Visual and Performing Arts Department
Bakersfield City School District
1300 Baker Street
Bakersfield, CA 93305
Bakersfield City School District Recognized Nationally
As One of the Best Communities for Music Education,
District Heralded for Support of Music Education
The NAMM (National Association of Music Music Merchants) Foundation has again recognized the Bakersfield City School District for its outstanding commitment to music education with the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education designation. This marks the second consecutive year that the district’s music program has earned this honor.
In its 15th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum. The recognition rests on school district funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music program and community music-making programs. “Music education is a valuable component in the school curriculum. Music provides students a way to uniquely express themselves, develop strong interpersonal skills, and learn skills necessary for success in the 21st Century. The Bakersfield City School District is proud of the many accomplishments of its music program, faculty, and students.” said Michael Stone, Coordinator of the Visual and Performing Arts with the District. “The Best Communities for Music Education designation affirms the District’s belief that all children should have access to quality music education. Our students receive a first-class education!”
The Bakersfield City School District Music In Our Schools Week Instrumental Music Program was presented a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association. Pictured above are District Superintendent Dr. Robert J. Arias and Music Teacher Crystal Walker receiving the Golden Bell Award at the ceremony in San Diego on December 7, 2013.
The Golden Bell Awards program, now in its 34th year, promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.
Visual and Performing Arts Department
Elementary Traveling Instrumental Music Teachers’
1. We will keep student learning at the center of our work.
2. We agree that all students can benefit from instruction in music.
3. We commit to working in a collaborative culture to ensure that high expectations are realized for student learning.
4. We will work to ensure that all children have equal access to the instrumental music program.
5. We commit to address the individual needs of our students.
6. We commit to developing the musical literacy of all students.
7. We commit to providing a positive and nurturing learning environment that encourages and rewards student responsibility and effort.
8. We are committed to providing a professional, clean, quiet, and distraction-free classroom environment that provides maximum potential for student learning.
The Bakersfield City School District is committed to delivering services consistent with our adopted Values which include equity, integrity, caring, collaboration, and personal and collective accountability. The Vision for the District is to continue being a leader in public education and to ensure that all children are inspired to achieve academic excellence. The District’s Mission is to provide all students with a comprehensive curriculum, utilize research-based strategies, provide a state of the art learning environment, make data-driven decisions, and a create a welcoming environment for parents.
Junior High and Middle School Bands from Sequoia, Sierra, Stiern, and Washington marched in the 42nd Annual North of the River Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 13, 2014. This year’s theme was Christmas Express. Also marching down North Chester Avenue were elementary school entries from Cesar Chavez, Franklin and Nichols. Pictured is the Sierra Middle School “Spartans” Marching Band. The band is directed by Tony Aguilar. More parade photos.
Over 3,200 BCSD fifth grade students traveled to Rabobank Theater on December 11, and 12, 2014 to witness a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. The annual production is presented by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Dance Center. Pictured is a perennial favorite, Mother Ginger and the gingerbread children. The Nutcracker is the second of three Bakersfield Symphony Young People’s Concerts presented to students throughout the school year.
The BCSD Elementary (Grades 4-6) Oral Language Festival was held on December 6, 2014, at CSU, Bakersfield. Students compete in five events: Serious Interpretation Solo, Serious Interpretation Duo, Humorous Interpretation Solo, Humorous Interpretation Duo, and Verse Choir. Pictured is the First Place Verse Choir from Thorner Elementary School. Pictured students are: Elyse Holladay, Lucia Jano, Alejandro Lopez, Mikaela Vargas, Tayler Vennihan, and Joseph Ybarra. The Thorner team is coached by Sylvia Guzman. More awards photos.
Junior High and Middle School Bands from Cato, Chipman, Compton, Curran, and Emerson marched in the 32nd Annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 4, 2014. The bands joined over 100 entries in the festive parade through downtown Bakersfield. This year’s theme for the parade was Here Comes Christmas. Pictured is the Emerson Middle School “Eagles” Marching Band. The band is directed by Rocky Montbriand.
