Welcome to all incoming band students and their families, from the Lafayette Band Boosters!
This handbook is being provided as a source for answers to frequently asked questions from new students and families entering the band program. So, let’s get started…
What bands does Lafayette have and, how do students get selected for them?
Symphonic Band: Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Wind Ensemble: Students must audition.
Jazz Band: Students must audition.
Marching Band: Any student that is enrolled in a Lafayette band class may participate in marching band. It is an extra-curricular activity (similar to fall sports).
Color Guard: Students try out in the spring and do not have to be in band classes.
Winter Percussion, Theater and Guard: Students must audition for this group. They begin in the late fall, and finish in early spring.
Basketball Pep Band (Home Court Advantage): Anyone in Symphonic, Wind Ensemble, or Jazz band may audition.
What are the uniform requirements and who provides them?
The band classes (Symphonic, Wind Ensemble, Jazz) will require: Boys wear tuxedos which are provided by the band program and checked out to the student for the year. Students will have to provide black dress shoes and socks. Girls must provide their own black top or blouse (of appropriate style), dress slacks or skirt (must be below knee, preferably calf/ankle length), and black shoes.
Marching band uniforms are provided by the band program. The students must provide marching shoes, black socks, gloves, boxers and plain white t-shirts. The marching shoes and gloves are ordered as a group through the band boosters. The boxers and plain white t-shirts are needed by boys AND girls due to limited space for changing in and out of uniforms at competitions, etc. Marching band uniforms stay at school in the band room. Cleaning fees will be charged to student accounts as needed throughout the school year.
Color Guard uniforms (fall and winter) and Percussion Theater uniforms are provided/paid for by the students.
What is the time commitment for the students in band?
The band classes have evening concerts (approximately three per year) with an after school practice the day before the concert. They will have at least one competition (more for the jazz groups and upper level bands) in which they will participate that will be during the school day in the spring. The band directors will provide the students with more details pertinent to each band at the beginning of the school year.
Marching band requires attending out of town band camp and practices at LHS the four weeks before school starts, after school practices during football season, performing at home football games, and competitions on 4-5 Saturdays during September and October. It is important to note and understand that marching band has time requirements similar to varsity sports. It is and adjustment for freshmen and even though it takes up much of their free time during marching season, in the grand scheme of things it is not that long. Remember, band is also social time. Students often find that they actually become more efficient and learn to manage their time better during marching band season.
What is Band Boosters, and who is a member?
Parents of students in all Lafayette band programs are part of the Band Boosters. There are no dues or any special requirements, just a willingness to help when and where you are able! Parent volunteers are critical to the continued success of the band program. All talents and skills are needed and welcomed.
The Band Boosters provides support to the band programs in a variety of ways. Fundraising is certainly an important part of that support, but certainly not the only function.
When do the Band Boosters meet?
Band Boosters Executive Committee (all committee Chairs) meet once a month. General Band Parent meetings are held monthly. These meetings are a great way to stay informed of what is happening with the band program. Meeting dates are listed on the bands’ web site at www.lafayettebands.com and e-mail reminders are sent out within one week prior to each meeting date.
What if I can’t make a meeting?
We certainly understand that not everyone can be at every meeting. However, attending the meetings is really the best way to keep informed, ask questions, and just become familiar with what is going on in band. The next best thing would be to read the meeting minutes that are distributed via e-mail within a week after meeting dates. Dates and times change, and the best way to keep up to date is to go to meetings, read the e-mails and check the web site, www.lafayettebands.com, often. Also, do not hesitate to call one of the board members!
What are the Band Booster Committees, what is the time commitment, and how do I sign up?
