Break a Hoof Mustangs!


Courtesy of Bennett A Stoops

Dance Company is one of the many performing arts programs at YLHS. Here they performed at Festival in 2019.

Juliette Fournier, Editor

From Band and Colorguard, Orchestra, Dance Company, Choir, and Theater, it can’t be said that Yorba Linda High School students lack when it comes to the performing arts. Each of these award-winning programs has come so far over the past ten years, winning numerous awards. Thanks to the incredible dedication from these high-achieving Mustang students and the help of a passionate staff, Yorba Linda High School undeniably follows its mission statement, Run with the STAMPEDE; for being in any one of these exceptional programs takes Service, Teamwork, Achievement, Mastery, Passion, Ethics, Dedication, and Excellence. Each has contributed to how far Yorba Linda High School’s performing arts programs have come in the last ten years.


Band and Guard

From competitions to football games to rallies, Band and Guard do it all with the help of the band director, Mr. Garcia (Staff). They are present to perform for every single home football game to support their fellow Mustangs, displaying the devotion these students have to Yorba Linda High School. Yorba Linda students only see a small portion of everything that Band and Guard do. On top of their performances at football games, including an intricate field show during halftime, or during pep rallies, they also perform at several competitions, parades, and concerts. Moreover, their practices are every day during zero period, sometimes going into first period, and occasionally after school for up to four hours. All that hard work has paid off the past ten years as they have received an abundance of awards including 1st Place and High Music Sweepstakes Award at Sierra Vista Tournament in 2011; a gold medal for WGASC in 2012; 1st Place at the Esperanza Jazz Festival in 2014; a silver medal for the SCSBOA Field Championships in 2016; 1st Place at the Chino Field Tournament in 2015 and 2nd in 2016; and 2nd Place at the Reno Jazz Festival in 2015 and 3rd Place in 2018.


Another of YLHS’s remarkable performing arts programs is Orchestra. Throughout the years, Orchestra has become more and more popular among students. Karissa Dole (12) recalls that in her freshman year, “when [she] first came in Orchestra…, there were maybe seventy-five students playing and now we have over a hundred students… That is a huge gain for not only orchestra but also the arts in general.” While Orchestra continues to grow, the past ten years have been filled with numerous performances including concerts, competitions, and festivals. Mr. Mortensen (Staff) recalls that one of Orchestra’s largest performances was in 2013 at the NAMM Show, a huge international music merchant convention which thousands of people attend, where they performed with a rock band. That same year, they performed at a benefit concert with the same rock band to support the American Soldier Network. Some of Orchestra’s other accomplishments include performing at the Philharmonic Invitational High School Orchestra Festival at Segerstrom Hall in 2015, playing for the State-of-the-City address at the Nixon Library in 2018, and being awarded several “Unanimous Superior” ratings for the SCSBOA Festival.


Dance Company

Yorba Linda High School’s remarkable dance team, better known as Dance Company, truly demonstrates what it means to be a Mustang. Many, if not all of these students have been dancing from an early age and aspire to improve and continue dancing past high school. As Yorba Linda High School continues to grow, so does its dance program. Students usually see the incredible performances of Dance Company during rallies, but the majority of the work they do is for longer, more elaborate performances. A few years after the school’s opening, Dance Company started participating in the Community Dance Festival and has continued every year since. Furthermore, Mrs. Maes (Staff) also organizes two different dance shows to highlight all the dancers’ hard work, with the majority of the routines choreographed by the Dance Company students. In past years, most of their shows took place in the Forum theater here at YLHS; gradually, Spring concerts have required a larger auditorium due to the popularity of these shows. With their outstanding choreographies and variety of styles, it’s no small wonder that these shows are highly anticipated by YLHS students.



Singing in front of people is arguably challenging for most people to do, but not for YLHS’s Choir. As the singers prepare for their concerts in winter and spring, students can have a glimpse of Choir’s talented voices when they sing the National Anthem at every home football game before joining the crowds to cheer on their peers. Not only do they share their talent with YLHS, but Choir also participates in various festivals and concerts beyond the National Anthem. This group of devoted students has had countless performances since YLHS first opened with their annual Winter Concert (Jingles), Seasons of Love Concert, Spring Concert, and two District Concerts. Furthermore, they have performed for Vineyard’s District Vocal Festival and the Fullerton Jazz Festival for several years and received several honors, such as a Superior rating for the SCVA Festival in 2013; a Superior rating at the Orange County Adjudication Festival in 2017; and 1st place in 2017 and 3rd place in 2018 for the Vocal Jazz Competition. With the guidance of YLHS’s newest vocal music director, Mr. McCann (Staff), Choir is guaranteed to continue their amazing performances.



Since the school first opened in 2009, YLHS Theater has put on an impressive twenty-six plays and musicals. From Fall play to Spring musicals, YLHS Theatre students always put a huge amount of work into showcasing their talents while entertaining fellow students of Yorba Linda. These include their first production ever, Class Action, in 2009; their first musical, Grease, in 2010; Guys and Dolls in 2013; and their most recent production, The Elephant Man, in 2018. Since these plays are open to the public, people of all ages can come enjoy a play at Yorba Linda High School. Ms. Petz (Staff) always makes sure to diversify the various plays, ranging from hilarious musicals to darker tragedies, in order to highlight the many talents of the Mustang actors. They have also received numerous awards including but not limited to the JRAY Award for Ensemble of the Year in 2012, the Musical Rhapsody Award at the 2013 Childress MACY Awards, the Starlight Award at the 2018 Spirit of the MACY Awards, and the CETA HSTF Outstanding Festival of Scenes Award for 2018-2019. Be sure to check out their next play, The Drowsy Chaperone: A Musical Within a Comedy, from April 5th to April 13th.