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Weekly Update 8/25-29 for Members and Families

posted Aug 24, 2014, 12:56 PM by James Tucker
Good Afternoon Band Members and Families,
I hope you have had a restful weekend and that the first week of school went well for everyone. This coming week is a busy week for us, as we have our first after-school rehearsal and our first home game. In this email will be some important info for both events. Here's what is ahead this:

Monday 8/25 - In-school rehearsal; Jazz 2 begins rehearsal on Day 2s from 7-7:45 AM
Tuesday 8/26 - In-school rehearsal; Jazz 1 begins rehearsal on Day 1s from 7-7:45 AM; first after-school practice from 3-6 PM (more details below)
Wednesday/Thursday 8/27-28 - In-school rehearsals
Friday 8/29 - In-school rehearsal; Home Football Game 5 PM report time (more details below)

After- School Practice Tuesday August 26th 3-6 PM: This practice is for all members. Those involved in athletics should report following their practice. We do these practices every Tuesday, except for Homecoming Week. These practices are our only chance to have the winds, percussion, and color guard all together for practice, making these 3 hours essential to our success. For these practices, the band will have visual time, sectional time, and full ensemble rehearsal. We ask that for each of these practices that winds and percussion wear dark blue/black shirts and that guard wear bright shirts. This coming Tuesday we will also be wearing the uniform shakos (hats) at a portion of rehearsal in order to prepare students for marching with the hat on. I ask that students, particularly girls, have hair in a fashion that will be similar to shows and football games. I will go over hair style with them this week. For Tuesday, a simple bun will do. Students should also bring water bottles. Given that we had some illnesses during camp, I can't impress enough upon the band the need to have individual water bottles. Lastly, these practices have been on our calendar all summer and spring, so please plan accordingly. Each member is integral to our success and everyone is a starter for us. 

Home Football Game 8/29 5 PM Report 7 PM Kick-off: This is our first home football game of the season. I will be going over details and procedure during class, but also feel it's important to send through email. Couple of important things for Friday:
-Be on time-Students change immediately into half-dress (long black socks, marching shoes, gloves, band shirt (light blue), and uniform pants
-No make-up or jewelry is to be worn in uniform. The only exceptions are a religious pendant or one plain pair of stud earrings. Excessive jewelry such as necklaces, wristbands, and earrings other than a single pair of studs will be asked to be removed. Students with piercings that can't be removed will be given band-aids to cover them. Nude/transparent earrings (for things such as gages) are acceptable. 
-3rd Quarter-Traditionally, we have given students 3rd quarter off from performance obligations. During this time, students are allowed to hangout with friends and family, drink water, and relax. However, during this time, students are not to eat. As with anytime, eating in uniform is NOT permitted. We spent $50,000+ on new uniforms this year. Spills and stains are very hard to get out, especially from white fabric. Please be respectful of this policy. Students caught violating this will lose 3rd quarter privileges. Parents, we ask that you assist us with this.
-Post-game Dismissal-Following the game, we will march back to the school. Upon arrival at the school, the band will change out of uniform, put equipment away, and assist with cleaning up the music area. We dismiss as a group once everything is completed. Parents and students, we ask for your patience, especially after this first game. While the game may end around 9, it may be 9:30 before all things are taken care of. 
-Dinner-I know we have an early report time and that it may be difficult for people to get dinner. With that being said, it's important that students eat something before the game, especially since we do not allow eating in uniform. 
-Shoes-Those that ordered new marching shoes need to pay for the shoes prior to Friday. We will not distribute shoes to those who have not paid. Shoes are $31 and checks can be made out to MHSBBA. 

Music Check-off: Students have been asked to play off one part of the show, the national anthem, and the school fight song by Friday. This will be assessed for a grade. This receives a pass/no pass grade. Students are able to complete this task by playing for myself or any section leader, captain, or drum major. In order to sound our best on the field, we need everyone to have music memorized. Memorized music will allow us to progress faster during rehearsal and will give the band more confidence. Each subsequent week, we will add another portion of the show. I don't care which portion is passed off first, only that we each get a tune memorized a week until our first show. Parents, I ask that you encourage your student to constantly practice at home. Memorize little chunks at a time versus trying to memorize everything. Every little bit helps.

Tag Day Sign-Ups: On Friday, I discussed Tag Day with our band. Tag Day is our biggest and most profitable fundraiser. On Tag Day, we send the students in teams throughout the neighborhoods that surround Millbrook and ask for donations. This fundraiser helps us earn new uniforms, new instruments, and many other things that the school board won't fund. In order to make it a success, we need all students to participate. All students are expected to participate in this event. Another thing needed to succeed is parent volunteers. Students are assembled into teams of four and use parent drivers to travel through the neighborhoods. With 115 students, we will need around 30 drivers. The day is not long and we promise that you'll enjoy the time spent with our great band. If you are interested in being a parent volunteer, please contact Lori Poteat at or contact me and I'll forward it to her. 

Alright Marching Pioneers and Families, I'm looking forward to another great week ahead. The students kicked butt last week and finished the show. They did two run-throughs in terrible humidity and left us feeling in a good spot. This week, we are adding new things to the show and beginning the cleaning process. I'm excited to share their accomplishments with you on Friday night! Go Pioneers!