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The questions below are common questions we hear from new band members and families.
Do I have to buy uniforms?
No, the marching uniforms and formal dress for concert uniforms are provided by the band. For your first marching season, you will need to buy special shoes, a water bottle, duffel bag, cotton gloves, a dri-fit shirt, and a t-shirt for the show. Color guard members also buy a warm-up suit (instead of the dri-fit) and flag bag. All items are ordered at equipment night in August (you can see past equipment night prices on the documents page). For concert season, men will need to buy a formal white tuxedo shirt to go with their tux (orders arranged at school) and women provide their own black dress shoes.
When will Marching Camp begin?
All band members need to be ready to start the Monday that includes the first day of August (which may be the last few days of July). Band leaders and percussion need to be available the week before that for their respective camps. Schedules are sent out in May.
Isn’t it awfully hot to do marching camp in August?
Yes, welcome to Texas! There are a few things we do that help. Most of the time outside is done early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening. We have frequent water breaks, and rehearse inside during the heat of the day. Sunscreen, hats, and hot-weather athletic wear help. One thing that really helps is to stay active outdoors during the summer before band camp starts (the band will have some optional summer workouts you can join), so that you are more adapted to the heat. It also helps not to drink dairy during band camp and marching season. The band boosters provide popsicles after practices from time to time as well!
What about P.E. Credit?
Students receive 0.5 credits of PE equivalent credit for each year they participate in marching band. The credits don’t count for GPA, and are put on the transcript at the end of the school year. Two years of band waives the need to take other PE in high school.
Can you get a “letter” for band?
Yes! Students earn points for each year of participation and additional points for achievements in individual contests (see the band handbook on the documents page). The school places orders twice a year for those students that have earned a letter. It is optional and an additional fee to buy the jacket through the school fitting and order process, and there is a special additional patch for band as well as patches for your specific instrument that can be added to any letter jacket (whether you first earn a letter for band or another activity). Most juniors and seniors proudly wear their jackets when the weather gets chilly.
Will being in band affect grades?
Our band brings together a wide variety of students in the school, with a culture to encourage everyone to do their best in everything they do, including schoolwork. Many of our band members are among Clear Falls’ top students academically. Choosing music education is also correlated with improved performance on standardized tests. UIL has a “no pass, no play” rule that requires students be passing all their classes to participate in activities. For the band, we depend on everyone passing their classes to be successful–if a student loses eligibility, it leaves critical holes in our formations and our music, so keeping up grades is part of being a member of the band. We use the band hall before and after school to study or practice, help each other in challenging subjects, and occasionally our directors offer a study hall in class when after-school commitments have been heavy. A lot of parents report that student grades are actually better during marching season because students are focused and have to manage their time effectively.