New Band Member FAQ
Can I participate in Southeast Polk sports teams and band?
Absolutely. We have students that have participated in every different sport and remained in band at the same time.
Are all the freshmen in one class?
No. We will have auditions at the end of March that will determine which of our three bands you will be in at the start of school. At the conclusion of auditions, we will give our counselors a list of who should be in which band.
Since incoming freshmen have to turn in choice sheets by early February and most of them will be in Concert Band, we ask them to all schedule that class. This prevents our counselors from having to make so many changes after auditions are held in March.
What will we have to play for auditions?
The audition will consist of two brief etudes, major scales and the chromatic scale. The audition music and information will be posted on this website by early February.
One of the directors will listen to you play a live audition. If you are coming from a school other than Southeast Polk please contact a director to set up an audition time.
Do I have to be in marching band?
No. Our marching band is strictly volunteer. However, incoming freshmen must try out to participate.
When does summer band start and is it required?
Marching band members will rehearse Mondays evenings from 6 - 8:30 p.m. throughout the summer until band camp begins in August.
Percussion has a pre-season camp in early June, and rehearses on Mondays in the summer from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m..
How much time does marching band require and will it affect my grades?
We rehearse the marching band from 6:45 a.m. through first period which is when the band class is held.
We participate in three to four marching band competitions that are usually held on Saturdays in September and October. As soon as our competition season is over, we rehearse as needed until football season is over in early October.
How can band parents stay in the loop?
Emails are issued by the Directors to the students and parents. These will keep you up to date on rehearsal times, call times, etc. If for any reason, you can’t find your emails, then they are stored in your Infinite Campus Account.
The Band Boosters send their own emails. Click HERE to sign up for Booster emails.
You can really stay on top of what’s happening by attending announced parent meetings, attending the Southeast Polk Band Booster general membership meetings.
The band also uses remind.com for text message reminders. To sign up, simply text this number: 81010 with the enrollment tag for any of the following bands:
- Marching Band: “@sepmarband”
- Pep Band: “@seppep”
- Concert Band: “@sepconband”
- Jazz One: “@sepjazz1”
- Jazz Two: “@sepjazz2”
- Jazz Three: “@sepjazz3”
Be assured that your teen is not the only teen who doesn’t communicate with his parents. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or email another band parent. We think it was Einstein, or maybe it was a senior parent, who has been quoted as saying, “The only dumb question is the one that wasn’t asked.”
How do band students earn a letter?
In the Handbook, you'll find all the points that are available for performing different activities within the band department. Essentially, any activity above and beyond course expectations are worthy of points toward a letter.
In the weeks leading up to our Awards Banquet in the spring, the student will be asked to fill out a form online in order to tally up the points.
I’ve heard that band is very time consuming for students, is that true?
Students do spend a lot of time in rehearsal. Summer band usually starts the first week of June and sections will have small group "sectionals" in addition to the scheduled rehearsals. Many times, the first football game of the season is usually the first week of school, so the band needs to have a half time show and stand tunes ready BEFORE the first week of school.
Students need to have time to rehearse the show, adjust to playing their instrument while moving, rather than sitting down, and to have time to come together as a band. However, think about it this way: your student spends a LOT of time with other band students and a LOT of time at the school.
So, before the first day of classes, your student has already made 200+ friends and has become very familiar with the layout of the school – or at least the band hall, cafeteria, rehearsal fields, restrooms, choir rooms, and practice rooms.
Students receive a fine arts credit and can take the option to opt out of first semester for marching band. Colleges LOVE to see band listed on student transcripts – it shows dedication and commitment– and there are MANY chances to excel at a personal level (region/area band and orchestra, solo and ensemble) and to show leadership (officers, section leaders, uniform crew, loading crue, librarians, drum majors) in band.
Students not only learn how to play their instrument and how to perform in front of an audience, but they learn responsibility, time management, leadership skills, team building. Band teaches students to look out for others, to do their fair share, and gives them a sense of camaraderie and community.
Rehearsal times ‘normalize’ during the school year.
What is a call time?
Call time is the time that the students must be ready (dressed in uniform, full water bottle, instrument, sitting in cafeteria) to meet prior to loading the buses.
How do the Band Boosters raise money?
The boosters raise money through service fundraising (volunteering for the State Fair Park and Ride as well as concession stands), through band events like the JazzFest, and through other sales-based fundraisers.
Is it expensive to be a part of the Southeast Polk Band?
Comparing fees with other Southeast Polk activities (like football, cheerleading, baseball, volleyball), our fee schedule is still much lower than most of these other SEP organizations.
What is included in the Fees?
To find out more information, please visit our Fee page.
Football Game Days
Should my child eat before they go to the game?
Yes. Sometimes, we will provide a “tailgate” meal. You will know about this in advance.
What does my child need to bring on game days?
On Game Days, students need to bring the following:
- marching shoes
- black crew socks
- shorts (Compression or tighter shorts can work better under the uniform pants.)
- show shirt
Many students wear their show shirt to school.
Where do I buy football season tickets?
If you are new to the band program, you can buy season football tickets at the Activities Office when they go on sale to the general public. Look on the Southeast Polk website for more information on ticket sales. You will be able to buy home game tickets (including those home games played at the stadium).
If you do not want to buy season football tickets, you may purchase home game tickets at either the school during lunch periods (or at the Athletic Offices before or after lunch). Tickets may also be purchased at the home stadium at the time of the game.
Away game tickets can be purchased at the away stadium.
Where do I sit at the football games?
Here is where your Band Spirit Wear will come in handy. Parents sit wherever they have the best view. Make sure you look for the band parents is by their band t-shirts. This is a great way to make new friends!
Marching Band Basics
What can I expect during marching band camp?
Band Camp is a time of important, intense learning. During Band Camp, students will learn and reinforce the fundamentals of movement on the field, learn many of the moves we will make during our fall marching show, and deeply learn our music. Therefore, Band Camp is required for all students. More details will be shared with you before the end of each school year.