A Rookie Parent’s Guide to Marching Band
TERMS TO KNOW
(a.k.a. What is my student talking about….is this another language???)
Turns out there’s a whole different language for marching band. Here’s some terms your student will start saying to confuse you:
- Band Socks: Knee-length, tight black socks.
- Chickens: The plumes on top of their hats.
- Dot Book: The small spiral notebook your student will receive in which they map out their placement and movement on the field for their show.
- Drill: Where they move on the field as they play.
- Field Show: The musical show they perform in competition and are judged on. Each performance is 5-10 minutes long. Minor changes - or major ones - are made each week so each performance is fun to watch and see their improvement as the season progresses. It is also why each practice is SO important to attend.
- Gauntlets: The sleeve/ flared cuff worn over the wrist and forearm of the uniform jacket.
- Home Show: Named “Music in Motion,” our home show is when other high school marching bands come to compete by performing their own field shows for judges. Our Marching Tornadoes perform in exhibition after the competing bands are finished.
- Sections: This is the group of same/similar instruments as to what your student plays. (ex: Clarinets include both B flat Clarinets and Bass Clarinets)
- Section Leaders: An upperclassman student whose responsibilities include running sectional practices and making sure all members of his/her section are keeping up at rehearsals. They answer any questions that come up and lead by example of how to make marching band a positive and fun experience.
- Section Pride shirt: During spat camp, each section will collaborate on designing/choosing their own section shirt. This is done outside of practice time. They wear them on section pride day during Spat camp. Lots of fun pictures taken this day! (More about Pride Shirts in the Spat Camp section below)
- Shako: The hats worn by the members marching on the field.
- Show Shirt: This is the t-shirt ordered at the time of registration that represents their field show for the year. It lists all of the band’s upcoming performances on the back. All students get one with their registration fee and will need it to change into after performances and parades. You can order more and many parents do. It’s really fun as a parent to order one for yourself to wear when volunteering or being with the band, or just to brag!!!
- Spandex: The black performance wear clothing to be worn under your marching band uniform.
- Spat Camp: The week in August when the students learn the majority of their field show. There are 10-12 hour practices every day this week. It is very important to be there as the band not only learns the show, but they bond and come together as a group.
- Tornado Night Out/Uniform Night Out: This is a required fundraising night(s) when students wear uniforms and are driven by a band parent to local neighborhoods to ask for donations. This is a time for students to get to know each other better and is a huge fundraiser for our band...over nine thousand dollars was collected last year! Our newest band members are paired up with upperclassmen. They will show them what to do.
- Volunteering: The most rewarding experience of your life while bonding with your student! :) Many opportunities!!
- YIMs: (pronounced “yimz”) Y.I.M. stands for Youth In Music, the name of the Marching Band Championship competition held the second weekend in October at U.S. Bank Stadium. This competition is the culmination of all their hard work in perfecting their field show over the marching band season. Our Marching Tornadoes have done very well in their class for the last three years, taking First Place honors in 2018, First Place honors in 2016, and First Runner Up honors in 2017. Students refer to the competition as YIMs.