Common Questions From New Students and Parents
Q: Can a student take four years of band and still take a rigorous course load so I can be prepared for college?
A: Yes! Students have many opportunities available to them, even if they enroll in band for all four years (eight semesters) of their high school career. “College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.” (Carl Hartman, Arts May Improve Students’ Grades, The Associated Press, October 1999)
Q: Can a student be in band and participate in sports?
A: Concert Band and Symphonic Band meet during the school day and do not conflict with any sports event, aside from the four annual concert nights and an occasional after-school rehearsal. Students receive these dates at the beginning of the year, giving them ample time to plan. Fall sports such as football, soccer, and women’s tennis conflict with marching band, but a student can still participate in one of the "sit-down" bands.
Q: Do students have to be in the marching band?
A: All students are encouraged, but not required, to join the marching band. The marching band is a vital part of the high school band program. It is the most visible component of the band, both at the community level and across the state. Students get to travel to different places to represent the school and community in competitions. In addition, participation in the marching band enhances musical growth and success in Concert Band.
Q: What is the difference between Concert and Symphonic Band?
A: Most upcoming freshmen will be in Concert Band. The two bands meet during different periods and play different music. The only difference in the two ensembles will be difficulty in the music. Symphonic Band is comprised of select band members (mostly upperclassmen) who have demonstrated advanced abilities and interests in band and are ready to perform more difficult musical literature. Instrumentation is also a factor in determining the placement of students in the two ensembles. Most students will be selected for the Symphonic Band at some point in their high school career.
Q: “I’m worried about memorizing music so I don’t want to join the marching band.”
A: ALL students have this fear. You will find that after playing the music enough, memorization comes naturally. How many times do you hear a song on the radio before you can sing it almost word-for-word from memory?
Q: Can a student participate in marching band and still have enough time to complete his/her schoolwork?
A: Studies have shown that a marching band student’s grades are actually higher on average during the marching band season. Students learn to manage their time between rehearsals and schoolwork. Students will have plenty of time, even on rehearsal days, to go home and complete homework adequately.
Q: “I am worried about being able to march and play at the same time.”
A: Before the full band comes together in July, there will be rehearsals for first-year members to teach the basics of marching. This way, students will have a head start when everyone gets together for full band rehearsal. You may even be able to teach the upperclassmen a thing or two!
Q: “I do not plan to continue my participation in band in high school.”
A: Before you consider quitting the band, please let us know! We have already started planning for the bands next year, and we need to be aware of any change in membership. All of you have worked so hard and grown so much since your 6th grade year that it would be a shame not to see such great talent grow into full fruition.