John Swett High School Band Presents World Premiere Friday, May 17 at 7pm

“A Dauntless Soul”, a new work by William Camphouse, was commissioned by the JSHS Music Program and composed especially for the student musicians of John Swett High School and Carquinez Middle School.

CROCKETT, CA – The annual spring concert at John Swett High School marks several exciting developments within the music program. First and foremost, the band premieres a brand new work for concert band by composer William Camphouse. “A Dauntless Soul” is an original, three-movement piece that celebrates the life and accomplishments of John Muir, who was also a close friend of John Swett. This performance will also be the last performance that was prepared in the school’s existing band room. Construction of a new music facility is scheduled for completion this summer and the band will enjoy a new home for the 2013-2014 school year.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. To get a brand new piece of music to celebrate a brand new facility that was composed specifically for our students with such a relevant tie-in to our school’s history….it’s really quite amazing” said band director Vincent Pitzulo.

Help us expand our music and arts program by supporting this visionary event.

Date: Friday, May 17th at 7:00pm
Location: John Swett High School Auditorium, 1098 Pomona Street, Crockett, CA 94525
Tickets: Free Admission


William Camphouse is engaged in music making with student, community-based and professional performing ensembles throughout a career that continues to provide inspiration, enjoyment and an opportunity to work with similarly motivated people. At Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois Camphouse developed and led a comprehensive community college music program making a vital contribution to the cultural life of the community and was designated Professor Emeritus on his retirement in 2003. He earned a Bachelor and Masters degree in music education from the University of Illinois and was named a Morris Doctoral Fellow at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Additionally, he studied conducting with John Paynter (Northwestern University), Catherine Comet (St. Louis Symphony) and Frederick Fennell (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

His interest in composition and arranging has been ongoing throughout his career and has resulted in a number of commissioned and published works for concert band and orchestra. Many are based on regionally inspired themes including A Lewis & Clark Celebration, Bridges, The Fighting 99th, Swallows in the Window and Of Timberland and Prairie. He collaborated with the late Senator Paul Simon, author of Freedom’s Champion: Elijah Lovejoy to create Let Every Man Remember, a musical homage to Lovejoy, documenting the life and times of the 19th century abolitionist. The work for wind ensemble and narrator earned the Illinois Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Composition Award in 2004.

Camphouse served as principal trumpet, rehearsal conductor and trustee of the Sangamon Valley Community Orchestra of Springfield, music director of the Quincy Area Youth Orchestra and the Rend Lake Civic Symphony. He has had the privilege of guest conducting premier adult wind bands including the Northshore Concert Band, Prairie Wind Ensemble, Wheaton Municipal Band and the Air Force Band of Mid-America. Presently, he is a member of the Quincy Concert Band, appears as a festival clinician throughout the mid-west and has presented workshops at the Illinois Music Educators Association annual meeting. Extra musical interests include membership in the Pike county “looking for Lincoln” Commission and service as Village President of Perry, Illinois where he and his wife, Kristine, also a music educator, are restoring their Civil War era family home. They are the parents of three sons.


“A Dauntless Soul” is how President Theodore Roosevelt describes John Muir (1838-1914) in a remembrance written in 1916. A Scot by birth, a mid-westerner during his teens & twenties and a Californian for most of his life, Muir embarked on a self-described journey as lifelong student studying at “the University of the Wilderness.” He could have easily earned a singular reputation as philosopher and intellectual, author and lecturer, and friend of influential contemporaries. But to narrowly define Muir in these ways would run contrary to his statement that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” This, his often quoted view of the natural world, may also apply to the interconnectedness of personal beliefs, abilities, intellect and imagination that were woven into the fabric of his life’s work.

His fervent love of and advocacy for the conservation of an unspoiled natural world is legendary. He marshaled support for Federal legislation leading to preservation of sites of ecological significance and profound beauty that include Yosemite National Forest and the creation of Sequoia, Mt. Ranier, Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National Parks. Muir is often regarded as the “Father of Our National Park System” setting aside places where humankind could actualize his belief that “everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir has been the inspiration for various musical works including dozens of folk ballads, a Broadway-style musical and various classical compositions for voice and orchestra that express, in their own way, something of his life, time and accomplishments. In creating “A Dauntless Soul,” it was my aim to represent three constants that are found throughout Muir’s words and evidenced in his deeds, and address these in terms accessible to student musicians and diverse audiences.


Founded in 1928, John Swett High School’s music program is proud to celebrate over 80 years of musical excellence! We are located in the small town of Crockett, CA and known as “the biggest little band on the street.”

Since our inception, the band has served as the school’s finest ambassador with a repertoire that ranges from Brahms to contemporary rock. This ensemble has entertained crowds from Southern California to Victoria, Canada. They have also performed in the Chinese New Year’s Parade in San Francisco, Disney’s Magic Music Days in Los Angeles, CA and music festivals throughout California. The Music Program at John Swett High School continues to grow each year. Originally starting with the Marching Band, a Wind Ensemble, Drum Line, Color Guard, Jazz Band, Choir, and Winter Guard programs have since been added.

The music program also has a contemporary music class dedicated to fostering music education through popular music and recording technology. Students are given the tools to prepare themselves for virtually any career in the music business.

Many of our graduating students have majored in music in college or continue to pursue their love for music based on their growth and experiences in our music program. Several of our band alumni have performed in college marching and symphonic bands across the country from Syracuse University in New York to University of California in Berkeley.

John Swett High School Band Boosters Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization primarily comprised of parents, guardians, family and friends dedicated to providing volunteers and raising funds to support and maintain a quality Music Program. The Boosters are governed by an Executive Board that meets on a quarterly basis to plan and manage the business affairs of the non-profit organization.

A general membership meeting, open to everyone, is generally held the second Tuesday of every month at 6:45pm in the school’s band room. These meetings offer the latest news about the program and its activities. This is also an opportunity to socialize and get to know other Boosters. Membership is free, highly recommended and open to supporters of each aspect of the Music Program. Our participation exhibits our support not only to the Music Program but more importantly, to our children.


Vincent Pitzulo is the director of music and chair of the fine art department at John Swett High School. He also teaches at Carquinez Middle School and is an adjunct faculty member at Solano Community College. In addition, Mr. Pitzulo is active in both NCBA and CMEA as a member, clinician, and adjudicator. Prior to joining the staff at JSHS, Mr. Pitzulo was principal percussionist with the USAF Band of the Golden West and toured the country extensively as a performer and clinician with the concert and jazz bands. During his tenure with the Air Force, he served as Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (NCOIC) and co-produced two successful CD projects for the percussion and Latin pop ensembles. Mr. Pitzulo is an active freelance musician and has performed with the Marin Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, Sacramento Choral Society, Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, and many others.