Marching Season

Marching Season

The Grand Oaks High School Marching Band and Color Guard is the most visible and definitely the largest student organization at Grand Oaks High School. Ten percent of GOHS' school population is in the Band or Color Guard. All students in grades 9–12 participate in the Marching Band or Color Guard at the discretion of the Band and Guard Directors. Students who participate in certain GOHS sponsored events such as drill team, or a fall sport may be excused from participation at discretion of the directors. UIL states that a marching band may practice 8 hours a week and have an hour run through the day of a performance.

Eligibility

Activities associated with the Marching Band and Color Guard are extra-curricular and include football games and all contests. To be eligible by TEA, UIL, and CISD requirements, students must pass ALL classes each grading period. In high school, any student who fails a single class at the end of the first six-weeks grade check and each nine-weeks report card thereafter will become INELIGIBLE seven days after the last day of the grading period in which they failed.

At the beginning of the school year, by state law, the first-grade check for eligibility is at the 1st six weeks of school. Remember, this is not the report card. If at the end of the 1st six weeks your student is failing any class, then he or she must sit out from extra-curricular activities for three weeks beginning one week after the grade check. The student can regain eligibility after the three-week suspension by passing everything on the next grade check. If your student becomes ineligible at the six-week grade check, your student will loose their position in the marching show.

Marching Band Dots

The Grand Oaks Marching Band is the largest student organization on campus. The group appears in halftime performances during football games and represents GOHS in public community events as well as in the competitive marching band arena. Each year from January through July, much thought and effort is put into the numerous factors that determine the number of positions (or Dots) that should be charted in the show for that season. These decisions must be made well in advance because of the time involved in the construction and design of the program each year. These estimations define how the music is arranged and determine the number of drill positions that are plotted. It is the responsibility of the Directors to ensure that the students in the Band are set up for success, including the job of fielding a complete ensemble without ‘holes’ in the drill or music. The directors carefully consider several factors when determining these numbers.

  • Current and prospective enrollment in the band program

  • A student’s standing in band

  • Academic eligibility history of student

  • Attendance during previous school year and preseason training rehearsals

  • Basic skills and physical conditioning that allow for the student to march and play without the threat of injury to himself or others

  • Ability to play and memorize required music and march at the same time

Based on these factors, we decide how many positions to plot in the show for the following fall. When we begin summer band, we are already committed to a specific number of students, based on the above criteria. The show is professionally written, and the numbers cannot be changed. At the August camp, the Students are preliminarily assigned to their DOT based on their marching and playing skills. Students must be at the entire August camp to be considered for a DOT and will be evaluated as explained below.

Marching Band Member

To earn a Dot, the Band member must meet the following requirements:

  • Successfully completes the music memory requirement by the deadline.

  • Can stay in step while marching.

  • March with correct style and perform music from memory simultaneously.

  • Is punctual in report times.

  • Is present at all rehearsals and performances.

  • Maintains academic eligibility.

  • Acts accordingly in all rehearsals and performances.

  • Is proficient in the required scales for band.

  • Ranks in the number of spots charted for their section in the drill.

  • Does not allow anything that “just comes up” to interfere with your marching position.

Prop Managers

Students who cannot move in time and/or do not march with correct style and/or cannot march and play simultaneously will have the opportunity to manage a prop in the halftime show. Prop managers will have an opportunity to work on their marching skills. If at some point during the season a Dot opens in the Marching Band and an prop manager meets the above requirements, they may be asked to fill in for that Dot.

Color Guard

Color Guard is an integral part of the marching band. Color Guard is a class that is double blocked, which means it meets everyday at school. Color Guard members are expected to follow the same rules and meet many of the same requirements discussed in this section. Whether they are assigned to a Dot or to a supporting role will be determined by the Color Guard Director.


Attendance

In order to have a competitive marching band, attendance from all members is essential. Work schedules, family trips, and other activities must not interfere with the rehearsal and long-range performance schedule that you are given at the beginning of the school year. Students who enroll in other school activities such as athletics, choir, drama, etc., need to plan ahead to avoid conflicts that cannot be resolved. Ask to receive a complete semester calendar from all your activities so that you can have the maximum amount of time to work out potential schedule conflicts.

