It’s time to see what this whole marching band thing is all about. It’s COMPETITION TIME! Students and parents, if you’re new to all of this, here’s everything you need to know about our competition days.
It may not seem like much, but those days are long! Start times depend on when we perform which we won’t know until closer to each event. We’ll begin each day with a morning practice at the school. Students should wear their practice attire. They also need to bring their show shirts, long black socks, and any “hippie” accessories they want to wear to EACH COMPETITION! We will not have extra show shirts with us, and extra long black socks may not be available. Students should also bring money for food during the day. They can pack a lunch and extra drinks, but be sure it is in an insulated cooler/lunch box.
We’ll have 3 buses to take us to the venues. Boys will be on one bus, girls on another, and the third bus will be for overflow. We’ll load the buses and head over to the event. Once we are there the band will begin dressing and head to warm ups. After they perform they will bring their uniforms back to the trailer and they are free to watch the rest of the bands perform. Awards are announced at the end of the day. The drum major and band captains will dress and head down to the field to collect any awards we may receive, while the rest of the band watches and cheers from the stands. That will conclude the event. We then get back on our buses and head back to the school. Parents will be notified via Remind when we are close to the school so that you may come pick up your students.
Please note, ALL band members MUST help unload the truck at the end of the night! Believe me, we understand how tired everyone is and how we all just want to go home, and that will be accomplished much faster the more hands we have unloading instruments and equipment from the truck. So if you’re a parent sitting in the car waiting for your student, jump out and lend a hand so we can all go home and get to bed.
Calling All Volunteers!
These are the days when we really need your help! During competitions, parent volunteers are needed to chaperone buses, help load and unload the truck, pass out uniforms, give water to the band, help bring the pit instruments and props on and off the field, drive the truck, and tow the trailer.
We have 3 buses and will need a minimum of 3 volunteers for each bus. Bus chaperones will take attendance when the students board the buses to ensure that every student if accounted for. There will be a cooler full of water and snacks on each bus for you to pass out to the students. The rides to and from competitions is a time for the band members to pump themselves up and celebrate the day. As long as they are not being rude, inappropriate, or distracting the bus driver this is allowed.
When we’re back at school in the evening, do a quick sweep of the bus to pick up any trash or items left behind.
Pit & Prop Crew:
You will be assisting pit with getting their instruments back and forth on the field. For those of you carrying props, you will only carry them up to the field. The marchers themselves must carry them on to the field and set them up. On especially windy days we may need volunteers to stand behind the photo props to keep them from flying off (you laugh, but it happens 🙂 ). Each band is timed with how fast they get on and off the field so when the show is over let them grab their props and get off the field as soon as possible. If you are a parent behind a prop you too will need to be off the field as quickly as you can.
The trailer we use for uniforms is too small and cramped to have the whole band come through so you volunteers will be in the trailer ready to hand out uniforms. Students will stand in line and when it’s their turn they will give you their number and you will hand them their red uniform bag. They will take it away and dress and then return it to the trailer for you to rehang. While this isn’t a terribly complicated process with this year’s costumes, during the years when we have a more traditional uniform where there is a lot more to keep track of, this way of doing it really helps to streamline the process.
In past years we’ve brought along 5 gallon wter coolers and cups to server the kids during their warms ups. We have discovered that it’s much easier to serve them the small 8oz water bottles during competitions instead. While the students are in arc you will go around and set a water bottle in front of them. They may be in a hurry and not able to find a trash can (or be allowed to walk off to find one) so be sure to have an available garbage bag and go around and pick up the left over bottles they leave behind. You will then return the water wagon back to the trailer and you can watch the show from the stands.
For every competition we rent a Penske box truck to transport our equipment. We need one more parent volunteer to ride with Josh in the truck
The trailer we bring along carries our band uniforms and some equipment the band needs for each performance. Most years Val and Dean Moore have taken on this task, but this will be their last year so next year we will be needing new volunteers for this position. You will need to use your own vehicle with heavy tow capacity, and (obviously) have a trailer hitch.
All volunteers must be registered with the Hernando County school board as at least a Level 1 volunteer. If you have not done that yet please take a moment to submit your ONLINE APPLICATION HERE
Entry fees, parking, and concessions are how the hosting schools make their money to pay for these events so everyone needs to come prepared for these fees. Entry fees can run anywhere from $10 to $15 per person per event, and Finals will run you about $20 per person (Please note that Semi Finals and Finals are two different events, each with their own entry fee!). If you are not riding the buses with the band there is also an additional parking fee which can be anywhere from $5-$15 depending on the venue. When I have that information I will pass it on before each event so you can prepare.
We understand that not everyone can go to these competitions, but would still like to help. One thing you can do is donate! We are always in need of donations on competition days. Any of the following would be greatly appreciated:
Water bottles: 8oz
Fruits: bananas, grapes, etc
Chips (snack bags)
We’re all looking forward to a great season, but that means more than just collecting trophies. We need everyone to help make this a success. Thank you so much to all of our wonderful volunteers so far. You guys have been truly amazing, and we’re so happy to have you in our band family!