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Old 08-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #46
Duchie
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Originally Posted by momoftwins View Post
Our band camp starts in a couple of weeks. DS is going to be a junior this year and he was chosen as a Drum Major (one of 6). His band is the Downingtown Blue and Gold Marching Band, Downingtown PA. There are about 350 kids in the band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s2pRbP2hmc

In 2011, they marched in the Rose Parade in California. This year, the are marching in WDW and the Orange Bowl parade.

I am so proud of my son. He is trying to work his way through the trials and tribulations of a 16 year old, and this opportunity to be Drum Major meant so much to him.

Also, if any of your kids have the opportunity, he attended the George Parks Leadership and Drum Major Camp here is PA last week. It was an awesome experience for kids getting into band and for new Drum Majors. They have these sessions all over the country and it is a great time and they learn so much.

Go Band and Band Parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's really great for your son! Drum major is a big deal and he (and you) should be very proud.

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Originally Posted by jen0610 View Post
DD came home friday super excited. They got the first pages of the opening set Wed. Her opening spot isn't with the rest of the flag girls. She was concerned that since she was placed with the weapons group that she would be using them instead. First year, she wants nothing to do with weapons.

Good news is, the weapons group is the "dancing" group and the director put her in with them, do to her years of dance. Yea for her!! She's the only newbie in that group.
Nice job! Sounds like this group will be a great fit for her. Sometime I think our color guard works harder than the band. They're small (only about 14 of them) but REALLY good (they won State for the 2nd year in a row last year). Can't wait to hear how she does as the year goes on.

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i LOVE being a band mom, but i HATE fundraising! selling these discount cards for the sugar bowl trip has been a total pain! another local marching band is selling them too, so it's making it doubly difficult!
I hear ya! I told DH I think the only time we aren't fundraising is in our sleep, and that's only because they haven't figured out a way yet. I know it's necessary to keep our costs down. I just wish there weren't so much of it. Ours starts tonight, but it's a good one - eat at Baskin Robbins and the band gets 20%. Now THIS is a fundraiser I can happily support As a bonus the directors will be behind the counter doing the scooping.

Week 2 of camp started bright and early this morning. I was really happy to see DS get himself up and ready today without me having to step in. He is such a sound sleeper that normally he doesn't even hear his alarm.

Just got a text from him a little bit ago that read, "220 yards of lunges and that wasn't even the workout. Can i die now?" Last week was all about cross-fit training, basic marching techniques and getting better on their music. One of the parents posted a video of the kids practicing and man they were FAST! Today they'll announce varsity and JV and start learning positions on the field.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #47
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i LOVE being a band mom, but i HATE fundraising! selling these discount cards for the sugar bowl trip has been a total pain! another local marching band is selling them too, so it's making it doubly difficult!
I hear ya!! We did our share of fundraising for my DS's two band trips- but the trip to Hawaii was $2700 per student so I felt like I was constantly asking people to buy stuff. We really picked and chose what were the easiest sellers- fall mums, Christmas poinsettias and wreaths, spring flowers, and locally made frozen pizzas. Those were the easy sellers- didn't have too much arm twisting with those. Our band also makes and sells hoagies once a month, which I have never done in four years! Blah! They sell pierogies, salsa, candles, discount cards, entertainment books--- the list goes on and on!

I know a lot of families who make their kids get a job rather than fundraise. They actually make more money that way- if they have the time to work!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #48
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So speaking of fundraising- how does it work with your band? Do you fundraise for your own child, or do the proceeds go directly to the band?

In our band, the band parents plan the fundraisers, but you can choose which ones you participate in, if any. A portion of what you sell goes directly to your student's "fair share", and a portion goes to the band general fund. You can choose to fundraise for all of your student's fair share, or part of it- or you can just direct pay.

On non-trip years, the fair share is usually around $175 for the year. Trip years vary depending on where they go. Disney was (I think) $1500 and Hawaii was $2700. That was a big hunk of change, especially since the trips fell 9 months apart! Yikes!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:35 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Duchie View Post
Just got a text from him a little bit ago that read, "220 yards of lunges and that wasn't even the workout. Can i die now?" Last week was all about cross-fit training, basic marching techniques and getting better on their music. One of the parents posted a video of the kids practicing and man they were FAST! Today they'll announce varsity and JV and start learning positions on the field.


