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Rookie Student and Parent Guide


Marching Band Rookie Parent Survival Guide (Revised August 2017)


First of all... Welcome to the Band!


Band Camp- This takes place in the month of August and is a pivotal time in our program. It defines how successful we will be for the upcomming season. We spend this time in August learning and memorizing 40-80 complex drill formations, memorizing countless songs, and working on our technique to improve our playing. One season of band camp is equal to a full year of in class instruction based upon the hours we practice. This is how we are able to improve our players and put on a awesome show! Camp generally falls as follows.

Camp is mandatory if you plan on being in marching band. Camp is not required for concert band. You must be a member of the marching band to be eligible to audition for our Advanced Symphonic Band. We currently have 3 levels of band classes at RRHS:

Symphonic Winds- This is our first tier band for sudents who enjoy making music and would like to be a part of a advanced enesmble and further their musicianship. Participation in the marching band is a requirement to be eligible to audition for this course. Participation in the marching band does not guarantee admittance. Entry is completed through audition at the end of a student's freshmen year after succesful completion of our Concert Band program and a completed marching season. Exemptions may be granted if instrumentation is needed and deemed necessary by the Director of Bands, freshmen will be admitted, but they must participate in the marching band or participation in a school sanctioned VHSL sport, where the conflicts can not be worked out with the Director and Coach. Outside school activites such as dance, boy scouts, race car driving, skiing etc. will not be approved. Students must make choices in life to excel, this is a choice to be a member of this advanced ensemble and all of its commitments. These exemptions are solely at the discretion of the Director of Bands.


Concert Band- This is our second tier band for sudents who enjoy making music and would like to be a part of a enesmble. This ensemble is open by Audition and placements happen by the director of bands. Marching is not required for participation in this ensemble. -Please take a moment to browse the website. You will find practice & performance schedules, band news, registration forms, and online payment options for marching fees. You may also add your name to receive our email newsletter. Much of the band season news is broadcast via the newsletter.

Chaperones- The marching band typically travels in three-four school buses. To comply with Loudoun County requirements, there must be an adult chaperone (over the age of 21) per bus. No young children please. Chaperones may need to pay an entrance fee to competitions, and will need money for food. This is a high school group, and chaperones are there to supervise, but also give students space. The bus is their “down time”. You are volunteering to be with the band, not necessarily with your student. Please keep this in mind when assigned a bus. Chaperones also generally help out with pit crew and/or uniforms.


Band Schedules/Competition Itineraries- The tentative competition calendar is distributed at registration day of camp. Please note that this calendar may change - even at the last minute - due to a variety of reasons, including weather. The competition day itinerary is distributed a day or two prior to attending a competition and will be posted weekly via the band boosters Facebook page (see below) and a Charms email blast. Note that a competition day usually takes up most of the day and/or night. Please do not make plans for the student other than band on competition days as we travel all over the mid-Atlantic region - including this year to Atlanta for an overnight. Students should call or text parents from the road about 30 minutes before arrival time. Itineraries usually include directions and approximate arrival and performance times.


Band Competitions- These are usually an all-day affair, often with very early morning arrival and late night (or early next morning) returns. We will have one overnight competition in 2017. From late September to late October, there is a competition three of four weekends in September and October. Students MUST attend all competitions—this is non-negotiable except in the event of a family emergency. Bands are classed from A to AAAAA depending on the size. RR is usually classed as AA-AAAA. You are encouraged to follow the band to competitions and cheer for the Phoenix Band. It is a great way to enjoy a crisp fall afternoons/evenings. There is a fee to enter most competitions. (The band itself and most pit crew are admitted free of charge).


Spirit Pack-During Band Camp a online store will be open for the purchase of band spirit wear for the student and parents. Certain items will be "highly suggested" as we encourage the students to wear RRHS attire after performances in Marching Season. but nothing is required as we provide a band shirt for students to wear. This is simply for you and your student to have RRHS band gear.


