Welcome to the Family
Guide for New HS Band Parents
This information has been put together by a group of parents who spent a large portion of their “rookie year” in various stages of confusion. In the many hours spent together watching practices and performances, waiting to pick up kids, and following yellow school buses, we asked lots of questions.
As novice band parents, of course we wanted to know what we should do. We wanted to share with the “upcoming rookie parents” some of the answers to these many questions before we too forget how it felt not knowing what was going on…(of course we still don’t have all the answers)! In fact, if you think of something that you feel should be added to this page, email a band booster and they will get it on this page ASAP!
Being a member of the Woodland Park High School Band Program will bring your children an incredible, fulfilling, life changing educational experience. They will work hard and experience many triumphs, as well as disappointments; two things that will prepare them for the real world after high school.
We sincerely hope this guide will answer some important questions about time management, time commitment, band fees and how to pay for them, fundraising, and uniforms. We would also like to give you some “insider” information on what it takes to be a band student, and a band parent!
How will my child have time for all of this and still be able to make good grades?
How will our children have the time to go to afternoon rehearsals, perform at Friday night football games, and compete on Saturdays? How will they have the time to do all of this, within a three-month period, and keep up their grades??
TIME MANAGEMENTis a life skill and will be the most important tool that your children will acquire when they become members of the WPHS Band.
The students quickly learn that they must use every minute of their day wisely. The time not spent in practice has to be spent doing schoolwork, there is no other choice and they know that. At any given time, you will find students in the band room, out in the hallway, or in any other space available doing homework. This is taught to them when they first join the program and it is expected of them.
Your student will learn how to keep a schedule, how to be punctual, and how to set priorities.
During the first week of summer band the band handbook will be distributed. It contains a detailed schedule for the upcoming season. It will list rehearsals, football games, competitions, and fundraising events your student will be required to attend for the YEAR. Because this schedule can change, it is recommended that you frequently view the calendar on the Band’s web site at prideofthepark.org.
Your child will also become punctual. They will be taught the meaning of the phrase…
“Early is on time, on time is late!”
Finally, your child will learn how to set priorities. No longer will you see your children staring mindlessly at the television or playing PS3 or computer games for hours upon hours (well, most of the time!). Band rehearsals and homework will now fill their free time. (If only the band program could teach them to make time to take out the garbage without being reminded 100 times!!!)
Does my student really have to be at all of these rehearsals?
Rehearsals are mandatory. One absent member will disrupt rehearsal for all members of the band. To be able to put the best possible musical product on the field, the staff and directors need for all members of the band to be present during all scheduled rehearsals. Please see the band handbook for the consequences of missed rehearsals. Your student’s membership depends on consistent participation. Management of a band is a monumental task and it becomes next to impossible if members of the band are absent. Please help your student make every effort to be there.
How Do Parents Get Involved?
WPHS Band has always been fortunate to have a very supportive group of parents. The band parents are needed to support the directors, and help with the details of fundraising, transporting, feeding and watering our organization. The band needs parents to be able to function; it is for this reason that we urge you to get involved. Join one of the many committees; we need your help. Grandparents, siblings, or any member of your family can get involved and make a difference. Join the Band Boosters, it is a great way to meet the parents and the kids your student will be spending much of their time with for the next few months.
The easiest way to volunteer is by attending the monthly Band Booster meetings where you will learn more about the program and where it needs your help. The Band Booster meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise noted, at 6:15pm in the HS band room.
Another easy way to help is with tailgating. It is a tradition that the band parents set up a meal for the kids prior to every home game. They also provide meals and snacks during competitions. Any and all help is greatly appreciated, even if it is just dropping off needed supplies when asked. Without you, the band parent, the band could not be as successful as it is!
Don’t just sit in the car. Get out and ask, “How can I help?” It is fun, and you meet the other parents with the same interests as you. As a guideline, it is recommended that every family contributes at least 20 hours to the Band Program.
How Do We Keep Informed?
The best options are Remind, and the band web site, prideofthepark.org. The band website is integral to the functioning of our band and has lots of ways for you to get involved and volunteer. You will find rehearsal times, schedules, handbooks, trip info, and much more! You’ll want to visit the website often not only to keep informed, but also to view the most recent pictures of the band’s activities. It is here that you will find the latest information on all upcoming events and fundraising opportunities. The directors use Remind for reminders and updates on the band. Check out the link on the band webpage to get hooked up.
How Do We Pay for This?
There are many questions about the economic impact of the Band Program. When we hear the bottom line, we sometimes wonder how we are going to be able to raise the funds needed for our children to be able to continue the pursuit of their musical interest. We do not want the economic factor to keep any student from participating in band. Some of the most successful fundraisers are the Mattress Sale, March-A-Thons, car washes, Kroger cards, and many other ideas that come up throughout the year. The best way to learn about these fundraising opportunities is by keeping informed; and the best way to keep informed is by visiting the band web site and attending the Band Booster meetings that take place all year long.
