GWHS Bands


Farewell Mr. Purvis!

After 30 years of dedicated service, Mr. Reginald Purvis began his retirement at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Throughout those years, Mr. Purvis led the GWHS Band to countless victories and honors--the most recent being an invitation to perform in the 2018 Inaugural Parade for Governor Ralph Northam.

Welcome Mr. Kesling! 

GWHS gladly welcomes Cody Kesling as the new band director. After working with the bands throughout the summer, Mr. Kesling is looking forward to another successful season. After all, they are the Marching Eagles:  Looking forward, [they] remember the success of the past, and strive to maintain excellence in all that [they] do! Go Marching Eagles!


The bands and orchestra of GWHS provide an opportunity for students who are interested in music and who have an instrumental background to participate in organized musical activities throughout the year. The Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra are open to qualified applicants.

a. Jazz Band

The Jazz Band is a voluntary organization chosen by the band director. It is a very select group made up of saxophones, trombones, trumpets, and rhythm. The group performs at some school concerts, local engagements, dances and possible competitions.

b. Marching Eagles

The playing unit of the marching band is composed of members of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. Each member receives a schedule of performances and practices, including afternoon practices, football games and competition performances. Each member is required to attend all practices and all performances. Students who complete requirements are eligible for a band letter and awards. The non-playing unit is composed of two auxiliary units: the flag line and the rifle line. The members of these units are chosen by audition in the spring of the year. They are subject to the same attendance requirements as the members of the playing unit. In addition, they can take a colorguard class during the first semester. This non-credit class will be devoted to additional practice and to execution of marching routines.

c. Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band is the second performing group in the school and is open to those students who qualify by audition. The band performs at concerts held throughout the school year plus at some competition festivals and also at some local engagements. Out-of-town appearances are scheduled whenever possible. These students also are eligible to compete on an individual basis for all-regional and all-state honors.

d. The Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is the top wind band performing ensemble at George Washington High School. It is open to all students by audition only, and performs advanced Wind Ensemble literature. The Wind Ensemble performs four concerts during the school year and students participate in district ensembles, college honor bands, and the state concert assessment. Members of the Wind Ensemble must participate in the marching band program unless they are involved in a fall sports activity sponsored by George Washington High School.

e. Flag Corps, Rifle Team