Plymouth Whitemarsh Band Boosters
Plymouth Whitemarsh Band Boosters
            BAND BOOSTERS, INC.

BAND PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

 

CONCERT BAND

The Concert Band is the core of the PW Band Program.  Concert Band is an elective course offered during the school day.  PW Concert Band members perform at three concerts during the school year – the Winter Concert, the PW Pops Concert, and the Spring Concert – as well as at various school events during the year.  PW Concert Band members participated in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Bands in 1985, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.  Numerous students participate annually in the PMEA District and Region events.  The PW Saxophone Quartet performed at the PA State Music Educators Convention in 2005 and 2008.

Concert Band FAQs

Does my child have to audition to be a part of a Concert Band class?
No.  All woodwind, brass and percussion students are encouraged to enroll in Concert Band class. However, woodwind, brass and percussion students that would like to participate in the orchestra are required to audition.

When does Concert Band rehearse and perform?
Concert Band rehearses during Block 2 on “Blue Days” of the school day for academic credit. There are three to four evening performances for each group that are required and are graded. There are also three to four during the school day performances that are required and are graded.

What are “Blue Days”?
“Blue Days” are designated by the school but typically consist of Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday. There are several reminders around the building to remember when “Blue Days” occur such as a sign in the main office, signs in the music department and announcements over the loud speaker.

How is my child graded in a band class?
Please consult the course expectations that your child receives during the first week of class. However, the grade consists of concert performances, practice, program notes, reflections and playing tests.

Does attendance at concert performances affect my child’s Concert Band grade?
Yes. The Concert Band is an academic class and the concerts are a large part of the overall grade.

What are District Band and Montco Band?
The PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) is a professional organization that sponsors a variety of events for bands. The Band Director is a member of the PMEA and her membership enables our students to participate. Students enrolled in Concert Band in grades 10-12 may audition for PMEA District Band.  If selected for District Band, students continue to audition with the hope of advancing to Region Band and All-State Band.

My child cannot fit Concert Band into his schedule. Can he still audition for PMEA District Band?
No. Students must be enrolled in Concert Band class to audition for PMEA District Band.

What is Honors Band?
Honors Band is an accelerated section of the Concert Band that rewards students for enriching and expanding their musical study. Students participating in Honors Band receive weighted course credit upon satisfactory completion of the Honors requirements. Honors Band students must meet three of five criteria in addition to completing regular coursework.  The criteria include taking private lessons, practicing for at least 45 minutes for 5 days per week, participating in extracurricular band activities, participating in community band activities and/or attending music festivals such as Montco Band or District Band.

Can freshmen participate in Honors Band?
Students in all grade levels are encouraged to audition.

What should I prepare for the Honors audition?
Students may be asked to perform major scales up to four sharps or four flats, clap a rhythm at sight and perform an unaccompanied musical selection that is at least 36 measures long and demonstrates technically proficient skills. Percussionist also will play flams, flam taps or paradiddles.

When is the Honors audition?
Auditions are held during the first two weeks or the school year.


INDOOR DRUMLINE

Indoor Drumline unites elements of music performance, marching drill and theater to produce a unique and dynamic presentation to the audience, while offering an extremely rewarding experience to the student participants. It is composed of a battery section (snares, tenors, basses and cymbals) and a front ensemble or pit (keyboards, vibes, marimbas, bass and other percussion instruments).  Performances occur in gymnasiums.  The PW Indoor Drumline won Cavalcade State Championships in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 and was a 2009 and 2010 Winter Guard International (WGI) Regional Finalist.

Indoor Drumline FAQs

Does my son or daughter have to play a percussion instrument in Concert Band to be eligible to participate in Indoor?
No. While many students who participate in Indoor do play percussion instruments in the Concert Band, students who play other instruments have joined and have played instruments in both the battery and pit.

May my son or daughter participate in Indoor Drumline  if he or she did not participate in Marching Colonials?
In order to built skills and progress more smoothly, all students are strongly recommended to participate in Marching Colonials if they would like to join the Indoor Drumline.

