About the Band
If you are a parent or student of any age, and are considering joining band at PH, the information on this page is for you!
Myths about PH Band
Here are some common myths and misconceptions about participating in the PH Band…
Myth #1: It’s impossible for a student to take a band class all four years of school.
Reality: It’s completely possible, but your student may have to take a class online, over the summer, or move other classes around in their schedule. Regardless of the conflict, commit to having your student involved in an ensemble here at PH!
Myth #2: It’s impossible to handle Governor’s School and marching band.
Reality: Governor’s School students participate in the marching band every year from all grades!
Myth #3: You have to take a concert band class to be in the Marching Patriots.
Reality: Marching Patriots is an ensemble for any student that is passionate about performance and representing our community with pride!
Myth #4: PH doesn’t supply instruments to students who don’t have their own.
Reality: PH Band offers quality instruments to loan to students.
Myth #5: The Marching Patriots is too much of a time commitment.
Reality: The Marching Patriots is the same time commitment as any other sport that’s offered at PH.
Myth #6: You can’t be in the band and on a sports team
Reality: We have students from almost EVERY athletic team involved in the PH Band!
General Band FAQs
Q. What are the different types of band?
A. There are three types of band at PH: concert, marching, and jazz. Concert band classes that meet during the day include Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Percussion Ensemble. Students perform 4-5 concerts a year. Marching Band is co-curricular and meets before school in the summer, and after school in the fall. Jazz Band takes place before school during “zero period” and is for class credit.
Q. What does it cost to be in band?
A. Participating in band is free, however some band events cost money. Do NOT let money be a reason that you do not join the band program. Costs vary depending on band participation, but fundraisers are held throughout the year to help students pay for band activities, and scholarships are available through the PH Band Boosters. There are fees for Marching Band, Winter Guard, Winter Percussion, and most trips the band goes on.
Q. What if my family can not afford these costs?
A. Again, no child should be denied a chance to participate in band because of money. Some level of expenses can be offset by participation in fundraising events. If there is real financial hardship, parents should speak to the band directors privately to see what arrangements can be made.
Q. How do we find out if we owe any money to the band?
A. E-mail the PH Band Boosters Treasurer or the band director to inquire about any money owed to the band at email@example.com
Q. Where do we send checks to pay money for a band expense?
A. Checks can be brought into school by your student and given to Mr. Schmitt. Checks should be made out to “Patrick Henry High School Band Boosters.” Checks and cash should be brought to school in a sealed envelope clearly marked with your student’s name and the purpose of the payment.
Q. What are Band Boosters?
A. The Patrick Henry High School Band Boosters are the parent organization formed to support the PH Band program in any way needed. Every parent of a band student is automatically a member of the Band Boosters. Band Boosters raise funds to buy new instruments, uniforms and to pay for clinicians. The Boosters supply chaperones for trips, load and unload equipment trucks for competitions, manage the band’s website and do a hundred other things to free up the Band Directors’ time so they can concentrate on teaching our students.
Q. What days do the bands practice after school?
A. The Marching Band practices Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays after school in the Fall, and the Concert Bands rehearse occasionally after school between January and the beginning of March. This is subject to change, and the main calendar will always be up to date with the current rehearsal schedule.
Q. How do students join the jazz band?
A. Students interested in joining Jazz Band should sign up for the “zero period” class titled “Jazz Ensemble.”
Q. How can I get my student home from band rehearsal?
A. Talk to your fellow band parents, especially those who live in your neighborhood. If you don’t know which families live nearby, ask your student. Once school starts, the Band will make available a roster of all band students, their addresses and phone numbers. We will be coordinating designated car pool drivers very soon. Also, the City Bus runs right outside of PH and usually leaves on the :15’s and :45’s of every hour
Q. Does my student have to attend all concerts?
A. Yes. Unless they have received prior approval from the band directors to be absent, all students attend all concerts.
Q. Does my student have to stay for the whole concert?
A. Yes. The bands support each other and attend each other’s performances. Further, all members of the bands help clean up after each concert. Attendance is not taken until the end of the concert, students leaving early will not receive credit for attendance
Q. Are parents required to volunteer with the band?
A. No, there is no requirement that parents volunteer, however, unlike sports activities, band is unique in that it takes the efforts of many, many parents to function. Equipment must be moved and maintained, students take many trips requiring chaperones, and fundraising is vital to pay for expenses. We strongly encourage every parent to become involved in all their student’s school activities, including band. Your student will spend many, many hours with the band and volunteering is a great way to be a part of that time. You’ll be helping to support an activity your student loves, you’ll get to know his or her friends, and you’ll have a chance to make new friends yourself.
Q. What is “Concert Assessment”?
A. Concert Assessment is a band competition where bands compete not against each other but against a standard. Each band receives a rating (Superior, Excellent, Good etc. or I, II, III etc.) Since the bands are not competing against each other, more than one band may receive a Superior, or any other, rating. PH performs at the spring Band & Orchestra Concert Assessment
FAQs About the Marching Patriots:
Q: How do we sign up for Marching Band?
A. Any student interested in Marching Band should complete the registration information at the bottom of the 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 Marching Band?
A. No, but Marching Band 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 Band?
A. Marching Band fees are set by the cost per student of Band Camp. There are scholarship opportunities and fundraisers for any family where the fee may be hard to pay.
Q. What are the cost involved in putting our marching program together (in other words—-where does all that money go?)
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 Marching Band?
A. Students don’t try out for Marching Band — 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. What is the “Patriot Squad?”
A. The Patriot Squad is a group of dedicated students who assist the Marching Patriots and the Staff in any way possible. Moving equipment, handing out stickers at parades, coordinating water breaks, getting all swagged out on Game Days…that’s all Patriot Squad.
Q. Who is required to go to “Band Camp” in August?
A. All Marching Band members, including Color Guard, go to “Band Camp” in August.
Q. What is “Pre-camp”?
A. Pre-Camp refers generally to second to last or last week in July, when Marching Band begins rehearsals at PH. New marchers are taught how to march and returning marchers get a refresher course.
Q. What is “Post-Camp”?
A. These are the weeks after the band returns from Sweet Briar College. The band will usually practice daily at PH in preparation for the first performance of the season which is the first football game of the year, or “Back to Band Night.”
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 band and other activities?
A. There is no denying that marching band requires a large commitment of time and energy. Practices last until 6:00PM four 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. Does the marching band 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.
Q. Does the band play at basketball games?
A. Yes! Basketball pep band is fun. It is not required, but marching band members are highly encouraged to perform in the Basketball Pep Band.