Why join the BHS band? Because it changes lives.
The decision to join the marching band and commit to all it requires can be a challenge for students, and often for their parents. If you've not experienced marching band before, the activity may hold some mysteries or misconceptions. Here's the truth: There's really nothing like it. Few activities can promise the life-changing positive impact delivered by the BHS band. Still skeptical? Watch the short videos above and below and hear some 2015 BHS band students explain what it means in their own words.
What your child gets from band
Your child will learn things about music and teamwork that you never imagined.
Band members receive high quality musical instruction during the school day and during band rehearsals. They learn the invaluable art of playing as a part of a large ensemble, and they learn to compete with dignity.
Your child will become a part of a healthy social circle before high school even starts.
Nearly 10% of the student body participates in marching band. Your rising 9th grader will know lots of faces and have new friends before the first day of high school. This makes the transition to high school SO MUCH EASIER.
Band kids look out for each other, and the older ones pride themselves on being mentors to new members.
Being a part of a dedicated and successful group has a huge impact on adolescent self-esteem and confidence.
The kids are safe and busy.
Parents love that their kids are participating in a "short leash" extracurricular activity - fully occupied and heavily supervised!
Looks GREAT on college applications.
Prospective colleges want to see that your child participated in extra-curricular activities. Dedication and focus in one demanding activity rates higher than casual participation in a variety of clubs.
Your child won't have to take P.E.!
Minor point for some families, major for others.
What is the time commitment for Marching Band?
Many new families are surprised to learn that marching bands do a whole heck of a lot more than play at football games! The BHS Marching Band competes locally, regionally, and nationally against other band programs.
Our commitment to excellence necessitates a lot of practice. As is true for all marching band programs, we practice several times a week and most Saturdays during marching season. Marching season begins with band camp the last week in July and ends in mid-November.
Below you will find the general rehearsal schedule and a description of the other time commitments. It will sound like a lot - our kids live and breathe for band during marching season. They dedicate themselves to the enormous endeavor of building a top quality show. Astonishingly, most parents report that their kids manage their time (i.e., homework) BETTER during marching season. Really and truly.
Band Camp, clinic days, football games and competitions
Summer Training Camps: usually the third week in July. Variable hours. Separate training schedules for Color Guard, Percussion, Winds, Newcomers.
Summer Band Camp: usually the last week in July. M-Th, 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. - for 2018 it is the week of July 28
Football games: most Friday nights, roughly 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday clinic days: most Saturdays starting in mid-August, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Competitions: usually on Saturdays, typically three or four per season, always preceded by a full day rehearsal, sometimes an overnight stay, sometimes a very late night return.
Historically, the Marching Band has participated in the Bands of America Grand National Championships every other year. This is a Thu-Sun adventure in mid-November. All costs are included in the pledge commitment and all band members are required to participate.
When not participating in the the Bands of America Grand National Championships, the Marching Band takes a week-long trip to perform in a major parade or at an event. These trips occur over Thanksgiving or Winter break and are optional.
Marching Band isn't free. Nor is it cheap. But it is an excellent value (you get a lot of bang for your buck) and is a fantastic investment in your child's future. Many current BHS band families cover most, if not all, of the required fees through fundraising.
There are two components to the cost of participating in Marching Band: the fee charged by the Williamson County School District, and your family's pledge commitment. Both are described in more detail below. These fees cover everything except for marching shoes and, for some players, gloves. There will be no additional surprise expenses during the season.
Williamson County Fee
There is a $250 Marching Band fee that is required by Williamson County in order to participate in the marching band program.
The Boosters and the Band Director determine a yearly budget based on the number of students in the band and the expected expenses. Anticipated operating expenses include band camp expenses, uniforms, staff, office supplies, competition fees, instruments, show design and travel expenses. This total budget required to operate the band program at its current level of excellence is then divided by the number of participating band students to determine each band student’s pledge commitment.
The exact pledge amount changes each year, here are the historical data:
2016: $828 + $2700 for optional Hawaii trip
2015: $861 + $600 for optional Universal Studios trip
2013: $570 + $975 for optional NY trip
2011: $720 + $675 for optional Disney trip
Ways to reduce the cost
Most fundraising is participation-linked. In other words, the actual participants for any particular fundraising event will share the proceeds equally. The funds that your family raises are credited directly into your family's pledge commitment. Those contributions are subtracted from what you owe. Your personal fundraising efforts directly impact your bottom line!