Marching Band

Looking forward to an amazing 2017 season!

Director – Gregory P. Thomas
Drum Instructor & Arranger – Will Muncaster
Pit Instructor & Arranger – Andrew LaPrade
Assistant & Instructor & Instrument Repair Tech – Donna Robertson
Color Guard Instructor – Ashley Nottingham
Marching/Music Instructor – Jean Flaherty
Assistant Drum Instructor – Garrett More
Brass Tech – John Lloyd

2015 – 2016 Student Leaders
Drum Majors – Nora Dale, Alaine Ferralli
Drum Captain
Color Guard Captain

Parent Volunteers
Our wonderful parents volunteer for everything from fitting uniforms to organizing food to chaperoning on buses to moving equipment on and off the field during competitions. Sign Up Genius information to come.

Overview

The Marching Band is a competition quality field show ensemble. It includes winds, percussion, and color guard. We perform at Marching Band Competitions, Parades, and Home Football Games. Band members are required to attend Band Camp in the summer, rehearse at Zero Period, and most Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during the Marching Band season. All Marching Band members except Color Guard are required to be enrolled in a regularly scheduled band class in addition to Marching Band.

All students must have an emergency medical form on file with us before they can travel with the band. Please print a copy of the form and return it to the Band Room.

The Band

The AHS Marching Patriots are a 100% volunteer competition-quality Marching Band. We have a total of approximately 85 members which includes winds, percussion, color guard, and drum majors. This puts us in the AA – AAA class in competition. Our goals, in order of importance are as follows:

  1. To provide a superb musical and artistic experience for every one of our members so as to make a meaningful contribution to their lives in terms of ability, character, and esprit de corps.
  2. To translate this experience into a high quality, competitive field show that demonstrates our superiority in musicianship, showmanship, and marching, which result in superior ratings at competition.
  3. To add our unique energy and skills to AHS sporting events, including halftime shows and pep band performances.

Marching Band Practices

Practice Objectives: Our objectives during practice is to learn our field show. This involves memorization of the assigned music (or color guard routines), mastery the marching techniques and mastery the marching band drill. It is an extremely challenging and rewarding venture.

Marching Band officially begins on the first day of Band Camp at 1 pm, the Monday two weeks before the first day of school. We will practice Monday thru Friday of the following two weeks from 1 – 10 pm with the color guard, drum line, and leadership reporting one hour earlier at 12 noon. We will also practice on the Monday & Tuesday before the first day of school, time TBA.

When school starts, we will practice daily during ZERO period staring at 7:45a.m. sharp, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4 – 6 pm. There will be no morning practices on Tuesdays, or on Fridays of home games. All practices are mandatory. Please do not ask to be excused from practice early or to arrive late. Your attendance record at rehearsals is the single most vital part of our preparation, grade, and our success! Being late to, or cutting rehearsals is a slap in the face to the band and to our musical ambitions. You need to start and finish the season understanding the principle and prepare yourself for any sacrifices it requires. Please head the following guidelines:

Excused Absences include:

  1. Illnesses attested to by parental/doctor note
  2. Family emergencies attested to by parental note
  3. Special circumstances only with the prior approval of the director

Performances

Like any other musical performance, our marching band performances are the target of all of our preparation. Unlike other musical performances, the correct execution of our show cannot take place unless every single individual is present.  All competitive performances are absolutely mandatory attendance, without exception. There are three types of performances in which we participate:

  1. Marching Band Competitions – Highly competitive events that feature performances by high schools that take marching band seriously. Schools are ranked by place and receive evaluations of Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair.
  2. Half Time Shows at AHS home football games – Home football games are required performance events for all Marching Band members. We perform our competition field show during half time. This gives us a chance to entertain our home town audience and enhance our reputation as a performing unit.
  3. Pep Band – During football games, we perform our stand tunes, conducted by our “Pep Major(s).” These songs are kept in your flip folders and do not need to be memorized, but do need to be learned.

Home Football Games

On the Friday’s of home football games, our schedule is as follows:

4:00 pm – Rehearsal begins (tardies will be assessed)

5:30 pm – Students are dismissed to dinner arranged by the Boosters (pizza, ChckFil-A, or Subway AND chips/drink). See the band fee sheet for this year’s cost. Students may not leave school grounds without special permission of the Director.