There are a variety of ways in which we need parent help throughout the year. Again, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of parent volunteers in the continued success of the band program. The amount of time commitment varies from one event to another. At our band booster meetings and via e-mail, we will announce opportunities for parents to help and the name, e-mail address and phone numbers of the people to contact for information and to sign up. The committees are:
Contest of Champions: This event is held at Lafayette with approximately 24 high school marching bands from the greater St. Louis area coming to compete. The contest has achieved a reputation as the best in the area! It is held on the last Saturday in September and we need everyone, parents and students to help for the day. This is an all day event beginning at approximately 7:30 am and running until the end of clean-up at approximately 11:00 pm. Now, don’t let that scare you away, we have developed a great system over the years and everyone pitches in so that everything runs smoothly. We have Co-Chairs as well as several sub-committee chairs for this event, plus help from everyone the day of the Contest. The hard work results not only in a fun day, but the largest fundraiser of the year.
Contest of Champions Program Book: Coordinate the selling of ads, layout, design, collection of accounts payable for ads, printing and distribution of the Contest of Champions program booklet.
Lancer Marketplace: This event takes place the first Saturday and Sunday in December. Chairperson plans, organizes and coordinates the event. We need student and parent helpers in a variety of ways for planning, set-up and the days of the event as well as for clean-up.
Concessions: Plan, organize, staff (schedule parent volunteer work shifts), and conduct all concession stand activities for key Band Booster fundraising events and all home football games.
Team Building: Oversee the team building events for band/guard during the course of the season. Coordinate with the band directors appropriate ideas to enable the band to become a cohesive unit. Promote camaraderie, team spirit, friendship and self-esteem among band members and their families.
Band Banquet: Plan and coordinate the dinner and program for all bands members
(concert, symphonic, wind ensemble, jazz and marching) and guard members near the
end of the school year. Work with the senior students in planning the program and
oversee the content of the banquet program and overseeing the content of the program.
Fundraising: To identify and coordinate new and continuing sources of income for all
Band Booster activities.
Chaperones: For one day competitions or for trips (weekend and out of state trips).
Emergency Phone Chain: Periodically contact families by telephone regarding pertinent
information. There will be approximately one member per 10 families.
Uniforms: Take charge of the uniform accessory orders prior to marching season.
Measure, issue marching uniforms and supervise uniform changes during marching
season. Coordinate collection and cleaning of uniforms after marching season.
Tuxedos: Take charge of the tuxedo distribution for symphonic and wind
ensemble bands. Secure parents to help the tuxedo company on the dates students are to
be measured and assist with distribution to students. Check in all tuxedos, shirts, cumber
bunds, and bow ties at the end of the year.
Publicity/Web Site: Facilitate the Band Web Site, media coverage of band events, and
publicize band information.
Hospitality: Plan, organize, and enlist volunteers to serve refreshments after concerts
throughout the year.
Student Accounts: Maintain student accounts by keeping track of all individual student
records of cash deposits and hours worked at the various fundraisers. Records of all
student account charges and cash withdrawals will be maintained.
Band Camp: Plan, organize and coordinate the Lafayette Lancer Regiment Marching
Band summer camp for all marching band members, Band Directors and needed
Equipment: Responsible for renting and driving a truck to transport equipment for band
camp and competitions. Coordinate volunteers and students to load and unload equipment
on and off the truck. Coordinate equipment volunteers in moving equipment on and off
the field for competitions.
Props/Scenery: Responsible for coordinating with Band Directors what props and
scenery will be required for band competitions. Coordinate volunteers to locate, build and
assemble props prior to first competition. Coordinate volunteers to move all props on and
off the field during competitions.
Recruitment: Promote excitement, enthusiasm, and desire to join the band program
among 8th grade students entering Lafayette. Along with the LHS Band Directors,
provide activities for 8th grade students to participate in to give them an idea of the
opportunities and fun available in the band program.
Spirit Wear: Order, purchase and/or make available clothing items necessary for band
members. Provide band clothing items for parents to purchase.
Fall Color Guard Liaison, Winter Color Guard Liaison: Be the Band Booster parent available to work with the Band and/or Guard Directors.
