FAQ about Band Camp
What Will I Be Doing at Band Camp?
Our summer camps are when The Band of Gold learns our halftime and pregame productions. Auxiliary members and percussion meet with their instructors to learn choreography and music for the halftime & pregame shows. Horn line members meet with the band directors and instructors to learn the music for the halftime & pregame show. The full ensemble will meet to learn the field drill and put it together with music & choreography.
What Should I Bring to Camp?
Members should bring all of their materials needed for marching rehearsals including:
Athletic shoes – “flip flops” are NOT acceptable
Comfortable, loose fitting clothing (must remain in PCHS dress code in regards to modesty)
Insect repellent (clove oil diluted in water makes for a pleasant-smelling alternative)
Wide mouthed plastic water jug – A MUST! (No metal! Make sure your name is on it)
Hat & sunglasses
3-Ring binder with music
Instrument / Equipment
Lunch will provided for FREE!
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT BAND CAMP
- Be on time. Timely arrivals show you want to make a commitment to the program and will save your section from having to run laps, or being otherwise reprimanded. Remember: In band, early is on time, on time is late, and late means running laps.
- Warm up before rehearsal. Chances are you haven’t played or done a long rehearsal for a while. You may also wish to stretch. Marching band can be demanding during the summer. You don’t want to pull a muscle or injure yourself.
- Learn rehearsal and performance etiquette. Ask your section leader or band director if you’re not sure about something. Good etiquette helps things flow smoothly and look professional.
- Try your hardest. You will probably make faster friends and be respected more if you make a decent effort at marching and playing your instrument. “When in doubt, play out.” If you’re trying to hide that you can’t play part of the music or execute a certain move, nobody will be able to help you and when someone finally notices that you’ve been doing it wrong, you’ll have a harder time learning.
- Be optimistic. Complaining or bellyaching is extremely annoying and unhelpful.
- Make friends. Get to know your classmates, your section, whoever is sitting or standing next to you in formation, and anybody else that seems interesting. You have band and music in common already. However, do not talk when setting up formations, at attention, or listening to the director talk.
- Learn the show. Now is the time to practice. Practice as you would like to perform… learn your formations, work, music, rhythms, etc.
- Take care of yourself. You’ll perform better and feel better if you take care of your body. While marching band is technically considered an art, it is more rigorous than many sports.
- Drink plenty of water. This means water or Gatorade/Powerade. Soda and juice will dehydrate you. Avoid drinking milk or eating dairy products. Power drinks such a “Red Bull” are not permitted.
- Eat healthy foods! Don’t just eat a pop-tart for breakfast on your way out the door; marching is a very physical activity, especially if it’s for the entire day. Also remember to eat a healthy lunch.
- Get some rest. Band camp can be strenuous, and it’s easier if you’re well rested.
- Be respectful and courteous towards band directors and assistants. Often they are busy or stressed, so be understanding.
- Be aware of your place on the totem pole. If you’re an underclassman, don’t try to boss others around as if you’re the section leader. On the flip side, if you’re an upperclassman, don’t alienate and harass those younger than you. Everyone should keep in mind that while they may not like the band captains or drum major(s), they are the highest in student leadership. The same goes for section leaders: you don’t have to like them, but you should listen to and respect them.
- Be considerate of chaperones and band parents. They give up their own time, often using vacation time to come and help. They are not there to pick up or clean up after you.
- Keep a pencil with you to mark sheet music and drill charts during practice.
- If you are a new member, don’t constantly critique upperclassmen. They will only tolerate it for so long, and this is one of the fastest ways to make enemies. It also won’t look very good in the future, when you’re running for leadership… people do remember these things.
- Remember that band directors hear everything. If you make an offhand comment along the lines of “Why do we have to learn this crap, it’s not like we’re gonna beat (rival band) anyway”, it will get back to them, and they will likely call you out on it. At the very least, they’ll file it away in their minds for later, when you want a favor. The same goes for anything you text or write on a social networking site… if you think another member of the band won’t report you, you’re wrong. Keep your negativity to yourself.
- Remember that everyone is at band camp to learn. If you’re a newcomer, don’t take it personally when an instructor gives advice. Remember, they’re trying to help you look better in performance. If you’re a returning member, help out newcomers and be patient with them. You learned once, too.
- Don’t complain. If this becomes a problem, you may need to consider finding something else to do besides band OR the decision could possibly be made for you.
- Be disciplined (or else). Marching Band is very military-esque. When the director is speaking, you do not. When you need to snap to attention, you snap. Take it seriously, many skills that you learn in this activity can be applied to everyday life!
- If you are given a drill sheet with your formations on it or music do not lose it, because you will probably get in trouble. Your whole section might have to run laps!
- Many people can overheat during band camp if it’s hot outside. If you start to feel fatigued, dizzy, nausea, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion. Tell a section leader, drum major, or staff member immediately. Get to some shade and get some water if you think this is happening to you.
- Don’t be “that guy”. There’s always that one person who forgets to wear their band shirt, or loses one of their marching shoes and shows up without it because they started looking the night before, or walks into the room and goes “Ohhh… we were supposed to bring our instruments today?”. Don’t let that be you.
- Never handle or play somebody else’s instrument without permission. It is very rude, and you will be held accountable if the instrument breaks.
- Make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing or it will come back to haunt you. Starting band camp as a new member and having a lazy reputation will leave you in a bad place with the director where you don’t want to be.
- Don’t talk when the band director, staff, drum majors, or section leaders are talking. Not only will this make them mad, but it will distract people around you from what they’re saying, which could be very important. If you need help finding your drill spot, quietly raise your hand and someone will gladly help you. Respect upperclassmen- chances are they’re right and you’re wrong.
A complete schedule is listed on the website’s calendar and details will be e-mailed to parents.
Lunch is provided each day for all students and instruction staff by The Pell City Band Boosters and the generous donations of area churches. Please make any food allergies known to the band office as soon as possible. (These should also be indicated on the member’s Medical Form). If needed students may bring their own lunch or a parent can bring them lunch but remember you MAY NOT leave campus to get food.
Our outstanding band program did not gain its reputation without the full attendance of its members. Accordingly, your perfect and timely attendance is expected to be the norm. Please print and keep the schedule for reference throughout the year. Minor adjustments in the rehearsal schedule will occur as needed; however, the time parameters will not be expanded. If you have a job, ask off from work NOW!
Your instrument and equipment should be brought to each rehearsal (including our first meeting). You will need a pencil to mark your music and drill charts. During rehearsals it is very important to wear only quality athletic footwear. “Chocos”, “Flip Flops”, Sandals, etc. are not acceptable.
Uniforms will be issued during band camp week. Rookie members will be fitted for bibbers (pants) & shoes. In addition, each student must purchase his or her own uniform gloves and shoes (prices and due dates will be announced during band camp by the band directors).
Music & Charts:
Although The Band of Gold always memorizes their music for performance, we require that instrumentalists carry their music for reference during all rehearsals. All instrumentalists are required to have a 3-ringed binder for their music. They should bring this binder to ALL marching band rehearsals.
Also, please plan to carry a small notebook and pencil for drill coordinate notes. These items significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of our rehearsals. Music is available for download under the Music & Drill Tab.
Band Camp Tips
EAT BREAKFAST! Every day before rehearsal. 90% of all students who feel bad during camp haven’t eaten breakfast.
TAKE A SHOWER EACH NIGHT & wear deodorant EVERY DAY! (It is okay to bring some with you to camp and re-apply).
WEAR SUNSCREEN and bring plenty with you to reapply.
It’s a good idea to have an extra change of clothes available in case of a sudden shower or too much sweat.