Archive Music Project

CHS Music Legacy Archive Project has met its goal!!

Here are the links to the content.

Archive Sampler (“Best Of” Collection)

1962 Choral and Orchestra Winter Holiday Concert (December 1962)

1963 Spring Choral Concert (May 1963)

1963 Spring Instrumental Concert - Orchestra and Symphonic Band (May 1963)

1964 Spring Symphonic Band and String Orchestra (recording date unknown)

1965 Symphonic Band and Jazz Band “Sensatico” Concert (January 1965)


1965 Spring Symphonic Band and Orchestral Concert (recording date unknown)

1966 Choral Concert (recording date unknown)

1967 Choral Concert (recording date unknown)

1969 Choral Department (recording date unknown)

1969-70 Stage Band (Reel 2 – recording date unknown)

1969-70 Stage Band (Reel 3 – recording date unknown)

1969-70 Stage Band (Reel 11 – recording date unknown)

1969-70 Stage Band (Reel 13 – recording date unknown)

1971-72 Stage Band/Jazz Combo w/”Power “ (Reel 8 – recording date unknown)

1972-73 Stage Band (Reel 17 – recording date unknown)

UNIDENTIFIED 1970s RECORDINGS (reel numbers do not indicate year recorded)*

Concert Band/Orchestra (Reel 1 – recording date unknown)

Concert Band/Orchestra “Carmina Burana” (Reel 4 – recording date unknown)

Orchestra, Stage Band & Concert Band (Reel 10 – recording date unknown)

Symphonic Orchestra (Reel 6 – recording date unknown)

Symphonic Concert Band (Reel 12 – recording date unknown)

Stage/Jazz Band (Reel 5 – recording date unknown)

Stage/Jazz Band Concert (Reel 7 – recording date unknown)

Stage Band Concert (Reel 14 – recording date unknown)

Stage Band Concert (Reel 15 – recording date unknown)

Stage Band Concert (Reel 16 – recording date unknown)

Stage Band Concert (Reel 18 – recording date unknown)

*Please contribute any details about the year of recordings, unidentified compositions or student musician’s names by leaving comments in “Your Insights” (accessible by clicking on the “More” button on individual tracks). Need an Soundcloud account for this feature.

Thanks to everyone that contributed. We are also raising for music from other years. If you have any old records of Crawford music let us know.

From the late 1960’s through mid-70’s, San Diego’s Will C. Crawford High School produced an extraordinary number of talented young musicians who would go on to enjoy professional careers as performers, composers, producers and music educators.  Many continue to thrive on stages, in studios and at educational institutions throughout the country, while others who left a significant mark in music have sadly passed on too soon.

For all who were part of this unique performing arts hotbed, their unifying force was Music Director Dennis Foster (’67-’75).  Under Mr. Foster’s leadership, many of Crawford’s ensembles were among the most respected and awarded in Southern California, particularly in the field of jazz.

In 1989, KPBS-TV produced a performance documentary reuniting some of Crawford’s most illustrious music alums from the early 70’s (Hollis Gentry, Nathan East, Carl Evans, Jr., Doug Robinson and Marchelle Minafee), who each recounted their development as artists at CHS.  Here are some highlights from that (courtesy of KPBS): 

Now in retirement near Tucson, Dennis Foster wishes to leave a legacy of Crawford’s music excellence and achievement to future generations of CHS and San Diego Unified students and teachers with his library of studio and concert recordings of the Colt jazz/stage bands, concert bands and orchestras he led.  These often professionally captured performance tapes include the only known recording of works specially commissioned for the Crawford ensembles of this era.

The delicate process of digitally transferring audiotape of this vintage requires the expertise and equipment of a specialist.  It involves the “baking” of reels in a convection oven to loosen the tightly packed magnetic tape and ensure that the recorded material adheres to its tape backing upon playback after decades in storage.  For this project we have arranged the services of L.A.’s leading tape archivist to the music industry, longtime Capitol Studios engineer Bill Smith of United Archiving.

Funds raised for the Crawford High Music Legacy Project cover the projected costs of transferring Mr. Foster’s tapes, the establishment of a digital music archive for Crawford High School plus all associated shipping and handling expenses.  Current plans include making the archive accessible to interested alumni, project contributors and community members.

Whether you played in a Crawford music ensemble, support the idea of arts education in our schools or merely recognize the value of preserving these exceptional performances for future aspiring CHS musicians, your tax-deductible contribution will help create an enduring digital archive of these one-of-a-kind recordings.  Please join in this exciting rediscovery and appreciation of a special era at Crawford High.

Music was an important part of our High School experience. Please donate today!