Hough Band Boosters Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the band use charter buses vs. activity buses?
Charter buses have storage for instruments and equipment - we use 2 charter buses, two trailers and 1 UHaul to go to competitions vs. activity buses with no storage thereby requiring at least 3 activity buses.
We have to find and pay CMS employees with CDL licenses & there is a severe shortage of these drivers.
CMS drivers can and often do call in sick or are pulled off activity bus duty at the last minute to drive a regular school bus route resulting in the band being abandoned and not making it to their event.
The costs are often very close to the cost of charter buses by the time you factor in hourly overtime and idle time pay for the CMS drivers.
How will I receive communications? MMO/email/social media/website & calendar/etc.
Parents need to keep their contact information, especially their email addresses up to date in the MMO (My Music Office) system as this is the primary means of communication between the Band Boosters, Mr. Wrenn and Parents/Guardians. We also use social media as much as possible (Facebook and Instagram) as well as our Website. The website is home to our official calendar - it is updated regularly so please check in often. Other messaging apps may be used as well.
How do I volunteer and what are the various time commitments?
We use a Sign Up Genius sent out via email and also posted on our Facebook page whenever we need parent volunteers. The various committees have a wide range of time commitments, from a few hours to a few days to a few months to complete each task. Some jobs can be completed mostly from home, while others are in person and hands-on. Many hands make light work, so please ask any of the Board members about any positions you are interested in helping with as soon as possible. The Sign Up Genius for next school year will be available in May and will be updated frequently throughout the year.
What about concert attire?
All Band students are required to purchase concert attire from the Band Boosters - students are measured either during band camp or in the first few weeks of school and a group order is placed and delivered before the first concert. Students may choose from a tuxedo ensemble, full length dress or ladies blouse & pants option. All students must purchase their own black dress shoes and black socks if wearing a tux or ladies pants option. Concert attire belongs to the student, while the regular marching uniform is the property of the school. We have previously worn concert attire in our donation closet that students or parents may pick from for free - this rack is available at all General Booster meetings in the summer and fall months and always available upon request.
How is high school band different from middle school band from a parent perspective?
Parents should understand that high school band students are still expected to practice their music at home to be ready to perform as a group in school. The music is increasingly difficult as the student progresses from freshman band through Wind Ensemble. Hough offers several ensembles such as percussion ensemble that were possibly not offered in middle school. Students in high school may take multiple band classes and potentially play different instruments in different classes if they chose to. Wind Ensemble students may be required to perform on days off school, such as Veteran’s Day. As with high school in general, expect less communication from your students’ teacher about how they are progressing in band, due dates and deadlines, concert call times, etc. and rely more on communication with your student. Fundraising is of greater importance in high school band as our budget is exponentially larger, therefore all families are expected to participate in all fundraisers unless they have paid the full fee and opted out of MMO Student Account fundraising. All families are expected to participate in all general fund fundraising.
Does the band take trips?
Yes, trips are normally scheduled every other year. A committee will form in the fall to plan the next trip anticipated in late winter/early spring of 2025. Recent destinations have included Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and New York City. Budget roughly $1000 if you think your student will be attending this type of trip with the band. Chaperones will pay the same rate as students and we are required to have a 1:10 ratio. All chaperones must be CMS registered volunteers and no younger siblings may attend.
Marching Band Additional FAQ
What is the time commitment for students & parents?
We urge you to list all schedule conflicts (work, church, scouts, etc.) on your marching interest form! After band camp concludes, practices on Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays will run through the end of the competition season at the end of October. Do not plan to take vacations during or after band camp. Please be on time to pick up your students; they will be released no later than 8:15pm - the faster they clean up the band room, the faster they are released. This is true for all football games and competitions as well. Parents must wait outside the band room/in the pick up line is preferred. Drop off and Pick up are from the Student Bus Lot at the back of the school accessed through the Bailey’s Glen neighborhood entrance.
What do competition days look like?
Block out ALL DAY AND EVENING for all Saturdays during September and October. Check the calendar on the website often for any changes or additions to the schedule. Competitions often follow a Friday night football game and students will either need to wash their show shirt or you can buy a second show shirt online - they will wear their show shirt at all home football games and competitions. There is the possibility that we will have a competition on the Saturday of the homecoming dance - students may not be able to attend depending on our performance time. We will need parents to chaperone by riding the bus and spending the whole day with us and we also want as many parents & friends as possible packing the stands when we perform!
What are home football games like?
