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What Parents of “Rookie” Students Want to Know About High School Band but Have No Idea Who to Ask?

What kind of commitment is my student making for marching band?

In order to march in the fall show (“show” is the term the band uses for the performance at half-time and competitions), a student must participate in the following:

  1. Pre-Band Camp – this camp takes place a week before band camp. Veterans and Rookies participate at pre-camp, but have different schedules based on their experience levels. See the 2017 Summer Schedule for details and times for new rookie members.
  2. Band Camp is required of all band students. Students will need to plan to stay all day and will be fed lunch and dinner by the boosters. Suggested items for band camp: caps, sunscreen, water jugs/camelback, chapstick, lightweight and light color clothing.
  3. Marching Band Practice (4th block each day during first semester) – Rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday extend until 4:15PM. Thursday extends until 5:00PM. Our one evening rehearsal is on Tuesday nights from 6:00PM-9:00PM. Rehearsals after school for marching band conclude at the end of October.
  4. Students are encouraged to make arrangements for transportation home after rehearsal and likewise to secure transportation to the Tuesday evening rehearsals.
  5. Students must be enrolled in the marching band course to participate.

The band performs at all home football games and meets at the stadium prior to the game for warm up.  Students may sign up for a volunteer pep band for some away games. In addition to performing at the home football games, marching band members participate in several competitions during the fall.

Call Times for band events vary and will be announced to the students as the season progresses. This information is routinely announced via our communication channels prior to events.

What about fees?

Each year, the band boosters and band directors prepare a budget and calculate the anticipated fee that should be accessed to each participating member to help offset expenses incurred by the band. The fee is presented to the Rock Hill School District #3 School Board for their review and approval. These fees can be paid by check, cash, or band credit points (see below). Fees should be paid directly to Northwestern High School. Information on fee amounts and payment schedules will be addressed in the band handbook as well as discussed at the mandatory band parent meeting in July during Pre-Camp.

Can we raise money for fees?

Band Credit Points (BCPs) can be earned through optional fundraisers such as fruit sale, popcorn sale, and cookie dough sale, etc. Students and parents also have opportunities to work concessions at Knights and Panthers games to earn BCPs. These points can be applied to your band fees, future band trips, or other band expenses. These points carry over from year to year. Fundraising opportunities are posted on the website. To sign-up, login to CHARMS and navigate to the Volunteer Sign-Up area. In CHARMS, you can also track your BCP account by clicking on “Finances” and viewing the Miscellaneous Ledger. Please contact the junior treasurer with questions regarding your BCP account.

Does my student have to play an instrument to be in Colorguard?

While many members of the colorguard are band students also, it is not a requirement. Any student can audition for the colorguard. There are additional rehearsal commitments for colorguard members.

Are there auditions for colorguard and percussion members?

Auditions are used to determine placement for colorguard and percussion and will be held in the Spring. Details will be anounced in your middle school band class with more information. Please be aware that colorguard and percussion members have additional sectional rehearsal commitments both in the summer and during school. If your student is involved in those sections, more information will be provided to you.

What are these funny terms the band keeps using?

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) – A letter of intent lets the band directors know that your student will be commited to participate in the marching band.
  • Show – A marching band show is a combination of music and movement that is performed at Friday night home games and marching band competitions. Each year, the show is customly written for our band. While playing music during the show, the band makes a series of formations called drill, on the field, which may be pictures, geometric shapes, curvilinear designs, or blocks of musicians. Typically, each band member has an assigned position in each formation. If a student does not turn in a LOI, our designers do not write a drill spot for them in the show. Likewise, if a student turns in the LOI and does not come to band camp, there will be a missing person in our formations. When your student turns in their letter of intent, the band is counting on their participation!
  • Band Booster Meeting – All band parents are automatically members of the band boosters. There is no fee associated with membership in the band boosters. Please attend our meetings if possible! Mr. Yost will give information on upcoming events and the booster club executive board will provide information on how you can become involved and earn BCPs throughout the school year. Band Booster Meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM in the band room. Check our calendar page at www.purpleregiment.com/events-schedules/ for exact dates, times, and locations.
  • Rookie – Any new marching band member, regardless of year in school, is called a “rookie”. Most rookies are incoming freshman. This term also applies to parents of incoming band members, for example, “Rookie Parent.” The Northwestern Band welcomes all rookies to our program!

What kind of commitment am I making as a parent?

Band is unlike most student organizations in high school. Band involves every family. When your son or daughter joins the band, so do their parents/guardians. The Northwestern Band Boosters are ALWAYS in need of volunteers to serve on committees, as chaperones, to send food and beverage donations, or just to be present at games and competitions. Listed on the next page is a brief description of the different committees that need assistance.

What is the difference between colorguard and winterguard?

The NHS Purple Regiment consists of three primary sections – the winds, the percussion, and the colorguard. The colorguard interprets the music that the marching band is playing via dance and the synchronized spinning of flags, sabers, rifles. Winterguard is an extracurricular indoor colorguard activity (November-April) that is performed in a gymnasium or other indoor arena. Performances make uses of recorded music rather than a live band. There are additional fees for students participating in winterguard.