Tee Shirts- The band is provided with a season tee shirt as part of band fees. some point early in the season, these same shirts will be for sale for parents and family members. HELPFUL HINT: When the shirts are for sale, if you buy an extra for your band student... you will always have a spare. This is helpful when there is a football game on a Friday night, and a band competition on Saturday. (Band tee-shirts must be worn at every football game and competition). It’s not required to buy an extra, but veteran band parents have learned it helps a lot! There will also be an opportunity to purchase sweatshirts/sweatpants at a later date.


Pit Crew- This is a group of volunteer parents that help get equipment on and off the field for the band. Consider helping.... It’s a great way to learn about the program and make friends.


Meals on the Road- As a general rule, students should have money for one meal. Each itinerary will spell out where the meal will be, but generally they all include at least one meal. Anything in addition the student will have to provide.


Football Games- The band is required to perform at all Rock Ridge home games. In addition to a halftime performance on the football field, the band plays pep tunes on band bleachers.  Bring money for food during a break! Chaperones are needed for football games, so if you can’t travel with the band, you can volunteer during home games to assist the students while they are on the band bleachers playing pep songs.


Rock Ridge Band Day- The Rock Ridge HS Band Day is our annual band competition fundraiser hosted by us at RRHS in early October, and is a full day competition drawing approximately 10-25 bands. As you might expect, volunteers are needed to make this day successful. You will be contacted by our RR Band Day Coordinator to volunteer. While we perform at this competition, we are not competing (we are a host). We perform for exhibition.


Tag Day- The biggest fundraiser that we do. We go through the Rock Ridge community collecting tax deductable donations.


Tag Day 2.0- We ask every member to bring 10 names and addresses and we complete a mailing with our band info to our family and freinds. This is completed the same day as tag day.


Sectionals- Each instrumental group of the marching band is considered a section. Each section, at their discretion, will hold sectional sessions above and beyond the usual practice times. Usually this takes place during the lunch break at band camp. The guard is also a section and may have practices at different times. 


Band Uniform- The uniform is provided, with the exception of black socks (which you provide). Students must wear their band tee shirt, black socks, band shoes and gloves. Shoes and gloves are ordered and paid for by parents during band camp. Black socks must be crew socks. No ankle socks. Students generally wear their band shirt and athletic shorts under their uniforms, and compression shorts/shorts when it gets cold.


Daily student pick up- At the conclusion of practice each day, students must help cleaning up and storing all equipment. Please allow 15 minutes after practice ends for this to happen. Additionally, there are announcements made, which may take a few minutes. In summary, do not expect your student to be in your car, ready to leave at 6:31 if practice ends at 6:30. After a football game or competition, students may need to help unload the truck or clean up. Please be patient. On competition nights, your student will call or text you 30 minutes prior to arrival at RR. We will also send out an email or social media blast update when available. We appreciate your help unloading and organizing as well as it speeds up the process of dismissal. Please do not stand around the band room door - if you are not able to help unload, PARK your car in the front or back lots and wait for dismissal. Do not block other parked cars.  No cars are allowed in the bus loop unless they are hauling a trailer or other equipment!!!!

End of Season Banquet- This is for the students and their families, and is usually held in the spring.


RR Band Booster Meetings- You’re encouraged to attend and get involved. Updates on the season, and the band program in general are discussed. Meetings are usually on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the RR Band room.

Harris Teeter Card- Please consider purchasing a Band Booster Harris Teeter Card. You simply connect the card with he RRHS Band ID and we get a portion of every purchase you make at HT.


Photos- Please take lots of pictures and videos of the students. We try to compile a season DVD to show at the end of year banquet, and we also add pictures to our website. We will try to post pictures and videos on our Booster Facebook Page.

Senior Night - We recognize our graduating marching band seniors at the beginning of that last home football game. You will be asked to escort your senior onto the field to be recognized.

Future Phoenix Night - We welcome our rising 8th graders to the RRHS Marching Band! They will be taught some stand tunes by our directors and students, and will perform in the stands to cheer on our football team.

Facebook page - the band has an official Facebook page, and a closed page for our boosters and students.  Information, videos and pictures are most often posted on the closed page - please request to join.


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