Marching Band Essentials



Survival Guide

2017 – 2018 Edition



Uniforms – Assigning and Returning:

The uniform issued to you has been purchased through the combined efforts of the Arcadia Unified School District and the Arcadia Music Club. This uniform is expected to last ten years, so treat it with care. For the next several years, many other students will be using this same uniform. Use care when putting on and taking off uniforms because they can rip the snaps and buttons off.

You will also be assigned a garment bag for storing your uniform. Attached to the bag will be a tag with your name, student identification number, jacket number, and pants number.

After the Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser in January, you will return your jacket, 2 pair pants, one red, one black, garment bag, hat and hat box to the Uniform Directors and the 6 items will be inspected.

JV Percussion returns their uniforms after Arcadia Festival of Bands (AFOB). Your grades may be withheld if you do not return these items.

Uniforms – Proper Fit:

Pants – Put your marching shoes on and stand in playing position. The bottom of the pant leg should be 3 inches above the floor. Snap to adjust to the right length. Press in place.

Jacket – Zip and snap your jacket closed. While standing in playing position, the end of the sleeves should touch the wrist bone. Snap to adjust to the right length. Press in place.

Pressing – Your uniform hems will be pressed at uniform fitting and when they come back from the cleaners. If you need to press any part of your uniform You Must put a pressing cloth between the iron and the uniform. The uniforms are polyester and will scorch!

Uniforms – Alterations:

After you have snapped up your jacket sleeves and/or pant hems and they still don’t fit, you may need to be altered. The Uniform Coordinators will tell you what needs to be fixed when you try on your uniform at school. (See “proper fit” in the section above) It is your responsibility to have your uniform altered by the date announced. You must take it to one of the following approved locations where payment for alterations are your responsibility:

Mon. – Fri. 7am to 6:30pm / Sat. 9am to 5pm

Quick Clean Center - 1035 S. Baldwin Ave Arcadia - (626) 446-9664

(2 blocks north of Duarte Rd.)

Mon. – Fri. 7am to 7pm / Sat. 8am to 5pm

LeFran’s Cleaners

115 S. 1st. Ave Arcadia (626) 574-0123

Mon. – Sat. 7:30am to 6:30pm


The hems must be snapped securely and pressed!

Uniforms – Care and Storage:

Your uniform should be stored in its red bag at all times when it is not being worn. The only items that go in the uniform bag are the pants and the jacket. Please hang the pants and jacket neatly on a hanger, not balled up at the bottom of the bag! Since leaving your shoes in the garment bag after a performance is never allowed. Purchase a string backpack put your name on it and put your 2 pairs of shoes and socks in it.

    • Wear your uniform properly:

    • Wear a pair of thin shorts under your uniform.

    • Wear your band t-shirt under your uniform.

    • Plain white and black crew length socks with no color on the heel. (Absolutely no short socks)

    • Your pants suspenders should be on your shoulders. Snapped hems.

    • Jacket should be on, zipped, and snapped. When putting on your uniform be careful not to unsnap your arms or pant hems.

The garment bags will be placed on the trailer for transporting uniforms to parades and field shows. Each student will be assigned a specific spot which corresponds to your jacket number to put their garment bag on the trailer. When using the trailer, enter from the rear doors and exit from the side doors.


To Hang Up the Uniform:

Fold the pants along the crease, as you would hang good dress pants. Hang them on the silver part of the hanger and then lock in the bar to secure the RED pants for transport The jacket goes on the hanger with the front on the jacket on the concave part of the hanger, buttoned and snapped so it stays on the hanger. Black pants are folded the same as red except they are hung on a non-slip hanger.

Garment Bags:

After wearing, put the uniform in the garment bag with the zipper half way up. This allows sweaty uniforms to air out. The bags are not indestructible and must be handled with care. Garment bags are for uniforms ONLY; no shoes or other heavy items are allowed in the bags, it causes the hangers to break. While the uniform is being worn, garment bags should be HUNG UP on the racks and not left on the floor.

Uniforms – Cleaning:

The uniforms will be collected several times during the marching season to be dry-cleaned. A portion

of the amount you paid at your uniform fitting day pays for these dry cleanings. The Uniform

Coordinators will collect the jackets and pants after a field show at the trailer. Please cooperate in an

orderly manner. There are hundreds of uniforms to collect each time!

Clean out your pockets - personal possessions left in pockets are your responsibility!

If you notice that any part of your uniform needs repairs or that your hat has become dirty, you should

go to the Uniform Coordinators for help. Try to take care of any problems well before a performance.

