The UNOFFICIAL Rookie Band Parent Handbook


This information has been put together by a group of new parents who spent a large portion of their “rookie year” in various stages of confusion. In the many hours spent together watching practices and performances, waiting to pick up kids, and following school buses, we asked lots of questions. We decided to share with the “rookie parents,” some of the answers to many questions we had. Being a member of the Navarre High School Raider Band Program will bring your children an interesting and fulfilling educational experience. They will work hard and experience triumph, as well as defeat, two things that will prepare them for the real world after high school. We hope this guide will answer some important questions about time management, time commitment, band fees and how to pay for them, fundraising, and uniforms. We would also like to give you some “insider” information on what it takes to be a band student and a band parent!

How Will My Child Have Time? TIME MANAGEMENT 

How will my student have the time to go to rehearsals after school, perform at Friday night football games, and compete/practice on Saturdays on five to six weekends? How will he/she have the time to do all of this, within a three-month period, and keep up their grades?? TIME MANAGEMENT will be the most important tool that your student will acquire when they become members of the Raider Band program. The students quickly learn that they must use every minute of their day wisely. The time not spent in practice has to be spent doing schoolwork. At any given time you will find students in the band room, out in the hallway or in any other space available doing homework. This is taught to them when they first join the program and it is expected of them.

Your student will learn how to keep a schedule, how to be punctual, and how to set priorities. The schedule for the next school year is already posted and lists every rehearsal, football game, and competition your student will be required to attend during the marching season,(well, almost every rehearsal). You can also view this schedule on the Band’s website at This schedule will become a permanent attachment to your refrigerator. Your child will also need to be punctual. They will be taught the meaning of the phrase...

Finally, your child will learn how to set priorities. No longer will they be able to sit staring mindlessly at the television, playing PS3, Xbox or computer games for hours on end. Band rehearsals and homework will fill their free time (If only the band program could teach them to make time to take out the garbage without being reminded 100 times!!!)

What is the Time Commitment?

Without a doubt, band is a big time commitment. The rehearsals are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m. We have football games on Friday nights, competitions on the weekends three to four weekends, summer band camp, pre-season rehearsals, fundraising, and maybe even private lessons. As we discussed above, time management and a good calendar, are the keys to success.

What About The Pre-Season Marching Band Rehearsals?

YES, THE SUMMER MARCHING BAND REHEARSALS ARE REQUIRED. Plan ahead! There have been times when students and families did not realize that there was a summer rehearsal schedule, aka “band camp”, and it is required. They are not allowed to leave campus during the sessions. Band Camp July, 16th.-20th. and July 23rd.-27th. are mandatory for those students who want a performing spot in the halftime show. Your student must attend ALL sessions without interruption. Please arrange family vacations, doctor’s visits, jobs and family time at a time other than during these rehearsals. Band is the ultimate group activity, and if one member is missing, it has an effect on the entire group. We count on your student to be there and to do their best. There is a lot of information in Raider Band Rookie Survival Guide, please take some time to read it.

What About Rehearsals? 


Rehearsals during Marching Band season are mandatory. One absent member will disrupt the rehearsal for all members of the band. To be able to put the best possible musical product on the field, the staff and director need for all members of the band to be present during all scheduled rehearsals. Your student’s membership depends on consistent participation. Management of a band this size is a monumental task and it becomes next to impossible if members of the band are absent. Please help your student make every effort to be there.

How Do Parents Get Involved?


Getting involved in the band program will give you the opportunity to share with your child the last four years of their education. These years go so fast and are rarely enjoyed by parents. Your child might say they’d rather not have you around, but most parents actually learn that in reality they appreciate your involvement and will thank you in the future. The Raider Band is fortunate to have great instructional staff. The band parents are needed to support the director and help with the details of fundraising, transporting, feeding and watering an organization this size. The band needs parents to be able to function; it is for this reason that we urge you to get involved. Join one of the many committees; we need your help. Grandparents, siblings, or any member of your family can get involved and make a difference. Come to band parent meetings and sign-up to volunteer; it is a great way to meet the parents and the kids your student will be spending much of their time with for the next few months and years. Don’t just sit in the car; get out and ask, “How can I help?” It is fun, and you meet the other parents with the same interests as yours.

How Do We Keep Informed?

The Raider Band has two websites.  Our public portal,  is a place that you will want to visit often not only to keep informed, but also to view the most recent pictures of the band’s activities. It is here that you will find the latest information on all upcoming events and fundraising opportunities.  Our member’s site is located at  The login is, navarreraiders and the password is your student’s school ID number.  Make sure to visit Charms often. You will find volunteering opportunities, handbooks, news, and all parent contact information. We could also use your input to help make our web page as informative and useful as possible.

How Do We Pay For This?

There are many questions about the economic impact of the Band Program. While your middle school programs traditionally did rely on member contributions or “donations’, the high school band program is very different. When we hear the bottom line, we sometimes wonder how we are going to be able to raise the funds needed for our children to be able to continue the pursuit of their musical interest.

