MARCHING BAND INFORMATION
What is Marching Band About?
Marching Band is a fun activity that promotes school spirit among students, faculty and the community. This Band program performs a field show at all football games that includes playing music, marching, drill, choreography, and supporting the football team. The Marching Band also performs fun tunes in the stands during games and a pre-game performance that includes the National Anthem and the school fight song.
One of the most important aspects to Marching Band is competition. The Marching Band performs at various High Schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This is a performance where our field show is judged both musically and visually by educators across the nation. We receive a grading system out of 100 points, as well as caption awards for Best Music, Color Guard, Visual and Percussion.
This is a great opportunity for your student to play music that he/she may not have been exposed to before. Students that participate in musical activities tend to perform better in academics. Many students site Marching Band as one of the most rewarding activities in school. Students will have opportunities in the Marching Band to become a student leader and will learn how to perform as a team.
Students fill leadership positions within the Marching Band. There are Drum Majors, Captains, Field Equipment Manager and Uniform Manager. These experienced students take on added responsibilities that include teaching field positions, music guidance, and role modeling. Student Leaders are chosen by and report to Mr. Halat.
Music Boosters are a parent group that provides additional support that cannot be met by the other Leadership in the Band. Parent of a band student at Hightstown High School is a member of the Music Booster Organization. All parents are expected to participate and are encouraged to hold a position within the group at some point during their students’ time in high school. More information about the Booster Club can be found later in this book.
After completing two full seasons of Marching Band, students are eligible to purchase a Marching Band Varsity Jacket.
Band Director and Booster Club
Parents may contact the Band Director at any time. The best way to get a quick response is through e-mail. You can reach Mr. Halat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents may also e-mail the various members of the Band Booster Executive Board. Their individual contact information is on the Music Booster portion of this website. The Band Booster’s may also contact you during the school year via the e-mail that you provide in your Membership Application.
Cost of Marching Band
In order to participate in Marching Band, a $65 fee is required. This fee covers the cost of Band Camp and will allow the Booster Organization to provide food for dinners during the 2 weeks of band camp.
There are some costs that are not included in the band camp cost. These costs include student specific items like shoes and gloves. Parents provide the funds for these items and will vary depending upon the student. Information regarding these costs will be emailed to all parents in late July/early August.
Music Department Trip
School years that include a Band Trip are a separate cost. The trip costs vary based upon where the trip is and the type of performance. Details for Band Trips are provided when the trip is announced, however, past trips have cost anywhere from $400.00 to $1200.00. Any member of the Marching Band is eligible to participate on the Music trip.
Each year the Music Department and Music Booster Organization offers a variety of opportunities for you to earn funds to compensate for the costs of Band trips. These events will be announced at a later date.
Music, Field Show, Camps, Parades
Show music will be issued as soon as it is ready, usually at the end of the school year. Students are expected to work on learning the music in their spare time so that they are prepared to play it at July and August rehearsals. Stands music and music for our National Anthem will be provided at Band Camp.
Field Show and Band Camp
Spots in the field show are reserved with completion of the Student Application. How to march and where to go will be taught at Band Camp. All students are required to attend Band Camp and attend as many July and August rehearsals to learn basic marching skills. If you do not get your Membership completed by early June, you may still join Marching Band; you just may only be allowed to be a part of the Pit Percussion.
The Marching Band performs at the Hightstown Christmas Parade, Princeton Parade and Hightstown Memorial Day parade each year.
Music Booster Organization
The Music Booster Organization is a parent support group for the Music Program (Band and Choir). The group is supported by Mr. Halat, Ms. O'Dea, and Mr. Ernst.
Some parents agree to take on extra responsibilities and are elected into an Executive position. These parents provide the direction of the Booster Club. Executive positions include President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Parents can volunteer to fulfill Committee Chair positions and agree to oversee one job within the band program like chaperones or the concession stand. All parents with Executive or Committee Chair jobs are on the Booster Club Board and meet throughout the year. They have one vote each on all items brought up before the Booster Club Board. The Booster Club Board gives input to the Band Director for improving the Marching Band, keeping costs low, and how to spend the funds. The Executive group acts as assistants by enforcing rules, handling the money, running the fundraisers, and other behind-the-scenes tasks like creating this guide.
There are many ways parents can help the band program through the Music Booster Organization. From helping in the uniform room, helping with the Pit Crew or helping with the Shack at football games. The best way for a new parent to get started is by attending regular Music Booster meetings during the school year and sign-up for jobs throughout the year.