The Silver Regiment
The Lake Howell High School Silver Regiment, under the direction of Mr. Jose Eslava, is a multi-award winning group of students with ensembles including: marching band, color guard, wind ensemble, symphonic band, jazz band, multiple percussion ensembles, brass choir, and woodwind choir.
The Silver Regiment has a rich history, dating back almost 50 years, rooted in tradition and commitment to music excellence. The official mascot of the Silver Regiment is TUG.
Mr. Jose Eslava
Director of Bands and Guards
Mr. Eslava (Lake Howell Alumnus, Class of 2004) is a graduate of Rollins College (2008), where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and his Music K-12 Teaching Certification. In the Rollins College Music Department, Mr. Eslava focused on performance, where he played flute and piccolo in the Rollins Flute, Jazz and Wind Ensemble; bassoon in the Rollins Orchestra; percussion in the Rollins Percussion Ensemble, and he was an active mellophone player in the Basketball Pep Band. Mr. Eslava had the opportunity to perform on flute and piccolo in several concerts with the Bach Festival Orchestra in Winter Park and the Orlando Concert Band. In the summers of 2006-2008, Mr. Eslava performed across the country competing with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, where he marched mellophone.
Mr. Eslava’s teaching experiences includes being the Associate Director of Bands at Boone High School from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2014. He was responsible for AP Music Theory, the Symphonic Band, Piano 1, three percussion classes (Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced), co-director of the Boone Winter Guard 2010-2012 and Co-Director of the JV Guard 2013-2014 when the program grew and split into two groups.
While in college, Mr. Eslava was the Woodwind Instructor for the Lake Howell Silver Regiment Marching Band from the fall of 2004 through 2008. He completed his senior internship at Lake Brantley High School in the fall of 2008. At Lake Brantley, Mr. Eslava worked with the Marching and Concert Bands, the Percussion Ensembles, and taught the AP Music Theory class. He also did some clinician work at Teague Middle School and Tuskawilla Middle School. Mr. Eslava has been on staff with the Pegasus Independent A Winter Guard for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He is also currently on the Administrative Staff for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps where he has been since the summer of 2011.
The Silver Regiment at a Glance
In the beginning...
Lake Howell High School opened in 1974, and at the time the band program was much different than that of today. Under the direction of Roland Castro (1974-1981) the band wore white “space marching” uniforms, and had many different traditions, but nevertheless was the foundation for the future.
The late 70's and 80's...
A few years later the band program began to take shape and received the name “The Silver Regiment” and a logo. At this time they shaped the band program after Drum Corps International, particularly the Blue Devils, so much so that the new uniforms were identical to that of the Blue Devils!
The band program was quite prosperous during the 80’s. Under the direction of Greg Martin (1981-1986); Phil Jennings (1986-1987); Doug Stoun (1987-1989) and Ernie Lombardi (1989-1991) the band received many awards from all over the state and country.
TUG was born...
There was an idea born in the ranks of the Band Boosters Association at this time that led to the creation of the Silver Regiment’s own mascot. The late Gary Berns, a founding member of the Lake Howell Band Boosters Association, had adapted the then-popular newspaper cartoon figure of “Ziggy” and made him into a band member with his own uniform. But this figure needed a name, as “Ziggy” was already the name of Tom Wilson’s nationally syndicate newspaper character, and not exactly appropriate for a marching band.
It was also during these times that the band had a special phrase that was bestowed upon them by early band directors after an outstanding performance. That phrase was “thumbs up guys!” As the band traveled throughout the state, participating in dozens of adjudicated marching band events, quite often it became difficult to tell how well our band performed against some very close competition. It was not unusual to have judging delayed for hours, with everyone waiting anxiously for the results. During an afternoon at one such event, our band parents kept score as the competition progressed. The Lake Howell band parents united and suddenly, in that crowded stadium, about 50 of them stood up and shouted as one: “THUMBS UP, GUYS!”
The band, seated across the field recognized the meaning of the signal. The other bands, their directors, and audience did not understand why they were the only group making noise at the time, since no scores were officially announced yet. Later, as about 20 bands were assembled on the field to learn their scores, each band reacted with a loud cheer, many hugs, and excitedly jumping around as their names were announced. But, as The Silver Regiment was announced as the Overall Winner, the band simply came to attention, and a salute from the Drum Majors was the only reaction from the entire band. They had already known that they had done well enough to make the finals by the band parents’ “Thumbs Up, Guys” signal earlier. The crowd was stunned by The Silver Regiment’s silent, but dignified reaction to their success.
And so the phrase “Thumbs Up, Guys” was shortened to T.U.G; and the mascot had a name.
The 90's and beyond...
Under the direction of Charles Watford (1992-2000) and Todd Leighton (2000-2009) the band continued to grow and prosper into a highly recognized marching music ensemble with a very strong tradition.
In 2010, with the introduction of a new band director, Francis Franqui (2009-2011), came a new band logo. This marked the beginning of a new era for the Silver Regiment. The change was embraced and in 2010, the Silver Regiment finished 2nd in their class at State Finals, ranking 6th overall.
The Silver Regiment today...
Still today, the Silver Regiment consists of a marching music ensemble comprised of brass, woodwinds, percussion, and color guard, as well as many other performance ensembles. They are highly recognized as an exceptional band program, on and off the field.
Over the years the band students, the instructors, and the logos have changed, but many of the traditions are still in place: TUG is still the mascot; The band still stands silently at attention after receiving an award; Before performances, two concentric circles are formed with an inner circle of seniors and “The Greatest Love of All” is sung by all members.
The love and dedication from the band members, parents, and instructors are stronger than ever. A key ingredient to having such a successful band program is the dedicated students, volunteers, parents, friends and alumni and the countless hours of time donated to the band