Uniforms – Replacement:

If you lose a part of your uniform or damage it beyond reasonable means, you will be charged the

necessary replacement costs (estimated costs – actual cost may be higher):

    • Jacket $250.00

    • Pants $150.00

    • Garment Bag $ 25.00

    • Field Hat $ 50.00

    • Field Hat Box $ 15.00

    • Plume $ 20.00

    • Shoes $ 35.00

    • Gloves $ 5.00


Plumes are very fragile and will be handled ONLY by Band uniform volunteers with gloves.

Students may not remove their own plumes nor touch them. Plumes are the last part of the uniform

put on the student. Likewise, the plume is the first thing removed before instruments are put away or

uniforms removed.

Hats and Hat Boxes

Each marching band member is fitted with a hat that they will use for the season. You are also given a

red and white plastic box for storing your hat. The box will have a label with your name, student

identification number, and hat number.

It is each student’s responsibility to take care of the hat, keep it clean, and keep it stored properly in

the hatbox. Bring your hat stored in its box to every performance, unless the Band Directors tell you

otherwise. When storing your empty box under the bus, please do not just throw them under the bus,

stack neatly at each performance site.

You will receive a white plastic bag that you’ll put inside the hat when you wear it at football games.

When you are in the football stands put the hat in the plastic bag to protect it.

If your hat becomes soiled or damaged, please ask one of the Uniform Coordinators for help and


Do not put any food in your hatbox. It is not a lunch box!

Shoes – Care and Cleaning:

Your marching shoes are made of leather but have a polyurethane coating for weather protection.

With the proper care, your shoes should last several years (unless your feet grow). Clean your shoes

and shoelaces before every performance. Your section leader will inspect them.

How to clean your shoes:

White shoes: Clean off the dirt using a wet paper towel and some soap. You can use a cleaner

such as Windex or 409 to try to get rid of any spots. (Magic Erasers work well too.)

▪ If there is a spot on the shoes that won’t come off you may need to use a small amount of shoe

polish on it. Please do this at home to allow ample time for the shoe polish to dry before wearing

the shoes with your uniform. We DO NOT want shoe polish to rub off on the uniform.

▪ Clean the bottoms of your shoes as well. This may require the use of a soft brush since the

bottoms get quite dirty (you can use an old toothbrush).

▪ Wash your shoelaces by taking them out of the shoes and either hold them while washing your

hands with soap and water or put them in the washing machine with a load of white wash. Black

shoes (field show) Clean off the dirt using a wet paper towel and some soap.

Marching Band shoes are to be worn ONLY for performances. Please bring other shoes to wear

during stretching and to walk around. It is easier to clean them right after a performance than to wait

until just before the next performance. Do Not Store your shoes in your garment bag!!

Purchase a string backpack, put your name on and put both shoes and both pairs of socks.

All shoes look alike: label the inside of EACH shoe with your name!


Clean your gloves before every performance. You can clean them in the washing machine with a load

of white clothes (along with your shoelaces).

FLUTES, OBOES, AND CLARINETS: The Uniform Coordinator has gloves that are cut at the


Gloves may be purchased by a Uniform Coordinator before each competition or football game – look

for us at the trailer.


▪ Always look your best when in uniform!

▪ No jewelry (ALL earrings must come out – no band-aid covered earrings allowed. This is not

the time to get your ears pierced!)

▪ No nail polish.

▪ Boys should be clean-shaven.

▪ No temporary color on your hair during marching season (like pink or purple or green). It can

bleed onto the white band of your hat or onto your uniform and ruin them.

▪ Long hair (on boys or girls) needs to be pulled up and under your hat for performances. Use

bobby pins and hair spray for loose hair. A headband can also work well for holding hair back.

▪ Please take care of your hair at home before coming to school. There will be parents to help

with the final touches on your hair but getting it up and out of your face is your responsibility.

▪ No sunglasses.


Practices and Rehearsals:

Since part of your grade is determined by your attendance at practices and rehearsals,

be sure to attend. E-mail the Band Directors 24 hrs. before the rehearsal time, if you

must miss. You are allowed one excused absence before points are taken from your



Once a week you will have a sectional practice after school. Be on time and bring your

music. Sectionals are a good time to ask your section leaders for help. Your section

leader is given the responsibility to lead you and your section. Please cooperate with

your section leader.

Wednesday Night Rehearsals

Every Wednesday night from the start of school in August until late November you will

have a rehearsal from 5:30 until 9:00p.m. Arrive early so you have time to put your

instrument together, grab your lanyard, walk to the football field, and be on the field by

5:15p.m. You are expected to wear comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes, except

when the directors instruct you to wear your band shoes.

