me and my parents. You really made my high school experience memorable and exciting. I have friends who are like family to me because of the environment you created for us to grow and develop. I wish you could of stayed for one more year since my cousin is an incoming freshman but I know you are leaving the band in good hands. Thank you for everything and I hope you enjoy your retirement! 
Jamgotchian Family

Wishes for Mr. Combes.

Dear Mr. Combes and Family, Thank you for all the wonderful years at Notre Dame High School. The 4 years that Andrew was in Band and Jazz Band made our experience at Notre Dame the best. The band booster community, band reviews, football games, bandcake breakfast and numerous other events with the band were the most joyful for us. We will miss you very much. Best wishes for a relaxing and pleasant retirement. David, Marie & Andrew Jamgotchian
Joseph Spagnolia, 1973

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Long Bus rides, Maytime and whipping of realy big bands...

What is your favorite incident from the past?
La Quinta Motor Inn, San Antonio Texas the famous “How to use the Bathroom/Shower Speech”. I laugh very time I think of it.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Thanks for the memories: The Parades, Half time shows, Plays, Concerts, The Drill Team, San Antonio, USC/Notre Dame Games and being a part of it all. Happy retirement Joe & Laurie
Arlen Magtoto, 2011

What is your favorite Band Memory?

My favorite band memory was being able to lead the band for the homecoming game at such short notice. Apparently, that was the first time the assistant drum major had to fill in for a homecoming game. I was as excited as I was nervous.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I hope you have a well-deserved retirement! Thank you for teaching me about leadership, performance, and music. 
Jackie Harte-Mclaughlin,

What is your favorite Band Memory?

I have a lot of great memories but my favorite was the tour of 1978 when we covered your truck with toilet paper. 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I want to thank you for all the great times and memories in RCYB. I truly believe that it made me the person I am today. I wish I could have made it to your party to tell you in person thank you. You showed us that if we work hard it pays off.I was with the band from about age 6 and stayed until it folded when I was 17. I always thought the band was like a second family to me. I wish you the best in your retirement. Jackie Harte-Mclaughlin (Majorette)
Tom Cantarine, 1973

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Maytime Band Review

What is your favorite incident from the past?
I prefer not to say.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Wonderful Retirement 
John Pedersen

What is your favorite Band Memory?

After a working relationship of over 30 years it has been a pleasure and an honor to know and work with John Combes and the students of Notre Dame. 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
My favorite has to be the horn that somehow was dropped off the back of the bleachers at a football game. I believe it was repairable but it was a close call.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
You deserve a rest. Do it!
Terry Meredith, Parent 2014

hat is your favorite Band Memory?

Transformation from start of year to the wonderful sounds they make - music to our ears.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
How about a Threepeat! 
Kerry Lamb

What is your favorite Band Memory?

I was a trumpet player in Royal Cavaliers Youth Band from summer 77- Dec 80. There is no single memory but rather a collection of memories over the years of what hard work and dedication can result in positive experiences. John and Sue taught us a lot how we should live our lives. And more importantly not to comprise on good sportsmanship, standards, and behavior. Without John and Sue's leadership Royal Cavaliers would never had been as successful as they were both on the field and later on how we lived our lives after Cavaliers.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
So many memories.... People missing the bus events on the Tour in 78 Field shows stand stills parades Memorial Day Fourth of July Disneyland Danny Kay swearing at us for being late to the taping of our performance for the Disneyland anniversary special Skyhawks soccer games special Olympics at UCLA etc ... Probably the time when the group got back from a parade or something. And there was a long line at the girls restroom and one of the girls had to go bad so she used the men's restroom since no one was in there. When she came out she made the comment that the guys restroom had a weird kinda sink she had to use to wash her hands in. 

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I wish John and Sue Combes the best in their retirement. Remember to spoil your grandkids and send them home with plenty of sugar for their parents to deal with. I know John's presence will be sorely missed in teaching new students at Notre Dame and the youth in SoCal. John definitely set the gold standard for what it is to be a Band director / mentor / teacher.
Perry Ticsay, 2007

What is your favorite Band Memory?

My favorite band memory consists of participating in the Fiesta Bowl parade twice: once in 2003, and another time in 2006.

What is your favorite incident from the past?
Mr. Combes kept moving me to random spots in the marching block during my freshman year (03-04). I initially thought it was because I was bad, but he later told me that I became his "utility person who was able to fill in any spot." That was the first time a teacher ever told me I was good at something.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
I wish you the best.
Debra Verin, 2014

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Freshman year! working with all the wonderful parents and riding the bus to the first away football game

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Mr. Combes, I thank you so much for your ability to understand students and your dedication to Music. You have made a different in our lives.....I know that Sarah Verin gain so much from your program and she literally traveled the world.... All the best to you and your family. Thank you 
Analee Klee

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Watching the band, via YouTube, performing Party Rock Anthem at Trinity College Dublin! You guys rocked the crowd!

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Wishing you long, fulfilling years of retirement enjoyed in good health with your loved ones. God bless!
Andrew Herrera, 2004

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Maytime

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Make the most out of your spare time and thank you for being such an inspirational figure in my life.
Jason Brown, 2002

What is your favorite Band Memory?

Friday night football games. Home and away. 

What is your favorite incident from the past?
In 2000, we were practicing for Maytime on the Wednesday before that big event in National City. By the time May comes around, everyone feels the grind and the stress from 8mo of school, and weak finishes to a school year does happen. So on that Wednesday night, we had practice. It was so hot and all of the students, like I said, were just tired that the last thing they wanted was to attend practice. But the greater majority did go, and all of us were so mediocre in the way we played around the track in the stadium, that Mr. Combes just had it with us. He was so upset at our lackluster performance, that just venting wouldn't have helped us. He just left the track and the vicinity itself with the 100 or so of us standing underneath the lights. So the drum major at the time, Ernesto Soriano, decided to do a couple of laps, playing the march (Sells-Floto Triumphant) to the best of our ability to show Tito and John Combes that we did want to win to win Sweepstakes at Maytime just as much as he did. Lo and behold, when Saturday ended, we ended the day retaining the Maytime sweepstakes in National City. What I think Mr. Combes wanted to do was make us respect band and music, and not treat it as a hobby, but to take it as seriously as math, English, and religion. That was a tremendous, significant night.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
A man of honor and integrity. in the 45 years at NDHS, he's seen many come and go. I'm ever so honored myself to have involved in 4 of those 45 years. Thank you Mr. Combes. I am forever grateful, and the Irish Knight Band salutes you!
John de la Garrigue, 1979

What is your favorite incident from the past?

The entire week of our trip to San Antonio for Fiesta Flambeau in 79! After 30-some years, I still remember the parade, the field show, and the parade that wasn't that turned into a mini-concert under the freeway overpass.

Wishes for Mr. Combes.
Congratulations John! And Sue! I hope you and your family enjoy your retirement!