North Carolina Band 1 : 179 hours
North Carolina Band 2: 165 hours
Tennessee Band: 153 hours
South Carolina Band 1: 195 hours
South Carolina Band 2: 214 hours
Georgia Band 1: 215 hours
Georgia Band 2: 186 hours
Pope Band: 128 hours
We scaled back rehearsal hours after hearing numerous families say that band was taking "too much time". We wanted to make it easier for our kids to participate. We can get things done and still maintain quality, but....
What we do is dependent on having EVERY student in attendance, EVERY student participating, and EVERY student supporting their peers. The way a marching band show works is by the kids guiding to each other...matching their parts musically to other students, and working to be exactly in time with what they see and hear. When there are gaps, everyone suffers. You can't match volumes or straighten a line if the person you should see or hear is missing. In essence, being out punishes the students who are present...very different than in most other subjects in school.
Yesterday, we started experiencing what I hope was only a one-time setback...a fluke...an anomoly...but we need to be aware and get things back on track.
We lost a critical member of the marching program due to grades. Even after all our reminders and encouragements, the student was pulled by mom because schoolwork was lacking. We also had the largest number of kids sitting out of rehearsal yesterday that we've had all year.
We cannot improve with students missing or sitting out of practice. We cannot rewrite the entrie show production to cover up gaps left by missing students. We simply don't have the time. Holes in the show take away from the overall effectiveness and performance quality. It also means that the staff must change their approach, create new material to cover for what's missing, or re-teach routines.
There are legitimate reasons and conditions that occur. If a student is ill or has been diagnosed with an injury, of course we want them to take care of themselves. If, however, the student professes a hurt knee or ankle, then is up walking or running around during water breaks and after practice, you have to wonder how serious that condition really is. Some of them are "injured" during band practice, then go play sports on the weekend...how is that possible?
This is also the time of year when secheduling conflicts become a major issue. PLEASE plan carefully. We need everyone learning the changes and modifications we are adding to the show. We need everyone building the physical conditioning to play stronger and march better. Our actual competition involvement is only three weeks...but they are critical.
Finally, we have had experiences over the past years with students making poor choices behaviorally. Landing in ISS or being suspended from school can take a student out of the activity. We need to think carefully about our actions (live or on social media) and make good choices.
Parents...help us out. Monitor social media and be aware before situations get out of control. Also, encourage your student to eat healthy, get fluids before practices, and take good physical care of themselves so that they can participate. Plan ahead and keep our limited rehearsal schedule higher on the prioirity list when doing multiple activities. We don't want the hard work done so far to go to waste! We need to finish strong.