WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THE STUDENTS IN MARCHING BAND?
Students are expected to attend band camp at Urbana University. Students are also expected to attend rehearsals though occasional excused absences may be made for rehearsals. Memorization of music prior to band camp is highly encouraged and is expected as the season progresses and the music is modified to fit the program. Students are also expected to want to be at practices and strive to do their best at each practice and competition.
HOW MUCH TIME IS SPENT PRACTICING?
Pre-camps – Generally there are practices Mon-Fri from 9am-1pm, starting in July.
Camps – Band camp is two days at "home" and then four days away. Usually, this camp is held at Urbana University where the students focus on music and drill for the upcoming show. There are also intense team building and leadership skills that are learned at band camp. Band camp is a closed camp where visitors are not permitted so the students can focus on the up-coming marching season. This may be the first time some students have been away from home for an extended time and can be stressful for students and parents alike. Parents are NOT encouraged to visit during this concentrated week of practice.
Post-camp – Generally there are practices Tues-Thurs from 9am-9pm, with a lunch break from 12pm-1:30pm and a dinner break from 4:30pm-6pm. Occasionally there will be an added Monday or Friday practice.
After school practices - During August-Oct, while school is in session, practices will be held after school on various days. Exact dates and times will be announced.
Saturdays during school – During September and October there are some Saturdays that are used for additional practices in preparation for competitions. Exact dates and times will be announced.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MARCHING BAND PRACTICE?
*Your instrument! This would include your musical instrument, your flag(s), drumsticks, mallets, etc. In other words, whatever will you be using on the marching field as part of the Band needs to come to each practice, beginning with the first practice.
*Water--- Water--- Water--- Staying hydrated during practices is important.
*A small ring notebook (called your Dot Book) and pencil to use for writing notes. Many band members put a shoestring through the rings of a notebook and hang it from their waist to write notes quickly and easily.
*YOUR POSITIVE, HARD WORKING ENERGY!!! A positive spirit is needed by all members of the band. Please come prepared to work, have fun, and be proud of your efforts.
WILL I BE EXPECTED TO KNOW THE MUSIC BY HEART? WHEN?
Indeed, you will need to be able to play and memorize the music performed by the band. There will be a schedule kept to check off skills in music. When you are expected to have the music memorized varies depending on the number of years you’ve been a part of the band. But, the bottom line, rookie or veteran, everyone needs to learn the music, play the music and have it memorized!
WILL I HAVE TO MARCH AND PLAY THE MUSIC AT THE SAME TIME?
Simply put, YES!! That is what “it’s” all about. Again, consideration is given to the skill levels of the rookies or the veterans. But, yes, please join the band knowing you will eventually be marching and playing at the same time.
WHO IS A ROOKIE?
Anyone performing with the Band for their first season is a ROOKIE! Even the parents of the Band Boosters with children in their first season are called Rookies!! Many times “rookies” are incoming freshmen, but not always. There are upperclassmen who join the band, then they are rookies too.
WHO IS A VETERAN?
Anyone who has completed one season of performing with the Band.
HOW WILL I LEARN TO MARCH OR PLAY OR TWIRL A FLAG/SABER/RIFLE? The marching band staff, under the leadership of Director Chris Foster, will teach you as well as the veteran student members. The large group will spend a lot of time in smaller groups learning the steps, the music etc. Slowly, you will gain skill and be "checked off" when you can demonstrate your expertise.
THERE ARE PRACTICE TIMES, BUT WILL I NEED TO PRACTICE AT HOME ALSO? YES! The old words of "practice makes perfect" is indeed true. You will need (and will be expected to) practice on your own to learn the music and other skills.
DO I HAVE TO ATTEND EVERY PRACTICE?
Yes. For additional details on this question, please refer directly to the Band Handbook, Bellbrook Band, Attendance Policy. Bottom Line: ANY excuse must be approved by one of the Band directors prior to an absence.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE A DOCTOR’S PHYSICAL? Yes. All Band and Color Guard members must have a signed Doctor's Physical on file with the BHS Athletic Office.
HOW EASY WILL IT BE TO GET TO KNOW OTHER BAND MEMBERS?
Bellbrook Marching Band has a history of being a second family to their members. Many of the students who have experienced marching band have developed friendships with students of different grade levels. Each rookie marcher is given a big brother/big sister to help them through their first year of marching band. The students (and parents) try to be friendly and are willing to help each other out with transportation etc.
WHAT KIND OF PHYSICAL CONDITIONING DO I NEED TO MARCH IN BAND?
Marching is a difficult and physically strenuous activity, BUT it is possible for ALL students who are willing to make the effort to be a part of marching band. It is recommended that the student begin to do some exercise prior to band camp. At camp and during practices students learn to do stretches and at times run or jog to increase their physical endurance in preparation for the requirements of the show.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT UNIFORMS?
Fittings – Uniforms are fitted to the students each year. Uniform fittings begin with the seniors and continue through the freshmen. It is important that each student gets fitted each year for a uniform (sizes change for many kids). Fitting schedules and times will be announced.
Uniform Parts – The marching uniform consists of a jacket, a pair of bib pants, a pair of gauntlets, a cinch, a shako (helmet), a Crow (plume), a pair of gloves, and a pair of black drill master shoes. In addition, students are required to supply certain personal items including a black tee shirt (with sleeves), a pair of black socks, and a pair of black "bike" (spandex) shorts. Students often have to change in public areas and should plan undergarments accordingly! (hence the black shorts and tee shirts). All uniform parts (except for personal items and gloves) are stored in a special garment bag in the uniform closet at the band room.
How to wear uniforms – Students are taught proper care and respect of uniforms when they are fitted for a uniform. Students MUST be responsible for returning ALL pieces of uniforms to the proper location between and after competitions and events.
Cleaning – Parents/students are responsible for laundering gloves and personal items (socks and items worn under the uniform). The Uniform Committee will be responsible for washing and maintaining the uniforms.
Fittings – Uniform fittings are done each year.
Uniform Parts – body suit, outer body suit/uniform, gloves, guard shoes, make-up, other personal items.
How to wear uniforms – Students are taught proper care and respect of uniforms when they are given a uniform. Students MUST be responsible for returning ALL pieces of uniforms to the proper location between and after competitions and events.
Cleaning - Parents/students are responsible for laundering gloves, socks, and items worn under the uniform. The Uniform Committee will be responsible for washing and maintaining the uniforms.
WHAT KIND OF RECOGNITION IS GIVEN TO MARCHING BAND MEMBERS?
Each fall there is a Band and Guard Recognition Dinner that students and families are invited to attend. Awards for various categories are given out by the Music Staff. Students also get their participation certificates and letters, etc. during this ceremony. Trophies and medals for championships are given at the various competitions. There is also an awards ceremony in the spring during the Spring Concert for music activities that take place after the marching season.