Marching band can be compared to a marathon… The countless hours of rehearsal can be long and tedious, but the end results are amazing.
Once your child performs in uniform for a competition, they begin to see the fruition of their efforts.
Performance time is a magical time!
It is expected that students dress up for school the Friday before a competition, so plan accordingly.
On competition days, plan for your child to be gone all day. Each itinerary will be sent to the student prior to event, and posted on the website. Be sure to click on the event on the band website’s calendar and then click on “more details” as the itinerary will be posted in the details of the event.
Generally, there is rehearsal for several hours before departure, and usually a packed lunch will be needed. Dinner is provided to the students by the Band Boosters (this was included in your marching band fees). Students are expected to bring all of their necessary uniform items at the start of the rehearsal as they are not permitted to leave rehearsal. Required uniform items for marchers include the following:
black form-fitting under armour style shirt (not sleeveless) – consider getting long-sleeved shirt for later in the season for cold weather
black compression style shorts/biker shorts – consider getting long pants for later in the season for cold weather
tall black socks
black marching shoes – be sure to put your student’s name on the inside of each shoe in permanent/Sharpie marker!
hair accessories (as needed to put hair up under the shako hats)
current show t-shirt
Guard members have specific uniform attire which will be relayed by the guard instructors.
After finishing morning field rehearsal, all members are expected to help load instruments and equipment. After this, everyone eats their packed lunches in the cafeteria and then quickly changes into their black “under armour” gear. The gear is worn under their show shirt and black gym shorts or athletic/track pants and needs to be on before they board the bus. Typically they have on their long black socks and marching shoes as well and wear them the rest of the day. Guard usually changes into their uniforms prior to leaving school.
After the busses arrive at the competition venue, the band changes into their uniforms in a designated area. This is often a parking lot near where the busses and equipment trailers park. Once in uniform, the students get their instruments and head to where they will warm up, and then walk to the stadium for their performance.
After their performance, the band members typically change out of their uniforms (guard does not). Band members are required to wear their black band jackets or current show shirts on the outside when not in uniform at a contest. Guard members wear their band/guard jackets. Some students also pack jeans to wear when not in uniform, especially when the weather gets colder. Students are encouraged to put their belongings in a small duffel bag or cinch sac for the bus.
Adult volunteers are needed for these events to help chaperone as well as for the Pit Crew. Pit crew hauls/handles all of the equipment (instruments, instruments/equipment on the sidelines such as marimbas/vibes, podiums, uniforms, etc.) and props. Links for these volunteer opportunities will be in the weekly newsletter, on the band’s website, and posted on facebook. Please note that volunteers as well as spectators should NOT interrupt rehearsal or warm-ups. Please refrain from being in close proximity to or approaching the students, directors, and clinicians during rehearsals as it is distracting and considered inappropriate competition etiquette. If you need to get something to your child, please find a chaperone for the event and they will be sure to get it to your child.
Students ride Milford busses to/from the competitions and are chaperoned by band parent volunteers and directors. The itinerary will indicate when students are expected to arrive back after competitions, but this timing can vary. Students are told to call or text when they are about 20 minutes from school. Competition results and expected arrival times are typically sent via the Milford Band Booster’s texting group with Remind. Please sign up if you haven’t already by texting the message: @mbbgo to the number 81010
Occasionally parents need to pick up their child directly from the competition/event rather than the student riding the bus back to school. If your child is not going to ride the bus back, they MUST have an alternate transportation form (found HERE) filled out PRIOR to leaving school. The signed form must be given to a band director or head chaperone before the busses leave to the event. When picking up your child, you must check in with one of the head chaperones in person so they can verify that you have picked up your child. This is done to ensure your child’s safety.
We encourage all parents to attend competitions in order to support the hard work throughout the season. Tickets are usually from $8-17, depending on the event. It is helpful to have a cheering section and many Milford families sit together. It’s also a great way to get to know other band parents. Be sure to wear your band show shirt or Milford spirit wear to represent!
Some families choose to stay all day at competitions and others come just to watch our band perform. However long you and your family chooses to stay is up to you. A big cheering section is very encouraging to the students, so invite your friends and extended family. As a spectator, be prepared for the elements! Expect to sit on bleachers, so bring stadium seats, cushions, or blankets to sit on if you prefer. Blankets, layering of clothing items, hats, gloves, etc. are helpful depending on the weather forecast. Keep in mind that the wind at stadiums can make it feel much colder than it really is! Most competitions have programs and concessions available for purchase, so be sure to bring cash if you wish to purchase these. Programs and concessions are often fund raisers for the host band booster organization, so know that your purchases are going to a good cause.
The band typically does not perform their entire show at the first performance as they are often still learning the closer. This is not uncommon for bands who perform a new show every year (some bands perform the same show two years in a row). As the season progresses, their show will improve and often more visual effects/props are added throughout the season. It really is amazing to see the difference from the first competition to the last.
The season builds up to the final competition at the Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is a prestigious event and top bands from all over the nation must qualify to perform. Simply put, Indy is a BIG DEAL! If you are unable to attend in person, they do offer live streaming of the event for a charge.