BAND FAQ’S for New Members
Welcome to the family!!! Here are the answers to frequently asked questions for incoming band members.
How do I sign up for marching band?
Students will enroll in BHHS classes in the early Spring of 8th grade. Those students interested in marching band should choose Campus Band for 1st and 2nd semester.
Band Camp sign-up information and drumline and colorguard audition information will come out in early Spring as well and will be emailed home to all current 8th grade band students.
How does High School band work?
There are three bands that meet during the day; Campus Band, which as the name implies is comprised entirely of 9th graders; Concert Band, 10th, 11th and 12th graders who have not auditioned into Symphony Band; and Symphony Band, students Grades 9-12 who have taken an audition in the spring and qualify for our top ensemble. Not many 9th graders will be in this group, but there will be a few! There is also a Jazz Band, which meets outside the school day (the first two even days of the week from 6:30 - 7:25 am and from 2:30 - 4:30 every Thursday).
How many students are in the marching band?
There are currently 140 students in the BHHS Marching Band.
Can I do marching band and concert band?
YES! Marching band IS concert band. It can be confusing, but the marching band is made up of 3 different band classes. Campus Band (mostly 9th grade students), Concert Band (10-12th grade students) and Symphony Band (9-12th grade students who audition) each rehearse separately during the school day, but together they form the marching band.
What is the year like?
From late July through the final football game of the year (usually the third week of October), we are basically devoted to Marching Band. This is a very busy but fun and rewarding time of year! There are rehearsals every Wednesday night from 630-830 through the first week of October, and most (but not all) weekends after school starts have some sort of activity or performance either Friday night or Saturday through mid-October. After Marching season is over, things settle down a great deal – a December collage concert, Festival in March, and a spring concert.
Does the marching band perform at every football game?
The marching band performs at every HOME football game. Usually there are 4-5 each season lasting until mid-late October.
Do I have to be really good?
The short answer is “no” – there are students in our band program who are taking auditions for music schools, and are amongst the finest players in our state. There are also some who are not yet very proficient, and there are a host of players who fit somewhere in between. No matter where you sit on that continuum, we have a place for you!
How many songs do we learn each year?
The marching band learns one marching show for the entire season. Usuall this is 4-5 pieces of music. There is also ‘pre-game’ which students learn 3 pieces for and stands tunes that the band performs between plays during the football games, however those don’t have to be memorized.
What do I need to do to be on drumline?
Drumline auditions are held in the Spring. All interested students are invited to attend audition camps where they are taught basics and how to play the audition music. Students who wish to improve their percussion skills and increase their chances of making the drumline should consider private lessons focused on snare drum technique.
Can I do sports and marching band?
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes! The marching band is full of student athletes each year. Students participate in soccer, tennis, swimming, diving, gymnastics, hockey, football and cross country along with many other sports and activities. Many of our students are also involved in student leadership, robotics, drama, choir, and the list goes on! The key to making it all happen is communication. When students are on top of their personal schedules and communicate conflicts with rehearsals, practices, games or performances with Mr. Posner there is a lot of flexibility.
Is there a drum set in band at the high school?
Drum set is only a part of Jazz Band. Jazz Band is a class that is held before and after school. Students audition for one of two bands in the Jazz Band class.
If I play a non-marching instrument (oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, etc), will marching band get in the way of practicing my main instrument?
It’s probably fair to say that students may spend a little less time practicing their non-marching band instrument during marching band season. However, the skills students learn by playing a second instrument, whether it is percussion, or another woodwind instrument, do transfer over to their main instrument. Concepts such as rhythm, note reading, and ensemble skills transfer to any instrument.
Is there band at IA?
Yes, IA has a band of its own. It does not have a marching band. Students at IA are not able to participate in the BHHS marching band as most of it’s rehearsals are during the school day.
Are you able to get individualized help with such a large amount of students in the band program?
Yes! One of the great things about marching band is the leaders and connections that are made between freshmen and upperclassmen. Even if a student might not be able to get help directly from Mr. Posner, there are multiple leaders in the section to help out. Also, during band camp, the Band and Orchestra Boosters high 20+ college and professional musicians to come work with the students in sectionals and on the field. It’s a great learning experience.
