FAQs About the Marching Patriots:
Q: How do we sign up for the Marching Patriots?
A. Any student interested in Marching Band should complete the registration information at the bottom of this Marching Patriots page, or pick up a forms packet from the band room. Completion of the forms is all that is required to sign up.
Q. Does my student have to be in the Marching Patriots?
A. No, but Marching Patriots is something that every band student SHOULD be a part of. The Marching Patriots are truly the “Pride of PH,” performing at all home football games, local parades, and competitions. In addition to learning about music, teamwork, responsibility, leadership, physical stamina, coordination, and hard work, your student will also have a TON of fun being a part of the Marching Patriots.
Q: Are there fees for Marching Patriots?
A. No. Many bands in our area ask students to pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to participate in their marching programs. We ask all families to make a “Fair Share Donation” (FSD) to help fund the Marching Patriots season. This donation is an unrestricted donation to the Patrick Henry High School Band Boosters (PHBB) at Patrick Henry High School. The 2022 Fair Share Donation amount is $160.00 per student. In order to meet our financial responsibilities, we ask that families make their Fair Share Donation by Thursday, March 31, 2022, however we will accept donations throughout the season.
Q. What are the costs involved in putting our marching program together?
A. There are numerous expenses related to putting a marching show on the field including: the rights to the music must be purchased, a drill designer must create the field drill, uniforms must be cleaned and/or replaced, additional staff is often hired to help instruct the students, trucks must be rented each time the band leaves PH to compete and for the trip band camp, the practice field must be repainted weekly (sometimes daily), competition entrance fees must be paid, instruments need to be repaired or replaced, etc.
Q. When are tryouts for the Marching Patriots?
A. Students don’t try out for Marching Patriots— all band members are welcome! Students will, however, play for the band directors during band camp for placement according to skill level. Percussion has placement auditions in May of the preceding school year, but percussionists who join the program during the summer are encouraged to see the band teacher. Additionally, after the first week of camp, some students may be assigned to the “Patriot Squad” and have a non-marching role in the Marching Patriots.
Q. Who is required to go to “Band Camp” in August?
A. All Marching Patriots members, including Color Guard, attend our “Band Camp” rehearsals in August.
Q. What is “Pre-camp”?
A. Pre-Camp refers generally to second to last or last week in July, when the Marching Patriots begin rehearsals at PH. New marchers are taught how to march and returning marchers get a refresher course.
Q. What is “Post-Camp”?
A. This is usually the week of evening only rehearsals that happens after our Band Camp week.
Q. What if I play an instrument that doesn’t march?
A. In some cases, one instrument can be substituted for another. For example, piccolo is substituted for flute and mellophone for French horn. In other cases, you may be asked to try a new instrument. Don’t worry, if you want to march, an instrument will be found. Or you can join the color guard!
Q. Are parents able to go to competitions and festivals?
A. Yes! Not only are parents allowed, they are encouraged to come and cheer for the band. The students love to hear cheers and applause from PH supporters.
Q. How does my student balance Marching Patriots and other activities?
A. There is no denying that marching band requires a large commitment of time and energy. Practices last until 6:30 PM three evenings a week, and there are football games and/or competitions each week as well. With careful planning and efficient use of time, a student can manage marching band plus homework, athletics, Scouts, church, free time, etc. Keep in mind that marching season is only two months out of the school year!
Q. Do the Marching Patriots perform at home football games? Do students stay for the whole game? When do they need to arrive?
A. The marching band performs at all home football games, and limited away games. If the football team advances to the playoffs, the band will travel with them to perform. Band students stay the entire game unless they have prior permission to leave early. The band usually rehearses after school, has a dinner break, and then changes into uniform. Exact Game Day schedules are set by the band directors each week.