Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!
Here are some of the common questions and answers you may have about being a part of the Marching Mustangs organization!
What is a typical competition day like for students?
A typical competition day usually begins with a morning practice. After practice, students have some down time when they can eat a snack/lunch, get their uniforms and belongings together and pack the equipment truck and buses before their meeting with Mr. Penrod and staff. This meeting is for students and staff only. After the meeting students immediately get on the buses and head to the competition. At the show, students will visit the restrooms, unpack their equipment and proceed to warm-ups. After warm-ups, students will take the field in competition! If there are many bands left to perform after them, students will change into their regular clothes. They may stay in uniform if there is not much of the competition remaining. Students will return to the field for awards with chaperones. After the competition, students will return to the bus area where they will have snacks. After snacks, the students will board the buses and return back to the school. All students are counted before every departure to ensure everyone is accounted for. When returning to the school, students will unload the equipment and have another meeting with Mr. Penrod and staff to discuss the day and the upcoming week. Only after students have been dismissed by Mr. Penrod are they allowed to leave with a parent or guardian to go home.
What does my student need for a competition day?
For competitions days your student will need their uniform, instrument and/or equipment, marching shoes, money (if they want to purchase food, drinks, souvenirs, etc.), a change of clothes and snacks. While snacks are provided for students at competitions, most of them desire additional food and drinks. Students should dress for the weather. They may wish to bring extra warm clothes and blankets for chilly days, or a change of clothes for rainy days. Students are advised not to bring expensive items or clothing. Students must leave their belongings on the school buses and they will not be guarded by anyone in the band organization.
How much money should I send with my student?
Most students should not need money for more than food. However, at some competitions, students are able to purchase band/guard related merchandise. Depending on the parents view on these type of purchases and the amount of food sent with the student from home, the amount of money is flexible. A good amount to send with a student for food purchases only is between $10-$20. Most competitions do not charge a lot for food, however the students are usually hungry after performances. The BSA does provide snacks and water/hot chocolate but there will be times students have the opportunity to eat at the snack stands of the host school. Sending money with your student is not a requirement, just a suggestion.
How much are competitions and how do I buy ticket?
Most competition admission prices are about $10-$12 for an adult, and $8-$10 for students and seniors. However, the price of admission for the Atlantic Coast Championships and other larger shows is more. Most tickets are sold at the gate the day of the competition. There are times when the BSA is given tickets to sell in advance, usually at a discounted rate. When this occurs, emails will be sent and postings placed on Facebook and the BSA website. Also, feel free to ask any BSA board member you see at practice drop off/pick up during the week.
How late do competitions run?
Unfortunately, competition days are long. Most times we are traveling at least an hour away to compete. As a result, the students may not arrive back at the high school until midnight. All students are instructed to call a parent when the buses are about 15 minutes away from the high school. Also, the time frame of the competition (performance time, awards time, etc) will be posted on the BSA website each week. For example: If the students are scheduled to perform at 8:15pm and awards are scheduled at 9:30pm, they will not be leaving the competition until about 10:15pm. Awards generally take about 30-45 minutes to complete. If you see this information listed, and know that they are an hour and a half away, you can make an educated guess that they’ll arrive back at the high school somewhere around 11:45pm. Many parents are willing to car pool also, so if there is ever an issue with transportation, please do not hesitate to ask. Sunday competitions are usually earlier in the day, and most times students will arrive back at the school at an acceptable hour.
Who can I contact in case of an emergency when my student is at a competition?
You can contact any of the chaperones and they will relay any important information and involve Mr. Penrod when necessary.
What happens if my student gets sick or injured at a competition?
At the beginning of the season, each student will come home with an emergency medical form. This form needs to be filled out, signed by a parent and returned to Mr. Penrod as soon as possible. Prior to the first competition, all forms MUST be handed in for the student to travel with the band. These forms are carried by the head chaperone at every competition and event the students travel to. If an emergency occurs, the contacts listed on this form will be called immediately.
