Dear marching band student and parent,
The purpose of this letter is to provide an overview of logistics involved with after-school rehearsals that will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28. Our rehearsal schedule is as follows: Mondays and Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30pm; Thursdays 5:30-8:30pm.
1) Plan ahead! Bring a comfortable change of clothes to school (NO JEANS at rehearsals), including socks and athletic shoes. Rehearsals in August and September tend to be warm, so dress accordingly. No matter what the forecast, assume that we will be rehearsing outside.
2) Drink/Eat wisely! Drink plenty of water throughout the school day and after school (you can carry your water bottle around). Avoid soda/junk snacks and be sure to eat lunch. We will be providing students with snacks in the band hall immediately after school so that they will have energy to burn. Students will also be provided with plenty of water throughout the rehearsal. Students who drink and eat well throughout the day and dress appropriately for the heat usually do not have a problem. Our band staff are able to handle minor health problems and we also have access to Ms. Fleming, our full-time athletic trainer for the school.
3) Be careful where you store your belongings after school. If possible, keep them with you or store them in your cars. The band room is typically NOT locked as a lot of folks (students and parents) are in and out when everyone is outside; therefore, nothing is totally secure in a public space and you must be smart with regard to items that have exceptional value (cell phones, purses, etc.).
4) Be on time! After-school rehearsals will start promptly at 3:30pm, usually on our practice field. If the weather is threatening or inclement, we will meet in the band room. Students are encouraged to use the time between 3:00 (end of school) and 3:30 to change clothes, grab a snack, check-off music, and visit with other teachers as necessary.
5) Practice will end on time, usually at the practice field or band room. I wish to respect everyone’s time, including my own. I RARELY GO OVER TIME. However, in the event that we end a few minutes late, please be patient. It always has a important reason. Remember that students must return to the band room to put equipment away before they leave. Usually this adds only 10-15 minutes. I do expect students to promptly leave campus when rehearsal ends so the staff and I can go home to our families.
6) Marching rehearsals take priority over all other school activities. If you are part of a group/club that meets after school, you may attend any meeting until 3:20pm at which time you are to come to marching rehearsal. Please inform your teacher/advisor that you are in the marching band; they will respect your sense of commitment. Clubs which meet after school on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday are usually not a problem. Regular marching rehearsals end the first week of November. If you anticipate a serious conflict, please see the band directors.
7) All after-school rehearsals are mandatory. If a student is absent from school or leaves school early, a courtesy email to the band director would be appreciated. The director reserves the right to withhold a student from performing if material is not learned and/or attendance is poor. Also, it is expected that if a student is well enough to come to school, he/she is well enough to march. If this is not the case, a note must be presented from a parent or a doctor.
8) Monday Rehearsals are typically dropped in October. But this ONLY happens if all drill is learned! Work hard, play hard, in that order … that’s my motto 🙂
9) Sectionals. Student leaders may call after-school sectionals (usually on Wednesdays or Fridays) to address specific issues or polish music/movement. Although these sectionals carry less weight than a scheduled full-band rehearsal, students are expected to do their best to honor the request. If a student cannot attend a sectional due to a previous commitment, job, or large homework load, please provide a note to the section leader. We have asked our section leaders to be considerate with regard to providing advance notice (at least a week), specifying beginning and ending times (usually no more than an hour, and using sectional time wisely. It is the responsibility of the student leader to arrange for a parent chaperone or staff member to be on site. All sectionals must be cleared by Mr. Still prior to informing students.
We are off to a terrific start! We have had a very productive summer, we’ve got over 100 wonderful members, and we’ve got a GREAT SHOW! Everyone works so hard to make this thing called marching band happen! I realize that everyone sacrifices and I will never know some of those sacrifices… let me say thank you! Unlike sports teams, we do not have a bench or reserve players! EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT. Your courtesy in following the aforementioned guidelines will ensure that we will enjoy a productive and rewarding season.
Please let me know if you have any questions!