Azusa Aztec Marching Band
& Colorguard (then) / & Pageantry Core (now)
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Early 60's

Content on this page supplied by Ross Mayfield
rossmayfield@juno.com

Many photos from the 80's supplied by Ben Montoya '86

If you have any information, photo's, corrections, whatever (?) and would like to share it with us, or have it included on this site, please feel free to contact us.

ALL AZTEC BAND AND PAGEANTRY/COLORGUARD/DANCETEAM/ ALUMNI!!! I am compiling a list of the 100 Greatest Band Moments, and I would like you input. I am junior, and have been wondering about the comraderie of other classes. Please, if you have a great story, please send it to me with your name and e-mail address at the top to :
purpleflyingmonkey2004@yahoo.com

Please share this with all your alumni friends! Thank you for your time,
Jennifer Van Metre, c/o 2004, flutist, trombonist, pit player - Aztec Band

 


Some AZTEC BAND FACTS

Ross Davis, the first director of the Azusa High School Aztec Marching Band built a winning music and marching unit unequaled in it's time, and possibly, never to be equaled. Azusa became the top high school marching band in southern California. In the period from 1958-1965, Azusa won Sweepstakes a total of seven times. The Aztec Marching Band is the only high school band to have ever won three consecutive Sweepstakes in the entire 50 year history of the National City Maytime Band Review. This occurred in 1963, 1964, and 1965. Under the direction of Ross Davis, the band achieved the highest overall score of 98.1 at the El Monte Christmas Parade in 1963.

In May of 1963, the Aztec Marching Band scored the highest overall score in the history of any and all band reviews including Chaffey, Hawthorne, Chino, Santa Monica, Long Beach and National City and this score has never been challenged. Not even Arcadia, Loara, Anaheim, Mt. Miguel, Glendora, Pasadena, nor any other high school band has ever accomplished as high and near-perfect score that Azusa did.

Playing 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' the band achieved the following score -

The Aztec Band performance of 1963 scoring 99.5 out of 100 possible points is probably the greatest single marching band performance ever achieved by any high school band.

Only our own Azusa Aztec Marching Band, at the Monrovia Roundup Days Parade in May of 1967 scored a higher all-time music score of 498 when we won the Sweepstakes and the Music Trophy, playing the 'Father of Victory' march. This also earned the 2nd highest score ever achieved by Azusa of 97.95!

Following Ross Davis as director was Peter Grasselli. Mr. Grasselli was from the eastern United States He led the band for just one year. His background was strong in the 'show band' type of performances and competitions. These take place in a stadium environment, much like a half-time show for a football game. Mr. Grasselli was somewhat ahead of his time with this style of competetion for southern California, as parades were the main type of competetion for California high school bands in the late 60's. Today, show band competetions are much more commonplace in southern California.

Micheal Seeley followed Grasselli as the next director of the Aztec band. A former student teacher of Ross Davis, Seeley led the band to it's second best season ever, which included 5 perfect marching scores over a 3 year period. In 1967, as mentioned above, the band achieved the 2nd highest score in the history of the Monrovia Days 'Round-Up' Parade with a score of 97.95, a perfect 200 in marching, and won the music trophy scoring 498 out of 500, the highest SCSBOA music score to that point in time.

Thanks go to David Smith for providing much of the above information.


Aztec Band Directors
These dates are correct to the best of our knowledge, and in part are based on information provided by you. Any corrections and updates are greatly appreciated

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How many of you recognize this future Aztec Band Director as he watches his mother fit the feather into a drummer's shako?

Ross Davis
Fall 1956 ~

Spring 1965

Peter Grasselli Fall 1965 ~ Spring 1966
Michael Seeley
Fall 1966 ~ Spring 1969
Al Clifft Fall 1969 ~ Spring 1972
Tom Jackson Fall 1972 ~ Spring 1975
Tom Landes Fall 1975 ~ Spring 1979
Scott Taylor Fall 1979 ~ Spring 1987
Ted Burton Fall 1987 ~ Spring 1992
Greg Samuels Fall 1992 ~ Spring 1993
Rick England Fall 1993 ~ Spring 1994
Susie Marin 1993 ~ Present
     


The Aztec Marching Band from 1979 to 1987 saw some momentous events. We were never a very large band, 50-55 musicians (jr.hi bands at the time were very small and didn't send us many freshman) but we were known for our excellent marching and showmanship scores as well as 450 to 460 (out of 500) music scores.