A reception was held on November 25th, at the BCSD Education Center to celebrate the student artwork selected for the Fall Art Gallery. Student artists and their families were invited to enjoy refreshments as they strolled the halls viewing the collection of outstanding artworks. Pictured is Adriana Padilla from Curran Middle School with her artwork, “The Life of the Hunt”. To see all of the student art, visit the Online Gallery.
The Walter Stiern Middle School Marching Band wrapped up the competitive season by earning first place honors for the band, colorguard and drumline at the Centennial High School “Music in Motion” band competition. The band, directed by Justin Milota, participated in four marching band competitions held on Saturdays at various high schools in Bakersfield. About a dozen junior high and middle school bands routinely participate in the fall marching band competitions. Recap and more photos.
The Junior High (Grades 7-8) Oral Language Festival was held at the BCSD Education Center on Saturday, November 15, 2014. Over 30 District employees volunteered to insure that the students and coaches had a positive and enriching experience. Pictured are First Place winners in the Humorous Interpretation Due event, Audrey Anderson, and Claire Bellue from Downtown School. More awards photos.
Nine BCSD Junior High and Middle School Bands marched in the 95th annual Bakersfield Veterans Day Parade on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. In addition to the nine bands, marching units from Casa Loma, Chavez, Horace Mann, McKinley, Mt. Vernon and Nichols Elementary Schools also participated. Pictured is the Chipman Junior High School “Chargers” Marching Band, directed by Mark Howard. More parade photos.
Several instrumental and vocal music teachers recently met at the Education Center Auditorium to make demonstration and accompaniment recordings of music for the Elementary Festival Concert. District music teachers and Glee Club Directors use the recordings to prepare students for the concert. The Elementary Festival Concert will be on Monday, May 18, 2015. For the first time, this spring the concert will move from the Rabobank Theater to the much larger Rabobank Arena. Pictured are Debra Duvick, Catherine Johnson and Carolyn Stewart recording I Am.
The Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival was held on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the Sierra Middle School Auditorium. Students rehearsed in the morning with guest clinician Jenepher Lapp, Director of Choirs, East Bakersfield High School. Following the rehearsal, the 330-voice choir presented a brief concert. Choirs from the district’s nine junior high and middle schools gathered for the 7th annual event. Later the same day, the BCSD vocal music teachers participated in a professional development training lead by Ms. Lapp.
Over 3,000 Bakersfield City School District sixth grade students attended the Young People’s Concert at Rabobank Theater. The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra performed a blend of familiar classical music by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. The October 1st concert was the first of three that will be presented to students throughout this school year. Pictured are students from the audience assisting conductor Stilian Kirov as the orchestra performs the Toy Symphony.
Two Musical Instrument Rental Fairs were hosted by the Bakersfield City School District. The first was August 21st, at Sequoia Middle School followed by a second on September 16th at Mt. Vernon Elementary School. These events provide parents and students with a convenient opportunity to meet the vendors and learn of the many services they provide.
Music In Our Schools Week performances were presented at 32 Bakersfield City School District elementary Schools from August 19 – 29. Last year the program was awarded the Golden Bell from the California School Boards Association. The elementary traveling instrumental music teachers present the annual assemblies in order to introduce students to the instruments of the orchestra. Through the program, students have the opportunity to participate through singing, movement and playing rhythm instruments. Music in Our Schools Week highlights video.
On Monday, May 19, 2014, the Bakersfield City School District celebrated the 40th Anniversary Elementary Festival Concert at the Rabobank Theater. Started in 1974, the festival features 3rd through 6th grade music students from the District’s 32 elementary schools performing in the Flutophone Ensemble, String Ensemble, Honor Orchestra or Festival Chorus. The audience is treated to an hour of music that demonstrates the spectrum of musical skills learned by the children. Pictured is instrumental music teacher Marc Tipton conducting the Elementary Honor Orchestra.
The Academic Pentathlon Super Quiz was held at Stiern Middle School on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The event is a special blend of education and competition that promotes academic excellence. Students in 4th through 6th grade prepare for three months by reading specific literature and conducting research before taking a battery of tests prior to the Super Quiz. The Super Quiz is the public portion of the competition where the teams answer questions in three “nail-biting” rounds.
