First, let's start by saying it is never too late to get involved. The Band Aides and Chaperones in particular are always looking for parents to help. To be a Chaperone you must attend a training, but they have several throughout the summer and even after school starts.
On football game days, the band has a short practice immediately after school. They do not have time to go home and will need to bring everything they need in the morning so their Tote bag should be packed with the following:
- Black gym shorts
- Shirt designated by Mr. Hughes for that week’s game (usually the Double B)
- Black crew or longer socks
- Marching shoes
- Black gloves (except percussion)
- Rain poncho (most kids keep this in his bag all the time so they don’t have to remember it)
- Empty garment bag (their marching jacket will go in the bag)
- Flip folder with music and lyre (if they are using one)
- Water jug (fill it about 3/4 full of ice and then add water and they will still have cold water and some ice after school)
- Anything else they might need (“dot” sheets, deodorant, contact case, extra pair of glasses, etc.).
The first three football games the students will wear a different uniform. They wear kahki shorts and their show shirt. They also wear no-show socks instead of the longer crew socks. There are two reasons for this difference. First, those first few games are HOT! Not being in full uniform really helps. Second, it helps with the wear and tear on our uniforms.
After practice, they load the equipment truck, and check out their marching uniforms. Uniforms are kept at the school. They will check them in and out for each game/competition. They will have time to eat their dinner and change into their uniform before they load the buses. After eating and getting dressed they will gather in their sections for inspection.
Before each game/competition there is a process they go through called Inspection. They gather in their sections and the section leaders make sure everyone has the needed items to travel with. If they do not pass inspection, they will call a parent to come get them and will not be able to travel with the band. This is why it is so important to make sure they have the proper things when they leave in the morning and that they know the uniform room has extras to borrow or buy.
Please remind the kids that their uniform should never be put on the ground or laid in the grass unless it is in the garment bag. They can enlist a friend to hold something if necessary. If they lose anything (gauntlets, shoes, mouthpiece, cell phone, etc...), they need to let their section leader, a drum major, or a chaperone know right away. Many a shoe and gauntlet have been dropped on a dark parking lot or on the bus and since they are black, it is hard to see them. Things have also been known to fall through the stands. If the kids tell their section leader, a drum major or an adult before the band leaves the stadium, we will have a chance to find the item. No need to be embarrassed as this happens all the time, even to the upperclassmen!
Likewise if they lose a button, the hem on the bibbers or jacket comes undone, or if they feel their uniform is just not fitting right, they need to come and find one of the uniform volunteers. The kids will know who they are after getting fitted in the summer. They can also go to a chaperone.
For the “OH NOOO, I FORGOT…!!!” No worries! It happens. In the uniform room we have a few loaner garment bags and shoes. We do not have enough bags for everyone nor do we have all shoe sizes but we can cover most needs. Also, we sell new gloves, crew socks, extra shirts and rain ponchos in the uniform room before every event all through marching season. These things are generally a few bucks each.
Your band fee covers most meals at marching competitions, NOT dinner before football games. The majority of parents bring their students dinner (usually around 4-4:15 pm). Most bring fast food like Subway, McDonalds, etc... Some parents will pack their students a lunch and dinner in the morning for them to bring to school. Since the kids are not allowed to eat in the band hall, parents wait in the school commons and the kids come and find us after practice to get their dinner.
Also, something that works for many families is a “Food Pool”. It is like a carpool, where you take turns bringing fast food for a group of kids. Ask your carpool members or other band parents you know if they might be interested in forming a group. It does take some coordination, but would mean that you don’t have to bring food for each game night.
From time to time we will practice at one of our football stadiums. To help with transportation issues, a bus will be provided from Brook to the stadium, if bus availability allows. If there is a bus available, the schedule is dependent on when the buses finish their intermediate school routes. Sometime between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm buses will arrive at Brook to pick up band students. There will NOT be a bus to bring students back to Brook at the end of practice. You are responsible for arranging transportation home for your student. There is no cost to ride the bus. There is usually a run-through of the full show at approximately 8:45pm. This is a great time to see the show uninhibited.
The district has one game per year/per school in the month of October dedicated to showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness. For this game the students get pink gloves to wear. They may also wear a pink shirt under their bibbers, pink socks, pink temporary tattoos on their cheeks, basically anything pink! Any accessories (necklaces, bandanas, tiaras, bracelets, etc) must be taken off for the half time performance.
After an event, when the kids are leaving they change out of their uniform, either on the bus or in the parking lot, hang all the pieces on the hanger (gauntlets, bibbers, jacket) and then put the uniform in their garment bag. When they get on the bus, the chaperones collect the garment bags and stack them in the front of the bus. When the bus arrives back at the school, each student takes one garment bag as they get off and then lays it on the sidewalk. They then look for the bag with their name on it. Each student is responsible for checking-in only their uniform. They do not have to carry in the uniform of any other student unless asked by a band director, chaperone, drum major or section leader.
Most events the band unloads the truck & trailer of all props and instruments. This is a team effort and it goes much faster when the entire band is helping carry things back into the school. After the truck is unloaded, they can check in their uniforms.
So, while you may see the buses return to the school, it usually takes another 30 minutes to unload, put away and check in before you see your student come out to the car.
You do have the option of checking your student out of the game after halftime. Here is the procedure:
- YOU MUST have filled out the Alternate Transportation form and turned that into Mr. Hughes at least 24 hours prior to the event. It is available on CHARMS and Mr. Hughes usually has some extras.
