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Marching Band Information for 2016-2017

posted Apr 12, 2016, 2:07 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 12, 2016, 2:08 PM ]

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information regarding the marching schedule for the upcoming months.  

Drum Major Candidate Training and Audition

* Pending interest in position(s) with existing drum major.

Apr. 25, 27, 29; May 2 3:00-5:00pm

May 4 (audition) 3:15-5:00pm

Section Leader Interviews (including guard/percussion captains)

* Students will sign-up for a 10 minute interview during the time listed below. 

May 2 & 3 3:00-5:30pm

Rising Freshmen Orientation Meetings 

* New members attend one or both; Section Leaders attend both.

May 16 & 17 6:30-8:30pm

Colorguard Clinics & Auditions

* The clinics and auditions are required for all students intending on participating in colorguard. 

May 16 & 17 6:30-8:30pm Clinics

May 23 & 24 6:30-8:30pm Auditions

Percussion Clinics & Audition

* The clinics are highly recommended for all new students as well as returning students who are interested in auditioning on an instrument that they have not played before.  The audition is required for all students, new and returning.

May 16 & 17 6:30-8:30pm Clinics

May 23 & 24 6:30-9:00pm Audition

Leadership Meetings for all rising Seniors/Section Leaders

May 10 2:40-3:10pm

May 31 (election of band captain) 2:40-3:15pm

TBA (inventory/cleaning) TBA


July 25-28 6:30pm-10:00pm*

*Leadership meetings for seniors and section leaders will be held 3:00-5:00pm Monday through Thursday; attendance is mandatory.

Band Camp at N.C. Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, NC)

July 31-Aug. 5 All day/night

Post Camp

Aug. 9, 10, 11 6:30pm-10:00pm

Aug. 16, 17, 18 6:30pm-10:00pm

Aug. 23, 24, 25 6:30pm-10:00pm

After-School Rehearsals (beginning Tuesday, Aug. 30 to early November)*

Tuesday   3:00-5:30pm

Wednesday   3:00-5:00pm

Thursday    3:00-5:30pm

*Rehearsals for drumline, front ensemble, and guard may vary from the above due to instructor availability.  The drumline usually rehearses in the evening on Wednesday (not after school); the guard usually rehearses in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday (not after school).  The entire band usually rehearses after school on Thursday.  All changes will be communicated in writing as far in advance as possible.

Performance Schedule

At the time of this letter, all performances are TBA, but include 5 home football games (usually Friday evenings), 5 competitions (on Saturdays), and several other events (parades, school assemblies).  In general, the students will be involved in some type of activity on most Saturdays from mid-September to Thanksgiving.  A complete rehearsal and performance schedule will be distributed before Pre-Camp (often as early as late May/early June).


Additional Information/FAQs


Students interested in colorguard or percussion must attend the clinics and audition in May.  Specific placement within units will depend on talent/skill level.  Woodwind and brass players who have successfully completed 8th grade band in middle school are not required to audition.  Students who have not participated in middle school band should contact the band director for specific requirements. 

Orientation Meetings?

All rising freshmen are highly encouraged to attend one or both of the orientation meetings on May 16 & 17.  (Percussion and guard students must attend these meetings as they are audition dates.)  The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for students and parents to visit our campus, meet our staff and parent boosters, and actually do some rehearsing (wear tennis shoes and bring your instrument).

Summer Rehearsals?

Summer rehearsals are necessary due to the school schedule and the amount of training/conditioning involved in this activity.  Percussionists and guard usually meet 1-2 days per week throughout June and July to learn/strengthen fundamentals.  These informal rehearsals are NOT MANDITORY, but highly encouraged.  The instructors will provide dates and times for these rehearsals in early June.  

Pre-Camp is required for all band members (including percussion and guard) in order to teach/review marching fundamentals and for students to get acquainted with each other and the staff.  Band Camp is the most important week of the marching band season.  It is an intense week where students focus almost entirely on learning the competition show.  The purpose of Post Camp is to reinforce and strengthen skills, movement, and music learned at band camp.  

If you would like to participate in the 2016 Marching Band but cannot attend one or more of the summer rehearsals, please contact the band office as soon as possible.  Band camp is the most critical of all weeks; exceptions to this week are made sparingly and are based on musicianship skills and circumstances. 