The Junior High/Middle School Honor Concert was held at the Rabobank Theater on Monday, May 12, 2014. This year’s concert marked the 58th year for this event which showcases the outstanding musical talents of BCSD Jr. High and Middle School students. The program began with a performance by the 6th Grade Festival Orchestra, followed by the Honor Orchestra, Honor Band and Honor Choir. Each ensemble presented three selections directed by a guest conductor. Pictured is vocal soloist Andrea Sotelo from Sequoia Middle School. See the slide show.
The College Heights Mariachi performed at Hodel’s Restaurant on Tuesday April 22, 2014. The luncheon was for the Kern County Retired Teachers Association. Governing Board member Pam Baugher was present and is a member of the association. Nick Olmos is the music teacher and director of the Mariachi at College Heights Elementary School.
The Spring Art Gallery Reception was held on Tuesday, April 9, 2014, at the Education Center. The Art Gallery provides an outstanding opportunity to display the exceptional talents of the students in the Bakersfield City School District. Pictured is Leah Truitt from Downtown School with her artwork, “Starry Night in Greens and Blues”. To see all of the student art, visit the Online Gallery.
Sixteen Junior High and Middle School bands and orchestras performed at the Bakersfield City School District Band and Orchestra Standards Festival. The eighth annual event was held on March 13th in the beautiful Doré Theatre on the campus of California State University, Bakersfield. The festival provides assessment of student performance which is crucial for learning in the performing arts. Pictured is Emerson Middle School Advanced Band conducted by their music teacher, Rocky Montbriand.
The Bakersfield City School District Winter Art Gallery Reception was held on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at the Education Center. The gallery encourages and reinforces quality art instruction in the classroom. Parents and visitors are reminded of how vitally important the arts are to our community and the education of our children. Pictured is Daniella Gutierrez from Stiern Middle School with two of her pieces, “Golden Hour Silhouette” and “Beautiful Imperfections”. To see all of the student art, visit the Online Gallery.
Over 3,400 Bakersfield City School District third grade students attended Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at Rabobank Theater on February 5, 2014. The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Dance Center performed the popular “musical symphony” based on a young boy capturing a big wolf and saving the forest animals. Peter and the Wolf was the third of three Bakersfield Symphony Young People’s performances that are presented to students throughout this school year.
The Bakersfield City School District Lyrics and Songwriting Contest was developed to recognize and encourage talented poets and songwriters in grades 6, 7, and 8. Students submitted poems or lyrics that focused on School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS): Cooperation, Respect, Responsibility, Ready to Learn, and Safety. The top three students were announced January 31, 2014 and earned the opportunity to work with American Idol Finalist, Amy Adams at American Sound Recording Studios. Pictured are: Sandy Rodriguez (1st Place), Augene Ojikutu (3rd Place), Amy Adams, and Bianca Gutierrez (2nd Place). Sandy and Augene are students at Washington Middle School and Bianca attends Curran Middle School.
The Bakersfield City School District Henry Greve Speech Contest was held January 30, 2014, at the Education Center. This year’s topic was “How Can One Person Make a Difference?” Students prepare and deliver a speech that is between 4½ and seven minutes in length. The students are judged in the areas of content, language, and delivery. The four highest scoring speakers are invited to represent the district at the Kern County Henry Greve Speech Contest on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Pictured is Irene Martin from Sierra Middle School. More awards photos.
The Bakersfield City School District Spelling Bee was held January 14 & 16, 2014, in the Education Center Boardroom. The schools are divided into two regions with eighteen schools competing on each of the two evenings. The top students from each region go on to compete in the Kern County Spelling Bee. Students have the opportunity to advance all the way to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Pictured are: Franco Morata, Region I 1st Place winner from Eissler Elementary School and Osvaldo Sanchez, Region II 1st Place winner from Emerson Middle School. Both students will compete at the Kern County Spelling Bee, organized by the Kern County Retired Teachers Association, on Monday, March 10, 2014.
