What To Expect on Marching Band Competition Day?
On a marching band competition day, the band may rehearse in the morning before loading up equipment and boarding a bus for the performance. The schedule will depend on the time to travel to the performance and the scheduled performance time. Times will typically be announced and posted here on the band website, along with a map and directions. Students should expect a marching band competition to be an all-day event.
Parents who want to attend the performance do not need to follow the student’s schedule, but should plan to arrive at the competition site at least an hour before the band is scheduled to perform in order to ensure adequate time to find parking, pay admission, and take a seat in the stands. Spectators are asked not to enter the stadium during a band performance. If a band is currently performing, spectators must break before finding a seat in order to avoid blocking the view of others or distracting those performing. We strongly recommend that parents plan their time at the competition so that they can observe as many bands as possible.
What Does The Band Do?
Students, Parents, and Staff are involved when we participate in a marching band competition. After arrival at the competition site, students and volunteers set up, assemble instruments, and change into uniforms. Warm-up activities occur away from the performance site in order to minimize interference with the bands that are performing at the same time. A typical marching band competition involves more than a dozen bands and events are typically spread out over a large site, usually on football fields.
Students travel to and from marching competitions in a group. There are rarely exceptions to this rule and can only be made at the discretion of the band director. Parents are encouraged to carpool to these events so that it is easier to find parking and so that they can get to know other band parents.
Finding Your Student
parents are allowed in our marching band staging area at a competition (usually where the bus is parked, you can usually find us next to the band trailer). After a performance the band will return to the staging area to change out of uniforms and eat meals. After a meal the band usually returns to watch other bands or prepares to head home. Bands who have competed must sit in the “visitors” seating on the other side of the stadium as the “home” side is filled with spectators for the event.
Finding Other Parents and Where To Sit
Finding other parents is much easier than finding your own student. Parents try to sit together and are encouraged to wear the current marching-band t-shirt to show support and solidarity. At most competitions, parents and spectators sit on the “Home” side of the stadium.
Food is typically available for purchase at every competition. The funds raised at competitions through admission and through concessions go toward the host band, and we encourage those in attendance to support our fellow bands. We do provide refreshments to all of our students, staff, and event volunteers at each competition.
Inclement weather does not automatically cancel a marching band competition. In most cases, the competition will continue even if it is raining. Please bring additional clothing to deal with both cold and wet conditions. In some cases the competition will be moved indoors.
What To Bring
For a marching band competition you should bring money, warm clothes, wet weather gear, a warm blanket, and water. Students should also assure to bring black socks and their black marching shoes as well as their marching band t-shirts.
After the awards ceremony students return to the staging area to load the bus for their return trip home. Any remaining items must be loaded onto the band trailer before we leave. Once the bus and the trailer return to the school, items must be unloaded and put away. All students are expected to stay and unload the bus and the trailer.
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