You need to memorize your music as soon as possible because you will have to play

individually for your section leaders.

Block Tryouts:

Block tryouts are always on Friday the week before each competition. You are

required to try out for the parade block, even if you don’t know the music. Your grade

in the class will be lowered if you do not try out. The leader of your section will tell

you when you can try out. Your will either try out at lunch or after school.

There are a set number of musicians for each parade block. Everyone participate in

every parade. If you do not make the Varsity block you will be in the JV block. Making

the Varsity block once does not guarantee that you will make it the next time. Everyone

tries out for every parade for placement in both blocks. Keep practicing your music!

Periodically your section leader will ask you to play the memorized music for the field

show. This is done so that the section leaders are aware of who knows the music and

who needs to improve. Take this opportunity to ask for help! The section leaders are

there to help you improve.

Football Games:

*Be at least 15 to 30 minutes early so you can get your instrument and be ready on


*Come in uniform with clean gloves and clean shoes (the directors will instruct you as

to what pants and shoes to wear)

*Eat before you arrive since YOU CAN’T EAT IN UNIFORM !!!. The only time you

will be able to eat at a game is at home football game when the band gets to come in a

costume – date to be announced or when we don’t wear our uniforms (Sometimes the

first 1st home game).

Parades and Competitions:

• Report to the band room at least 30 minutes so that you have time to get your

instrument (if not loaded)

• Eat a healthy breakfast because it will be a long time before you can eat lunch

(but don’t over eat)

• Bring a bottle of water or a water bottle to fill. Stay hydrated!

• Bring your own lunch and dinner or bring money to buy lunch and dinner.

• You are responsible for anything you bring so it is suggested that you leave

valuables at home.

• Be prepared for the all day competitions. Bring a sweatshirt or a jacket for the


• Do not lock your knees when you stand at attention – you may faint, especially

when it’s hot.


When traveling to competitions, the band members put the windows on the bus down

once the bus exits the freeway. At that time, earphones are taken out and music and

cell phones are turned off. Everyone stops talking and starts focusing on their

performances. If you are reminded to get quiet, do it!

The Band Directors will let you know which game you are encouraged to wear a

costume instead of your uniform. This will occur at a home football game sometime

around Halloween. Have fun and be creative! This is the only time when you are

allowed to eat at a home football game, so remember to bring money.

At the Spaghetti Dinner it is a tradition to “dress up” the drum major and give him/ her

a drill down at the third performance of the evening.

Hydraulics are performed after games and rehearsals and are only to be performed if

allowed to. Hydraulics are a privilege and a reward for a good rehearsal.

Band Parent Volunteers:

There are many parents who help at these events so that the band can perform at their

best. The marching band could not function properly without the assistance of these

parents! These volunteers help with uniforms, hair, hats, plumes, shoes, water, and

problems that arise. Please treat them with respect and show them your appreciation.

Be polite and give them a sincere “Thank you”. They will appreciate your kind words!


Fundraisers are a necessary part of the marching band program. One of the ways the

Music Club supports the music program is to organize and implement these essential

fundraisers. The Music Club relies on these funds to buy new instruments, fix old

instruments, purchase music, and purchase uniforms. It is important that each band

member participates in both fundraisers.


The walk-a-thon takes place on a Saturday in September each school year.

As a band member it is your responsibility to:

1. Obtain pledges from relatives and friends-

The Directors will pass out pledge sheets and each member of the band is

expected to acquire as many pledges as possible. A person who pledges can

make a flat donation (such as $20) or they can pledge by the lap. When you go to

friends and relatives to get pledges tell them why the money is being raised.

2. Band members are required to raise a certain amount each year, set by the


Spaghetti Dinner

The Spaghetti Dinner takes place on a Saturday in January each school year. A ticket to

the fundraiser includes a spaghetti dinner at the AHS cafeteria prepared by Music Club

parents, as well as a performance in the AHS gym provided by the Band, Varsity

Percussion Ensemble, and Color Guard. A ticket holder can select from three

performance times.

As a Band member it is your responsibility to:

1. Sell tickets to relatives and friends-

A few weeks before the dinner, your section leader will give you an envelope

containing 10 tickets. It is your job to sell all of the tickets and return the money

to your section leaders by the deadline date. There are many people who enjoy

going each year whether or not they have a student in the band so make a list of

10 or more people you can ask to buy a ticket.

2. Be on time the day of the dinner-

You are in the show so put the date on your calendar and be prepared to perform!

Website: Information, newsletters, and a frequently updated calendar are all available

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