How can I arrange to drive my student to or from a competition?
If your student needs to be transported directly to or from a competition and is unable to ride the bus that week, Mr. Penrod must be spoken with in advance to gain permission.
My student is unable to attend a competition. What do I do?
If your student is unable to attend a competition, you and your student must speak with Mr. Penrod about your situation as far in advance as possible.
What should I tell my child when they come home discouraged from a rough performance/practice?
This marching band program is hard. There’s no other way to say it. These students and staff put in long hours are hard work and dedication. It is a natural reaction for a new student to become discouraged after a rough day. As a parent, just reassure them that everyone has bad days. Encourage them to speak with other students about their feelings and concerns. All of the current band members were once new too, and they remember what it was like to have a bad day. Also encourage them to speak with the staff members. Each staff member has been in their shoes of being the “new person”. They know what it feels like, and they’re all more than willing to talk a new student through it.
What is the difference between Outdoor and Indoor Colorguard?
Outdoor colorguard is performed with the marching band, outdoors, on a football field or in a stadium. Indoor colorguard is just the members of the indoor colorguards who perform to recorded music, indoors, in a gymnasium.
Can my child be a band member during outdoor and then be a colorguard member during indoor?
Absolutely. There are many members of the band program that are members of both the band and the colorguard.
What is a Home Show?
A Home Show is a competition that is at our home field or home gymnasium. Home Shows require a lot of work and planning from the students and staff, but even more from the parents. All Home Show details will be discussed at the monthly parents meeting. Any time or money that you can donate on a Home Show Day is greatly appreciated!
Why do we host shows at our school?
Hosting a show (Home Show) is a HUGE fundraiser for the Marching Mustangs. The better the show, the more money our organization can raise. The more money we raise, the less money that parents and students have to provide out of their own pockets.
How long is competition season?
Marching band competition season runs from September to the first week in November. Indoor Colorguard season runs from January to April.
Equip & Uniforms:
How can I clean my students uniform?
Colorguard uniform cleaning instructions can vary by season. A general rule of thumb is to hand wash in cold water, and lay flat to dry on a big beach towel. Band member uniforms are dry cleaned (together, paid for by the BSA) at the beginning and end of each season. If a spill or spot happens during the season, see a band mom immediately. If it’s a small spot, general hand washing the dirty spot should be able to help. If it’s a larger issue, the whole uniform may need to be dry cleaned before the next competition.
What color socks?
Band Members wear black socks with their uniform, always. Please be sure students have crew length socks and NOT ankle socks. Colorguard will vary by season. Typically female colorguard members will not wear socks, but will wear their uniform tights. Male colorguard members will be instructed what color socks to wear that season. During cold weather, all colorguard members may be instructed what color socks to wear and when they will need them. Nude is always a great color to keep handy.
What undergarments does my student need?
Undergarments are considered part of the uniform, and are required at all times. All band members will be provided a seasonal band t-shirt at no cost to the student to be worn under their uniform. This t-shirt is part of their uniform and is to be worn underneath at every performance. We recommend purchasing a second shirt for first season members, as we have weekends with 2 shows back to back. They should also wear athletic pants or short and black socks. NO jeans are to be worn under the band uniform. As the weather changes and layers are needed, investing in Under Armour-like garments (the Target brand is good also!) for top and bottom is a must. Please note that the band members should always try to wear a dark color under their uniform, unless otherwise instructed by Mr. Penrod. Female colorguard members will be provided a nude leotard, tights and perhaps additional undergarments to be worn under their uniforms. All female colorguard members are required to wear a sports bra. Male colorguard members are required to wear boxer briefs, an undershirt and socks. Any additional undergarments for the season will be discussed with students by their instructors.
Can my student wear make-up in uniform?
Band members should only wear natural make-up. Please remember that make-up leaves marks on black uniforms. Colorguard members are required to wear make-up as part of their uniform. Required make-up will be discussed with the colorguard by their instructors. Band and colorguard members are not permitted to wear colored nail polish if their finger nails are visible while in uniform.
