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HHS Bands History


The Herndon High School Band has been a part of Northern Virginia since 1947.  The oldest established high school band in Fairfax County had its genesis when dedicated parents and citizens convinced Vladamir Johnson, a Russian interpreter and part-time music teacher from Washington, D.C., to rehearse a group of fledgling musicians in the rural town of Herndon.


The same program served as an inspiration and model for the instrumental music groups later formed in Fairfax County schools. Today, these program expose thousands of young people to the unique enjoyment of making music together and participating in concerts, festivals and competitions of various categories at the county, state and national level.


Today, Herndon Virginia is a thriving suburb of Washington, D.C.  The band program at Herndon High School has mirrored the growth of the town, increasing from that original group of fifteen musicians to more than 150 instrumentalists comprising the following ensembles: Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Indoor Drumline, under the direction of Mrs Kathleen Jacoby.

Honor Band Designation 
A band receives the Honor Band designation when they receive a superior rating at VBODA Marching Band Assessment and the Wind Ensemble Band Assessment. Herndon received the Honor Band Designation for the following years: 

- 2018, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 1987,1986, 1985, 1984



Herndon has performed in the following parades:

  • 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, 2019

  • NATO International Military Tattoo Parade, Norfolk, 2018,

  • Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia, 2017

  • Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, Orlando, 2016

  • National Cherry Blossom Parade, Washington DC, 2016

  • Disney Main Street Electrical Parade, Orlando, 2015

  • Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, selected to represent Virginia & won Grand Champion, 2013

  • Reston Holiday Parade, 2013 (Percussion and Guard 2011-2015) – ranked #2 favorite in nation behind Macy’s by USA Today readers

In the past Herndon has performed at the following:

  • VMEA in 2014, 2007, 2003, 1995, 1987, 1983

  • Sudler Flag of Honor in 1991

  • Music Educators National Convention in  2002 and 1991

  • Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in 1987 and 1995

  • American Band Masters Convention in 2003

  • Music Educators National Convention in 2002, 1991

  • Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic in 1995, 1987

  • American Band Masters Convention in 2003

Read about our past directors

News and Announcements from previous years

Memories from Luther Nossett, Class of 69


Back in the 60’s there was one band that marched and performed concerts. Band of course was a class and you got grades and credits. If you were in the band class, you marched during football season and in parades, then you also learned and performed in two or three concerts per year. I submitted some information for you webpage a couple of years ago that explained that HHS was so small, some of us got moved up from the intermediate school band class to the high school band when we were in 7th grade. That still made the made probably less than 50 members. 

During those years we also had a stage band, or what would likely be comparable to your Jazz Band. That was a competitive selection and had 5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 3/4 trombones, a drummer, a bass player, and we played big band and swing style music.

Back then, Reston was just beginning to be built and Brookfield was only partially developed. The area that Herndon serviced is now supported by 5 high schools, South Lakes, Chantilly, Centreville, Westfields and Herndon. I believe Oakton also has area which used to be Herndon. Given all that geography, there were only 220 of us in my class in 1969. The 1960s was a transition period from dairy farms to suburban developments in the Herndon area, One other interesting fact is that the majorettes got band credits and prior to Mr. Swinney's tenure, they did not play instruments, so they used it like a study hall period. He changed that and they were required to learn instruments. Of course some did not like that, but he held firm.

                We were very rural. We were often referred to as the Herndon Hicks, when we went to regional band or other competitions. Foxes Music used to sponsor a large stage band competition which we participated in, but we were small fish in a very big pond in Fairfax County. 

Herndon Band under the direction of Mitch Bender, outside what is now Herndon Middle School

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