About Us

Saratoga Community Band, History

The Saratoga Community Band was founded in 1989 by Craig Northup with just 35 members. Today, the band numbers up to 80 musicians ranging in age from 16 to 80+. The band is sponsored by Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation, and is open to all interested musicians in the California Bay area. The band rehearses weekly; small ensembles from the band also perform for local events.

In June 2010 at the San Francisco Golden Gate Community Band Festival, the band was awarded a CERTIFICATE of SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL RECOGNITION from the Congress of the United States of America for outstanding service to our community.

Mike Boitz, Director

The Saratoga Community Band members are pleased to welcome Michael Boitz as our new Director beginning in February, 2022. Mr. Boitz is Director of Orchestra and Band at Saratoga High School, Saratoga, CA, where he is serving in his 24th year, 20 years of which he served as Visual and Performing Arts Chair.

Michael has been awarded both the CMEA (California Music Educators Association) Band Educator of the year and the Richard R. Levin Orchestra Educator of the Year. He has been named Teacher-of-the-Year by the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District, the CMEA Bay Section Gilbert T. Freitas Award for Excellence in Music Education, and has been inducted into the John Phillip Sousa Legion of Honor. Michael has also personally been awarded Honorary Commendations from the City of Saratoga, as well as the Band Program and Orchestra Program have both been awarded Honorary Commendations from the City of Saratoga on multiple occasions.

(The excerpt above is from the Saratoga Music Boosters.)

Craig Northrup, Founder & Director Emeritus

Mr. Craig Northrup, in addition to being the founder of the Saratoga Community Band, has also served as the Band Director at Saratoga High School, Music Director of the Vienna International Music Festival in Austria, and Music Director at West Valley College. He has both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Mr. Northrup stepped down as full-time director of the Saratoga Community Band in 2013, but now serves as the band’s principal clarinetist.

He also continues to keep his hand in directing by conducting a Sousa March at every concert!