- Your student should tell the lead chaperone for their bus that they are leaving early when they load onto the bus at the school.
- You (or the designated person listed on the Alternate Transportation form) must personally check out your student with the lead chaperone, meaning, you must find the chaperone so they know that you are taking the student.
- Only the persons listed on the Alternate Transportation form will be allowed to check out your student.
- If someone other than the parent is checking out the student, the chaperone might ask for ID.
- They take everything home with them including their uniform and shako box. Take the marching jacket out of the garment bag when you get home and let it and the bibbers air dry overnight. Your student needs to put the entire uniform (marching jacket, bibbers and gauntlets) on the hanger, place it in the garment bag and return it plus the shako box to the uniform room the next school morning.
- ***This procedure must be followed as the buses will not depart the stadium for home until all students are accounted for.***
Parents have just as much fun in the stands as the kids! At Veteran’s stadium band parents generally sit behind the Celebrities (drill team) which is right next to the band. At Challenger Columbia we sit on the other side of the Celebrities. It is a little further from the band, but still close enough to see them having fun. This is a fun time getting to know the other parents.
Homecoming week is a big event at Clear Brook and the students are involved in several things.
Each day of the week is a different theme and the kids are encouraged to dress up (school appropriate attire and no masks). A schedule of the theme days will be posted in the band hall for the kids and the school usually sends an email to parents.
The most important thing you need to know is that the band is one of the groups leading off the Homecoming Parade. So, if you want to see them, be sure to look at the beginning of the groups. If you live in the neighborhoods south of Brook, you probably know all about this event. The parade takes place on Hope Village Road, starts at 6:00 pm at the south end of the street and moves north towards the school. A short pep rally is held in the parking lot at Brook at the end. The students walk down to the parade staging area together around 5:15.
High school kids on the floats throw candy to all the little kids lining the road. It really is a fun thing to watch. You can park at the school and walk to the neighborhood or park on one of the neighborhood streets. The police will completely block Hope Village Road to traffic starting right before 6 pm so if you park your car in the neighborhood, you will not be able to leave until the parade is over (about 30 minutes). Bring your lawn chairs (and your patience for all the traffic mess).
Since the parade ends at the school, that is where you will pick up your student around 6:45 or 7:00 pm.
Even if they don’t have a date, most girls still make a mum for themselves and wear them to school on Friday. They can wear the mums at the football game after halftime. 99% of mums these days have a strap to be worn around the neck, but they can also be pinned to the strap on their bibbers.
The mums can get expensive! This is a great time of year to use those 40% off coupons from Michaels!! Instead of starting from scratch, some freshman buy a pre-made mum (Michaels and Kroger usually sell them) that includes the flower, backing and red and black ribbons. Then you can hot glue extra ribbon and embellishments to the mum to customize it, if you want. Little bears can also be found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. We’ve seen some really cute band “uniforms” over the years made for the bears to wear, including a shako made out of cardstock or even a tiny band uniform. Michaels has more of the add-ons like the plastic band instruments, footballs, jingle bells and cow bells. Hobby Lobby has pre-cut, individual strips of ribbon. They have ribbon that is specific to Brook (the ribbon says Clear Brook or Go Wolverine’s). We’ve also seen white, red and black zebra stripes, glitter ribbon and some feather boas. Curling ribbon is great for attaching the plastic pieces and bells. Be sure to buy a few jingle bells or cow bells. They love to jingle as they walk down the hall. Not sure how the teachers feel about that but let’s face it, very little in the way of school work gets done on that day!
Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors wear a single or double flower mum with ribbon in the school colors (red/white/black). Senior mums are works of art that have multiple flowers and are usually all white, with an accent color of their choice.
If you are making a mum and need help there are tons of band moms that can help with tips on the best ways to build them and where to get supplies. Guys wear mums too!! The guys wear a smaller version of the Homecoming mum. They are worn with a garter around the upper arm.
On Friday, the Homecoming Carnival is usually from 11:50am - 1:20pm with a Pep Rally to follow from 1:30-2:30pm. During the carnival, the campus will be filled with game booths and have just about every kind of fast food and treats you can imagine so be sure to send your students with money to buy tickets (tickets are $1 each).
Our Band Council usually sells pizza-by- the-slice at the Carnival. This is a big fundraiser for the Band Council and they could always use volunteers. This is a great opportunity for you to be at Brook, see all the kids and experience a very unique event. Seniors wear crowns and bang on pots as part of celebrating their last year and you have a chance to see all the different types of Homecoming mums.
The Homecoming Football Game is Friday night. Introduction of the Homecoming court can be either before the game or at halftime, depending on the schedule that is done by the athletic staff. If the homecoming presentation is at halftime then the band will perform before the game. If you want to see the band, be in the stands around 6:15 pm. If this is the case, the schedule will also be different after school as the band will need to be on the buses earlier than usual which means they will need dinner earlier. Details will come the week of homecoming.
For some years, depending on when homecoming lands, it could be on a band competition day. The band directors will decide if they will stay for the finals of the competition or come home for the kids to go to homecoming. The Clear Brook Band is a very competitive band and all of our October Saturday’s are spent at various contests. If the decision is made to stay at the competition and not have the kids attend homecoming, while some of band students are disappointed that they can’t go to the dance, the majority are much more excited about competing.
Girls wear party dresses for the dance. Some are more "fancy" than others but generally they are knee length. Boys usually wear nice pants, shirt and sometimes a tie.