All the cool fans have a show shirt! If you missed the first order, a second order will be placed soon. Order forms can be picked up/submitted at the SCRIP table both Mon 8/22 and Mon 8/29. This will be the final order for the season.
We are moving into the final full week of post band camp. Much like pre-camp and band camp the days will be full of learning new things and perfecting what has already been learned. They will still get an hour for lunch. Since orientation is this week, your child will get out around 10:40 on the day of their orientation. This allows them to get there by 11 and hopefully have a couple of minutes to change and look nice for pictures...
Thursday night is the first home football game. Normally the kids report at 5pm for football games and since this is the first time they will be wearing their uniforms that time probably won't change. That means that the kids will likely be dismissed early on Thursday so they can grab some dinner prior to the football game.
At the game, the band will play the Star Spangled Banner and the school fight song prior to the game and they will perform what they know of their program at half time. The students must sit together at the game on the far south end in the upper level stands. There is a group of parents who sit in the section next to them if you'd like to join them. The students are not allowed to leave their spots until the third quarter. They have the entire third quarter to leave the stands and get food, talk with friends, use the bathroom, etc. as long as they are back by the start of the fourth quarter. Students are not allowed to leave until the end of the game when they march out together and then play Lobe den Herren before they are dismissed.
The official season begins tomorrow. Pre-camp is traditionally the hardest week for the students (especially the newbies) as it focuses on learning so many basic things. They are setting the foundation. Band camp is also tons of work but they get free time in the evenings, they hang out with their friends, and have fun in addition to the hard work they are doing each day. They also begin to see progress...how that drill starts to shape the show and they realize that they CAN march and play music at the same time. I asked my son if he was going to enjoy marching band this year (it's his third year) and he said, "Yeah, in the end." My point in sharing that is to show that all this hard work now definitely pays off in the end. You will be able to see the show in its infancy on Friday, August 12 after band camp and you will be able to watch it morph throughout the season to its final finished product at Nationals in November. It will change dramatically from the first home football game to each competition, and finally to State and even Nationals in Indy.
Notes about pre-camp:
~ Runs Mon-Thurs from 8-4pm with an hour for lunch which is NOT provided. Some older kids will go to local fast food
locations while many others bring a sack lunch and stay at school.
~ Bring your dot book and a string to attach it to yourself, a pencil...etc
~ Don't forget water, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
Thinking ahead to BAND CAMP
Information about band camp will eventually be posted jenisonbands.org under the "NEWS" section. Your child should also bring the information home this week so ask for it if it doesn't find it's way to you. Here are a couple items you may want to prepare ahead for...
Extra socks - 2 pair/day in case your students feet get wet from dew, rain, sweat, etc. Marching all day in wet socks is NOT a good idea (no one wants blisters on day 1)
Khaki shorts for the Friday performance - Athletic shorts for the daily practices
Large box fan (one per room so have your student and his/her roommate decide who will bring one)
Extra deodorant or Gold Bond powder - hot summer days with constant motion can really irritate the inner thighs for some. Either of the above can help.
Also, remember there is a BAND PICNIC Tuesday evening 8/2 @6pm at Hagar Park. It's at the little cabin on the south side of the park near 28th Ave. Hope to see you there!
We've made it through mini-camp, had a few weeks off, and now we begin the regular schedule of weekly practices. For the month of July all rehearsals are mandatory for those who are in town, but students are excused if they are on vacation, at camp, etc. Please just remember to have a parent communicate these absences to the band directors. Rehearsals are every Monday and Tuesday from 6-9pm for all students (winds, percussion, and color guard). Some groups have additional practices outside of this, your student should know when these practices are being held. Here are a few things to be thinking about as we begin the season...
1. Outdoor practice: It's a good idea for students to wear breathable clothing for their outdoor practices because it's HOT! Athletic shorts instead of jean shorts are a good idea. They will definitely want these for band camp so why not use them during the weeks leading up to it as well. Also remember a gallon sized water jug, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. They practice a lot on the asphalt parking lot and the turf...both radiate heat. Good running shoes are also important.
