WHAT IS IT GOING TO COST ME FOR MY CHILD TO MARCH WITH THE BAND?
Fees - A course fee is set each year by the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Board of Education for those students selecting marching band and color guard as a class. These fees are broken into three payments paid to Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools at specified times. If payments are not made by the specified dates, the board has set aside consequences. These include inability to attend band camp and ineligibility of the individual to perform in competitions. If you are on the reduced lunch program, you can check with the Board of Education regarding assistance with band fees. It is EXTREMELY important that your music course fees are paid on time because your child has been assigned a spot for the show and if fees are not paid there is a hole in the show that effects the entire band! Remember, this fee does not go to the Booster organization to cover costs that the Boosters are expected to pay. Booster money is earned by various fundraisers.
Fundraisers – The students and parents of marching band and guard members are expected to help with the fundraisers developed by the music boosters. The music boosters need fundraising because the class fee only covers a small part of the cost of providing award-winning programs for the students. It is important for the music program to keep the costs to the individual family low enough that any child with the desire to be a part of band has the opportunity to be involved. This is a unique and important part of the Bellbrook Marching Band – access is not denied due to student ability or finances. Several fundraisers are developed each year to ensure that the costs of the program are met. These fundraisers include selling things (such as flowers and calendars) and also time commitments (such as Bellbrook Invitational, Bellbrook Winter Guard Invitational, UD concessions, Dayton Dragon concessions).
Uniforms – The main (Fall) band and guard uniforms are provided for the students to use, but each marcher is responsible to buy certain pieces of the uniforms. Generally these items are only purchased once unless the student loses them, out grows them, or damages them beyond use. The items the individual marching students must purchase include: black drillmaster shoes, black cotton band gloves, nylon warm ups, summer polo shirt, white sure grip gloves (field commanders only). These items are ordered through the Music Boosters. Sometimes, it is possible to obtain these items from students who are graduating or who are no longer in band at a reduced cost. The students are also responsible for supplying their own khaki (tan) shorts, white gym shoes, and white socks to complete the summer uniform. Marching band members also will need black socks, black t-shirt (with sleeves), and black bike pants or shorts to wear under their uniforms. Colorguard members need to buy a body suit, gloves, guard shoes, summer polo shirt, and nylon warm ups. You will be given information on the specific details by the guard staff.
Optional costs – Parents will also find that there are optional costs involved with having a child in band. These costs include: admissions to competitions (for the parents), travel (for parents going to competition), gifts between band members (tradition has it that small gifts and candy are exchanged between various band members, sections, and big and little siblings).
WHAT TYPE OF FUNDRAISING DO I HAVE TO DO?
Scrip - Scrip is another term for gift certificates from many national retailers purchased at face value from the Bellbrook Music Boosters. Scrip is identical to gift certificates that you would purchase directly from stores and is used in the same manner. Scrip is available for everyday expenses like groceries, restaurants, gasoline, books, clothing, hardware and other essentials. Scrip also makes great gifts. A portion of the script sales is credited back to the student to help reduce band fees.
UD concessions – Each family is expected to work a specified number of slots. These slots can be filled by anyone age 18 years and older. We are responsible for making various food products and serving them.
Bellbrook Invitational - Bellbrook Music Boosters hold a Marching Band Invitational each Fall for area marching bands to compete and each Winter for Winterguards and Drumlines to compete. Booster families are expected to help out on the various committees for these events.
Flower sales – Students are expected to take orders for and deliver flowers each Spring and Winter. Students and parents are encouraged to help unload the trucks the day the flowers are delivered. Part of the money made from the flower sales helps defray the cost to the student for the course fee.
Calendars – Each family is expected to sell 10 calendars. These calendars can be sold with pre-sales or can be sold after they are printed and delivered in August. The calendars are a great way to keep track of what is going on in the community. The calendar lists not only band events, but also school events and other community activities.
Dayton Dragons - Each family is expected to work a specified number of slots. These slots can be filled by anyone age 16 years and older with an active/valid Dragons training badge. We are responsible for making various food products and serving them and keeping the concession stand clean as well as doing inventory of the products in the stand. A limited number of students can be scheduled to work each game.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF A PARENT OF A MARCHING BAND STUDENT?
A parent of a marching band student requires flexibility – places, times of practice, etc. do change based on the needs of the band. Changes in schedules are kept to a minimum but they do occur and consequently, parents need to be flexible. Your child, as well as all students and staff, need your support. There will be times when your child or your child’s friend becomes discouraged. Your encouragement to keep plugging along will help get them to the next competition and to Nationals. Even the experienced marchers occasionally need to be reminded of why they are investing so much effort. But when they are reminded of the feeling they get standing on the floor at Nationals, they all want to continue toward that goal. We also need your assistance on various committees and activities (we value your time and energy as much or more than your financial support).
WHAT KIND OF SUPERVISION DOES MY CHILD HAVE WHEN THEY ARE WITH THE BAND?
Boosters volunteers chaperone all events with the band. A nurse or medical person is available to the students and staff at all practices and events. Contact the head of the chaperone committee if you are interested in helping out with the chaperone duties. It is a great way to meet other kids and it is not necessary or encouraged to chaperone the same group as your child.
SHOULD I CONTINUE PRIVATE LESSONS OR ADD PRIVATE LESSONS FOR MY CHILD?
This is an individual choice. Lessons never hurt and can only help anyone improve. Some families find that a more flexible lesson schedule or no lessons during marching season is desirable. Other families do not take lessons at all. If your child is serious about continuing with music, private lessons are encouraged.
WHEN WILL I EVER GET TO SEE WHAT MY CHILD IS DOING WITH BAND?
In general, the marching band will perform their show at each Friday home football game. At home games, the band performs the entire show. The band also performs at various competitions on Saturdays during the Fall progressing towards the Bands of America Grand Nationals at Indianapolis, Indiana. On special occasions, the band will not perform at half-time (senior night, homecoming, etc.). On these nights, the band typically performs the entire show following the football game for alumni and others who wish to remain for their performance. Weather permitting, the band does a community command performance of the program shortly before their trip to Grand Nationals in November.
Parents are able to watch practices from the hill near the band field at any time. Parents are asked, however, to not disturb students and staff during practices. It is remarkable to see the differences in the marching and music as the season progresses. The kids also appreciate the support of the parents who take a few minutes towards the end of practice to see what they are doing.
AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION OF MY CHILD TO EVENTS AND PRACTICES?
Many students carpool to and from practices and from the school before and after events. (Older students are allowed to transport younger students to and from band practices with parent permission.)
I AM GOING TO BE AT A BAND EVENT. DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO RIDE HOME WITH THE BAND?
Students are expected to ride to all events with the band. (Occasionally special exceptions are made by prior arrangement with the music staff.) Students may ride home from events with their parents IF a parental permission note is given to the chaperones before leaving for the event. You may bring home your child’s friend IF the child has a note from his/her parents and gives it to the chaperones before leaving for the event. It is the responsibility of the parent to meet the student at the band truck or bus and check in with the chaperones before taking the child.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT THE INFORMATION I NEED?
There are a variety of ways used to communicate in the band and booster organization. Some of the ways you need to become accustomed to using are:
*band web site
*booster meetings (generally the 1st Monday of the month)
*weekly itineraries are given to students during the marching season (ask your child for this early each week)
*booster leadership (see web site for contacts)