Band Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I play sports at LCHS and be in the band program?
Yes! I will do my best to work around all athletic schedules to give students an opportunity to perform with the band. Varsity football players will be excused and not perform with the band at half time at the home football games, but will perform at all competitions, which are on Saturdays. FOOTBALL IS NEVER A CONFLICT WITH BAND!!! Please be aware of your schedules so you can do both activities that you are involved in. Some sports such as Volleyball and Cross Country will require some extra effort on your part to make sure you are able to do both. I currently have students in the band that are part of the football team, cross country, basketball team, wrestling, track, cheerleading, dance team, choir, fall play, spring musical, madrigal singers, speech team and various other activities at LCHS.
Does band take a lot of time?
We do not practice more than any other activity at LCHS. We practice every day during the school day for each of the band courses. Marching Band has additional rehearsals on Tuesday evenings from 6pm – 9pm and on some Thursday evenings. Just like any activity that is successful, it takes hard work and practice to get there!
Does LCHS provide instruments to students?
We provide instruments for percussionists/drummers, tubas, sousaphones, tenor saxophones, bari saxophones, bass clarinets, and several of the marching brass instruments. Students that use a school owned instrument will fill out a contract and are responsible for any repairs and up-keep on the instrument while you are using it.
Is there a band fee?
Unfortunately yes. In order for our program to function, the band program needs money to pay for staff, meals, trips, buses, shoes, uniform cleaning, etc… more money than the School District can provide. The extra money comes from Band Fees and other fundraiser activities. To help you make the payments, the Band Fee payments are spread over a couple months. (If needed, you can arrange a payment schedule with the Band Boosters Treasurer.) We have many fundraisers that you can become involved in to help you pay part of your fees or the entire fee based on how hard you work. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS FEE MAKE YOU DECIDE NOT TO BE IN THE BAND PROGRAM. IF THERE IS A HARDSHIP, PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH MR. EMPEY AND WE WILL WORK SOMETHING OUT!!!! WE ONLY ASK FOR SOME EFFORT ON YOUR PART!
Are there ways to offset the costs?
The Band Boosters arrange a series of fundraisers which you can participate in to put money into your Student Account for the Band Fee, marching shoes, gloves, other supplies, and even the quadrennial Disney trip. You can start some of the fundraisers even in Junior High to get a head start. Contact the Booster Treasurer for more information.
Can a student only sign up for one semester of band instead of the whole year?
Technically, the answer is yes. However, we only recommend this option for students who have a genuine class conflict with Band that cannot be resolved by either independent study or a schedule change. For example, students who are in marching band during the fall semester, but not concert band during the spring semester are missing a half year of teaching, preparation and experience, consequently they are not learning the tools necessary for their development as musicians, or to make them improve for the following marching season. In addition, those students are less likely to be chosen for future leadership positions within the band because they have not demonstrated the same kind of commitment to the organization as other students.
Why are performances mandatory…why can’t my student miss one?
Performances are the “exam” that tests what students have learned up to that point. We use performances to evaluate how the students are learning what we are teaching, and make adjustments accordingly. Music is a performance-based art form, and unlike any other class, sometimes how the entire band does at a competition or concert depends on just one person in the group, and not having that person there affects everyone around them.
How do I get involved and help out?
Join us the third Monday of each month in the LCHS Cafeteria at 7:00pm for our monthly Band Boosters Meeting. ALL parents that have a student involved in the band and/or colorguard are members of the Band Booster Organization.
What is summer band and when does it start?
Summer marching band rehearsals begin the second week of July on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm – 8pm and continue until pre-band camp and band camp. Students are required to attend these summer rehearsals unless prior arrangements have been made with Mr. Empey. I understand that summer is time for family vacations and other activities and will excuse students from rehearsals for these reasons. JUST COMMUNICATE AHEAD OF TIME!! A schedule will be mailed to you at the end of the school year before your child leaves for summer break.
What are Pre-Band Camp and Band Camp?
These are the two MOST important weeks of the Marching Band season. Students are required to be at band camp and will not be excused for ANY reason except for emergencies. Pre-Band Camp is a week long camp held at LCHS and is from 8am – 12pm. This week is when we focus on the musical aspect of our show and work on marching fundamentals. BAND CAMP WEEK is from 8am – 5pm and is the time that the marching band puts together the show and learns drill for the competitive show.
What fun things does the band get to do?
The band travels and performs at various festivals including various high schools and universities all over the state, the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis, and once every four years at Disney World in Florida.