For seventy-five years, the Jaguar Band has entertained audiences and been an integral part of the school culture at Falls Church High School.

Keeping Time Since 1949

While there was a small stage/jazz band at Falls Church High School when it opened in 1945, the FCHS band program was officially formed in the 1949-50 school year with the hiring of Ernest Ryder as the first band director. The band grew in size and ability over the course of the next decade. In the 1960's, under the direction of James Lunsford, the band had nearly 200 members and was becoming one of the preeminent bands on the East Coast. The band performed in two consecutive Presidential Inaugural parades, in 1969 as a stand-alone unit and 1973 as part of the "Spirit of 1976" Band made up for Fairfax County Public School Bands. In the 1970's the band was a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the field. The concert bands played progressive and challenging music, consistently receiving Superior ratings at festivals. More recently, the band has earned six VBODA Honor Band awards since 2005 and has twice been a USBands Virginia State Marching Band Champion in their class.

The 1951 band showing off their new uniforms.

FCHS Band's First Director, Ernest Ryder in 1954

Letter from President Nixon to the FCHS Band

James Lunsford, in an undated photo

1975 Jaguar Marching Band

2008 Jaguar Marching Band

2023 Marching Band Staff
Director John Davenport
2019 NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

FCHS BAnd Directors

1949-58 – Ernest Ryder

1958-59 – Jim Green

1959-61 – Tristen Hower

1961-71 – Jim Lunsford

1971-80 – Jim Stegner

1980-85 – Mike Layland

1985-88 – Charles Heibert

1988-89 – Jim Hamilton

1989-93 – Steve Meitus

1993-94 – Kevin Rayford

1994-95 – Diane Bergeld 

1995-97 – Brian Garland

1997-98 – Teresa Snyder Amoroso

1998-2003 – Brian Thomas

2003-05 – Debra Barlow

2005-06 – Mike Luley

2006-2013 – John Davenport

2013-Present – Steven Jacoby

1985 Jaguar Marching Band
1991-92 Jaguar Marching Band
2020 Wind Ensemble
2023 Jaguar Marching Band