Just like with any family, it takes a lot of money to keep things "up and running." While the band receives more support from the school system, Brentwood High School and from the Brentwood PTO than many schools in other systems, there is still not enough. Yes, Mr. Box could operate a band with only the funds provided from these sources, but it would not be the same band we have come to love and respect - the kind of band opportunity we want for our children -- or the kind of program that could keep pace with other schools in our area.
When we travel on school buses, we pay only for the driver – the county pays the rest of the expense – fuel, use of the bus, etc. That is the extent of the support from WCS. Funds from the PTO have covered a variety of expenses over the years – money is put into a uniform accrual fund so that we should never have to do a special fund raiser for uniforms; the instrument lockers in the band room and many instruments that band programs traditionally own instead of the students are purchased with money the PTO receives from the City of Brentwood; funds that the budget committee of Brentwood High School allocates purchase furniture such as music stands, music and materials for the concert band, jazz ensemble and percussion ensemble, competition entry fees and occasionally a special need instrument.
The funds raised through the fair share go to many expenses that we feel are necessary to provide the type band program students like ours and a community like Brentwood deserves. The largest part of the budget goes to pay a highly talented staff of instructors, who work many hours with the marching band for relatively little pay. All housing and travel expenses for the major marching band competitions are included in the budget, so we do not have to collect travel money from individual students for each trip. When we have camps or local competitions, we generally provide one meal that day – funds for that also come out of the budget. The funds you raise pay for instrument and equipment needs not covered from PTO and BHS sources, as well as music expenses for the marching band. Expenses for bus drivers, as well as expenses for the semi we use to transport our equipment comes out of your fair share, as does money for the basic operation of the band program – things like postage, copier, hospitality, and recruitment. Those funds support other marching band expenses as well, like equipment for the color guard, band shirts for all the students, and the myriad of “little expenses” that all add up. However, because of the dedication of the band staff, we miss an expense that most of the bands we compete with have to pay – those bands pay thousands of dollars for someone to write their show – the music and the movement that the students perform all fall. Our staff does the creative work as well as the instructional, saving the band a huge additional expense. Mr. Box, as well as the rest of the staff, makes the most of every penny in the budget. A detailed accounting of the Band Booster funds is kept by our wonderful, volunteer Booster treasurers.