HS BAND FAQs (For Current 8th Graders)


HS BAND FAQs (For Current 8th Graders)

Sun Valley HS Band – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Band a year long class? Yes & No.  Students will register for two separate semesters of band (Fall & Spring).  Each semester receives its own credit.  In a full year a student will receive two credits for band.  Students needing to miss a semester of band because of a scheduling issue for other classes will be dealt with on a case by case basis.  In all cases a student may be required to audition to be placed back in the band class after missing a semester.  This is to ensure proper musical progress is made if a student must skip a semester.

Do I have to participate in the marching band in high school?  No.  However, participation is highly encouraged.   It is worth giving it a try.  The camaraderie and additional music training that comes along with participating in marching band can not compare to just playing an instrument in class each day. Students also love the travel and performance opportunities that come with participation in marching band. 

How much time is involved in marching band?  In short, marching band has 13 days of “band camp” at school the first two and a half weeks of August, and has a Tuesday and Thursday evening rehearsal component.  The marching band participates in all home varsity games on Fridays, and select away games.  There are also several Saturday competitions from the middle of September until the first week in November.  (Not every Saturday, usually 4 or 5).  (1st time marchers, “rookies”, will attend a rookie camp just prior to the full band camp to learn basic marching and playing techniques. This is all done at Sun Valley High.

Is there a cost for being in High School Concert Band?  There are no fees for band class.

For those participating in marching band -  there is a participation fee of $325 that covers the cost of camp instructional staff and materials for the marching band, as well as transportation to all marching band events,  and use of a marching uniform.  Please contact Mr. Reynolds if you foresee a hardship or have concerns about any costs involved. A marching band commitment/informational meeting will be held in March in the high school auditorium for anyone interested in high school band in general and those wishing to participate in marching band, More information will be sent out closer to that meeting.  A deposit of $125 will be due upon registration for marching band.**Students interested in marching band must also be registered for the fall semester of band.

Can I change instruments in high school?  Generally speaking, no.  Unless you have received private instruction and can play a secondary instrument at a 3rd year level, you will be expected to play the same instrument you did in middle school.  Exceptions might be those students who are recruited to participate in the percussion front ensemble of the marching band.  These students will receive training at percussion camp over the summer.  Other exceptions will be handled on a case by case basis. Please contact Mr. Reynolds to make him aware of your interest in changing instruments.

Does marching band conflict with cheerleading or sports?  The short answer is "sometimes".  In high school you will have to start making some choices.  HOWEVER, when it comes to sports, I will let you participate in as much as you can handle.  The general rule regarding games, performances and practices is this…. If the band has a performance and you have a sports practice, the PERFORMANCE comes first.  If there is a band practice that conflicts with a sports GAME, the GAME comes first.  You should be able to experience as much as you want, but realize that schedules will sometimes overlap.  Good communication between students, parents, coaches and band director are essential.  You and your parents know how much you can handle.  If you can fit in marching band rehearsals and sports practices and homework and keep up with it all, then you can do it.  We have had band members participate in almost every sport, as well as other school clubs and do just fine.  There have been marching band students in Cross Country, Tennis, Soccer, and Volleyball in recent years.  You can do it if you want to.  

How am I graded in HS Band?  Daily rehearsal (coming to class prepared, participating fully, etc).  Performances – being at all scheduled performances. Tests/Quizzes – Written and playing tests. 




How can my schedule work if I want to take both Band and ROTC in high school?
ROTC and Band will take up four of your eight courses your freshman year.  In order to make it work in your schedule you may need to delay taking PE until your sophomore year.  Please be sure to contact Mr. Reynolds so that he can be in communication with the guidance department and ROTC instructors.

Will taking band keep me from being able to take Honors and/or Advanced Placement Classes?  There may come a time, usually in your junior or senior year, that an Honors or AP level class gets scheduled the same period that band meets.  In these cases you will need to weigh one over the other.  If a student wishes to study a particular field in college, and wants to be sure they have a specific class, then they may have to drop band a semester in order to take that class they want.  Sometimes a student WANTS a class, but doesn’t HAVE to have it, meaning it is not a requirement for graduation.  It is in these cases that a student has to determine which class they would most like to have.

There is an honors level credit for band students who play their instrument at an advanced level.    Students still meet for the regular band class but will be required to demonstrate advanced skills as dictated by the curriculum.  

There are students who graduate from Sun Valley HS every year who have remained in band every semester they have been in high school.  Many have graduated with honors, and have gone on to prestigious colleges and universities.  Previous Sun Valley band students who stayed in the program all four years of high school are now, or have been, in school at Appalachian, Catawba, Elon, Wingate, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Western Carolina, East Carolina, Furman, Clemson, NC State,  UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Asheville, and UNC-Charlotte just to name a few! 

What leadership opportunities are there in band?  There are numerous ways in which a student can take an active role in band.  We have a Band Council (President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Librarian/Historians).  There is also our Leadership Team for Marching Band, which is made up of our Drum Majors (student conductors) and Captains (section leaders). 

Do I still have to complete a practice journal in high school? No.  Practice journals are used in the middle school to help you establish a regular practice routine, and help ensure proper progress.  Students are expected to still practice at home, but your evaluation will take place in your playing tests….then I can usually tell if you have practiced enough at home!

What are the benefits of taking band in high school? One of the biggest advantages of participating in high school band is that there are ready-made friends the first day of school.  Marching Band Camp can also introduce you to upperclassmen at the high school that will become your friends immediately, and will help make your transition a smooth one.  Band is also one of those classes where you pretty much already know what to expect.  This leaves you time to concentrate on three other classes that will be new to you. 

Participation in band also helps you with your time management skills and learning to prioritize and set goals.  You have a ready-made support system that can help you with everything from car-pooling to school and events, as well as upper class students who can assist you with a class you may be struggling in. You can almost always find someone who has had the same course you are taking, or who has dealt with the same teacher in a previous year.  Those are benefits that go beyond the music in the class. 

A few comments regarding Early College and Central Academy:
Early College does not have a band program.  Central Academy does have band.  Some students, depending on their “track”, may not be able to take band every semester or yearly at Central Academy. Elective classes are geared towards a student’s chosen field of interest, and band will often conflict with the other required classes. There is a music production and recording arts track at CATA.  Details can be found on the Central Academy school website.  .

PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS

www.sunvalleybands.org           jeff.reynolds@ucps.k12.nc.us          704-296-3020 SVHS