2. Uniform fittings: Over the next three weeks the students are assigned a day to come early (5-6pm) to get fitted for their marching band uniform. The schedule for this can be found on the "NEWS" section of the band website but here's a link http://jenisonbands.org/news/ . It is not necessary for a parent to attend with your student but you are welcome to if you'd like. There is a charge for some items (like shoes, gloves, band t-shirt, shako box...) if your child does not already have these items. This will either be charged to your credits or your student will bring home a slip of paper telling how much they owe.
3. Items to purchase: It's time to be thinking ahead to pre-camp (8/1-8/4) and band camp (8/8-8/12), Your child will need a dot book (spiral bound 3x5 cards), a pencil, and a shoestring (to tie the dot book to them) by pre-camp. Additionally, make sure your student has khaki shorts for the last day of band camp. This is part of the uniform they wear for the community performance Friday evening.
Let's end with a couple definitons:
The "winds" include students who play any instrument that you blow into...essentially everything except percussion. During marching band, percussion is broken into two groups, the front ensemble which is located traditionally at the front of the field and remains stationary during the show, and the drum line which includes the bass drums, tenors, and snares. The drum line also marches during the show.
A "shako" is the hat that the students wear as part of their uniform. The students will receive a shako (and the box to store it in) at their uniform fitting. The plumes (feathery things) are handed out prior to performances and returned after for safe keeping.
A few notes about mini camp...
1. Don't forget to bring: LOTS of WATER, sunscreen, chapstick, hat, sunglasses, running/athletic shoes, and wear lightweight and comfortable clothing.
2. We are feeding the band dinner each night of mini camp. We are still in need of lots of food donations. Check out the sign-up genius links below.
Feed the Band - Monday
Feed the Band - Tuesday
3. SCRIP - On Tuesday, June 21 (mini-camp date) there will be a SCRIP open house from 2-4pm and 7-9pm in the JHS Triple Conference Room. This is the room off the media center at the HS. Come get your questions answered, sign up, and get started with some instant SCRIP purchases. You can also sign up for Presto Pay so that you can order from anywhere online. Remember you can drop off/pick up SCRIP orders almost every Monday night from 6-8pm even throughout the summer.
4. Mini Camp finishes at 9pm...but this means the kids finish practicing at 9pm. They must then put away instruments and such before they are ready to go. So if you come to pick them up right at 9pm, be prepared to wait a few extra minutes...and be patient with them, they are going to be REALLY tired.
Let's get this out there early...the marching band season is BUSY with lots of rehearsals at the start, then on to invitationals and football games, and even more rehearsals. Since the students are in high school now it's time for them to learn responsibility and those lovely informative emails from Mrs. Gembis are about to stop (it's OK to mourn this for a moment if needed). Your son or daughter is growing up. Contrary to what you might think, the band directors are communicating with the students. They are given lots of important information which may or may not ever make it back to you. However, if you are reading this then you've taken a step toward finding information for yourself (good call). So here's my breakdown of the communication tools you can seek out for the season. Use what works for you and simply ignore the rest.
By far the best place to get information is the band website. www.jenisonbands.org On this site you can find tons of information including:
News - This tab gives detailed itineraries for all band events (invitationals, parades, uniform fittings, special events...etc) which are posted about 5-7 days in advance.
Calendar - All of the summer rehearsals, mini-camp, pre-camp, post-camp, home football games, invitational dates, etc are already posted on this calendar
Resources - Use the resources tab to find out how many credits your student has in his/her account, make a band payment, or get information about the fundraisers run by the band boosters
You can also find contact information and link to sites such as sign-up genius and the amazing parent blog ; )
In addition to the band website, Jenison Bands can be found on Facebook (Jenison Bands) and Twitter (@Jenisonbands). These social media sites are used to post reminders, not to be your main source of information.
