The info about the Toledo Regional is now up on the band website. You can also find it here. Uniform inspections are Monday (Juniors and Seniors) and Tuesday (Freshmen and Sophomores). Your student should arrive between 5-6pm in full uniform for inspection. Volunteers will make sure all pieces of the uniform are present and CLEAN. After inspections the students put everything back in their garment bag and leave it at the school. That way when they leave early Saturday morning they won't have to even think about their uniform.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is located in the strip mall with Chipotle and Five Guys out in front of Cabela's and Target near Rivertown Mall. Join us for dinner. Potbelly was recently added to SCRIP so if you order on Monday you could have it in time for the fundraiser!
We made it through the first competition and did great! As I've mentioned in a previous post, the show is far from finished and it will be exciting to see it change. The color guard is not yet in uniform, the flags are not all complete, and aside from the shields, there are no props yet on the field (which means by the way there are still lots of opportunities left to earn those 10 volunteer credits). Here's a brief description of the remaining competitions. Remember these are just the basics, I will add more as each one gets closer.
Next Saturday is essentially just an extended practice from 9am - 8pm. They will have lunch again on their own and Feed the Band will serve them dinner. They will also take their band pics this day so they will need their uniform.
BOA Regional @ The University of Toledo - October 1
Bands of America (BOA) is the National organization that we compete in. When we go to Indy (see below) this is also a BOA event. This event is held on Saturday, October 1 at the Glass Bowl (Univ. of Toledo) which is an OUTDOOR stadium (so be prepared for the weather). There will be a preliminary performance (we are currently scheduled for 1pm) and then the finals later in the evening. Jenison usually competes in the finals so be prepared for them to have a very late evening. The students will leave Jenison on a charter bus relatively early and will get back very late (no overnight stay). Lots of families choose to attend this competition but many do not.
October 8 is Homecoming and there is no practice this day.
Grandville Invitational (Scholastic) - Oct 15
The Grandville Invitational will be very similar to the Rockford Invitational.
Jenison Invitational (Scholastic & MCBA) - Oct 22
The Jenison Invitational will require the students to perform twice in exhibition. This means they perform and are judged for a score but they are not in competition. The reason they perform twice is because there are two different sections. The morning is Scholastic Competition and the afternoon/evening is Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA). Some bands only compete in Scholastic competitions which are not as competitive as MCBA. In Scholastic competition we compete in Class A and in MCBA competition we are considered Flight II. Both are based on size of the HS. Those who only compete in Scholastic competitions do not go to state or Nationals.
The students usually arrive about an hour before they perform to warm-up. They can leave between performances. The first one is usually around 2:30 and the second will be near 10:00pm. If your student is in percussion or guard, they may have additional practice during the day.
Westshore Invitational (Scholastic) - Oct 29
This invitational is held at Rockford but is run by Reeths-Puffer (our biggest rival). The schedule for the day will be similar to Rockford and Grandville.
MCBA State - (MCBA) - Nov 5
Every year the times rotate for this competition. For example one year it's Flight I, Flight II, Flight III, Flight IV. The next year its Flight IV, Flight I, Flight II, Flight III, etc. This year Flight II starts at 3:45pm. This competition will have great bands that you haven't seen previously so it is fun to watch. It's also nice that you don't have to get up terribly early and you won't get home too late! The students will take a charter bus again. Plan for them to be gone all day and to arrive back late.
BOA Grand Nationals - Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis - Nov 10 - 12
The final competition will be at the Grand Nationals. The students will leave early on Thursday, Nov 10 as their preliminary performance is around 2:30pm on Thursday. Friday evening (there are two days of preliminary competition) they will announce who moves on to Semi-finals. Semi- finals begin early Saturday morning and then Finals are Saturday night. Sometimes Jenison makes it to the Semi-finals, sometimes they do not. They generally do not make the Finals but they do stay to watch them. Once finals performances are complete they get on the busses and head back to Jenison arriving in the middle of the night. If you plan to attend Grand Nationals you might want to look for a hotel room now as they will fill up.
Yes, there is such a thing as "Invitational Etiquette". Just a couple of tidbits to help you transition into this marching band parent thing...
1. If you have a show shirt, wear it! You can easily identify other Jenison parents/fans in the stands this way and it's a great way to support our students.
2. Don't be late! While you may not want to watch an entire evening of marching bands, you should know that the schedule is quite rigid and they rarely get behind. Each band gets 15 minutes and that includes getting on the field, playing, and getting off the field. There are penalties if they are not within their allotted time so bands are good at being precise. In addition, there will be people preventing you from entering the stands while each band is performing. This is to prevent distractions and is also a courtesy to those watching that brief performance by their band. If you arrive right before Jenison plays, you might not be able to get into the stands in time to see them perform. These invitationals are well attended so allow time for parking, a possible line at the ticket window, and time to get to your seat.
3. Clap for everyone. Some bands are really small, some are large. All deserve recognition for the hard work that is put into their show. Please be respectful to all bands and show your support.
Our first invitational is less than a week away! It's very exciting and I hope you get a chance to get to a few (if not all) this season to cheer on our student's hard work. Remember to check out the band website this week under the "NEWS" heading to see the official details for Saturday. It is usually posted sometime on Monday. However, I also wanted to make you aware of another resource. www.michiganmarching.com This website lists all the schedules for Michigan band competitions in both the MCBA and Scholastic divisions. From the homepage, click "competitions" and then find the one you are interested in. As soon as the schedule is made public you will be able to find it here. For the Rockford Invitational this Saturday it notes ticket prices, location, and performance times. Jenison is the last competing band to perform at 8:25pm. Then Rockford performs in exhibition (while judges scores are tallied) and then there will be an awards ceremony.
I wanted to clarify something regarding the volunteer credits. Several have asked if 10 credits are required per student in the marching band for those families with multiple students marching. The additional $100 fee does apply to all marching band students (2 students in MB are an additional $100 each or $200). However, only 10 volunteer credits are required per FAMILY. So if you, like myself, have two students participating in marching band/guard this year then earning 10 volunteer credits will eliminate $200 from your balance. Please remember that you are required to fill out the volunteer form and to turn it in with your last band payment.
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.