Mentors: Provide incoming band students and their families with a contact person that is a veteran student and family of the band/guard.
Nominating: Establish a slate of officers for the approval of the Executive Committee.
Scholarship: Maintain the scholarship program offered by the Band Booster organization. Make scholarship applications available to senior band and guard members. See that new scholarship awards are presented and administered to recipient’s college/university.
Can anyone purchase and wear Lancer Regiment Spirit Wear?
Parents, siblings, family members – are all welcome to purchase Lancer Regiment polos,
sweatshirts, jackets, blankets etc. Many of us wear our spirit wear to the football games,
while working concessions, to competitions, working at Contest of Champions and the
Lancer Marketplace. Orders will be accepted at a designated times.
My child is in Marching Band, who can I call with questions?
Any parent of a marching band student would be happy to answer your questions. Feel
free to contact any of the band booster executive board members or committee
chairpersons at any time. We were all new band parents at one time, and we understand
where you are coming from!
The best way to communicate with the band directors is through their school e-mail.
Brad Balog firstname.lastname@example.org
Traci Bolton email@example.com
Jeremy Melton firstname.lastname@example.org
REMEMBER: Check the web site, www.lafayettebands.com, read all e-mails and attend
the band booster meetings whenever possible!
What time are the students done after marching band practice and/or football games?
Practices start right after school and are finished at approximately 5:30 pm. However, the students will need to help move instruments back to the band room and so are generally ready to go home around 5:45 pm outside the band room. Sections (instrument groups) might schedule their own practices at varying times. You will have to rely on your student to keep you informed of those times.
After football games, the time they are ready to go can vary anywhere from 10:00 to 11:00 pm. All students must help put props, uniforms, and instruments away. No one is dismissed until the job is finished and the directors have had an opportunity to talk to the students. So, if everyone pitches in and does their part, they will finish more quickly! Students will have access to the band office telephone if you prefer they call you, or you can estimate when they will be ready, just be prepared, you may have to wait.
What are Marching Band Competitions?
Competitions are an opportunity for our band to perform along with other high school bands and be judged by a variety of experts and professionals in the band community. By doing well at competitions it gives us great recommendations for applying to attend a major parade event (every 3 to 4 years). During the 2001-02 and 2008-09 school years the band went to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA. During the 2004-05 and 2012-13 school years the band went to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL.
Our band participates in several competitions during the fall marching season from roughly mid-September through October. Two or three of them are usually in the greater St. Louis area on a Saturday – from early morning to evening. One is usually to Blue Springs, MO. The busses leave on a Friday after a football game, returning Sunday morning. The largest competition is in late October at the Edward Jones dome in St. Louis – The Greater St. Louis Marching Band Festival (GSL).
It is important to keep your weekends schedule open and flexible during September and October. The dates for competitions are announced as early as possible, but sometimes dates can change, and flexibility is important. The Saturday competitions are all day commitments.
Students always ride the busses together, to and from competitions and trips. Uniforms are loaded onto the band trailer and students change when they arrive at the competition. (Note: Band uniforms are stored in the band room; students do not take them home.)
There is no cost to the students for the day competitions, besides taking money for meals. It is always a good idea for the students to have a filled water bottle with them. The directors will tell the students if they need to bring a sack lunch or dinner.
The weekend competition or major trips do have a cost involved. This is where student account credit from volunteering and fundraising can help defray costs.
When the bus leaves for and returns from competitions, all students must help load/unload the trailer (props, uniforms and instruments). Again, no one is dismissed until the job is complete and the directors have talked to the band.
Do parents go to competitions or on trips?
Parents are always welcome and are encouraged to attend competitions. Information and directions are available from the band directors and band boosters within one week prior to a competition. Parents do not ride the busses, except chaperones as requested by the directors.
If parents are going to out of town competitions or trips, the band boosters will generally try to notify parents of a hotel where parents can make their own reservations, but be at a location where other Lafayette parents are staying.
