Join the Band!

2023-24 IRHS Bands Registration Google Form Coming Soon!

Come join us!

If you or your student is interested in joining any of our award-winning programs, please email Mr. Knepper at

Please see the "about the programs" tab for more information on our comprehensive band program.

2022-23 IRHS Bands Audition Information:

Our 2022-23 marching band auditions have already taken place. If interested in joining the programs, please email the director of bands for more info at

  • For reference, you can click here for the last year's Marching Band Audition Info Packet & Exercise Program Music.

Dear families and auditionees,

Thank you for your interest in joining the award-winning Ironwood Ridge Nighthawk Vanguard for the upcoming fall season! The IRHS band program section is coming off a red-hot spring indoor season, for winds, percussion, and guard. Our ensembles are consistently some of the top programs in the entire state of Arizona for the marching arts. We have become a well-known pipeline for many university music programs, and professional post-high school ensembles, due to students receiving world class instruction from music and visual specialists throughout the school year. Since the creation of the band in 2001, our consistently placed in the top of the divisions at many competitions, including yearly State Championships in Phoenix. Being a part of the Nighthawk Vanguard is a great honor, as many exceptional leaders in all different career paths have gained valuable life-skills from being a part of the group. We are truly a “band family,” with a rich history and tradition of excellence, success, and fun since our inception in 2001!

All skill levels are welcome:

The most important thing to note is that all skill levels are welcome to join – we have a spot for everybody! We start from the beginning of our comprehensive technique program with all members at our clinic/audition. Our auditions are not typically to determine eligibility, but to help establish where the skill level of each student is at, both returning and new. This allows band staff us to track growth and create a more personalized set of musical goals for every student in our program.

For this audition process, the IRHS band staff is looking for positive, hardworking, flexible, and most of all dedicated individuals looking to better themselves both musically, and as a person. Please come to the clinic/audition with an open mind, with the music thoroughly prepared to the best of your abilities - we do not expect anybody to be perfect! The instructional staff will be looking for members who are able to rapidly make musical & visual adjustments, based on verbal feedback, as it shows the ability to make quick changes. The following exercise program is just a taste of what our fall marching band program has to offer. The show music will be challenging, requiring a good amount of outside practice time, but the rewards of achieving high levels of musical excellence are what make this activity so popular.

Private lessons are STRONGLY recommended. Most of our top musicians enroll in weekly lessons with private teachers to further enhance their musical growth.

Rehearsal Schedule Commitment:

The marching band meets as an 8th hour class, which takes place after school hours. The class will meet on Tuesdays (full band) from 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., and Thursdays (Sectionals) typically from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Auditionees must be able to agree to attend all rehearsals, as just one student missing from any given rehearsal puts a great deal of stress on other members and instructors within the ensemble. Due to busy work schedules of parents, we do have carpooling available every year from multiple families, both to and from rehearsals.

Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance!

2022 Marching Band Clinic & Auditions:

  • Late April - Early May of each school year

Marching Band Rehearsal Checklist:

  • A mask worn at all times, both inside & outside

  • WATER JUG – at least 32 ounces

  • Your signed audition permission slip

  • Packet exercises prepared to the best of your ability

  • A Pencil

  • Your instrument (IRHS will provide all larger instruments/equipment such as: tubas, baritones, all percussion, guard flags/rifle/sabres.

  • Athletic Clothing/Shoes

  • Your chops!

  • A Positive Attitude 😊

Ironwood Ridge HS Band Room Location: