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Address

850 Day Road, Gilroy, CA 95020 

Christopher Bands: Our History

The Christopher Family has been farming in California since the 1880s when Ole Christopher immigrated from Denmark to the Santa Clara Valley. In 1956, as the San Jose area was beginning to build up, third generation Don Christopher and his brother, Art, established the Christopher Ranch on 130 acres in Gilroy. Because Gilroy was the “Garlic Capital,” they decided to grow 10 acres of garlic along with lima beans and sugar beets.  

 

In 1978, Don Christopher started the Fresh Garlic Association, along with other members of the industry, to promote the sale and use of fresh garlic. The following year, Don joined Dr. Rudy Malone, then president of Gavilan College, in forming the first Gilroy Garlic Festival. Don served as president of the festival from 1979 to 1981 and he continues to serve on the Advisory Committee. Today the world-renown festival draws more than 100,000 people to the three-day event.  Don was born in San Jose in 1934. He attended Oak Grove Grammar School and then Live Oak High School where he was active in sports. He went on to San Jose State University. Today he is active in the community serving on numerous boards and donating to many local charities.

 

Understanding the need for another high school in Gilroy, Christopher donated 10 acres of land off Miller Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard to the Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD), which intends to sell the land when the market improves to generate funds for the master plan. Since 2008, the Christopher family has donated over $4 million to complete the Don Christopher Sports Complex.  The endowment designated for CHS is now valued at over $1.9 million. The Christopher Family has been involved in and supported public education for many years. Don's parents, Art and Clara Christopher, were active on the Oak Grove School Board and Parent/Teachers Association. Both the Christophers and the Hansens, Don's mother's family, have had schools named after them.

Christopher High School opened in 2009.  For the first 3 years of the school's existence, a band program was shared between Christopher and Gilroy High Schools, before finally separating into independent programs in 2012.  Christopher High School fielded it's first marching band in the fall of 2014.  Greg Grant served as the program's first Director of Bands, from 2009-2016, followed by Ramiro Sanchez who held the position from 2016-2019.  In the fall of 2019, Zebulon M. Bellon accepted the position of Director of Bands at Christopher High School.

Our Mission & Core Values

 The Christopher High School Band Program:       

 

“Academic excellence, artistic achievement and professionalism in performance are our goals. We strive to promote citizenship, scholarship and musicianship while helping students to realize their full potential as musicians and individuals, in all facets of their lives. “

We Believe:

  • Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in music.

  • Music is an integral part of a student’s development emotionally and intellectually.

  • Band and Instrumental Music develop self-discipline, positive work habits, and group skills necessary for success in life.

  • By achieving high quality standards in Band and Instrumental Music, high quality standards will transfer into all other areas of the students’ lives.

  • Band and Instrumental Music offer creative and aesthetic opportunities that provide for emotional development.

  • Students’ social skills, self-esteem, and positive attitudes are developed through Band and Instrumental Music.

  • Music Classes afford an emotional and expressive release during the day.

  • Band and Instrumental Music teach students to strive for excellence – a major goal of education.

  • In order to achieve greatness, you have to WANT it.

 

Remember, everything you do in Christopher Bands is important which in turn makes YOU important. Excellence is attained through this attitude and it is 

this attitude that is the basis of the Christopher Band Program.

Honors & Awards:

2020 Wind Ensemble Performance Tour in Seattle, WA

2020 Performance in the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade & Festival, Presented by Southwest Airlines

2019 Western Bands Association "Garlic City Classic"

- 1st Place Division A

- Outstanding Music

- Outstanding General Effect

- Outstanding Visual

2019 Western Bands Association "Dublin Irish Guard Invitational"

- 2nd Place Division A

- High Music Ensemble

2019 Western Bands Association "Scarlet Regiment Tournament of Bands"

- 1st Place Division A

- Outstanding Music

- Outstanding General Effect

- Outstanding Visual

- Outstanding Colorguard

2019 Bands of America California Regional Championships

- 2nd Place Division AA

- 7th Place Overall in Preliminary Competition

- 8th Place Overall in Finals Competition