'79-'82 were transition years from the "Landis" band which had a great reputation. Starting in the fall of '82 with Drum Major Kevin Massie our band started placing in every event we entered (one every weekend for 8 weeks). This was still the era of major Band reviews, Chino, Montclair, Arcadia, National City and the All-Western in Long Beach. The band placed no lower than third that year and for the first and only time as far as I know, placed first at Arcadia playing "Eagle Squadron".

Over the next five years the band would place either first or sweepstakes in each of these events. We were also the only Azusa band to win the title of "Blue Ribbon Band" at the L.A. County Fair (banner picture). During these years the band took week-long tours to Sacramento, San Francisco and
Arizona where we marched in the Tucson and Phoenix Rodeo parades. We purchased a 28' band trailer from money raised from the field tournament we hosted. It was custom painted and pulled by a van painted the same way donated by Mr. Acosta of Acosta Nurseries. His son Adrian was Drum Major from '85-'86 (see drum major list)

In 1987 my final competition with band took us to the Maytime Band Review. We were
small that year and only 25 students were allowed to march through competition (those that had "passed-off" the march). Under Drum Major Chris Massie '86-'87, Kevin's brother, we won the high marching score, the high showmanship score and Sweepstakes - the first time since 1965, beating bands three and four times our size again playing "Eagle Squadron"

Scott Taylor
Band Director
September 1979 - June 1987


Aztec Band Drum Majors
These dates are correct to the best of our knowledge, and in part are based on information provided by you. Any corrections and updates are greatly appreciated


Gregg Mayfield 1968
Jack Frye

1958 - 1961

Darlene Kemper 1961 - 1962
Cheryl Wilkenson 1962 - 1966
Carlice Rhode 1968
Gregg Mayfield

1968

David Durrell 1968 - 1969
David Smith 1969
Jon Koenig 1970
Kip Decker Fall 1971-1972
Rick Rivera Fall 1972-1973
Randy Alva Fall 1973-1975
Francis "Pep" Manning Fall 1975-1977
Kenny Alva Fall 1977-1978  
Steve Grinter Fall 1978-1979  
Kelly Eisenbise
Fall 1979-1980
Angel Caratachea Fall 1980-1981

Joe Esparza '85
Sandy Senne Fall 1981-1982
Kevin Massie Fall 1982-1983
Brian Salsbery Fall 1983-1984
Joe Esparza Fall 1984-1985
Adrian Acosta Fall 1985 - 1986
Chris Massie Fall 1986 - 1987
Luis Lopez Fall 1987 - 1990
Able Acosta Fall 1990 - 1992
Eric Sorenson Fall 1992-1993
Sandra Goda Fall 1993-1994
Joshua J. Campbell Fall 1994-1995
Monica Gueterez Fall 1995-1996
Joseph Valenzuela Fall 1996 -1999
Regina Alba Fall 1999 - 2002
Please e-mail corrections & additions ti Julie
Natalie Adams Fall 2002 - 2003
Aram Hernandez Fall 2003 - 2004  
Aram Hernandez Fall 2004-2005  
Pilar Elias Fall 2005-2006  
Auna Kristina Carlsson and
James Martinez
Fall 2006-2007  
Robert Augostine Fall 2007-2008  



Photos
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In 1960 the AZTEC MARCHING BAND performed the half-timeshow for the NFL PRO-BOWLin the Los Angeles Coliseum

 
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Band room under construction 1956

1970 Graduation Ceromonies at Citrus College Stadium


Azusa Banner Team
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Aztec Marching Band at Arcadia Invitational Band Review  1956
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Azusa Golden Days Parade, 1957. This photo is looking east on Foothill Blvd. at Dalton street

 
 

National City,1962. L to R, Sharon Shultz, Barbara Holmgren, Helen Cauthen, Shirley Chance and Donna Prishmount.

 
 
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The 1957 Banner Team for Azusa High at National City

1957 Azusa High Banner Team at the West Arcadia Invitational Band Review

 
 

1985

 
 

Duarte Parade, 1962

The 1970 banner team t the Long Beach Parade. l to r, Rose Zavala, Cheryl Betts, Chris Chivers, Sandy Gilbert, Linda Duvanich, Venita Schrishuhn, and Doreen Dolan

 
More Band Photos:
  • 60's ~ More photos
  • 70's - Under construction
  • 80's - More Photos
  • 90's - Under construction
  • Today - Under construction
 


      Updated: May 19, 2010