Also, parents will be needed at competitions to help with prop set-up and to cheer on our band!
Large group photos and DVDs at competitions.
At some of the competitions there is a photographer that will take pictures of the entire band. Students can order photos and pay for them at the competition, or students can just order and you will receive a post card requesting payment and you can mail a check – it varies from competition to competition. Generally, the photo after the last competition at the Edwards Jones Dome is the best one to order. Payment is made directly to the company producing the photos – student accounts cannot be used.
At some competitions they produce a DVD of the band’s performance that you can order at the competition, or after if you pay shipping.
Band Camp, what does my child need to take?
All Band Camp information is presented and discussed at the first Mandatory Meeting for Band Families and again at the first marching band practice for the students.
From the Directors, Regarding Marching Band Attendance
Updated – May 2010
Marching Band Practice is held Monday through Friday from 3:20 pm until 5:30 pm (some sections, such as guard and drum line, rehearse later than 5:30 pm on days specified by their instructors). Please be aware that rehearsal concludes at 5:30 pm, although students will not be prepared to go home until approximately 5:30-5:45 pm (after they have returned equipment to the band room, visited their lockers, etc.). Unlike many athletic teams, we have no "second string" players. Everyone is vital to our success. When a member is absent, we cannot effectively "run our plays." Your child's position on the field is determined by adjacent students.
A schedule of performances and rehearsals is posted on our web site at www.lafayettebands.com and will be handed out at the initial marching band meeting. All students have been requested to inform the directors, IN WRITING, of any prior obligations that conflict with the schedule. At the discretion of the directors, students who provide written information concerning conflicts will be excused from rehearsal. Please have all written conflicts turned in to Mr. Balog or Mrs. Bolton by the first day of the school year. Failure to do so could result in an unexcused absence.
The summer rehearsal schedule is posted online. It is imperative that we have every member in attendance for each summer rehearsal. Students will not be excused from summer rehearsals unless there is a family emergency or illness. If you have a previously scheduled family vacation and you have not informed Mr. Balog, please do so by May 21. Colorguard and drumline have additional rehearsals in June and early July. If your child has a conflict with any of these dates (prior to July 19), please have them speak to Evan Coonrod (for colorguard) or Mr. Melton (for drumline).
In an effort to maintain consistent rehearsal attendance during the season, we have added three scheduled days off. Please make every attempt to schedule dentist/doctor appointments for these days. These scheduled days off are AUGUST 29, SEPTEMBER 26, and OCTOBER 10. Also, please make every attempt to avoid making appointments during rehearsals and performances. If a student is well enough to be in school all day, he or she is expected to attend rehearsal. If a student becomes ill during the course of a rehearsal, necessary steps will be taken to ensure the student's safety. Students who have been excused from school due to illness will also be excused from marching band rehearsal. Academic success is a priority in the Lafayette Band Program. Students needing after-school help sessions should contact the teacher to determine if other arrangements could be made. If the student needs to miss marching rehearsal to attend a help session, they will not be penalized provided they have a pass signed by the teacher indicating the session's release time. The student also needs to make Mr. Balog, Mrs. Bolton, and Mr. Melton aware of the help session prior to the end of the school day (3:05 pm). Academic detentions for not doing homework are unexcused absences. Students are expected to complete their school work and attend marching band rehearsal. No student will be excused from rehearsal to do homework. Having an unexcused absence from a rehearsal will result in the student standing at attention on the sideline during the next performance.
Students are required to attend all Friday night events (i.e. Rockwood Review and Football games)through the completion of activities. Completion includes warm-up, performance and clean-up. Students will not be dismissed early. An unexcused absence from a performance may result in dismissal from the Lancer Regiment.
Please address any concerns regarding the attendance policy with Mr. Balog. With your support, the Lafayette Band will continue to improve and will surpass our previous level of excellence.
Brad, Traci, and Jeremy