The Irish Knight Band Tradition:

The Irish Knight Band (IKB) has been a part of Notre Dame High School tradition since 1947. Since that time the band has earned a stellar reputation for its standard of excellence. The award-winning Irish Knight Band has performed in numerous band review competitions throughout Southern California.

NDHS Band Program

• The grade in band classes is derived from periodic evaluations of student progress in areas of performance which include technical proficiency, historical and theoretical knowledge as well as participation in all rehearsals and performances. 
• Students are expected to attend at least one evening practice a week. The practice is usually on a Wednesday or a Thursday evening as determined on the school calendar. 
• In addition to the evening rehearsals, students are expected to participate in all scheduled weekend activities. These may include rehearsals, concerts, festivals, parades and performances at certain athletic events. These events will be published in the school calendar and the band newsletter. 
• All students, both new and returning, must participate in Band Camp which takes place in August two weeks prior to the start of classes in the fall. 
• Three consecutive years of participation in marching band/dance-flag classes will satisfy the ND physical education requirement. 

News from the IKB

Band, Percussion, and Dance Still Being Taught During “Safer at Home” Quarantine
Despite the disruption to on-campus instruction all band, percussion, and dance classes are still delivering instruction through online learning. The Band 1, Percussion 1, Band 2, Band 3, Percussion Ensemble, Dance Guard, and Jazz Band classes are still meeting at their regularly scheduled times during the school day through Canvas, where students are receiving daily assignments and making progress with their music and choreography. We are all preparing in hopes that the “Safer at Home” quarantine will be lifted and we will be allowed to perform at our concerts in May. In the event we are not allowed to perform before the end of the school year, all students in the IKB will still have skills to maintain and improve. That means all parents should hear the sounds of woodwinds and brass blowing, the tapping of sticks and drum pads, and the air being whipped by flags, rifles, and sabres. 

All Concerts Postponed Until Late May/Early June
The Jazz Band and Percussion Ensembles Concert scheduled for May 15, and the Final Concert and Awards scheduled for May 20 have been postponed until later in May or early June. As of right now, the Stay At Home orders from state and local governments have been extended to May 15, but as you may have seen in the news, restrictions are slowly being lifted. We remain hopeful that our students will be able to perform the music they’ve been working on at home, but we also have to be realistic about what it takes to put on a successful concert. There will need to be several rehearsals leading up to a performance to prepare the music as an ensemble, which would take one or two weeks depending on the frequency of rehearsals. We also need to understand that the students will need their summer break to have the energy required for a successful band camp in August. For these reasons, we would not schedule a concert later than June 15. We will be in contact with parents and students with a more specific date for the final concert dates as the situation progresses.

Band Gathering 2020 Canceled
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Band Gathering, our annual band alumni event scheduled for June 1, has been canceled. Please look to the next issues of the band newsletter sometime this summer for updates on band alumni events in the Fall semester. If you have any band alumni related questions, please contact Mr. Combes at

Alumni Band Rehearsals Canceled
In addition to the Band Gathering, the remaining Alumni Band rehearsals on May 5, June 2, and June 4 have been canceled. Please check your email and the band alumni Facebook page for updates on future rehearsals for the Fall semester.

Saturday Band Canceled Until Further Notice
All rehearsals for Saturday Elementary Band have been canceled until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and inform the Saturday Band families if anything changes, but for the time being, you may assume that Saturday Band is canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Saturday Band Program for Grades 4-8

For 40 years Notre Dame High School has sponsored a band program for elementary school students in grades 4-8. Separate classes are held each week for beginners and more advanced musicians (Squires Band) at a modest cost of only $20 a month. Two concerts are held each year, one at the end of each semester Classes for beginners are full but you are welcome to contact us and get on our mailing list for fall. Or you may stop by on Saturdays at 10 a.m. in the Band Center to receive more information from an instructor about the program.

Squires Band courses for Spring semester have already begun. If you know of any musicians who would like to join the Squires Band, have them bring their instruments and report prior to 9 a.m. to fill out a registration form. The class meets every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. More information is available from the Band Center at (818) 933-3672.

Courses Offered

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  • Band I Percussion

    This is a percussion class for students with beginner to intermediate percussion skills. Students will be auditioned/interviewed in the spring for placement in Band I or Band IV percussion classes. Students are expected to continue in the band program at Notre Dame and will participate as part of the marching band pageantry unit. Students need not be able to read music.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students 9-11. Entering 9th-grade students may enroll and will be called for an audition. 10th and 11th grade students need the consent of the instructor to enroll. Instruments are provided by the school.  (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Band I Winds

    This is a beginning winds class. Students will learn to play a wind instrument. Students taking Band I are part of the band program at Notre Dame and will participate as part of the marching band pageantry unit. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - 
    Student 9-11 who whish to learn a wind instrument. 10th and 11th grade students need the consent of the instructor to enroll. An instrument is provided by the school. Should a student wish to learn an instrument not available from the school, he/she will have to provide it. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Band II (Concert Band)

    This is a class for students of intermediate ability with previous training and experience on their instrument. Concert Band will join with the Wind Ensemble to form the Symphonic Band. Members of Band II will perform as part of the Marching Band. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - All students who meet the proficiency requirements may enroll in this course. Consent of the instructor is required. This course may be repeated for credit. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Band III (Wind Ensemble)

    This is a class for students who demonstrate the ability to prepare and perform more advanced music literature. Students may be required to prepare solo or ensemble compositions outside of class. Members of Band III will perform as part of the combined Symphonic Band and the Marching Band. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Demonstrated proficiency in the instruments to study and perform advanced composition pieces. Consent of the instructor is required. This course may be repeated for credit. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Percussion Ensemble

    Percussion students with demonstrated skill proficiency may enroll in Band IV. The course will emphasize percussion performance skill development. Students will form the marching percussion section, provide percussion for the concert band, wind ensemble, jazz band, and basketball spirit band, as well as perform in concert percussion ensembles. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - 
    Consent of the Band Director or the Percussion Instructor is required. The class size may be limited. Entering 9th-grade students should enroll in Percussion I and must audition for Percussion ensemble. This course may be repeated for credit. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Jazz Band Independent Study

    This is a performance-oriented class designed to allow members to meet together for the purposes of study and rehearsal. The class meets during x-periods not scheduled for other school activities. Preparation of music outside of class is expected. Performances may be scheduled outside of the school day and are a required part of the class. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - 
    Written consent of the instructor is required. A letter grade will be given that counts toward the cumulative GPA and Honor Roll. (UC “f” VPA) 


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