6:00 pm – Students report to the band room to change into band uniforms. Drum line and color guard begin first. Pit, Drum Majors, and Winds follow.

6:30 pm – Students assemble in formation outside the band room in pre-game line up. Inspection is conducted by Drum Majors and Section leaders. We march to the football field in cadence.

7:00 pm – Enter the field at the correct time for the National Anthem (Star Spangled Banner). We then march to the end of the field for the fight song (Notre Dame March) and the introduction of the team. After this, we march to our section of the stands and take our assigned spots for Pep Band. At halftime, we give our performance.

9:30 pm (approx.) – At the conclusion of the game, we march out in cadence and return to the band room. We hang our uniforms up and pack up our equipment properly then have a formal room inspection and dismissal. Only band members and helping parents are allowed in the band room at this time! Except with special permission of the director, no band member may be dismissed from a performance until these events are concluded.

9:30pm-11pm (approx.) – (Optional Attendance) Marching Band members can stay for pancakes. Band Booster parents cook the pancakes in the Band area. If you want to volunteer for this fun tradition, contact the Band Boosters.

All of the required performances and rehearsals are available on the Google Band Calendar and from the Website Band Calendar  Be sure to put these dates on your calendar to insure that no conflict arises. Except in the case of serious illness or emergency, there are no excuses for missing a performance.

Pep Band

Each musician is responsible for having their own flip folder with pep band tunes in order at all practices and football game performances. Section leaders will check each player’s music periodically.

Band Leadership

This band relies greatly on student leaders who are dedicated to the improvement of the group. All students are expected and required to gracefully accept leadership from the student leaders of the band.

  • Drum Majors: the highest ranking student leaders and are responsible to the director for every facet of the show. Drum Majors conduct rehearsals and performances, teach drill, and marching moves, and instill pride and discipline.
  • Color Guard/Drum Captains: responsible to the director and the Guard sponsor for every facet of their section’s performance. They are in charge during rehearsals when the director or sponsors are not present. They have primary creative and compositional input into the Guard’s performance.
  • Field Captains: are exceptionally strong marchers who have jurisdiction over the entire band during rehearsal. Their role is to diagnose trouble spots, teach drill and constructively improve the show however they can. They will be introduced to the band on the first day of camp.
  • Section Leaders: strong marchers and musicians from each wind section of the band. They run sectional rehearsals and aggressively help their section learn all aspects of the show.

Uniforms

Band uniforms are kept in the uniform room during performances. Only members of the Band Parent Uniform Committee are permitted in this room. Students will be fitted during band camp for their jacket and trousers. It is each student’s responsibility to have the necessary hemming done. No material may be cut from the uniform during hemming. Uniforms are distributed before performances in an orderly fashion, and students place them back on the hangers correctly and hand them back in to be stored after each performance.

A full uniform for an Albemarle Marching Patriot performance includes the following:

  1. Your assigned jacket, trousers, and hat.
  2. Black socks
  3. Shined marching shoes. Each student is responsible for purchasing their own approved marching shoes. (Students without “Drillmasters” or an equivalent that has been approved by the director will be fitted during band camp).
  4. No jewelry except post earrings or jewelry appropriate to the color guard costume.
  5. Approved color guard outfit, correct shoes, make-up scheme, and no dangling jewelry.

Equipment

  1. Reed players should always have at least three workable reeds in their possession.
  2. Every player needs a lyre and a flip folder for their instruments by the second day of band camp at the latest. These can be obtained at any music store, such as Music & Arts in Charlottesville.
  3. Anyone using a school instrument needs to purchase their own mouthpiece – this includes all woodwind and brass players.

Fees

There are certain fees associated with running a successful marching band program. These are enumerated on the fee sheet included in the handouts.

Student Responsibility

This is your band. It is your task to work together to make it succeed. Enthusiasm, energy, and cooperation make us stronger. Negativity and cynicism erode our strength. Above all, subscribe to the following music ethic:

  1. Make your top priority the execution of the composer’s intent.
  2. Commit to improving your playing ability.
  3. Approach each rehearsal seriously. Music is only fun when it is done well. Music done poorly is torture for performers, audiences, and band directors.