A Guide for New Band Parents
Marching season is quickly approaching! It’s a time of new beginnings, excitement, and fun, however, it also can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of the season. So, if you’re a new band parent, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- During the regular football season, the band only plays at home games.
- This year, home games are scheduled for Friday: 9/6, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11 and 10/25
- The games usually start at 7:30, but band members are expected to be dressed and ready to practice in the band room much earlier. They’ll be informed of this “call time” before each game.
- Band uniforms are stored at the school in a storage room near the band room.
- On game day, band members should arrive at the band room wearing athletic shorts, their band tee shirt, long black socks, and their marching shoes. (Quite the fashion statement.) They’ll then put on their uniforms over their shorts and tees, and finally their gloves, and hats and plumes that are also stored at the school. Band members with long hair must put their hair in a ponytail and tuck it under their hat.
- If they’re missing a component of their uniform, they’ll have to pay a fee to rent it for that game.
- Dressed in uniform, they perform a pre-game show and a half-time show, and then head back to the band room to change into casual clothes to participate in the pep band during the 4th quarter.
- Typically, there’s a student dress up theme of the week, which pep band members follow e.g., dress up like the 80’s, white out, or in business attire, etc. Band members will be informed of the theme earlier in the week.
- When you attend a game, you’ll have to purchase a ticket. Your band member, however, gets in free. You can purchase tickets at the gate, or buy an activity pass for $30 per person/$70 per family that will allow you entrance to every regular season football and basketball game as well as discounted admission to a few school theater activities.
- The marching band will practice every day during school, but they also practice every Tuesday night during marching band season from 7:00 – 9:00. A few exceptions this year are Wednesday, August 28, Monday, September 23, Monday, October 7, Wednesday, October 16th and Monday, October 21 instead of the usual Tuesday night that week.
- The 7:00 start time means the time that they’re on the football field ready to practice. They wear casual clothes, athletic shoes, and have their instruments, lyres, and music. As the fall progresses, outdoor night practices can get chilly so make sure your band student is dressed accordingly.
- One Saturday each year, the band is bussed to Evanston to march on Northwestern University’s (NU) field along with dozens of other high school bands as well as the NU collegiate band. It’s a beautiful sight to see all of the various band colors march onto the field and listen to hundreds of band students play in unison. If you’d like to attend this game, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase tickets. Band members get in free. This year, the NU Band Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 14th. More details will be sent our way from Mr. Thompson as the date approaches.
- The regular marching band season concludes with the spirited Band-O-Rama concert that’s held indoors in the PAC. This year, it’s scheduled for Thursday 10/17. Band-O-Rama is the best of both worlds in that parents can watch their uniformed kids perform the lively marching band tunes and wacky band dance up close and personal yet in the comfort of the school auditorium. Flags are twirling, drums are banging, and horns are blaring in celebration of yet another fun and successful marching band season.
Please share this piece with any new band parents you might know!