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a parent who has chaperoned Falconaire Colorguard and Winter Guard competitions
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FAQ for Parents of Rising Ninth Graders

Soon your student will begin to make choices regarding elective courses and extra curricular activities for their freshman year in HS. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Band Program that should give both you and your student the information to help make those choices.

If I take Band as an elective class, what activities does that include?

All Middle School students are assessed when the BWHS Band Director visits their school in the Spring and you are placed into either the Symphonic Band (lower Band) or the Symphonic Winds (upper Band). You will take this class every other day and will perform at Winter and Spring Concerts, Assessment Festivals and have the opportunity to participate in various trips to music events.

If I take Band, do I have to be part of the Marching Band?

No, Marching Band is an extra curricular activity that many of our Band students join, but is not a pre-requisite for Band Class. The Falcon Regiment is a well respected Superior Marching Band and it is prestigious to be a member of this Band. Students usually play their main instrument and learn marching drills or play one of the 'Pit' (percussion) instruments.

To be in the Marching Band do I have to attend Band Camp?

Yes, Band Camp runs typically from the beginning of August for the four weeks before the start of the school year. Rehearsals are twice a day during the first two weeks of Band Camp and then once a day for the second two week period, or more often if the Band Director requires it. Rehearsals start at 8.00am until 12.30pm and then in the evening 5.00pm until 7.30pm.There is an opportunity to set up car pools to help with transport to and from Band Camp.

What other Band activities can I participate in?

Whether you take Band as an elective or not, you can participate in any number of extra curricular activities, in addition to Marching Band, as they are offered during the year. The Jazz Bands start in November and meet in the mornings before school and perform two concerts during the year, one in the Fall and a second in the Spring. There are two Jazz Bands and again you audition annually to be placed in either Jazz II (lower Jazz Band) or Jazz I (upper Jazz Band). 

The Falconaires, a Colorguard Regiment, accompany the Marching Band in their Show. They perform flag twirling, rifle twirling, dance and drill movements and practice from the start of Band Camp through November. During the winter months a separate group learns drill routines and perform at a number of indoor Winterguard Competitions. These take place in February and March. 

Any musician can join the indoor Winter Drumline during the winter months. They too learn a new Show which they take to a number of competions during February and March.

What costs are involved?

At the beginning of each year fees are due dependent on the number of 'Band' activities you will pursue. Fees for Marching Band are due in the summer and fees for the Winterguard and Winter Drumline are collected later in the year as and when you choose to participate. Typically fees run around $150-$200 with an additional $50 for instrument rental.

Do I need my own instrument?

No, there are instruments for hire from the school system, with the fee as above. Should you have your own instrument then obviously you can use it and do not have to pay the rental fee.

How do we support the Football team?

The Marching Band plays spirt music in the stands of the stadium at Friday night home games and at half time, they perform the Show that has been practiced at Band Camp. Sometimes they accompany the Football Team to an away game and will also participate in playoff games the team plays after the regular season has finished.

What about competitions? I hear the Falcon Regiment has won many awards...

Yes, the Band Director takes the Marching Band to compete in 4 or 5 competitions per season, from September through November. These take place on a Saturday and can often involve extensive travel to places like JMU. These trips are chaperoned by Band parents, the students have opportunities to eat meals if required and are provided with transportation, water bottles and snacks. The Falon Regiment has earned superior ratings at a number of events. 

There have also been many awards won by the Concert Bands, the Symphonic Band and the Symphonic Winds, most notably is the recent Silver and Gold Awards respectively from the New York Wind Band Festival held in Carnegie Hall, New York City.

If I play a sport, how will I fit both band and my sport into my schedule?

Wherever possible, the Band Director works with the coaches to facilitate students achieving their individual goals. Sometimes, students will need to make choices about their preferred activity because of schedule conflicts.

If I've never done any musical activity at school but play an instrument at home, can I join in the Band activities?

Yes, you will need to talk with the Band Director to see where the best fit for your skill level would be, but we welcome all students who wish to participate in any part of the Band Program.

What opportunities are there for students to work on their leadership and team work?

In both the Concert Bands and Marching Band there are a number of opportunities. The Band Director appoints section leaders, pit and drum captains, a Band Captain and Drum Majors. There are librarians who take care of the sheet music and historians who capture the history as it happens. There are opportunities to become as involved as your student wishes to be. 

The Band Room is always open before and after school for the students to meet, sometimes practice, work on their camaraderie, get to know each other and even get fed before after school Band activities. This is one of the best groups of students to be involved with! If you join Marching Band you will start the first day of school with a number of 'Band' friends.

How can parents get involved in supporting the Band Program?

There is an active Music Booster Organization which supports all aspects of the Band Program.This is a parent group who supports the Band Program and Band Director in a multitude of ways. They operate in a similar way to PTA/PTSA . Throughout the year there are many opportunities to volunteer for these activities, whether it's chaperoning to a Competition, serving snacks at Band Camp, fundraising, helping with Concert Attire, Marching Uniforms or Equipment. There is something for everyone and we encourage all parents to participate wherever possible. 

We value our parents and are grateful for all they do for the Band Program throughout the year.

What if I have other questions?

Please feel free to contact any of the Music Booster Organization members at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any further questions. 

Our website: http://www.bwhsmusicboosters.org is a great source of additional information.

Upcoming Events

Wed Oct 18 @ 7:30AM -
Jazz II
Thu Oct 19 @ 7:30AM -
Jazz I
Thu Oct 19 @ 7:30AM -
Falconaires Sectional
Thu Oct 19 @ 5:00PM - 07:00PM
Marching Rehearsal
Fri Oct 20 @ 4:00PM - 10:00PM
Home Game Potomac Falls

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