Due dates are not flexible, however unique circumstances can always be discussed and worked out with a director or the booster treasurer.
Uniforms, Uniforms – What Do They Wear?
Marching Band Rehearsals:
Wear comfortable athletic shoes, closed toe, no flip flops. No pants.
- Black Drill Master marching band shoes. These are special marching band shoes that clean up well with shoe polish. New band members will need to fill out the shoe order form on the band website so the proper size shoe can be ordered. There is an additional $30.00 fee for shoes. This is NOT included in your band fee. As long as the shoes fit and are kept in good shape, your child can wear the shoes during subsequent marching band years.
- Band T-shirt / lightweight shorts to be worn under uniform for group changes. Students will change into and out of uniform in front of everyone, so they must have under uniform clothes.
- White gloves. One pair is included in your band fee. Students who need them after that will pay $3 a pair.
- LONG Black socks. We suggest having several pairs exactly alike. (Dryers love to eat socks.)
- The band has a tailgate dinner before each home game in the band room. You will be called or emailed and asked to help donate some food for these on occasion. We encourage all students and families to attend our pre-game party. Every student is then ensured an awesome dinner and no one is left eating concession stand food instead of a home cooked meal. These are free and open to all of our band family!
- Color Guard uniforms change from year to year.
Tips to remember while in uniform:
- The uniform should be worn with pride and must not be seen as sloppy. Shakos (hats) and gloves need not be worn at all times.
- No visible jewelry – Small studs are permitted in each ear
- Students are allowed to eat food provided they are only wearing their bibbers (the pants portion of the uniform). Food must be non-messy foods. Food is notto be eaten while wearing the jacket portion of the uniform. Only water is permitted when students are in full uniform.
Are There Really Inspections?
Inspections are held before games and competitions. Students should be in place no later than the time they were told to report. Your student and their instrument will be inspected by section leaders and drum majors. The biggest causes of failing an inspection are usually short socks, missing socks, and/or wrong colors of socks.
Helpful Hints to Save You Time and Grief:
- Make your child responsible for being prepared. The first time they forget something will be the last!!! They learn to be resourceful when they have to be.
- At the end of each practice session there are usually announcements – listen up. This is your best opportunity to find out who, what, where and when things are going on.
- Communication is crucial. If there is something that comes up and you need help getting your student to or from rehearsal/performance/etc., let a director or band booster know and start calling other parents. You can also post on the band website if you need help with things such as transportation.
- Network – This is how we meet each other. It is also one of the best ways to get helpful hints on band parenting from others.
- Carpool to events.
- Be prepared to cheer! The band loves it when they have their own cheering section. Sit with other WPHS Band Parents.
- Don’t put uniform items away in the closet or drawers when cleaned. Keep all items (socks, band shirt, gloves, etc.) in a bag. These tips will save time spent hunting for them each time they are needed. Uniform jackets and pants will always be kept at the band room or on the trailer. Shoes and gloves are occasionally sent home to be cleaned/polished. Make sure they get sent back!
- Keep extra gloves, socks, needle & thread, etc. in your car or purse just in case.
- Visit the band web site to stay informed.
Terms and Phrases:
- Band practice is at 4:00.” ““Early is on time, on time is late!”
Always allow extra time. There are no excuses.
- “Where are your dot books or coordinate sheets?”
These are cards that students use during band that tell them exactly where they stand for different setups, like first movement set 6. A good place to keep these is in their black band binder.
- “ Where’s my dot?” or “Do we line up on the hash?”
This does not refer to insects or food. These terms indicate how the field is marked off. Students use their coordinate cards to answer these questions.
- “Oh, just sit where band parents sit.”
During games, the band sits in the far left hand side of the stands (when facing the stands). A lot of band parents sit behind the band or in the section of the stands just to the right of the band (facing the stands).
- “Are you working the pit or props?”
The pit is a group of percussion instruments that travel on a trailer and are stationary during performances. Props are ….well, props that go on the field during performances. Parents in the pit crew and prop crew work feverishly to set up and take down the pit and props in record time, before and after a performance (and you think race pit crews are fast!!)
- “One More Time”
This can mean one more time, a few more times, it can mean you’re beginning to approach the road to the last time, or it can mean we’ll keep doing it until you get it right!
You Know You are A Band Parent When. . . .
- You make three more trips than expected to drop off your child with everything they need.
- You carry spare gloves, needle and thread, safety pins, socks and duct tape in your pocketbook.
- You can’t pick your child out of the crowd because they all look alike.
- You prominently display a band calendar in the kitchen, have band dates marked on the calendar in your purse and/or have the band website in your favorites.
- You use your oven more for baking goodies for bake sales during home football games or treats, than for sit-down meals.
- You know that you will be wearing something green and black every Friday night and on Saturdays.
- Early is on time and on time is late.
- You don’t leave home without cushions to sit on, camera, and video camera.
- You are cheering with other band parents.
We are so glad you’re joining the family! Please let us veteran parents know if you have questions. We’ve been there and are happy to help you out with anything. YAY BAND!!