A new face and a new sound


Gabriela Guzman

At Downey High School, on October 9, Mr. Guerrero explains that he wants to do many things with this band as the new music director. “I want to add structure and discipline to the band,” Mr. Guerrero said.

Sophie Prettyman, Staff Writer

The search for a new music teacher for Downey High ended when Mr. Guerrero began teaching at the school at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.


Although Guerrero has prior experience teaching music and directing bands at other high schools, Ganesha High School and South El Monte High School, he has never taught at a school with as many students as Downey High School. Guerrero chose to leave his job at South El Monte High because he realized that he could not achieve as much as he wanted to with such a small band, little funding, and a lack of parent involvement.


“I really want to bring the parade part of the marching band to prominence,” Guerrero stated. “Neither Warren nor Downey has marched in the Rose Parade, and that would be cool to do that eventually.”


Coming to teach at Downey High has been a totally new experience for him; instead of teaching a band of only about 30 students, he now has a band of about 200 students which competes in field shows and parades, has more involved parent volunteers, a music appreciation class, and two choir classes. He hopes to bring greater success, structure, and discipline to the marching band.


“He focuses on making a more powerful sound,” junior band member and jazz choir singer Steven Kuyper said. “Mr. Guerrero may be a man with a sense of humor, but he does take music very seriously and expects good workmanship from all of us and for us to put in our best effort.”


Although the music students miss Mr. Fell, the previous music teacher, especially the seniors who had him for three years, they are taking to Mr. Guerrero quickly and are enthusiastic to learn from and be led by him.


“Mr. G’s a funny guy,” senior, drum major, and four-year marching band member Hector Osorio said. “He has helped the band in ways Mr. Fell didn’t. We really appreciate having him here.”


There are lots of new names to learn and a new way of life to become accustomed to which may seem overwhelming, but Guerrero is already proving to be a valuable and passionate member of the Downey High School staff, eager to help his students achieve exciting new goals.