General Information

General Information

About Us

The “Fighting Indians Band” – Who We Are!

We are the “Fighting Indians Band”. We are the face and voice of Vero Beach High School and have been for over 80 years.  We are the “Spirit of Vero Beach”. We earn that title every year. We have performed at thousands of events in our long history performing throughout Florida and from coast to coast in New York, Los Angles, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Williamsburg, Washington D. C., and Hawaii.  We have appeared on national television via ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Networks.  We have performed in prestigious national events including, Bowl Games, Parades, Music Conferences, Festivals, and even at Carnegie Hall.  We have earned hundreds of “Superior” and “First Place” ratings at district, state, and national events since 1980.  We represent among our ranks of members and alumni the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of generations past and present.  We are the “Pride of the Treasure Coast”We are the “Fighting Indians Band”, We are… NO ORDINARY “BAND” OF INDIANS!  

A Bit of Early History

The Fighting Indians Band dates from the early 1930’s with the earliest known organized Vero School Band dating to 1934-35 when the band was organized by Band Directors James and Thelma Crowley. The band was originally developed under the New Deal Era “Federal Music Project” which was designed to employ professional musicians and music teachers during the “Great Depression”.  It is interesting that the Crowley’s were also the Band Directors for school bands in Melbourne, Fort Pierce, and Stuart traveling up and down the coast between schools on different days in the beginning. While we have some evidence of bands existing in Vero Beach in the decades prior to the 1930’s, bands during this era were likely of the “Dance Band” or “Town Band” genre and may or may not have been associated with the Vero schools of that era.  We do know that there was an outdoor “Band Shell” which was located just to the south east of the old Vero Beach High School which stood on the site of the present day Vero Beach High School “Freshmen Learning Center”.  There is a commemorative monument depicting the site of the old Vero Beach High School located on the north east side of the FLC campus.  We also know that the Fighting Indians Band did give outdoor concerts at the band shell until it was converted to other uses sometime in the late 1940’s or 1950’s.

Note:  Anyone having pictures or other historical information prior to 1980 that they would like to see added to the above synopsis may contact the band office at 772-564-5451.  One of our “work in progress” goals is to include on the website a pictorial and written history of the band from the earliest decades to the present.

Current Band Information (1980 to 2014)

The Vero Beach High School Band is made up of the following components: Fighting Indians Marching Band, three Symphonic Bands, four Jazz Bands, three Percussion Ensembles, various Chamber Ensembles, Orchestral Winds - Percussion, Wind Ensemble, and the Color Guard - Auxiliary.   The band program consistently receives "Superior" ratings and top awards at all phases of festival and competitive events both in and out of Florida. The band currently holds the record for the most consecutive “Superior” ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association State Concert Music Performance Assessment (formerly known as State Concert Band Festival) of any band under the same active band director.  The Band program was featured in the April 2014 edition of the School Band and Orchestra Magazine.

The Symphonic Bands are the heart of the “Fighting Indians” Band program. These bands have received "Superior" ratings at the FBA District Music Performance Assessments for the past 34 years.   The bands have also earned "Superior" ratings at the FBA State MPA consecutively for the past 27 years.  Symphony Band has performed at the Southeastern U.S. Concert Band Clinics in Troy, Alabama; the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division in Tallahassee, Florida; the University of Florida Invitational Band Clinic in Gainesville; the University of South Florida Festival of Winds in Tampa; the Southern Music Conference in Atlanta , the University of Georgia Honors Band Festival in Athens, the MENC Southern Division Conference in Tampa, the Stetson University Honors Festival, the  National Band and Orchestra Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Concert Bands have also won the Nashville Heritage Festival and the Fiesta-val Competition in Williamsburg. In 2012 the Symphony Band performed on the Opening General Session and President’s Concert at the Florida Music Educators In Service Conference in Tampa.  In 2013 the Symphony Band, Philharmonic Wind Band, and Percussion Ensemble performed at the Music For All National Concert Festival in Indianapolis and In 2014 the Symphony Band won First Place at the Atlanta Fiesta-Val Competition.

The Fighting Indians Marching Band nicknamed "The Pride of the Treasure Coast," provides the color and atmosphere that makes Friday Night Football in the Citrus Bowl Stadium come to life with spirit so loud the noise can be heard for miles.  Autumn week nights are punctuated with the exciting sounds of the band in rehearsal drawing dozens of people to the practice field to check out the band. No outdoor civic event in Vero is complete without the rousing sounds of the Fighting Indians Band whether it is at a street parade or commemorative ceremony, the band is central to the success of the activity.  The band has received 35 consecutive "Superior" ratings at the FBA District Marching MPA. The band has won "Grand Champion", "First Place", and a host of caption awards at numerous marching festivals around the State of Florida.  Among these are the Pride of Florida Festival, the Naples Tournament of Bands. Central Florida Band Showcase, Kingdom of the Sun Festival, and Isle of Eight Flags Festival. The marching band has also won marching and parade competitions and superior ratings out of the state including the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, the Fiesta-val Parade in Williamsburg, the Nashville Heritage Festival. The marching band has also appeared in the Orange Bowl, Walt Disney World, the World's Fair, Cotton Bowl Parade, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, and also won the "Crowd Pleaser" Award at the Fiesta Bowl Field Competition. In Hawaii, the band played on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor and marched in the Polynesian Cultural Center's Celebration of Youth Parade receiving "First Place". 

Jazz Bands from Vero Beach High School are consistently rated “Superior” at the Florida Bandmasters Association MPA’s.  The Jazz Band program has grown from one Jazz Band in 1980 to two band’s in the late 1990’s. The Jazz Band won the Heritage Festival in Nashville and the Fiesta-val Competition in Williamsburg and Atlanta. The Jazz Band has been featured in concert at the Florida Music Educators Conference in Tampa.  The Jazz Band(s) are known throughout the community for renditions of traditional “Big Band” Jazz tunes and for playing for a number of civic events. The Jazz Band is one of the highlights of the annual “Red, White, and Blue” Concert Series and always receives standing ovations from the audience.  The Jazz Bands are showcased each February to sell-out crowds at the annual VBHS Night of Jazz which features all of the VBHS Jazz Bands along with Jazz Bands from Oslo, Gifford, and Storm Grove Middle Schools. In April 2014, the Jazz Band won the Fiesta-val Competition in Atlanta.

The Percussion Ensembles provide an outlet in addition to the Fighting Indians Band Drum Line for students to perform a variety of percussion music in one of three main percussion choirs or ensembles.  Percussion ensembles along with many talented soloists earn dozens of “Superior” ratings each year the FBA Solo and Ensemble MPA.  Ranging in scope from keyboard or mallet ensembles to a full array of percussion instrumentation in the larger percussion choirs. The Percussion Ensembles are featured each year on the annual “Percussion and Chamber Winds” Concert.  In 2013 the percussion ensemble performed at the Music for all National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis.

Chamber Ensembles, Chamber Winds, and the Wind Ensemble are vital elements of the band program performing in a variety of instrumental settings including authentic Chamber Wind groups, Brass and Woodwind Choirs, Quintets, Quartets, Trios, and individual solo’s.  The Chamber Winds and Ensemble groups perform annually at the FBA Solo and Ensemble MPA receiving well over 100 “Superior” medals collectively each year. The Wind Ensemble comprised of the most advanced musicians performs annually in the spring on the Chamber Ensemble Concert.

The Orchestral Winds and Percussion are selected from across the band program to provide wind and percussion players for the Vero Beach High School Symphony Orchestra.  These students perform on a rotating basis with the Symphony Strings to comprise the instrumentation needed to make up a full symphony orchestra.  The VBHS Symphony Orchestra has performed original symphonies by such composers as Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Shubert, and a host of other works by major composers.  The VBHS Symphony Orchestra has received consistent “Superior” ratings at the Florida Orchestra Association District and State MPA since its addition to the music program at VBHS in 2000. 

The Color Guard, known as "The Rage", is the “visual voice” of the Fighting Indians Band and has evolved from the original “majorette corps” from the band’s early history into the present day visual performing ensemble. The color guard has a long history of success not just with the marching band but also in the area of indoor color guard performances. This group has earned consecutive "Superior" ratings at the FBA Marching MPA since 1980. The Indoor Color Guard is consistent in earning “Superior Ratings” at the FBA District, State MPA, and at various regional festivals as well.  The group has also won several “Caption Awards” along with “Superior Ratings” at several marching band festivals around the state of Florida.  Most recently the color guard received all “Superior” ratings at the 2014 State MPA in Orlando.


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