Can my student use their own instrument or equipment?
If you believe your student already has the correct instrument or equipment, or you would like to purchase an instrument or equipment for your student, please speak with their instructors before doing so.
What happens if my student damages their instrument or equipment?
Any damage to instruments or equipment should immediately be report to Mr. Penrod. Colorguard members should report immediately to Jack or Stephanie.
My student lost part of their equipment/instrument/uniform. What do I do?
Any lost instruments or equipment should immediately be report to Mr. Penrod. Colorguard members should report immediately to Jack or Stephanie.
Where do I buy band jackets and other apparel for my student?
At various times during the year, the BSA puts together a clothing order. Generally the first order is put together around the time of band camp in August. This ensures our students have the necessary garments for the season to begin in September. Your student will be sent home with the form(s) that list the items and their prices. We try to keep the costs of these items as low as possible. The BSA does not add money to the prices to make a profit. We sell these items so our students and their parents can represent our school at competitions proudly. We also do a clothing order prior to the holiday season. Our clothing order volunteer will keep in contact with the parents via Facebook and the website. Prior to the Indoor Colorguard season, a clothing order is put together for that season’s theme. Generally we order t-shirts and sweatshirts but if there is a call for it, we will put together a larger order.
How to Help:
Should all families participate in fundraisers?
Absolutely. All the money we raise through the various fundraisers is for the benefit of the students. The band program is given an allotted amount of money each year by the Board of Education. However, this amount is nowhere near enough to sustain the type of program we have. We understand times are hard for some families, and responsibilities are large at home. But any little amount of time or monetary help is always appreciated. Even if it means baking cupcakes for a home show, or selling Yankee Candles to your co-workers, every little bit helps.
Why do fundraise so much for the program? Don’t we receive money from the Board of Education?
Fundraising is so important because we are such an involved marching program. The band program does receive a budget from the Board of Education, however the amount that is allotted for the program just isn’t enough to sustain the competitive nature of this band. That’s why we as a parent group step in. We raise as much money as possible each season to be able to give the staff and students what they need to be an award-winning marching band and colorguard.
What kind of help does the Marching Band program need?
Anything and everything you can think of, we will probably be in search of it at some point during the season. Food is always a necessity. We feed 85 children at least 3 times a weekend, sometimes more. We never want our students to be hungry. So donating food is always a help. We always need parents around for chaperoning, moving equipment, building equipment, etc. Again, if you can think of it, we’re probably in need of it. As the time for the home show’s grows closer, you’ll see emails, Facebook posts and website updates about our need for food and volunteers. Without the help and donations of our parents and families, this program wouldn’t be able to survive. If you see cases of water on sale at ShopRite, stock up. We’ll need that!
How can I become a Chaperone?
Please attend a BSA meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of every month in the Gold Cafeteria at 7pm at the high school. Or please ask a BSA board member at drop off or pick up. Please note that all decisions regarding chaperones are ultimately Mr. Penrod’s decision.
How can I become a Pit Mom or Dad?
Please attend a BSA meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of every month in the Gold Cafeteria at 7pm at the high school. Or please ask a BSA board member at drop off or pick up. Please note that all decisions regarding Pit Mom’s and Dad’s are ultimately Mr. Penrod’s decision.
How do I donate snacks for competitions?
The students will be sent home with flyers and paperwork asking for donations. Also, a list is generally posted on the Marching Mustangs Facebook page. Please be on the lookout weekly for posts for donations that are needed.
How can I become more involved in the Marching Band program?
Come to a BSA meeting and volunteer. We meet every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Gold Cafeteria of the high school.
Are their other ways to help besides volunteering my time?
We as parents understand time is precious. There are jobs, family and other commitments to take into consideration. If you’re unable to volunteer your time, send donations. We’re always in need of food and other items for the kids. There will usually be flyers sent home, Facebook postings and emails sent with items that are needed.