Our marching band performs a variety of music reflecting the three major roles that we fulfill to our school/community and students:  1) ceremonial/patriotic music (Star Spangled Banner, America, etc.) to fulfill our role as ambassador; 2) pep and spirited music (oldies and current hits) to add excitement to sporting events and rallies; and 3) “artistic music” to enhance the music education of our students and audience.  It is this music that we play for competitions.  


As the marching band receives NO FUNDING from WCPSS, it is necessary to assess a fair share obligation for participating in the marching band.  In order to cover the cost of band camp, instruments, extra staffing, music, charting, equipment, charter transportation, and other service needs, each student is assessed the following:  1) a non-refundable registration fee of $100; 2) a financial commitment of $975*; and 3) a service commitment of working 5 fundraising shifts per family (equal to $175, or $35 per shift. Qualifying venues are Durham Bulls, PNC Arena, & State Fair Parking).  Here’s the good news:  fulfilling all 5 service commitments not only meets the service commitment obligation, but also earns credit that goes directly toward the student’s $975 financial commitment (ex.Work at Durham Bulls earn credit for one $35 service commitment as well as $32 shift credit).  After fulfilling the service commitment, families can continue to earn credit toward their financial commitment by working at fundraising venues and participating in our sales-based fundraisers to partially or fully offset the entire amount.  Families may also “pay” the entire financial commitment and service commitment out-of-pocket.  

We are requesting that the financial assessment be paid in the following manner:  $100 non-refundable registration fee by June 3rd with the registration form (see below), an additional $500 prior to band camp (July 31st); and $125 on September 1st, October 1st, November 1st; and $100 due on December 1st provided the service commitment is filled. Credit earned through fundraising events will lower these above amounts.  

Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need.  No student should be discouraged to join due to the financial obligation; we will assist every family willing to contribute their “fair share.” 

How do I sign up?

In order to be included in the 2016 Athens Drive Marching Band, each student - new and returning - must complete the “Online Student Information & Intent Form” located on the Forms page of our website at www.athensdriveband.com by June 3rd.

Please note that there is a non-refundable registration fee of $100.  Students with a credit in their band account can have this fee deducted from their band account by indicating so on the form. Because our music and drill is custom written for our band, we must know exact numbers by June 3rd.  Students who enroll after June 3rd are not guaranteed a position.

Final Thoughts

Because the success of a group such as the marching band is contingent upon participation from everyone involved, it is crucial that students be at ALL rehearsals and performances.  If you see a serious conflict with any of the aforementioned dates, please let me know in writing as soon as possible.  Many circumstances - including doctor appointments - can be adjusted now in order to avoid hindering the progress of over 160 students!

We are proud of the fact that over 90% of all instrumental music students at ADHS (those enrolled in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble) participate in the marching band.  We are also excited about the accomplishments of this group:  During the past 40 years the marching band has won numerous “First Place” and “Grand Champion” awards and has performed in such famous locales as the Washington D.C. Memorial Day Parade, the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Walt Disney World Electric Light Parade.  We are continually applying for the Pasadena “Tournament of Roses Parade” and expect to be a participant in this “Grand Daddy of all Parades” soon!  This is an outstanding music program and we look forward to your enthusiastic participation!

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this letter or our band program, please do not hesitate to contact me (email is easiest).  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Jerry Markoch

*The financial assessment covers all marching band costs including band camp, transportation to performance venues, uniform/instrument/equipment loan, instruction, music, choreography.  Every attempt is made to limit additional expenses.  In fact, the only “extra” expense is marching shoes if necessary (@$45).  

*Financial assessment for colorguard members will be $775 plus the $100 non-refundable registration fee.  The service commitment of 5 events is still applicable. 

*Families with 2 or more children in the marching band program will be assessed $975 for the first child and 20% less for each additional child ($780 for winds & percussion, $620 for guard) plus a $100 non-refundable registration fee for the first child and $80 for each additional child.  If one child plays a wind/percussion instrument and another child is a member of the guard, the 20% discount will be taken from the guard assessment.  

*All student accounts must be paid in full by June 3rd in order to enroll in the marching band for the upcoming year.  Families with demonstrated financial need may apply for financial aid in meeting their unpaid balance.