I don't know how these kids do it... I would have keeled over long before now!! My son told me this weekend, "I am SO going to the gym next summer before band camp starts!!"
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:45 AM   #50
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I don't know how these kids do it... I would have keeled over long before now!! My son told me this weekend, "I am SO going to the gym next summer before band camp starts!!"
Mine told me that they were inviting parents to join them during the workout and he'd love it if I went. Oh gee, look at that, I've got to work. Love to, but can't.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #51
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So speaking of fundraising- how does it work with your band? Do you fundraise for your own child, or do the proceeds go directly to the band?In our band, the band parents plan the fundraisers, but you can choose which ones you participate in, if any. A portion of what you sell goes directly to your student's "fair share", and a portion goes to the band general fund. You can choose to fundraise for all of your student's fair share, or part of it- or you can just direct pay.

On non-trip years, the fair share is usually around $175 for the year. Trip years vary depending on where they go. Disney was (I think) $1500 and Hawaii was $2700. That was a big hunk of change, especially since the trips fell 9 months apart! Yikes!
It's different for each type of fundraisers.

The restruant nights, it goes into the general band fund.

The Tin Caps baseball game night, it goes into the general band fund.

Concessions at football and basketball games, into the general band fund.

Selling items - candles, pizza's, discount cards, candy bars - each one gets a different percentage into your kids account. The snack item fundraiser we are doing now, each item sells for $6.00 and each item sold will ean your kid $3.00 into their fund.

We also do script. Again, each card pays a different percentage of the purchase price. Each one you buy, that percentage goes directly into your kids account.

Car washes are directly into the kids accounts. I really do like how they calculate who earns how much. We always do multipule sites and the kids can go to which ever site they want. We put the full amount made into the kitty. They divide the kitty by the number of hours worked - 4 hours. Then the amount earned for the hour is divided by the number of kids who were working that hour. And the kids know, that in order to earn their time, it start and ends exactly on the hour. If you want credit, you have to show up and sign in BEFORE the top of the hour. No showing up at 10:10 and thinking your getting credited for the 10 to 11 hour. They nipped that in the butt years ago. Had several kids trying that - wanting the money but not putting in the work.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:15 PM   #52
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So speaking of fundraising- how does it work with your band? Do you fundraise for your own child, or do the proceeds go directly to the band?s!
The stuff that our kids actually sell (bacon, sausage, candles, poinsettas, tastefully simple, etc) those profits go into the individual kids accounts. The group things, mostly restaurant band nights, and all concession stand profits, go to general band fund. Each kid has to donate $40 to the general fund, can be through fundraising.

Then we have stuff we cant do fund raising for...all consumable stuff, like shoes, shirts, plus fees for tech, band banquet, meals at contests. My Freshman will have to pay $200, fees and clothes, plus $40 donation. Less for my Senior.

Our band trip this year is Ireland... $2500 +, per kid. Last year was Saint Louis, $300, the year before, Orlando, $1000.

Just had 8 band kids over for lunch! So much fun! Inhaled about 5lbs of taco meat! A whole cake! Rice, beans, etc! They are inside all afternoon, working on music.

DS15 found out he's a shadow today. He's a bit disappointed , but it will be ok. They needed an even number. DS17 got the first spot.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:11 PM   #53
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I'm nervous for my DS17. He found out yesterday that he has auditions for fanfare trumpet on Wednesday. Since he started high school, there have never been auditions for fanfare. The four spots have always gone to the top four trumpets. Well, this year, he is fourth chair, and the asst. band director announces auditions. He had to find an etude and learn it by Wednesday. He no longer takes private lessons, so he has to basically teach himself- I've never heard him practice so much as he did last night. Today he is staying after summer band with his friend, who is first chair to practice.

He wants this SO BADLY. I am trying to prepare him- basically, it's not the end of the world- I know you want it, but if you don't get it, it will be OK- but you know as moms(and dads) that they are still crushed if it doesn't work out.

Saying a little prayer....

This is a video taken from last year's band concert. Gives you an idea of what he's going for- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9CLTCNL3aE
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #54
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Some of our fundraisers go directly to the kid's account and other to general band.

DH and I work at least a week in concessions at football games. Often more.

One of the things our band has done the last 2 years is to allow parents to pay an additional $25 to band camp fees and that gets you out of fundraisers for the year!

I call it the "Get out of fundraising free card".
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #55
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My DD is moving from Middle to High School so this is her first year at marching Band. She is color guard because she plays the oboe, then will do oboe in concert band after marching season ends.

I am learning that our family life will be determined by her band schedule as she will be unable to do anything else this fall. There is one football game we have to be out of town and she will dropped a letter grade because she will miss the game, and possibly be excluded from the Marching MPA competition the next weekend, which means another letter grade.

Needless to say, we are not so happy with marching band right now, especially after shelling out $330 for the outfit.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #56
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My DD is moving from Middle to High School so this is her first year at marching Band. She is color guard because she plays the oboe, then will do oboe in concert band after marching season ends.

