Marching Band Essentials

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 hours before the rehearsal time, if you must miss. You are allowed one excused absence before points are taken from your grade.

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 9:00 p.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. You will either try out at lunch or after school.

There are a set number of musicians for each parade block. Everyone participates 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 time.

  • 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 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 evenings.

  • 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 areturned 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 Directors.

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!