Insight On The Million Dollar Band


Game Day for the Million Dollar Band & Color Guard.

By Kyara Bermudez, Staff Writer

Band instructor Mr. Hernandez stated that at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, he was nervous since it was his first-year teaching in a high school as a band instructor and he had just recently graduated with his music ed. degree. He said, “It was a little daunting that they were handing over the reins of this program and the more I heard about the history of it, it made me realize that’s what I’m in charge of.” He was in charge of the same group that had been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, state evaluations for jazz and received sky rocketing ratings all the time. 

   In a year, the Million Dollar Band put together a musical program that was fun for the students, entertaining for audiences, and attractive for new people to join. He said that although it can be difficult at times and frustrating being a member of the band gives you the experience of creating something out of nothing with just your closest friends.  

   The main requirement for students to join The Million Dollar Band is their commitment and a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Students need to have some type of commitment because the band can be very time intensive and requires a great personal and emotional commitment to make sure everyone has their own responsibilities prepared such as having their suit ready for a performance the next day.  

   Mr. Hernandez said, “Historically with music programs, band programs specifically, director changes can be very chaotic and there could be a lot of differences in ideologies, lack of trust with previous students, and it’s a scary thing to have someone tell you how to think, breathe, and live.” He was a late hire and was hired 2 weeks before the new school year without any planning. The biggest challenge that the band overall faced was coming out of a virtual year, in which they couldn’t have everyone engaged in a live performance. 

   Mr. Hernandez said that he could not have done it without his student leaders in the band. He said, “Seniors Alexandra Martinez and Rodrigo Noguera, both these students have been carrying the entire band, whether it was organizationally or helping me understand something I previously didn’t know. They’ve been incredibly understanding of where I’m coming from and how the band feels. Both have been incredibly supportive especially during the summer when there wasn’t a band director since they were still doing the job search. They kept the band going and kept the band members motivated.”  

   Mr. Hernandez’s goal for next year is for the band to grow in size and in quality. It is a constant struggle to get students to join and get them to be good enough to be on top but he wants more people to know how life-changing music can be even if it’s not something they decide to do for more than a year. 

May 13th performance by the infamous Million Dollar Band.