Sign-up Genius will be important to those of you who want to get your 10 points. You can start here www.signupgenius.com and search using this email email@example.com if you are looking to help out and earn points. If you want to make $$$ (but not earn points) by helping with VanAndel Concessions search using this email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One final way to get communication is through this blog. The blog was started last year after I felt like I fumbled my way through my first year as a marching band parent. It was created primarily for new marching band parents, not to be used as a primary source of information, but rather as a place to check out for the insider information...the tips and tricks if you will. So check back as events approach as I try to update the blog at least once a week once the season gets going. In addition to tips and tricks, I also love to post pictures of the season that I find on social media or photo share sites.
I think I can assume that if you have read to the end of this post you are planning to be actively involved in this thing called marching band. This makes me happy. Get involved and I promise you won't be disappointed!
It's starting! The first official meeting for the new marching band season is June 7, 2016 @7pm in the JCA. This year the meeting is mandatory for ALL marching band parents, not just new parents, and therefore is being held in the JCA to provide the space needed for everyone in attendance. This is due to the introduction of the new volunteer credit program requiring parents to earn credits for volunteering or pay an extra $100 fee. I would encourage you to volunteer and get involved. I know it's easy to think you don't have time to do this, but I assure you there are lots of ways to get involved and you might even have fun.
Becki Zeipen graciously offered to share her photos from the marching band season. Check out the links below. See some you like, you can download them to keep! She did a great job capturing lots of kids, not just her own. ; ) Thanks to Becki and everyone who has shared pictures this year so I could use them on the blog.
Jenison HS @ BOA Grand Nationals - Semi-finals 11.14.15
Jenison HS @ BOA Grand Nationals - Prelims 11.12.15
Jenison HS @ West Shore Invitational 10.31.15
Jenison HS @ Grandville Invitational 10.10.15
Jenison HS @ Rockford Invitational 9.19.15
Jenison HS 2015 Home Football Games
What a great season! I had the privilege of spending the last few days with these amazing kids and it was an interesting experience. They are truly a wonderful bunch of students who represented Jenison well in Indy, both on and off the field. I look forward to reflecting on the highlights of the season this Thursday, Nov. 19 at the banquet.
A note about the band uniforms. Your student will keep his/her uniform at home until after the Memorial Day parade at the end of the school year. I recommend that you throw it in the wash one last time before storing it in a closet somewhere for the next several months. Those kids were pretty sweaty after that second performance this past weekend. It's also a good idea to have your child try it on a week or so before that parade to make sure it still fits. Some students grow quite a bit and need to trade up a size before the parade.
DVD's from the National performances are not available because of some copyright issues that the company is dealing with. However, you can still purchase the dvd from the state performance by using this link http://www.mrvideoonline.com/event-details.asp?ID=789998
The end of the season means the end of the blog for now. Thank you to everyone who has shared suggestions and photos about what to include. Here are a few more pics to enjoy. If I have any from the banquet later this week I'll try to post them as well.
We may not officially be state champs, but our kids did win best general effect and best visual performance which was well deserved. I think we would all agree that everyone involved (students, directors, techs, parents, fans...) has worked very hard to put on an amazing show. I am so proud of this marching band program and I cannot wait to see them perform again this weekend at Grand Nationals!
I don't know what's been happening at your house, but at our home there have been a lot of 0.05 jokes thanks to the original one (as far as I'm aware) that was tweeted by a student last night: "on a scale from 1 to 10 how are you feeling right now?" "like 0.05". This morning it was "Hurry up, we're leaving in 0.05", this evening it was "Look, you're finally taller than me...by about 0.05". There were a few others throughout the day before my husband quipped #toosoon. Did you know that in 2013 Jenison beat Reeths-Puffer by 0.05? That's no joke. At the time Reeths-Puffer was in flight III (ah, those were the days), but Jenison beat them by 0.05 nonetheless.
One note about the upcoming marching band banquet that is on Thursday, Nov. 19 @6pm. Due to the number of students in the band, the banquet is only for parents and marching band students. Unfortunately this means you need to make other arrangements for siblings. Watch your email as more details about the banquet will come out soon.
Here are a few photos from this past weekend.