Students typically stay after school to rehearse, eat dinner together, then dress for the game and rehearse some more. Games typically begin at 7pm and students are normally ready to leave the school around 10pm depending on the length of the game. The band performs a pre-game show including the National Anthem and the fight song as well as their competition show at half time at most games. Normally the band performs only at home football games, including all playoff games that begin in November and run potentially through mid-December if the football team makes it all the way to the State final. Don’t assume the band is done marching until the team is out of the playoffs. Playoff games begin at 7:30 per state rules. Pep bands for away games may be formed if there is enough student interest - transportation & game entrance would be on their own.
Are there other performances?
The band marches in the Holiday Parade the first Saturday of December every year unless there is inclement weather. Several parade practices will be held in late November, usually right after school until 5:00pm. It is possible that the marching band will perform at other events or parades if the opportunity arises.
What are patio performances?
This is an opportunity for the band to warm up before a football game on the cafeteria patio of the school (near the tennis courts.) Family and friends are encouraged to come watch & listen and if we have a committee to organize it, we will again offer pizza and soda sales. Performances are usually 6:00 - 6:35pm for a 7:00 football game.
What about marching uniforms, shoes, etc?
Students in marching band are assigned a uniform that remains at school and they must purchase their own marching shoes though the Band Boosters. Marching students also will be required to provide their own “summer uniform” black shorts and all white tennis shoes for the period when it’s too warm to wear the standard uniform. More information is given at band camp.
What is a summer uniform?
Each student purchases their own black shorts, white tennis shoes. A show shirt is provided with marching fee, additional shirts can be purchased online. Students will wear this uniform until the weather cools down enough for them to wear their formal school uniform.
Where do I drop off/pick up my student for camp and practices?
Any time you are dropping off or picking up your student before or after normal school hours, you should use the bus lot entrance off of Bailey Glen Drive and drop off and pick up at the band room door. Do not enter the bus lot before 3:00pm on a school day. Traffic is meant to flow in along the lane closest to the stadium and out in the lane away from the stadium, next to the wall.
What time is “on time?”
As the saying goes, “Early is on time and on time is late”. To respect everyone’s time, we must start on time. Being early, “on time” is building punctuality habits that will be necessary for all parts of life. We recommend students arrive 15 minutes prior to call time or start time and have their instrument ready to play.
What should your student bring to camp?
Some essentials include; a large refillable water jug, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses if desired, flexible tennis shoes, athletic clothing (NO JEANS or open toed shoes), their working instrument, music, pencil, snacks/lunch, a positive attitude! Also required: a lyre to fit their instrument, flip folder to hold music, a dot book for learning the marching drill.
What do camp chaperones/football game chaperones do?
We will have 2 hour chaperone shifts during band camp for the safety of all students, however there is normally not much for volunteers to do so we suggest bringing a book or something else to occupy your time. At least one chaperone will be outside with the students and one chaperone will remain in the classroom when there are students practicing inside. A first aid kit is provided for each camp location. Chaperones are also responsible for making sure we have extra water and snacks available as well as holding any necessary medication for students that require it. Football game chaperones will assist with making sure water coolers are filled and taken to the stands, carry the first aid kit and assist any band student with first aid and carry any necessary medications. Chaperones must be CMS registered volunteers and younger siblings are permitted at both camp and football games (as long as they do not interrupt band camp/have a ticket to the football games.)
What do competition chaperones do?
When we travel we must have a 1:10 ratio of parents to students per CMS rules. Parents will carry a first aid kit, provide water after performances, be generally available to students who need someone to carry medications, assist with equipment and uniforms, supervise bathroom breaks, sit in the bleachers with the students after they perform, verify all students are on board the buses prior to departures, etc. Chaperones must be CMS registered volunteers. Younger siblings are not allowed to ride the bus with the band.
Booster Meetings - how do I get involved and be informed?
General Meetings are scheduled the second Tuesday of every month unless it conflicts with a day off school and the time is announced at least two weeks ahead of the rescheduled meeting. The budget for the following year as well as nominees for Executive Board positions are voted on during the annual March meeting. Rising 9th grade students and parents are invited annually to the April show kick off/mattress fundraiser organizational meeting. Please consider volunteering for a committee or nominating yourself as an Executive Board member when openings occur - the band literally cannot run without many volunteers!
What do I need to do before band camp begins?
Have your student’s instrument cleaned and repaired/tuned up in June so it is back and ready for Camp to begin. Ensure your student has everything they need for camp and has begun physical conditioning (we suggest taking increasingly longer walks each day outside) so that spending a long time out in the heat/sun does not come as a shock to their systems. We regularly have kids pass out at camp because they were not hydrating and preparing physically for the demanding practice schedule.
Do we get to see what goes on at camp?
Yes, please plan to attend the Family & Friends preview picnic - mark your calendars for the 2nd Friday of Band Camp, 6:00pm-8:00pm in the student parking lot. More information will be announced at the beginning of band camp.