What is Band Camp?
Every August, the High School Marching Band spends a week away from home at Band Camp. This week is used to learn the fundamentals of marching band, rehearse, and learn the music for the upcoming season’s marching band show, learn the drill for the show, install our pre-game show, and instill in every member the discipline, pride, and camaraderie that are necessary for our band to function at its best.
Is band camp required for students who are not in marching band, but sign up for Black Hawk Band?
No. Band Camp is only for those in marching band.
Why is there Band Camp?
Because our marching band performs at football games, and our football season begins before the school year begins, rehearsals are necessary before school starts. Marching Band is a lot of fun, but it’s a difficult activity, requiring a great deal of co-ordination and timing. The approximately 75 hours of rehearsal that occur before the band ever takes the field are best accomplished away from the distractions of home, and in an environment where all our energy can be devoted to forming a cohesive unit on and off the field.
Where is Band Camp?
This year we will be attending camp at Spring Arbor University just outside Jackson, Michigan. The dorm is, as dorms go, a very comfortable and suitable place for us to stay – 2 person suites with a shared bathroom on each floor. There is a common area for students to congreate during the apropriate hours as well as many recreational items for students to use. There is also a McDonalds, dollar store, and ice cream shop within walking distance.
When is Band Camp?
The exact date of band camp may change every year, but we always shoot for a Tuesday-Sunday during the last week of July/first week of August. We will return about 10 am during the last day of band camp where we will have a special "familes only" performance at BHHS to showcase what we've learned at camp. Please check with Mr. Posner, your middle school director, or the calendar on this website to find this year's dates.
Who goes to Band Camp?
Everyone – Our show is written for a specific number of people in each section, and will be written for those who are at camp. Students not at camp cannot be included in the drill.
What Do We Do There?
The typical day begins with breakfast at 7:30 am, followed by rehearsal all morning. After lunch there is a rest period until 1:30, and then rehearsal until about 5:00. After dinner, we have rehearsal from 6:30 until 8:30. In the evening there are class and sectional meetings, a movie night, and “kick back and relax” time until bed check and lights out around 1030. We take one afternoon off to use the gym, go swimming, play golf, take a nap, or other recreational activities. The last evening is skit night, where each class will present a skit, and awards for the week will be presented.
What if I can’t go?
Each year, there are a few students (usually 5-10) who are in band, but did not attend camp. These students perform in our “pit” (the sideline grounded percussion and instrumentalists), but cannot be included in the drill itself because they will have missed about 75 hours, or the equivalent of 10 weeks of rehearsal. The vast majority of band students arrange their calendars well in advance so they don’t miss this week.
What if I don’t want to go?
Each year, there are a few newer members who express some anxiety or worry before going to Band Camp – sometimes this is caused by a fear of the unknown, or a lack of confidence in their own abilities (“Everyone else is so good, and I can’t do this!”). These feelings invariably vanish in the first few hours or so – we have a marvelous group of older students whose job it will be to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted. It doesn’t take long to find out that everyone is pretty much in the same boat – even some of our veterans have a hard time at first remembering which is their left and which is their right foot! You will undoubtedly return from camp with a new perspective, as well as 150 or so new friends. Remember – our students are guided by what is best for the band; not what is best for each individual. It’s in all our best interests to have you on board, and for you to adopt the same attitude. You won’t regret a day of it!
What is Pre-camp? Is it important?
Pre-camp is typically held the week before band camp (Tuesday - Friday from 2-6 pm at BHHS). The first day is for leadership only, the second is for freshman and leadership, and the last two days are for the full band. We use this time to learn our marching fundamentals which will allow us to start learning our show on day one of band camp. While students have missed these rehearsals in the past due to unavoidable conflicts, it is HIGHLY recommended that all students be in attendance, ESPECIALLY FRESHMAN. Freshman can easily become lost or discouraged if they miss this time and are then thrown into learning drill at band camp.
There is a new parents dinner after the first freshman rehearsal at 6 pm (typically on Wednesday)
How do I stay current with the band calendar?
Please check out calendar as it is updated regularly. It can be found at www.bboboosters.com/calendar. In addition, Mr. Posner will often send out communication via email and Remind 101.