Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. What is the Marching Schedule? How will it impact my family’s summer?
A. The schedule is available on our Web site and as handouts throughout the season.
Q. Can you be in sports and marching band at the same time?
A. YES! Many marching band and color guard members are also athletes. Scheduling can be arranged if you talk with your captain and director. Students who need extra study time may have to prioritize which activities they want to join.
Q. Can we take a family vacation in the summer if our teen is in Marching Band?
A. YES! Every band member needs to submit the dates they will miss marching band activities. Band members MUST attend Band Camp which will be held late in July. First year band students should attend as many rehearsals as possible because there is SO MUCH to learn.
Q. What does Marching Band Cost?
A. Fees for the 2013 fall marching band season are $725, but actual costs are approximately twice that amount. The remaining program costs are covered through a variety of fund-raising events sponsored by the Band Boosters throughout the year. Students and parents are expected to participate in those fundraisers. Remember, your investment in your child will teach them discipline, teamwork, coordination, manners, dedication, and they will get in great shape (not to mention, they will experience GREAT music). There is scholarship assistance for families in need.
Q. As a parent, what is involved in being a Marching Band Booster?
A. When your student joins Marching Band, you automatically become a member of the Boosters. No additional paperwork, applications, or fees. We encourage all Booster parents to participate in our meetings and activities. The benefit to you is that you get to hear news about your child, even if they never tell you what happens at marching band! We have a lot of fun working on fund raising, making flags, hemming uniforms, building props and chaperoning great teenagers. When your teen registers for marching band, you will have an opportunity to indicate the activities that interest you.
Q. How will my child get to and from practice all summer?
A. Many of the older marching band kids drive to practice. You will receive a membership directory that could help you to arrange rides for your teen when needed. Parents are usually eager to carpool, also.
Q. My teen is not a great student and good organizer of time. How will they balance homework & marching band in the fall?
A. Many students become more disciplined after joining marching band. Also, your teen will have great role models in marching band. Older students really work hard to help rookies (incoming freshmen) to understand how to stay on track with school and band. If your student is interested in help, there are many possibilities within the school to meet his/her needs. As a parent, you may need to help your teen prioritize homework ahead of the weekends that will be spent away at band shows. Many students bring their study materials along on field show weekends. Quiet/study time on the bus is often mandatory on longer trips.
Q. My teen is SHY & doesn’t know anyone who’s joining the band. Will he/she fit in with the group?
A. YES! Each instrument section has team captains who work hard to integrate all students in section activities. Many students develop lasting relationships, weird wardrobes, strange nicknames, and really take pride in their section T-shirts.
Q. My teen doesn’t really play his instrument all that well. Are there auditions for marching band?
A. NO! Everyone is welcome in marching band. All of this extra practice will really improve your student’s playing ability. There are so many other dimensions to marching band that playing skill is really only one small part of the whole experience.
Q. My teen is not very coordinated. How will he/she be able to march and play at the same time?
A. It’s a miracle! You won’t believe this is the same teen you sent to the first practice when you see them in their final show. An amazing transformation occurs. It’s from hard work and a lot of encouragement (and fun!).
Q. My teen is from Mounds View High School. Can he/she play and letter in Irondale’s Marching Band?
A. YES! Absolutely! The marching band is open to all high school students in the Mounds View 621 School District. We want any interested student to be a part of this great group.
Q. My teen is in confirmation class and is required to attend a fall retreat weekend. What if this conflicts with a field show?
A. Students and family members will need to make the decision that best suits their beliefs and priorities. In previous years, students have missed a field show to attend important church events. You need to complete an absence request ahead of time.
Q. Can my teen have a job and be in marching band?
A. We sure hope so. Our teens need money for all the gloves and socks they lose and have to replace for marching band! Many students juggle jobs and band. Schedules should be arranged so that the student minimizes absences from practice.
Q. Can my teen be in orchestra and marching band?
A. Yah, sure, you betcha they can! Some orchestra students pick up completely different instruments for marching band. Other orchestra students join the color guard.