Busses and 2 trailers and a semi will be loaded and driven to the location.  When we get to the location, many times only the busses and trucks are allowed in to the band areas.  Each contest has their parking lots divided up and they assign each school a location in the parking lot.  We will basically set up camp there.  Busses will be unloaded, trailers will be unloaded.  We will set up tents, tables, and the equipment for the meals typically in between or beside the busses.  If you are driving to the contest, you will be asked to park in the public parking areas and then they usually will have people to guide you to let you know where our band’s base camp area is.  You are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, etc.  The students are required to stay in that area, unless they are escorted by a parent to the restrooms.

 

The directors will determine when we eat, snack the kids, practice, etc.  Remind 101 is the best communication.  They will send a reminder that tells the students to be in stretch block at a certain time, usually close to our camp area.  They will dress in their uniforms and begin warm up preparation to perform.  They usually will then proceed at a specific time to another area, where they continue to warm up.  At this time we will have groups of parents doing different things.  Some will go with the students to get their plumes put in their hats.  Another group will follow the front ensemble and pull the equipment to the preparation area to go onto the field.  Another group will take a cart that we have prepared to the area where the students will enter the field to perform.   This group will give each student a cup of water to get cooled off a little bit on their way into the stadium before they perform.

 

For performance they have a set time when they can enter the field.  A set time as to how long they can perform, and set time where they have to be off of the field.  They have points deducted if their timing is off, or if they step in areas they are not allowed.  That is why we ask for several parents to help us get all of the equipment onto the field.  After performing, they will march back to our camp area to get their uniforms off, cool off, take a break and wait for instructions from the directors.

 

The whole process from stretch block to off the field is usually around an hour. 

 

As soon as the directors okay it, we will get them snacks, or the meal, depending on the performance time.  Then we wait…… 

 

Our first performance is a preliminary performance being judged.  After all bands have performed, the scores will be given to the directors.  It is then determined if we made it to finals, and if we did, where did we place and what time do we play again.  That determines how the evening goes for us. 

 

If we make it to finals, we then do the whole process over again at whatever time is determined due to our performance time.  All bands are judged again, and then winners are determined by that performance.

 

After all final performances have been done, we then move to a process called massing.  It is an amazing time.  All bands that were in the finals will march onto the field and stand in specific areas on the field.  They usually will stand between to determined yard lines from the home side to the visitor side, with a new band each 10 yards or so.  Awards will then be presented as the bands stand at attention.  If the band is called, the drum majors will walk forward to receive the award.  A picture of a small start of massing is below.

 

Image result for picture of marching band massing

 

 

 

After massing is over, the students will return to the camp area, put their uniforms on the racks, finish loading the trailers, load the bus, and head home.

 

 

 

Marching Contests have an entry fee to purchase a wristband to get in.  You must have a wristband on to enter the stadium.  From directors, to students, to helpers, to parents, everyone has to have a wristband.  We will let you know how much it is prior to the contest.

 

All students and staff have their wristbands included in the contest entry fee.  Occasionally, we will get a couple of extra bands, but typically not.  As a result, even if we are helping, we must purchase a wristband to be able to watch the performance.

 

The cost of the meal that we provide is included in the dues that the students have paid.  In order to keep from raising the cost of our dues, we only have allocated enough funds to feed the students.  However, we do offer the opportunity for parents to purchase a meal band with us so they can eat with the students at the contest.  This is absolutely not mandatory, feel free to bring your own food, or purchase it from the stadium (however, the stadium is usually not cheap).

 

Each week prior to the game we will send out a notice that says how much the entry bands are, and how much the meal band would be to eat with us.  We will accept payment at the school for that until a few days prior to the contest.  Then we will go and purchase wristbands for all the parents who have sent in their money for one. Again, this is optional.  You are welcome to stay at the camp, or stand outside of the stadium during the performance.  You also are welcome to purchase a wristband when you arrive at the stadium.  However, sometimes our camp is a good walk from the stadium where they are selling the wristbands, so we just wanted to make it easier for our parents.

 

Helpful tips…..

 

     Sometimes there is a lot of down time, so your student may want to bring a book, homework, or something else to do.  They don’t bring chairs, but are usually welcome to bring a blanket to sit on in the parking lot.

 

     Be mindful of the weather.  If it is hot, they need to be drinking a lot of water before the contest.  If it is cold, you might invest in some of the instant hand warmers that you can find at academy, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

 

    Some parents will bring pop-up tents, ice chests, and lawn chairs.  Almost as if we were tailgating. 

 

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Band Boosters

PCN Band Boosters 
P.O. Box 720877 
Oklahoma City, OK 73172

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