On October 9, 1937, a group of 15 school band directors met in Los Angeles to discuss problems common to their profession. They shared a feeling that important issues confronting the public music teachers throughout Southern California were not being adequately addressed. As a result of this meeting, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association was formed.

As major issues concerning instrumental music in schools developed, the organization began to undertake a more formal program of activities designed to benefit the school music director and his/her students. Clinics, workshops, festivals, uniform adjudication procedures, music lists and other activities were established to meet this goal.

Today, the SCSBOA is the largest professional organization serving music teachers in 11 southern counties of California. It serves over 1,000 schools in the Southern California region, affecting over 100,000 students in instrumental music.