Helix Band Directors
Daniel Lewis (8 years: 1951-1959)
Kathleen Hansen (2008 - Present)
Helix Drum Majors
1952- Nellie Carter (Green and Silver Band)
2009- Jerret Phinney
2010- Misha Agunos
The Helix Instrumental Music Association is one of the largest and most successful school music programs in Southern California . In its 57 year history the Music Program at Helix High School has been recognized for its excellence by numerable scholastic, community and artistic organizations and has won many awards at competitions and festivals throughout the country and abroad.
The Music Program at Helix currently consists of approximately 160 students in six main groups; Bagpipes, Color Guard, Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony. All three bands as well as the color guard and bagpipes combine to form the Helix Highlander Band, which is the marching band at Helix High School . The Highlander Band is an active competing group in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) and has clearly established itself as a highly competitive and high quality group in that organization.
In its long and storied history Helix High School has toured Europe three times, was the winner of the Nickelodeen TV Land National Band of the Year Award, and has performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade three times (four this summer) over the years. In addition the Instrumental Music Program at Helix was a Grammy Signature School in 2003, was the only high school band in California to perform at the California Band Director's Association conference in 2000, has won the sweepstakes award at the Mother Goose Parade over 6 times, and has for nearly two decades received consistent unanimous superior ratings at local music festivals throughout San Diego County.
You may have wondered about the mascot of Helix High School and by extension the music program at Helix, the Highlanders. The Highlanders refers to the highlands of Scotland which are located in the north of that country. The Scottish Highlanders have a long history characterized by strong cultural pride, bravery and a disdain of outside control. These values lead the people of the Highlands to many conflicts and for that even still today they are known for being excellent soldiers.
These Highlanders (in fact the whole of Scotland ) were organized by various clans which controlled certain areas or territories. These clans would sometimes form alliances to fight outside enemies or would sometimes fight each other. The clan from which Helix derives its Tartan and most closely identifies with is the Clan Gordon.
The Gordon Clan was a powerful Scottish Clan, in fact one of the most powerful, and was involved in most of Scotland 's conflicts in which they played a key role. Over many centuries the Gordon Clan grew to control much of Northern Scotland and eventually controlled five castles throughout that region. Because of their well known bravery in war and their conquests the Gordon Clan gained the nickname “Cock o' the North”. This reputation remained consistent throughout Scottish history even through WWII, when soldier from the Gordon Clan were recognized as some of the most excellent and effective units in the whole British Army. It is from these proud and brave people that Helix derives their Scottish tradition.
Huntly Castle was the Gordon Clan's Main Stronghold in Northern Scotland
Another view of Huntly Castle and the inscriptions on one of its walls.
Balmoral Castle (shown here) was purchased by the Gordon Clan in the 15 th Century
Auchindoun Castle , a 16 th Century addition to the Clan Gordon
Gordon Castle was built by the Clan Gordon in 1789
Fyvie Castle was a Clan Gordon castle during the 18 th and 19 th centuries
©2009 Helix Charter High School Music Program