Junior High and Middle School Bands from Chipman, Compton, Curran, and Emerson marched down North Chester Avenue in the 41st Annual North of the River Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14, 2013. Elementary school entries included the Cesar Chavez Elementary School Flag & Dance Teams and the Horace Mann After School Program. This year’s theme for the parade was Dreaming of Christmas. Pictured is the Chipman Junior High School “Charger” Marching Band. The band is directed by Mark Howard. More parade photos.
Over 3,000 Bakersfield City School District fifth grade students attended Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet at Rabobank Theater on December 12, and 13, 2013. The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Dance Center performed the popular ballet based on a little girl’s dream about a toy nutcracker given to her by her godfather. The Nutcracker was the second of three Bakersfield Symphony performances that will be presented to students throughout this school year.
The Bakersfield City School District Oral Language Festival has five competitive events including: Serious Interpretation Solo, Serious Interpretation Duo, Humorous Interpretation Solo, Humorous Interpretation Duo, and Verse Choir. The Elementary (Grades 4-6) Oral Language Festival was held Saturday, December 7, 2013, at California State University, Bakersfield. Pictured are the “Overall Team” Award Winners from Thorner Elementary School. More awards photos.
Middle School Bands from Stiern, Sequoia, Sierra, and Washington marched in the 31st Annual Bakersfield Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 5, 2013. Elementary school entries included the Casa Loma Trickropers and the McKinley Mighty Mustang Drill Team. This year’s theme for the parade was An Old Fashioned Christmas. Pictured is the Washington Middle School “Hornets” Marching Band. The band is directed by Stephen Johnson.
The Bakersfield City School District Oral Language Festival is a competitive event where students use their dramatic and speaking skills to present literary selections with spoken words. The Jr. High/Middle School (Grades 7-8) Oral Language Festival was held at the BCSD Education Center on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Pictured are First Place winners in the Verse Choir event, Noah Ramirez, Jason Land and Darby Berkshire from Downtown School. More awards photos.
Sixty-six student artworks were displayed at the Bakersfield City School District Education Center for the Fall Art Gallery Reception on November 13, 2013. The gallery encourages students to share their work and visual arts experiences with peers and adults. The student art will be on display through January, 2014. Pictured is Jullian Perez with her artwork titled, “The Unidog and the Owl.” To see all of the student art, visit the Online Gallery.
Eight BCSD Jr. High and Middle School Bands marched in the Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown Bakersfield on Monday, November 11, 2013. Six elementary school marching units also participated. This year marked the 93rd annual parade honoring local veterans. Pictured is the Curran Middle School California Cadet Corps 3rd Brigade, 702nd Battalion. More parade photos.
The Sequoia Middle School “Giants” and Stiern Middle School “Sharks” Marching Bands traveled to Stockdale High School on November 9, 2013 for the Stockdale Band Spectacular. Both bands earned 2nd Place honors in their respective divisions. Congratulations to Joshua Barr, band director at Sequoia, and Justin Milota, band director at Stiern, for preparing their students for outstanding performances. More event photos.
On October 26, the Stiern Middle School “Sharks” Marching Band competed with nine other Kern County Junior High and Middle School bands at Ridgeview High School. The Stiern students earned 4th Place honors and captured the highest music score in the Class A Division. The band’s outstanding Drum Major won 2nd place. Congratulations to Band Director, Justin Milota, for leading his students to a successful musical performance.
The Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival was held on Thursday morning, October 10, 2013, at the Sierra Middle School Auditorium. Choirs from the district’s junior high/middle schools gathered for the 6th annual event. Students rehearsed in the morning with guest clinician Christopher Borges, Director of Choirs, Bakersfield High School. Following the rehearsal, the 300-voice choir presented a brief concert. Later the same day, the BCSD vocal music teachers participated in a professional development training lead by Mr. Borges.
Nearly 3,000 Bakersfield City School District sixth grade students attended the Young People’s Concert at Rabobank Theater. The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra performed a blend of familiar classical music and popular orchestral film music. The October 2nd concert was the first of three that will be presented to students throughout this school year. Pictured are symphony conductor, John Farrer and the brass section of the orchestra as Michael Raney demonstrates the trumpet.