I am learning that our family life will be determined by her band schedule as she will be unable to do anything else this fall. There is one football game we have to be out of town and she will dropped a letter grade because she will miss the game, and possibly be excluded from the Marching MPA competition the next weekend, which means another letter grade.

Needless to say, we are not so happy with marching band right now, especially after shelling out $330 for the outfit.

I know every band is different, but that does seem awfully strict. I hope it somehow ends up being different than that.

But yeah, the schedule thing sounds dead-on, lol. Vacations, weekends camping, illnesses, it all gets scheduled around band, assuming there's any time left. For us there usually isn't. But it's worth every single minute when you see and hear the fruits of their unbelievably hard work and be there the moment they win a really big contest. I am dreading the day my DS goes to college and I miss all this!


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Old 08-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #57
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I went to my first Band Parents meeting last night. I am still not totally convinced that I am cut out to be a band mom but I am giving it a try. I was in band in a beginning program on a shoe string budget and I am just not sure I get this need to spend (and raise) hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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One of the things our band has done the last 2 years is to allow parents to pay an additional $25 to band camp fees and that gets you out of fundraisers for the year!

I call it the "Get out of fundraising free card".
We would pay several hundred dollars for that if it included not getting ANY emails that referred to fundraising, and not having our kids or us exposed to any of the fundraising begging at every event! We don't buy and sell crap. We will decide how much is a reasonable order for us and donate that entire amount.

We also declined the portion of the trip payment paid for through the fundraising last year, and paid the entire thing ourselves for our daughter. That kind of threw them for a loop!

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I am learning that our family life will be determined by her band schedule as she will be unable to do anything else this fall. There is one football game we have to be out of town and she will dropped a letter grade because she will miss the game, and possibly be excluded from the Marching MPA competition the next weekend, which means another letter grade.

Needless to say, we are not so happy with marching band right now, especially after shelling out $330 for the outfit.
Have you actually talked to the band director about this? I think our band has those types of rules too but the reality is that if you have a legitimate family excuse you are excused. Mostly they do it to keep kids from blowing off band performances for social plans or for work (they are strictly told that work is not an allowed excuse) I would email or talk to the band director directly and see if there are any excused absences.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:52 PM   #58
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okay, guys, it wasn't easy, but i sold 40 discount cards, made $400.00, and $200.00 is profit that goes toward DD's trip to perform at the sugar bowl! i don't EVER want to see another discount card!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #59
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okay, guys, it wasn't easy, but i sold 40 discount cards, made $400.00, and $200.00 is profit that goes toward DD's trip to perform at the sugar bowl! i don't EVER want to see another discount card!
That's how I feel about selling fall mums! LOL We usually sell about 60-80 every year, and after loading them into the car, sorting them, and delivering them, I don't care if I ever see another flower or plant again (until the next flower sale! )

Good job, Mom! And, btw, isn't it ironic that WE do the selling, but the kids go on the trips?! Somehow, that doesn't seem quite right!
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:13 AM   #60
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I went to my first Band Parents meeting last night. I am still not totally convinced that I am cut out to be a band mom but I am giving it a try. I was in band in a beginning program on a shoe string budget and I am just not sure I get this need to spend (and raise) hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Have you actually talked to the band director about this? I think our band has those types of rules too but the reality is that if you have a legitimate family excuse you are excused. Mostly they do it to keep kids from blowing off band performances for social plans or for work (they are strictly told that work is not an allowed excuse) I would email or talk to the band director directly and see if there are any excused absences.
You would be amazed at what the costs involved are. I've seen our budget. Seen the books. WOW, I am so glad I don't have to keep track of all of it.

To save money, we have a group of moms that make 90% of our color guard flags. The amount of money it would run us to order them - just one set of flags - would eat up almost all of our budget for the year.

The drill writers, music writers, marching instructors, visiual instructors, guard director - these all charge a fee for their services. Our drill writer is a former student, so he discounts for us, but it's still a chunck of change. Depending on your show, you may have to pay for music rights.

Uniforms, shoes, shakos, gaulents, gloves - these have to be replaced every so many years, some time yearly. Last time we got full new uniforms, in total it was roughly $13,000.00. The school pays for NONE of it. It all has to come from the band raising the money.

And lets not forget the competition fees. Those can be a nice amount of money.

The only thing that our school pays for, is the buses to get the kids to competitions and the cost of renting the semi to haul the trailer. Everything else, we have to raise ourselves.

And what we as band parents help raise, isn't strickly for marching band. It also covers the expenses of the Jazz bands, winter guard, winter drum line, and percussion ensemble competitions.

And I 2nd talking to the band director. We have the same rule and it's there for the exact reason you stated. It keeps the kids from blowing off a show/competition to hang out with friends.
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