NOTES FOR ABSENCE - ON THE DAY A STUDENT RETURNS FROM MISSING A REHEARSAL, A NOTE EXPLAINING THE ABSENCE MUST BE TURNED IN. THE NOTE TO THE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICE IS NOT SUFFICIENT. IF A NOTE IS NOT RECEIVED, THE ABSENCE IS COUNTED AS UNEXCUSED!

Unexcused Absence:

  1. Loss of performance privilege at the next game

  2. Loss of marching spot

  3. Zero recorded in grade book

Performance Procedures

Report: This will be the designated time at which all members should be at the high school or set location. Students should have all attire and necessary items for the designated performance prior to the report time. Students who are tardy will receive consequences.

Inspection: Students will stand at attention without talking until everyone is inspected. Students without appropriate equipment will be sent home and an unexcused absence recorded. Prior to departure for a marching band performance, students must have on the complete uniform with official black shorts and band T-shirt under it, 100% black socks that go halfway up the calf, and clean marching shoes on. Black socks must at least be mid-calf in height. Your gloves, gauntlets, head gear, poncho, flip folder and water jug should be placed on the floor in front of where you are standing. Ball caps may not be worn with the uniform at any time.

Load: This will be the designated time at which all members should be on the appropriate bus with all equipment loaded.

Return: This will be the time of return to the band hall. YOUR TRANSPORTATION HOME SHOULD BE AT THE SCHOOL BY THE SET TIME. We will strive to meet this time as accurately as possible to avoid parent waiting. 30 minutes after returning from an event, all students must be picked up. After 30 minutes, the directors will be leaving the premises after calling the police to take students home.

Football Game Procedures

The football game is viewed as a performance of the band program. Such a performance includes all aspects of the game from arrival to departure.

1. Students will arrive at the set report time.

2. Students will load and be prepared to travel at the set load time.

3. Students will load the buses with all equipment needed for the performance.

4. Inspection of all students prior to boarding the buses.

5. Upon arrival at the performance area, students will prepare equipment for unloading. Students will unload buses when instructed to do so by a chaperone or director. Students must be in full uniform excluding hat, gloves, and gauntlets.

6. Students will report to the entrance formation for final inspection. Students will march in to a drum tap or cadence upon instruction from a drum major or director.

7. Students will report to seating area. Students will remain standing at attention until all band members are ready to be seated. Students will sit when instructed by a drum major or director. Students must sit in assigned seats and remain in that seat at all times.

8. At all times, students will remain in the band seating section during the game. Water will be provided by the band parent organization. Students will refrain from accepting food or drinks from parents, relatives, or friends.

9. Students needing a restroom break must be accompanied by a chaperone. Restroom breaks will not be granted in the second or fourth quarter of a football game except in emergencies.

10. Students use their water bottles during the game to stay hydrated.

11. Students will be expected to listen to and watch the directors and drum majors during the game. Students will need to be prepared to perform at a moment’s notice.

12. Students will refrain from playing their instruments on an individual basis. The band will perform as a group.

13. At the proper time, the band will be dismissed from the stands for the half-time performance. The band must move quietly and efficiently to the right area and put on jackets and plumes. Students will need to be focused on the directors and drum-majors’ instructions.

14. When the half-time performance concludes, students will return to the stands and continue performing throughout the rest of the game.

15. During the game, only the council, not section leaders will go across to meet the band.

16. Upon return to the band hall, students will insure that all personal items, uniforms, and instruments are placed in the proper storage areas.


PARENTS: Checking Students Out from a Football Game

Check out for students from a football game is after the school song has been played after the conclusion of the game. So that there is no confusion, leaving early for homework, birthdays, or to see people that came into town, etc., is not acceptable. A note must be turned in one day in advance of the game to check out. Please send all notes/emails to your child's Director. Sign out with the head chaperone by a parent only.

STUDENT DRIVERS:

Students that are self drivers must abide by all policies and procedures implemented by CISD and our Directors. Self driving students will ONLY be allowed to drive to home games @ Woodforest Stadium. Bus transportation will be provided to all students for away games. Students MUST plan on arriving at Woodforest Stadium by 6pm. Students WILL be required to check out with either the Head Chaperone or Director. Students may carpool with siblings and/or other family members that are also in GOHS Band program. Carpooling with friends and non GOHS Band members is not permitted. Failure to follow CISD and Director protocols will result in the loss of your self driving privileges.