Incoming Freshmen Frequently Asked Questions

(last update 2020.04.15)

What affect will the COVID-19 situation have on Summer Band and beyond?

As with most school-related events, we have no way of knowing what will happen in the summer or beyond at this point. The most up-to-date information we can offer about many band-related topics can be found on the Spring 2020 Information PageBeyond that, everything listed below is how the band operates once things return to normal.

Does everyone have to march?



Where can I find a summer band schedule?

The 2020 Summer Schedule can be found HERE.

Once finalized, the full 2020-2021 Event Calendar can be found HERE. 


Do I have to come to summer band?

Yes. All students must attend summer band rehearsals. All high school and middle school students were informed of the summer band schedule when it was released in February, it is posted on this website, and we mail information out to all high school and middle school students. 

We make every effort to inform all students of the band schedule, and summer activities are very important for student development and program planning. 

Aside from students who move into the district right before school starts, we are unable to accept students into the program who do not attend summer band, or make arrangements to cover missed work and hold their spot in the show. 

We do allow for conflicts such as vacations, camps, students who live with different parents during the summer months, and other reasons, but all students MUST inform the directors of any absences BEFORE they take place or they risk being removed from the roster.


What if I play a fall sport?

We recommend that all students who play fall sports march in the field show, if possible. The vast majority of students who participate in the field show report that it was more fun, fewer rehearsals, and less of a time constraint than they had expected or heard from friends (nearly all of whom have never marched in a field show).

However, we understand that sometimes it is impossible to work out the conflicts that inevitably arise between after-school sports practices and games and after-school band rehearsals and performances, so we give students who play fall sports the option to march in parades only.

In order to be eligible to march in parades only, students must be a member of a fall sports team, STAY on that team, and work out scheduling conflicts within the schedule with their coaches IN ADVANCE.

Students who march in parades only should be at every parade and parade rehearsal. The directors look at the sports schedules in advance and ATTEMPT to schedule things around fall sports schedules, but sometimes it is impossible to do so.

By not marching in the field show, fall sport athletes are being excused from roughly 80-90% of all fall band activities. Students who miss parades or parade rehearsals for sports conflicts have no way of making up these missed performances and/or rehearsals. Infrequent exceptions to the rule may be made, but must be arranged IN ADVANCE.


If I play a fall sport, do I have to come to band camp?

All incoming freshmen should attend Freshman/New Students Camp (July 15-17, 9:00am-12:00 pm @ UHS), Masterclasses (July 20-21, 9:00am-12:00pm), and Basics Camp (July 22-24, 9:00am-1:00pm @ UHS) Students should bring their concert instruments to the Masterclasses.

In the afternoon on Tuesday, July 24, we will have a photo shoot (date subject to change).


If I play a fall sport, do I have to pay the full band camp fee?

Because rehearsals attended by parade-only marchers are shorter and do not include meals, parade-only marchers DO NOT pay a camp fee.


What do I need to know about the Kennywood trip in August?

Near the end of summer band activities, the band takes a trip to Kennywood Park. This trip is a reward for good summer band attendance. The Band Boosters pay for transportation, and depending on band finances at the time, the boosters MAY be able to assist with all or part of students' Ride-All-Day Passes, as well. 

To be eligible for the trip, student must meet the following criteria:

1. March in the field show. 
2. Have three or fewer EXCUSED* absences.
3. Have NO UNEXCUSED absences.
4. Be up-to-date with all financial obligations such as uniform fees, camp fees, etc.

*Excused absences include family vacations, summer school activities, various youth camps, etc. Check with directors for clarification of whether an activity can be excused. Directors must be informed IN ADVANCE.


If I march in parades only, do I attend the Kennywood trip?

No. Parade-only marchers are not required to attend most of the summer rehearsals, and the Kennywood trip is a reward for those students who are required to attend the full summer schedule (and have excellent attendance).


Can I be in band and participate in other activities?

Each year rumors circulate that students can't be in band and participate in certain activities. These rumors NEVER come from the band. While we can't speak for any other coach or activity sponsor, the band directors make EVERY effort to include all students who are interested.

While there may be some activities whose schedules are more difficult to schedule around than others, the directors will almost never say that students can't participate in band if they participate in other activities.


What class do I sign up for?

For most incoming freshmen, the answer is Concert Band. For those who played for and were approved by Mr. Palmer, the answer is Symphonic Winds. Classes like Jazz Ensemble require teacher permission, and are generally taken by upperclassmen.


When does the marching band rehearse once school starts?

As mentioned above, once finalized, the full 2020-2021 Event Calendar can be found HERE.


If I have a brother or sister in band, do I pay full price for Day Camp?

After the first band member has paid, there is a 25% discount for each family member after that. 

Additionally, the Band Operating Fee of $300 (see the band handbook on is counted PER FAMILY, not per student. So if there are two family members in band, they pay (or fund-raise) only $300 TOTAL for the year.


What if I have question that is not answered here?

E-mail Mr. Palmer at