After school, there will be rehearsal. They will warm up with their instruments, get some instruction and practice a bit. Each game, they play the National Anthem and the Jenison Fight Song.
After the National Anthem is played, they will file into the furthest section of the upper deck. Their bleachers are usually covered with a green pad to designate them as reserved. They will be required to remain in this section to be available to play the fight song when called upon. Parent interactions should be restricted to taking pictures from your own seats. Late in the second quarter, the band will file back down the stairs and begin warm-ups near the fence that separates the track from the residences nearby.
As soon as the football team has cleared the field, the band is mobilized. They are timed as if it was a competition: prop setup, performance, clearing the field. They will be introduced and the performance will commence. They perform the same show each game because this band is focused on competition instead of creating a new halftime show for each week. What makes it exciting for the parents, is that we get to see what changes each week, what gets added, and witness how their skill levels increase. It’s never truly the same show each week.
After they finish and the parents wildly cheer like the crazy people we are, the band will take care of the props, some of the instruments, the flags and costumes, and finally retake their seats in the stands. However, the third quarter is a little different than the others. This is the quarter where they have some freedom and can greet their families, friends and the concession stand. Most of the band members have worked up an appetite and are more than happy to greet their families if it means they can get some cash for the concession stand. FYI: They don’t accept credit or debit. It’s cash only. Be advised that the third quarter goes pretty quick and your teen will not stick around long to chat.
END OF GAME
Just like at half time, the band will file back onto the track late in the fourth quarter. They will line up in formation and await the time to run out. After the game ends and the sidelines are mostly cleared, the Drum Majors will lead the band down the sideline and to the school. If you happen to be walking down the ramp to leave when they begin marching through, the band has the right-a-way and will probably march right over you. They will continue to march until they get to an area of grass by the “band’s back door entrance”. They will gather around the directors and listen to their feedback and instruction. Parents may gather nearby this group, but please do not interact with any students and try and keep noise to a minimum as it is very hard to hear the directors talk. Following their comments, the band will play Lobe Den Herrin before being dismissed. Again, as parents, it is important to stay out of the way as they hurriedly make their way back into the band room. At this point, it’s a waiting game. Sometimes they play back a recording of the half-time show, but not everyone stays to watch it. Your student may leave the school anywhere from a few minutes to nearly fifteen. The upside is that the parking lot is pretty empty by the time you get to leave.
I hope this information certainly helps you understand what to expect during game days. This is not a rigid schedule but you will find it holds pretty close to it. All I can say is, come to the stadium early to get good parking and good seats; come with cash, be prepared to leave after the crowds. This is a great time to talk to other band parents and get to know people.
Also, when at the game, please make an effort to speak only positive and uplifting words about the band members, cheerleaders, and football players. I know there is a great discussion about which activity is more difficult, but on game day, we are all on the same side. All of these students work hard to do their best. Let's not just talk the talk but do the walk.