Throughout the year there are many opportunities that families can participate in that will help the overall funding of the band. Our goal is for families to never have to use their personal funds to help offset the cost of funding the band. Each year, we have many families that do not pay anything out of pocket for their student to be in the band, due to their successful fundraising. We have a fundraising team, dedicated to providing many opportunities to help raise money for the band. Our two most successful each year are carwashes for pledges and our football concession stands. The best way to learn about these fundraising opportunities is by keeping informed; and the best way to keep informed is by visiting the Charms website and attending the Band Parent meetings that take place all year long.

Uniforms – What Do They Wear?

Summer Marching Band & Rehearsals

Wear comfortable, closed-toe sneakers, and no flip-flops. Rehearsal clothes are a white t-shirt and black shorts. Students may want an extra t-shirt in case of a sudden rain shower.

A hat and sunscreen are also a necessity.

For the parent preview show, they usually wear their band t-shirt, shorts, and their marching shoes and on occasion, they have worn the uniforms. For bus rides to competitions, students need to wear their travel uniform (khaki shorts and band shirt) & band shoes.

They may also bring a pillow, blanket, snacks, and homework.

The uniform is the single most important thing you will put on. Treat it that way!

Uniform parts:

Black marching band shoes – These are special marching band shoes that clean up well with shoe polish. Look for passed down shoes (during uniform issue) or pay about $43 for new. All students must wear the same shoes, as it is part of the uniform. Links to purchasing the band shoes are on the band’s website at Please buy the shoes from the website so that we can all have the same brand and style of shoe.

Band Show Shirt – show shirt that is specific to the current year’s show

Black socks. We suggest having several pairs exactly alike. (Dryers love to eat socks.)

We do not want economic factors to keep any student from participating in band.

Tips to remember while in uniform:

No hair on the collar, boys this means you too

No jewelry, odd hair accessories or colors.

No nail polish

No makeup (Guard is the exception, it is part of the uniform)

No food, colored drinks, condiments, etc. are to be consumed while in uniform.


Are There Really Inspections?

Inspections are held before games in the memorial garden while we are in the warm-up arc. Students should be in place no later than the time they were told to report. Your student and their instrument (even the inside of the instrument) will be inspected as they stand at attention by sections. Students should be sure to not have jewelry and have the proper hairstyle. No makeup should be worn when in uniform. Failing an inspection is not good. (We aren’t quite sure what this means yet, except that it’s bad and it involves cleaning, lots and lots of cleaning.)

Helpful Hints to Save You Time and Grief:

Make your child responsible for being prepared. The first time they forget something will be the last!!! Let your child fail and take advantage of the learning experience. They learn to be resourceful when they have to be.

At the end of each practice session there are usually announcements – listen up. This is your best opportunity to find out who, what, where, and when things are going on.

Network – This is how we meet each other. It is also one of the best ways to get helpful hints on band parenting from others.

Carpool students to and from rehearsals. There are many parents who are willing to help get your student to and from rehearsals/games and I’m sure they could use your help occasionally too. Also, carpool to competitions when parent buses aren’t available.  

Be prepared to cheer! The band loves it when they have their own cheering section.

Don’t put uniform items away in the closet or drawers when cleaned. Keep all items (socks, shoes, band shirt, gloves, etc.) in a bag. These tips will save time spent hunting for them each time they are needed.

Make sure we have your correct email address for rapid notification.

Visit the band website ( ) to stay informed.

Special Band Terms and Phrases

“Band practice is at 8:00 a.m. “If you are early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late.” When you drop your child off at 8:00 a.m., there will be students already there, ready to play. At this point, the anxiety level for being late dramatically increases. The band actually takes the practice field for warm-ups around 7:50 a.m. This is when your child will be sweating bullets. Always allow extra time. There are no excuses.

“Where are your music and your dot book?” These are small booklets that students wear around their necks during band camp and rehearsals that tell them exactly where they stand for each different set during the show.

“ Where’s my dot?” or “Do we line up on the hash?” This does not refer to insects or food. These terms indicate how the practice field is marked off. Students use their coordinate cards to answer these questions.

“Play to the box!” This means that instruments should be directed toward the tower on the practice field, where the powers-that-be live and flourish.

“Oh, just sit where band parents sit.” The band parents usually sit in the stands in the section next to the band. The band always sits to the northwest end of the bleachers, near our concession stand. After inspection (see more under uniforms), the band will warm up in two large circles. When it is time, the band will march into the stadium. The band enters the stadium and goes to their seating area. No food or drinks are allowed while in dress uniform, except for water. When they are marching in, they are not allowed to move anything except their feet, not even a smile, so don’t distract them!

“Are you working the Pit?” The pit is not something bad. It’s a group of percussion instruments that are stationary during performances. Parents in the Pit Crew work feverishly to set up and take down the pit in record time, before and after a performance (and you think race pit crews are fast!!)

“Last Time” This can mean one more time, a few more times, it can mean you’re beginning to approach the road to the last time, or it can mean we’ll keep doing it until you get it right!  We strive to let the students out promptly at 6:30 p.m.


Dean Barrow