Serra's Music Program

Serra's music curriculum features three performing groups: Jazz Band, Symphonic Band and Men's Chorus. All courses are accepted by the University of California as fulfillment of their Visual and Performing Arts entrance requirement. In addition, Serra's music courses are closely aligned with California State University standards in music and are designed to meet the needs of serious music students, as well as those wishing to explore music for the first time.

Joe Murphy
Music Director

Serra is proud to welcome Joe Murphy as its new music director this year. Murphy brings with him more than 20 years of leadership experience in the educational and musical fields and has been the acclaimed band director at Tierra Linda Middle School in the San Carlos School District since 2005.

For the past 20 years, he has led symphonic bands, jazz bands, A Capella choir groups, marching bands and orchestras at the middle and high school levels.

"I am very excited to bring my skills to Serra," Murphy said. "I possess the specific skills and experience necessary to teach the variety of music classes that are offered at Serra and have a vision for where the program can grow and evolve," he said. He added he hopes to accomplish this while honoring the tradition and history of Serra's music program.

Current Music Opportunities

Jazz Ensemble (Tri-School)

This is an auditioned group of elite musicians who meet during 0 period (7:20-8:05) Monday - Thursday. The group consists of freshmen through seniors who have proven to be advanced enough to handle the toughest music we play at Serra. The Jazz Ensemble is also part of our awesome Pep Band! 

Instrumentation: Two alto saxes, two tenor saxes, one bari sax, four trombones, four trumpets, guitar, bass, drums and piano.

We occasionally take additional musicians on some of the parts if needed and if ability allows. If you are interested in being in the Jazz Ensemble, please email Mr. Murphy.

Symphonic Band (Tri-School)

This is a group that consists of freshmen through seniors who have at least one year of experience on their instrument and who have been approved by Mr. Murphy to participate.

Students should be proficient at the basics on their instrument and be able to read sheet music. This group plays at a few festivals and concerts during the year and is also part of our wonderful Pep Band!  

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium, tuba, bass and percussion. (Drum set players MUST know how to read sheet music to participate).

If you are interested in joining the Symphonic Band, please email Mr. Murphy.

Men's Choir (Serra Only)

Our Men's Choir consists of tenor, baritone and bass voices. We come together to sing many genres of music including spirituals, ballads, gospel, contemporary, sacred and pop.

We sing at most prayer services and masses at school and graduation and for special occasions as well.

he group sings accompanied by piano as well as a capella. The Men's Choir has a long standing tradition at Serra High School as one of the elite ensembles of its kind in the Bay Area.

No audition is required.  Freshmen through Seniors are accepted.


Digital Production (Serra Only)

Serra offers a one-of-a-kind digital production class where students will learn the basics of songwriting using Garage Band and other DAWs.

Students will learn how to write lyrics, format a song, create melodies and beats and ultimately compose their own music.

In addition, the class will focus on movie making. Students will learn to storyboard, write scripts, use teleprompters and green screens.  They have fun projects such as "Create a Reality TV Pilot," "Create a Newscast," "Compose a pop song with lyrics." The students also learn how to create a soundtrack for their own short films.

This class is open to all freshmen through seniors, but it fills up VERY fast!  

NEW - Concert Band (Tri-School)

Don't be fooled by the name . . . this is a beginning band! Serra offers the truly unique opportunity to start an instrument from scratch in high school. Very few schools in the Bay Area offer this opportunity. Most kids think that once they've left middle school, there are no more chances to learn a band instrument. At Serra, however, we give them a second chance.

Students who excel in the concert band will be eligible to join the symphonic and/or jazz ensemble the following year. Students will not only learn the basics and techniques of a band instrument, but they'll also learn to read sheet music which is a skill and an asset that they'll have for the rest of their lives.  

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium, tuba, bass and percussion. 


Tri-School Choir (Tri-School)

This choir is a GREAT opportunity for a coed musical education!  This group meets once a week for two hours in the Serra music room.

This group is open to ALL freshmen through senior boys and girls from Serra, Mercy and Notre Dame Belmont.

We enjoy singing sacred, spiritual, gospel, contemporary and pop music. This group performs at three to four concerts a year. 

If you're interested in joining us, be on the lookout for announcements about the start of the choir in the early fall of 2023.  


Tri-M Honor Society (Serra Only)

We offer a Tri-M Chapter at Serra. Tri-M is our group of young men who give back to the musical community. They provide outreach like playing at Padre Previews and other places in the community. They raise money for families in need around Christmas time. They help to serve in the music program's best interest.

This is a club that is student run and meets once a month.