Marching Band / Pep Band
Marching Band has evolved from simple entertainment into a very serious sport and art form. It makes use of musicians and dancers, where the final product is a combination of music, athletics, and choreography. Students perform a 6-9 minute show of music that is totally memorized with over 30 pages of movement unique to each band member.
Many bands in Maryland and Carroll County participate in the competitive marching band activity, but there are numerous different levels and ‘leagues’ of marching band. South Carroll High School has enjoyed participating in the different levels of high school competitive marching band in the past and looks to continue that proud tradition in the future.
All South Carroll High School instrumentalists are strongly encouraged to participate in the SCH Cavalier Marching Band. Marching Band is an excellent opportunity for students to increase their performance skills, socialize with other band students and contribute to school spirit.
The Cavalier Marching Band is open to all students currently in Grades 8 – 11 who will be attending South Carroll High School next fall. The music is easy enough for 8th grade students with features that will challenge more advanced players. Even if you don’t play a wind or percussion instrument, you are encouraged participate in color guard or drumline.
Participation does require a commitment of time outside of the school day.
Marching Band FAQs
Q: Who can join the marching band?
A: Anyone who has a desire to excel in music and movement and who wants to work to improve can be in the marching band. You need not have any experience to be a part of the marching band. Students who participate in marching band tend to develop better musicianship skills, hand-eye coordination, and get a great workout every rehearsal. Keep in mind that marching band is NOT just musicians. We have a colorguard made up of non-instrumentalists who would rather dance and spin and toss flags, mock rifles, or other equipment. We encourage all our musicians to take a music class during the school day to further improve their music education, but it is not a requirement of the marching band. Marching is always more fun with friends, so feel free to bring as many along as possible.
Q: Do I have to audition to join the Marching Band?
A: The short answer is NO! If you play a woodwind or brass instrument, the director may want to hear you play a bit so that you can be placed on the correct part (if you section has split parts, like clarinets or trumpets). If you play a percussion instrument, there is a "placement" audition to determine what instrument you will play. Every percussionist will play something - be it in the field or sideline percussion sections - and the percussion staff works very hard to place students on instruments which will give the overall group the best chance at success. Students interested in joining the color guard may have a “placement” audition to determine which equipment and routines are most appropriate.
Q: I am planning on taking honors/ AP classes and I’m afraid of the workload along with the Marching Band...what should I do?
A: The Marching Band practices outside the school day so there are no conflicts with your regular school schedule. Of course, like with being involved in any extracurricular activity you will have to stay on top of your classwork and keep your grades high! This shouldn't be a problem though, because you will be hanging out with many of the smartest kids in the school you have instant access to lots of tutors, help, and motivation!
Research shows that participating in music ENHANCES academics! Students participating in band score higher on their SATs (Verbal: 20 points. Math: 25 points). The vast majority of SCHS Band Students take Honors and AP Courses. Instrumental music students at SCHS are often ranked near the top of their class, and have a very high rate of admission to very selective colleges/ universities.
Q: I am interested in taking part in other activities and am worried about conflicts; can I still be in the Marching Band?
A: The Marching Band after-school practice schedule makes it challenging for students participating in a fall sport (cross country, football, etc.) to be a performing member. If you play a fall sport, or are torn between joining the band or a sport team, please contact Mr. Stevenson and let’s talk about it.
Q: I feel like I can barely play my instrument while sitting down...how in the world am I supposed to do that marching band stuff?
A: By being brave and believing in yourself, you will achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. You’ll be amazed at what kind of person is inside of you! Our staff will help you reach and exceed your goals.
Q: How much money will this cost?
A: There are many expenses associated with marching band. There is a staff of college and professional musicians who assist the directors with rehearsals and performances. Music and drill (field movements) need to be purchased. Uniforms need to be maintained. Specialized equipment for percussion and color guard needs to be purchased. Specific shoes for marching need to be purchased.
To offset these costs, marching band members will have a student fee. A cost breakdown and list of expenses will be made available at the start of the season. The fee is usually around $200 for the season with possible additional fees for seasons with extended and long-distance travel. There are a number of fundraisers throughout the year that can help to defray the cost of being in marching band – some of the fundraisers are ongoing at all times and only require an easy click of the mouse when shopping online! The Instrumental Music Boosters have scholarship money available to help as well!
If these costs are in any way a financial hardship or would tip the scales toward non-participation, please contact Mr. Stevenson.
Q: What if I need to miss a marching band activity?
A: When a marching band member needs to miss practice, they need to notify the director and student leader in their section at LEAST one week prior to the absence so that plans can be adjusted as necessary. If a marching band member needs to miss a performance, they need to notify Mr. Stevenson in person as soon as possible.
Q: What sort of involvement is expected of the parents when a student joins the marching band?
A: Parents are encouraged to help support in any way they can. Beyond simply assisting with fundraisers and transporting students to and from rehearsal there are many opportunities to help:
Chaperoning a trip – riding the bus, taking attendance, giving students water, helping with injuries
Pit Crew – attending performances and helping to move (and sometimes repair) equipment
Uniform Help – fitting students, ordering and distributing shoes and gloves, small sewing
Donate supplies – cases of water, snacks for trips, special event needs
Event volunteers – many jobs helping at marching band events (picnic, banquet, home show, etc)
Interested parents should contact Mr. Stevenson.
Q: I have a REALLY great question but I can’t seem to find it on this page...what should I do?!?!?
A: The best question of all! Please feel free to contact Mr. Stevenson or stop by the band room and ask in person.