Incoming Freshmen Frequently Asked Questions
(last update 2021.05.17)
What affect will COVID-19 have on Summer Band and beyond?
Though there will be some COVID protocols that continue, we are looking forward to a return to mostly normal band activities for the summer of 2021 and beyond.
Does everyone have to march?
Where can I find a summer band schedule?
The 2021 Summer Schedule can be found HERE.
We hope to complete the full 2021-2022 Event Calendar soon.
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 early May, it is posted on this website, and we mail information out to all high school and middle school students.
We do allow for conflicts such as vacations, camps, students living with different parents during the summer months, as well as other reasons, but all students MUST inform the directors of any absences BEFORE they take place or they risk being removed from the roster.
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.
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 is 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?
No. Band Camp during the week of August 2-6 is for Field Show marchers only.
With the recent cancellation of the 2021 Monongalia County Fair, there will be no fair parade this year, and therefore fall sports participants (AKA parade-only marchers) will not need to attend any summer rehearsals WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PICTURE DAY, which will be announced soon.
If I play a fall sport, do I have to pay the full band camp fee?
Fall sports participants only pay the band camp fee if they march in the field show.
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. Students typically audition for Symphonic Winds, but COVID protocols forced us to base admission into the 2021-22 Symphonic Winds on the recommendations of the middle school directors. We plan to return to our standard audition process next year.
Classes like Jazz Ensemble require teacher permission, and are generally taken by upperclassmen.
When does the marching band rehearse once school starts?
At the start of school, we rehearse Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:45-4:30 PM. As the season progresses, we will cut back to two, then one after school rehearsal per week.
As mentioned above, once finalized, the full 2021-2022 Event Calendar will be posted soon.
If I have a sibling in band, do I pay full price for Band 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 www.uhsband.net) 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.
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