By now, I hope you’ve taken a look at the season schedule.
It’s on page 8 of this year’s Marching Band Packet. You need to know 2 things about that schedule:
1. It’s a tentative schedule. We make this schedule in March, way too early in the season for Mr. Steele to know exactly which MCBA competitions we will participate in. I will issue a finalized schedule before the end of the school year with exact dates and locations. You’ll receive it via email. You can tell it’s a finalized version because it will be full color and pretty, something suitable for hanging on your fridge for the next 6 months.
2. All rehearsal dates are not listed.
Let’s repeat that last fact: All rehearsal dates are not listed.
Why? Because the schedule would be 3 pages long if I listed everything.
So what’s missing? To explain, I need you to mentally break the entire marching season into two halves: Summer and Fall. Got that?
During the summer months, LOMB has two different types of rehearsals. Camps and weekly Wednesdays.
1. Camps are listed on the schedule as:
- Boot Camp- 5 days of basic training
- Mini Camp(s)- 4 days of focused rehearsals that build upon each other
- Pre-Camp- 5 days of focused rehearsal, the week before band camp
- Band Camp- a week of intensive training, both drill and instrumental
- Post Camp- 4-5 days that build upon skills and material learned at band camp
All camps run 1-8pm at LOHS. You will need to send a dinner with your student or deliver one at meal time.
2. Wednesdays- each week from the end of school through Pre-Camp, 1-8pm. Just like camps, you’ll need to send or deliver a dinnertime meal.
Now I'm not recommending that your student miss any summer rehearsals- but if they are going to be absent, here’s how I’d rank the order of importance.
- Band Camp- required in order to participate in competitions. DO NOT even think about missing.
- Pre & Post Camps- they cover a lot of important stuff these weeks. Up until pre-camp, they’re working on music and little bits of show. Pre-camp is where it all starts to come together, post camp is where they prepare for that first competition. It’s harder to make-up the learning that happens at pre & post camps. Absences here definitely slow down the entire band and will affect the first competition score.
- Mini Camp- like pre & post camp, this is focused learning time. Missing some or all of this week definitely puts your student behind the rest of the band, it also noticeably slows the progress of your student’s instrument section.
- Boot Camp- many kids miss some or all of boot camp, but be warned- every minute spent catching-up is a minute they are not learning current material.
- Wednesday rehearsals- these are not unimportant but they are the easiest to miss, primarily because it’s only one day of learning rather than a week of camp. Warning- they will miss important items and they will have to spend time catching-up.
Back to School time is where the schedule gets trickier and absences become detrimental.
For starters, we add Saturday rehearsals. If they’re not headed to a competition, Saturday will be spent on the practice field. We call these rehearsals "9 to 9’s” based upon the start and stop time (clever, huh?). You will need to send your student to rehearsal with lunch, dinner, snack, and other various bits of equipment. 9 to 9s will get their own blog post, a bit later. And by the way, you might shudder at the idea of a 12 hour rehearsal but the kids love them.
Let’s move on…
Once school resumes, marching band becomes a class. Every day the entire marching band meets for rehearsal during last period. Monday through Friday, marching band class, every day.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, when the school dismissal bell rings, marching students are usually on the football field. They do not dismiss for the day.
Basically- Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals start at 1pm and last until 5pm.
On Friday, they extend that time until 6pm. UNLESS there’s a home football game. If there is a game, they break for dinner from 5-6pm and then suit up in uniform and head to the game. On football Fridays, your child leaves the house for the start of school and won’t be home until after 10pm.
You need to send your student with dinner on football Fridays or deliver one at meal time. They will be hungry!
But wait, someone said the band feeds my kid dinner! Not on football Fridays. I’ll write more about the meals provided by the LOBB in a different post. On football Fridays, there is NO meal served. We do serve a third-quartersnack at the football game. It’s 1 slice of pizza, 1 drink, 1 bagged snack item. To make matters worse, while the time varies, snack never happens earlier than 8:30pm. That’s a long day to go without dinner! So send or deliver dinner for your poor, sad, child.
Now again, I’m not recommending that your student miss any fall rehearsals- in fact, Mr. Steele might kill me for even mentioning the possibility of missing a fall rehearsal. But stuff happens, so here’s the order of importance, noted with the full qualification that fall absences are to be avoided at all costs.
- Saturday rehearsals on competition days. Yes, depending upon the scheduled performance time, they may have a pre-competition rehearsal. Don’t even think about missing it.
- Saturday 9 to 9s- These are days when major improvements are made to the show. Missing this type rehearsal directly slows down your student, your student’s section, and the entire band.
- Friday rehearsals, no matter if there’s a game or not. First off, if there is football, all absences need to be pre-approved because games are required events. And secondly, even if there’s not football, they’re missing an extended rehearsal that is jam-packed with stuff they’ll use for the next day’s competition. Do not miss!
- Tuesday & Thursday rehearsals- Please schedule all doctor, dentist, and other appointments for after school on Mon or Weds. Missing a Tuesday or Thursday means your student is not only missing material but they’re slowing down their entire section.
- Monday & Wednesday school day rehearsals. If I had to pick the ideal time for you student to have the flu, have it on a Monday or a Wednesday. Actually, a Sunday is better. Pencil them in for "flu- any day in December".
So to summarize:
- The summer rehearsal schedule will put a kink in your vacation plans.
- The fall rehearsal schedule means that you send your kid off for the first day of school and will see them again sometime mid-November.
Welcome to Marching Band!