Music In Our Schools Week performances were presented to 31 Bakersfield City School District elementary schools August 20 – 30, 2013, by the elementary traveling instrumental music teachers. The assemblies exposed students to a variety of musical styles, instruments, and curriculum correlations. It also included audience participation through singing, moving, and an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Music In Our Schools Week highlights video.
The 39th Annual Bakersfield City School District Elementary Festival Concert was held on Monday, May 20, 2013, at the Rabobank Convention Center. More than 1,200 students from the District’s 32 elementary schools participated in this event, which included 3rd grade Flutophone Ensemble, String Ensemble, Honor Orchestra, and Festival Chorus. Each group performed several selections, and concluded with a finale, This Is My Country, presented by all participating students.
The 15th Annual Bakersfield City School District Academic Pentathlon Super Quiz was held on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Stiern Middle School. Teams from 4th, 5th, and 6th grades competed in the areas of Literature, Essay (6th grade only), Mathematics, History-Social Science, and Social Science. An awards ceremony concluded the event, with winning students and teams being presented bronze, silver, and gold medals.
The 57th Annual Junior High/Middle School Honor Concert was held on Monday, May 13, 2013, at the Rabobank Convention Center. Each of the four performing groups (Honor Band, Honor Orchestra, 6th Grade Middle School Festival Orchestra, and Honor Choir), comprised of students from the District’s junior high/middle schools, presented three selections, then combined to perform a finale, God Bless America.
The Bakersfield City School District Spring Art Gallery Reception was held on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM, at the Education Center. 69 art works were selected from 367 entries submitted, and will be on display until November, 2013. Pictured above is Benjamin (Hurley) Rosales from Downtown Elementary School.
The 7th Annual Bakersfield City School District Band and Orchestra Standards Festival was held March 7, 2013, at California State University, Bakersfield. Sixteen performances were presented by the District’s eight Junior High/Middle School bands and orchestras, along with clinics presented by four guest adjudicators. Each performing group earned a rating based upon a district-adopted standards-based rubric: Superior, Excellent, Good, Needs Improvement, and Poor. Pictured above is Bruce Morrow, Washington Middle School Music Teacher, conducting the Washington Advanced Band.
Congratulations to the Washington Middle School Drum Line and Color Guard, under the direction of Bruce Morrow, who participated at several Pep & Pageantry Arts Association of Central California events this past month. The following awards were earned by students:
February 2, 2013, at Foothill High School
-Washington Middle School Drum Line- 1st Place, Junior Division
-Washington Middle School Color Guard- 2nd Place, Junior High A Color Guard Division
February 16, 2013, at Independence High School
-Washington Middle School Drum Line- 3rd Place, Junior Division
-Washington Middle School Color Guard- 4th Place, Junior High A Color Guard Division
March 2, 2013, at Stockdale High School
-Washington Middle School Drum Line- 2nd Place, Junior Division
-Washington Middle School Color Guard- 4th Place, Junior Division
The Bakersfield City School District Winter Art Gallery Reception was held on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM, at the Education Center. 69 art works were selected from 367 entries submitted, and will be on display until April, 2013. Pictured is Kaitlynn Pittman, from William Penn Elementary School, with her artwork titled “Winter Wonderland.”
Congratulations to Compton Junior High School Eighth Grader Nicholas Hernandez, who auditioned for and was accepted into the 2013 California All-State Honor Orchestra. The All-State Honor Orchestras are sponsored by the California Orchestra Directors Association. Special thanks to Compton’s Instrumental Music Teacher, Kyle Dooley, for all of his work preparing Nicholas for the audition process.
The Bakersfield City School District Henry Greve Speech Contest was held January 24, 2013, at the Education Center. This year’s topic was “America’s Greatest Treasure.” The four highest scoring speakers are invited to represent the district at the Kern County Henry Greve Speech Contest. Pictured is 1st Place winner Stephen Bush, Chipman Junior High School. More award photos.
The Bakersfield City School District Spelling Bee was held January 15 & 17, 2013, at the Education Center. Schools are divided into two regions and trophies are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners from each region. Pictured are Alexander Meyer from Eissler Elementary School and Kimberly Marquez from Downtown School.