Page current as of July 22, 2019
Welcome to the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band! This page is your beginner’s how-to guide to get you started with important information about dates/calendar commitments, forms, and purchases necessary for camp, as well as the TO-DO list for all members.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?
1. Get all of the Marching Band dates on your calendar. Click on the “Calendar” tab, where you can subscribe to the calendar on your electronic devices, or view it on the website. The marching band year runs from July-July, so please be sure to look through all months from July 2019 to July 2020. Parents/guardians are encouraged to consider which dates they may be available to help with chaperoning and/or meals. Information about how parents can volunteer will be distributed later in the summer.
If you subscribe to the calendar on your electronic device, any updates will be pushed to that device and your calendar will automatically stay updated. It is important to check the calendar periodically as dates, times and instructions are sometimes modified.
2. Read the handbook. Hover over the “Marching Band” tab, then select “Marching Band Handbook” from the pull-down menu. There’s a lot there to digest, but the handbook is your go-to source for most questions related to the Marching Band and contains all of our policies and procedures. Students and parents/guardians should thoroughly read the handbook together so they understand what is expected of them as members and parents/guardians of members of the organization.
3. Read about band camp. Click on the “Marching Band” tab, then select “Band Camp Information.” Band Camp is the largest single chunk of work Marching Band students will undertake for the entire year, but is also one of the first things new members will participate in. New members can be overwhelmed by this–it is important for new members to learn specifically about band camp so that they have realistic expectations for their entry into our organization.
4. Purchase marching shoes and gloves if you do not already have them. DO THIS NOW so that you are prepared later! All instrumentalists are encouraged to consider purchasing earplugs for indoor rehearsal. Earplugs are MANDATORY for drumline members.
SHOES: All members of the Marching Band and Guard need marching shoes.
Instrumentalists: Purchase these shoes (Drillmasters) in black and in your size.
GLOVES: All members of the Marching Band and Guard need marching gloves. (It is encouraged that you order multiple pairs to have extras–they are cheap and it is convenient to have extra gloves on hand…pun intended!).
ALL Instrumentalists: Purchase these gloves (Long Wrist Sure Grip) in black and in your size. ONLY CLARINETS will cut off the tips of the fingers (flutes do not need to do this despite popular belief). Percussionists should also purchase gloves.
EARPLUGS: Percussionists are required to have earplugs. Other instrumentalists are encouraged but not required. Guard does not need earplugs!
Cheapest option: The disposable foam earplugs commonly found in hardware stores work fine!
Better option: “Etymotic” silicone earplugs like these provide noise reduction and hearing protection while still allowing the music to sound relatively clear to the musician. Cheaper versions of this style of earplug are also sometimes found in hardware stores.
Best (non-custom) option: Higher quality etymotic silicone earplugs with filters like these or these are more of an investment, but provide the best experience for musicians where the musician perceives a reduction in volume with no reduction in clarity.
Custom earplugs are available through an audiologist at considerable cost, and are most appropriate for professionals.
Students will need their shoes and gloves in time for their first uniformed performance–the Kennywood Fall Fantasy Parade. Having shoes in time for band camp is an advantage as marching shoes are really good for…marching.
We link to the lowest price for these items we can find at the time of opening a new season’s registration. However, if you can find the same items elsewhere for a better price, please buy them there and let us know about it!
5. GET CONNECTED! Follow us on Twitter @QVHSBandOrch, sign up for text alerts by downloading the “Remind” app and signing up for “QVMB Reminders” @QVMB, check the website often for blog posts, and contact Mr. Neville with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Read about our history. You should know about the six-decade legacy of musicianship, camaraderie and excellence that you are about to join.
I’VE DONE ALL OF THE ABOVE–WHAT’S NEXT?
You may have noticed several events on the calendar that you might be unfamiliar with. Check out the event descriptions below:
All of the following are mandatory commitments for members!
“BAND FRIDAYS”: This is the informal term given to Fridays during Marching Band season (which is the 9 weeks of the varsity football season plus any post season play). Students come to school in the morning with everything they need to perform for the football game that night. Immediately after school, the Marching Band practices until dinner, which is served by generous volunteer parents. After dinner, students change into uniform and head to the field or to the buses to attend the game. “Band Friday” encompasses both rehearsal and performance on Friday nights.
PRE-CAMP AND BAND CAMP: Pre-Camp and Band Camp are mandatory for all students. With little exception, students who cannot attend these rehearsals cannot be a member of the Marching Band. Band Camp is always scheduled for the first week of August (whether or not it is a full week) and Pre-Camp takes place the week prior. The Band Camp experience is very valuable—students strive to perfect and polish their marching routines and music, and also develop a sense of unity and teamwork.
OPENING DAY: The Marching Band performs for the first full service day for Quaker Valley School District employees. This is a short event that takes place first thing in the morning.
QUAKER NIGHT: A “meet the team” night for the varsity football team.
KENNYWOOD FALL FANTASY PARADE: The Marching Band spends leisure time at Kennywood Park for a day and performs in Kennywood’s “Fall Fantasy” Parade through the park that evening.
FESTIVALS: The Marching Band performs in 1-3 select local marching band festivals per season. Festivals are non-competitive exhibitions of local bands where students have the opportunity to view the various marching and music styles presented by other bands, as well as to present their own halftime show for an appreciative audience of marching band students and community spectators.
ELEMENTARY BAND TOUR: The Marching Band performs their halftime show for students at Osborne and Edgeworth Elementary schools. This event takes place during the school day in the morning.
SENIOR NIGHT: The last varsity home football game of the season. Band/guard, cheerleading and football seniors are all individually recognized on this night.
HOMECOMING: Marching Band and Guard alumni who wish to participate with the band and guard may join the in the stands for this game and are also encouraged to participate in the pre-game parade.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BAND NIGHT: A home football game where band students in 7th and/or 8th grades are invited to participate with the high school Marching Band.
HALLOWEEN PARADE: A local parade through Sewickley held Halloween weekend. Band members dress up in costume to parade through the town. Middle school band members sometimes join the High School Marching Band for this event.
SANTA PARADE: A local parade through Sewickley held in early December. Band members are encouraged to add holiday decor to their instruments and uniforms.
BAND BANQUET: A season-end celebration that recognizes the hard work and dedication of the year’s band members, as well as specially recognizing graduating seniors.
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: A patriotic parade held on Memorial Day through Sewickley.
LEETSDALE JULY 4 PARADE: A patriotic parade held on July 4th through Leetsdale. Band and guard alumni are invited to come back to perform and are strongly encouraged to participate for this event.