New Parent Basics
Boosters: Who is a booster? Every parent of a Brighton Middle School or Brighton High School band, guard, or percussion student is a “Booster”. We have meetings once every other month, usually the second Tuesday and discuss the current band happenings, event organization, volunteers needed, financial situation and upcoming fundraisers.
BHS New Members
For most of us (parents and students alike), the transition from middle school band programs to high school band programs is huge, especially in marching band. The increased time and dedication come with greater rewards, in terms of your student’s accomplishments and the pride you will have in watching his/her accomplishments.
Our attempt is to share with you some of the finer points of making the most of your “freshman” year as a band parent. The Brighton High School Band is supported by the Brighton Band Booster program. The Boosters consist solely of volunteer parents in order to help provide your students with an enjoyable and rewarding band experience.
Please join us in meeting this challenge by volunteering your time and talents. Your student will reap the benefits. We welcome all of our new parents, guardians, and family members. We look forward to getting to know you and your students!
Marching Fundamentals and Performance Training
Marching fundamentals and performance training is conducted in July during the three weeks prior to the start of school. The staff and students work very hard for about eight hours a day, five days a week. During training, they learn the music and marching routine for their fall show. Generally, the first week is for all incoming freshman, new students, section leaders, guard, and percussion. These students have scheduled times during this week to begin learning their fall show as well. Full band camp is for two weeks from 6:30am-3:00pm, Monday-Friday. Students will get quite a workout. It is incredibly important that your band member be dressed for extreme heat and humidity. Attire should be appropriate, comfortable, and light. Clothing should consist of shorts, t-shirts or tank tops, hats, sunglasses, and tennis shoes that are comfortable enough to march in. We do have a hydration team that provides water and Gatorade during breaks. This year students are being asked to bring a 1 gallon personal cooler. Be prepared to hear about running, calisthenics, and plenty of sweating. It is an experience the kids “love to hate,” and will talk about for years to come.
Band camp culminates with Meet-the-Band Night, a performance for the band families. It is great fun to come out and see how far the kids have come in just three weeks. Dinner meal tickets are sold to families in advance.
Another major benefit of band camp is when your freshman student arrives for the first day of high school, he or she will already be a part of a well-respected group and will have a whole new group of friends (across all grades) to help with the transition into high school.
Marching Band Season
The Marching Band season starts with band camp. Practice continues after school during the week. Please check with your child and/or the website for schedule changes.
The band performs their show at half-time of almost all varsity football games, all home games, and some away games (Friday evenings), as well as playing in the stands during the game. The band has a roped off section in the stands and many of the band parents sit together near the band — a great opportunity to get to know other parents. During the home games our band organization runs both the concession stand and tailor, as well as a spirit tent. We are always looking for boosters to help run these areas.
The marching band competes against other high school bands on many Saturdays in the fall. Most of the competitions are “local” (within an hour or so of Brighton) and one or two are out of town. It is a great opportunity to watch all the bands compete and cheer our kids on. So, please come on out and support our BHS Band students!
Every competition will be listed on the Calendar page on the CHARMS web site. Your student will be told the call time for each event and an approximate time for our return. We leave from the school and travel to competitions in a convoy. You are welcome to join the “convoy” but, please do not get in line between the buses or the support vehicles with the trailers. The band buses & support vehicles park separate from general parking. Be aware that some competition sites charge for parking, and there is usually a general admission fee of up to $10 per person. Some competitions have “Band-O-Grams”. These are messages you can have announced to the band member or band as the band enters and exits the field. There is usually a fee for these. Don’t be afraid to show your BHS band spirit, but remember to be polite and courteous to other spectators and performers. When at competitions we are the face of Brighton High School. Don’t forget to send a few dollars with your band student so they can buy food and drinks from the competition concessions. Generally most competitions only accept cash. Please read Marching Competition Etiquette.
Your student will be issued a marching band uniform consisting of a jacket (with baldric), pants, gauntlets, hat, and gloves. You will need to provide black socks and purchase MTX marching shoes (shoes are ordered during band camp for around $35). The shoes & gloves belong to the student, so keep track of them. There is a $5 charge for gloves that need to be replaced. The uniform guidelines are on the web site, but replacement of a complete uniform is around $400.
Color Guard members are issued a separate uniform. There may be other pieces that individual color guard members are required to purchase as part of their uniform. The color guard instructor will advise the color guard member of any additional items that are needed.
Bands do perform (and rehearse) in the sun, wind, and rain. The experienced parents go to the competitions prepared to sit through unpleasant weather and cheer for all the bands. At most competitions, umbrellas are not permitted. If it rains during a competition, the bands may need to march in the mud. If the field conditions are poor, the band may do a standstill performance on the track. Most bands want to avoid standstills because no points are given for marching in a standstill performance; the higher the points the better the score. (The band directors may choose not to attend a performance if there is a high probability for rain.)
The Cost of Marching Band
There is a band fee required for each student participating in the band program. Fees are laid out in the BHS Band Handbook. If there is an issue with paying the band fee, please contact Mr. Findley. We do not want to exclude any student. Band fees are used to help offset the expenses of running the band program, including band camp, uniforms, travel, instructors, food & drinks, etc. Check the 2017-2018 BHS Band Handbook for more information on the www.BrightonBand.com Website.
Helpful hints to save you time, gas & grief
Mr. Findley, the instructors, and the Boosters want this to be a positive experience for all the students and their families. Here are some helpful hints (learned from our own and many other band parents’ experiences):
- Hold your child responsible for being prepared. Before they leave the house for rehearsal or a performance make sure they ask themselves, “Do I have EVERYTHING I need?”
- CALL TIME “If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late.” This is a good phrase to live by. This means that students are expected to arrive for scheduled practice about fifteen minutes early so they are in position and ready to rehearse at the scheduled start time. If start time is 5:00 p.m., plan to arrive around 4:45 p.m. If a uniform is required make sure you have enough time to check out your uniform, get ready, and be in place by call time.
- When you pick your child up from practice, try to be there a little early.
- First, you will get to see the amount of work that your student puts in to this program.
- Second, you can listen to the “pride-check.” This is also a great way to find out about any changes or new information.
- It’s a great way to meet other band parents.
- Findley and the instructors try very hard to end practice at the scheduled time. Occasionally practice may run over. Please be patient … if this happens it is for a very good reason.
- Ask your student for any schedule changes each week.
- Always be prepared for changes.
- Check the web site and Facebook pages often.
- Network – Take the opportunity to meet other parents (at Booster meetings, after practice, at games & competitions, fundraising activities, etc.). This is how we all met each other. It is also the best way to get helpful hints on band parenting from others.
**Keep at least one (1) extra pair of black socks in the car during marching season. That way you will not have to make an extra trip to Wal-Mart before a performance.
Do not hesitate to ask any of the veteran band parents or booster board members. We have all been there and are happy to help.
We hope this has been helpful. Anytime you feel lost, tap a “vet” parent on the shoulder and ask for help.