Marching season for band and guard students runs from summer (prior to school starting), to almost the end of the first semester. It comprises camps, football games, competitions – attendance at all of these, and practice, is mandatory. There are many volunteers and staff members that work with the students during this time – volunteers and staff will treat the students with respect, and in return, students will treat the volunteers and staff with respect. We ask that students try their hardest at everything they do. Marching season is more physical than most people believe, and students are often shocked at how much of an athlete they become! At College Park High School we strive for a world class experience of learning and personal growth within our program. We achieve this by working together.
The marching season classification is completely separate to the band class students will have been assigned to on their schedule (which was based on their audition in spring). The number of varsity marching positions available for each section is entirely dependent upon the requirements of the music/show each year. A student may be Varsity one year, and not the next. All positions are vital to the performance.
- Varsity students march at ALL games and competitions
- Non-Varsity students march at ALL games but NOT competitions. Instead, these students assist with other essential roles at competition, such as stage crew, pit crew, tech crew
The only band students who may not be marchers at all, are fall athletes whose sport conflicts, or those who have a health condition that prohibits marching band. Even then, those students who are excused, still attend games and competitions.
Practice is held after school, 8 hours a week over 3 days, from when school starts until the end of the football season. We also have a run through prior to every football game and competition, and the occasional Saturday practice may be required. On Thursday or Friday football games, students do not return home from their school day until after the game – which could be 10.00-11.00pm.
During marching season, practice is held in The Woodlands Church parking lot, right behind College Park (blue square). This is where students will need to be dropped off and picked up all marching season. For safety reasons, and remembering we have many new student drivers, please drive carefully and use the one way system by driving straight down the center aisle when entering the parking lot, and exiting using the upper and lower paths. Never park on the practice lot, or drop off using the road between school and The Woodlands Church parking lots (identified by red stars).
Time Management & Organization
This is a BUSY time, and students often pick up great time management skills during this time! Homework and class loads are always a question for parents, yet students seem to be more organized in fall. We have many AP, Honors and Science Academy students. Our busiest month is October – lovingly referred to as “Bandtober”!
We will provide you with a calendar – but flexibility is key. Make sure to be fully connected through all our communication methods, and stay on top of calendar changes. Things can and do change, and band families are the best at adapting. It is important students take responsibility for ensuring they arrive early and are always prepared.
At the start of the school year, band students will be given an instrument locker in the band hall. The band hall is where band students will go at the start and finish of any day in school. Students should NOT request a regular locker at orientation – if a regular locker is required, a Band Director will arrange one situated along the band hall, in the first week of school. Some students like to have a regular locker in addition to their instrument locker, to store items that don’t need to go to and from school or that are heavy to carry around. For example;
- a hat
- fanny pack
- marching practice clothes in a small bag (must be washed daily)
- water jug (must be washed daily and filled at home)
- marching instrument (concert instruments cannot be used outdoors).
Marching instruments can be used in class too during marching season, but students should bring their concert instrument to school on days they are scheduled to have a private lesson.
There are no prior skills or abilities needed to join the color guard, in any grade. Anyone can come to the auditions and try their best! The staff will teach students what they need, no matter what background they have. If you do have dance, gymnastics, cheer, or any other performing activity experience you will be able to use that experience to help you progress through the guard and really develop your abilities.