Marching Band

The UGHS Marching Wolverines are the “face” of the band program for many people. Any student in a UGHS band class can participate in marching band; any student at the high school can audition for color guard.

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The Marching Wolverines in McDonough’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade

Auditions for leadership positions, section leaders and color guard are held in May. All marchers, percussion players and color guard members are required to attend band camp in July — a series of rehearsals where students learn the basics of marching band, work on the music and drill for the next year’s halftime show, and grow together as a group. All marching band rehearsals are held at Union Grove High School.

 Marching Band FAQs

What is the cost to participate? The cost for the 2018-2019 school year is $375 per student. Color guard members pay an additional $125 for uniforms. These fees help pay some of the costs for things such as music, drill, camp staff, uniform cleaning, color guard equipment, lunch during band camp, band T-shirt and contest entry fees.

Are there other fees? New marchers will have a few other small expenses for gloves, marching shoes and a music lyre. The shoes and gloves can be ordered through school; each marcher is responsible for getting his or her own lyre to use in the stands during football games.

UGHS Band LogoHow can I prepare for camp? Start drinking water — a lot of water — several days prior to camp. You should also spend some time outside each day to help your body get used to the heat. Stock up on sunscreen and get a large water jug to bring each day (with your name on it in marker). You’ll drink more water during band camp than you ever thought possible. A 24-oz bottle won’t be nearly big enough for you!

Why do I need a physical? Any athlete who participates in a school-related sport must have a physical before being able to participate. Marching band was added to that list a few years ago, which makes sense because it’s much more physically demanding than people might realize. A sports physical is good for one year; if you play a sport in addition to participating in marching band, you can use the same physical for both during the same school year. Forms are available on our Documents page.¬†Your physician will need to complete all pages of the physical form with you.

What do I bring to camp? The most important thing is that you have your instrument and that it’s in good working condition. Please have any repairs done well in advance of camp. Have a good supply of reeds, valve oil, pencils or any other supplies in your case.

Do I bring my own meals? This depends on the day. For the first week of camp , you’ll need to bring your lunch. During the second full week of camp, lunch will be provided by the Band Boosters and local restaurants (camp ends around noon on Friday so you won’t eat lunch during camp that day). You’ll have a dinner break Monday-Thursday afternoons to leave school and get something to eat (and maybe jump in a pool to cool off) before returning for the evening practice at 6 p.m.

What do I wear? Cool, comfortable clothes and broken-in athletic shoes. No flip flops, sandals, Chacos, Toms, etc., are allowed. A hat or visor is also a good idea; some students bring bandanas or small towels to soak in water and wrap around their necks to help stay cool. Once school starts, you’ll need to wear a white t-shirt to practice (either solid white or with minimum colors/artwork). That makes it easier for Mr. Kramer to see the drill formations as you practice.

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Mini Camp Practice

What is mini-camp? The first Saturday after school starts, we have mini-camp for much of the day (usually 9 a.m.-4 p.m.). It’s a time to get intense work done on the halftime show, plus we have our group picture made for the football program. You’ll need to wear black shorts and your marching band t-shirt for the picture. You’ll also need to bring your own lunch for that day. Watch for information from Mr. Kramer about specific times.

What’s the schedule once school starts? Marching band rehearsals are on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday during football season from 3:45 until 6:15 p.m (with the exception of the first day of school — we don’t practice that afternoon). Once we’ve finished competitions and the season is winding down, the band usually rehearses only one day a week.

What happens on Fridays? This is when all your hard work pays off! Mr. Kramer will tell you a time to report to the band room for game prep. The exact time will depend on whether the game is home or away and whether you’ll be wearing uniforms. Some members go home after school as usual and get back by report time. Others go to get something to eat and hang out for a while until time to report. All students travel to and from away games, competitions or other activities on the band buses with chaperones. The Marching Wolverines enter the stadium together prior to kickoff with the drum line playing cadence. At the end of the game, band members stay in the stands while Mr. Kramer makes any announcements. He will dismiss you.

Do we play anytime other than football games? Most of the Marching Wolverines’ performances are at football games, where we play in the stands and perform at halftime. We sometimes play at other events such as school pep rallies and have marched in parades locally and out of state.

 

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A good water jug is one of your best friends during band camp.