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About Us

Our Mission: 

To provide a program that will develop well-rounded musicians who are prepared to face the challenges of an ever-changing musical world.  In addition, we are directed toward maintaining a leadership role as a prominent member of the Hayward High School Community as well as the City of Hayward.The Hayward High Instrumental Music Program’s educational outreach and partnership programs include sponsoring clinics, soloists, clinicians, guest conductors, and exchange programs with local area music programs.

Meet Our Staff:

Nicholas Tocco playing the guitarNicholas Tocco

Director of Instrumental Music
at Hayward High School

Nicholas Tocco began his musical journey in his hometown of San Diego at the age of three and a half, when he began piano lessons. At the age of seventeen Nick decided to focus his efforts on a new instrument, the guitar. While working towards a Mathematics degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, Nick also performed with many groups such as the Santa Barbara City College Jazz Ensemble, the UCSB Jazz Ensemble, and the UCSB Classical Guitar Ensemble. After graduating from the Mathematics program, Nick decided that he wanted to pursue a career in music.

Nick was accepted into the Graduate Program in Jazz Studies at San Diego State University..  It was here that he was able to explore in a deep way all areas of music including arranging, composition, conducting, pedagogy, and performance.  Nick was the guitarist in the San Diego State Jazz Ensemble, and also a founding member of the original jazz quintet Frame of Reference.  He was invited to teach at the National Guitar Workshop (Los Angeles Branch) in both 2008 and 2009.

After graduating from the Master’s Degree program., Nick stayed busy as both a teacher and performer.  He taught both private guitar and piano lessons to over 50 students, working with all ages and all musical styles.  This experience allowed Nick to hone his teaching skills and learn how to become a patient, efficient, and effective instructor.  

In 2011 Nick made a decision to further commit himself to Music Education and to pursue a teaching credential from San Diego State University. Since graduating in 2012, he has worked as both a regular and long-term substitute music teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school grade levels working with band, orchestra, and choir students.  Nick has been Instrumental Music Director at Hayward High since August 2013.  He currently works with the Jazz Band, the Concert/Marching Band, Piano Class, Guitar Class, and Orchestra.  He firmly believes that music has the power to change and enrich the lives of his students, and is excited about being at a school that values music education.  Nick is looking forward to carrying on the music program’s strong traditions, its sense of pride, and its commitment to excellence.

Stockton Band Review 2015
Fatima Shefa    

Head Color Guard Coach


Fatima Shefa is a recent graduate from Hayward High where she was heavily involved in multiple aspects of the music program.  She is probably most remembered for her voice that was featured in numerous talent shows and music performances. Watching the band perform made her realize that being involved with talented musicians and performers was something she wanted to continue to be involved with and learn from.  She started off in the Orchestra playing violin, and her love for the music program blossomed. Eventually, she joined the marching band and played the trumpet. Although she enjoyed marching with the band, it was not enough to fill her passion for performing.  Seizing the opportunity, she joined the color guard in her sophomore year.   Soon enough, she knew she found something that she truly enjoyed and could excel at as it combined her natural talent for playing music and dancing. 
At a young age, Fatima loved dancing and took some dance classes, but the cost and the challenge of getting taken to classes and rehearsals forced her to quit.  High School Color Guard reintroduced her to the joys of choreographed movement.  Although Color Guard often focuses on equipment work with flags and rifles and identification boards, it also uses a lot of ballet and contemporary dance.  Not only did she get to have fun and improve her skills performing, using the various equipment, she got to continue to show her love for dance.
In 2013, she graduated from Hayward High and began her studies across the bay at San Francisco State University.   Although she enjoys SF State, they do not have a Color Guard program for her to participate in.   When the perfect opportunity came up to lead a skilled color guard team, she did not hesitate to come back to her hometown and take on the role of coaching the Hayward High Color Guard while continuing her studies in the area of Liberal Studies.

Program Goals:

At the elementary, middle school and high school levels, we seek to:

  • Expand the technical, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual horizons of musicians.
  • Promote the highest performance standards that result in soul-to-soul music making. 
  • Prepare for the music of the future by exploring the music of the present while preserving the music of the past. 
  • Increase the awareness of the artistic and historical significance of music for winds and percussion. 
  • Create a positive music-making environment that allows the knowledge gained in the classroom to be applied to the ensemble performance. 
  • Provide a balanced experience that promotes creativity, flexibility and versatility in each musician.
  • Preserve the repertoire of the medium that has become a uniquely American art form. 
  • Broaden the concept of performance and teaching skills by encouraging creative thought and artistic interaction.

The Hayward High Instrumental Music Program has an important secondary mission, which is to provide the students with an avenue to develop their involvement in the performing arts. The Instrumental Music Program is committed to the concept of maintaining groups that encourage those who do not have career plans in music to develop the aesthetic self in addition to the academic self. We are dedicated to the education of the whole human through our involvement in the school community at large.