When does Indoor rehearse and perform?
The Indoor season begins a few weeks after marching band and runs until championships in April of following year. An informational meeting for students and parents is held in mid-November. Auditions (for placement) and rehearsals begin in late November/early December. Rehearsals are typically on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. There may be sectionals on other evenings. The first performance occurs in mid-February. The competitions are held on Saturdays.


INDOOR GUARD

Indoor Guard is a winter and spring guard activity that combines music, movement, dance, drill, drama, costumes and props to give a theatrical spin to this performance art. The PW Indoor Guard captured the Cavalcade Indoor Novice Championships in 2005 and 2006 and won the 2011 Tournament Indoor Intermediate A All-Chapter Championship.  The Marching Colonials guard was named the “Best Guard” at the 2010 and 2011 United States Scholastic Band Association National Marching Band Championships.

Indoor Guard FAQs

May my son or daughter participate in Indoor Guard if he or she did not participate in Marching Colonials?
In order to built skills and progress more smoothly, all students are strongly recommended to participate in Marching Colonials if they would like to join the Indoor Guard.

When does Indoor Guard rehearse and perform?
The Indoor season begins a few weeks after marching band and runs until championships in May of following year. An informational meeting for students and parents is held in mid-November. Auditions and rehearsals begin in late November/early December. Rehearsals are typically on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays. The first performance occurs in mid-February. The competitions are held on Saturdays. The Indoor Guard performs to pre-recorded music in gymnasiums.

Does the Indoor Guard take a trip?
Yes. The Indoor Guard travels to Wildwood, NJ, during the first weekend in May to compete in the Tournament Indoor All-Chapter Championships. PW won the Intermediate A  championship in 2011.

Is the Guard Trip mandatory?
Yes. There are championship performances on the Guard Trip so it is necessary for everyone to attend.  The band boosters sponsor fundraisers to defray the cost of the trip.  The trip is lots of fun and builds the team spirit of the group!


JAZZ BAND

The Jazz Band is a standard big band style ensemble that consists of a rhythm section, saxophones, trombones and trumpets and performs a variety of music in the jazz genre such as swing, be-bop, funk, jazz rock and Latin. The PW Jazz Band won the Cavalcade Division B Championships in 1999, 2000 and 2005.

Jazz Band FAQs

Does my son or daughter have to play in Concert Band to be eligible to participate in Jazz Band?
No. However, students that play year around in the Concert Band have more experience, which is helpful in the audition process.

May my son or daughter participate in Jazz Band if he or she did not participate in Marching Colonials?
Yes. However, students that spend the summer and fall playing in the Marching Colonials have more experience, which is helpful in the audition process.

When does Jazz Band rehearse and perform?
The Jazz season begins in December and runs until May of following year. An informational meeting for students is held in mid-November. Auditions and rehearsals begin in late December. Rehearsals are typically on Mondays afterschool and Thursday evenings. The first performance occurs in mid-February. The competitions are held on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Does my child have to audition to become a member of the Jazz Band?
Yes, but there is a Lab Band available for students that do not want to audition or do not play a standard jazz instrument. 

Are there PMEA opportunities for the Jazz Band?
Yes. However, the audition videos are due before Jazz Band begins so ask the director if you are interested.

What is Lab Band?
The Lab Band is a jazz band that includes students that play non-traditional jazz instruments and performs less challenging music. Students do not need to audition to participate in the Lab Band. At some schools, the Lab Band is called Jazz Band 2.

Does my son or daughter have to play in Concert Band to be eligible to participate in Lab Band?
No. However, students that play year around in the Concert Band have more experience, which is helpful.

May my son or daughter participate in Lab Band if he or she did not participate in Marching Colonials?
Yes. However, students that spend the summer and fall playing in the Marching Colonials have more experience, which is helpful.

When does Lab Band rehearse and perform?
The Jazz season begins in December and runs until April of following year. An informational meeting for students is held in mid-November. Rehearsals begin in January. Rehearsals are typically on Wednesdays afterschool. The first performance occurs in March. The competitions are held on Friday and Saturday evenings.


 

MARCHING COLONIALS

The Marching Colonials is a competitive drum corps style marching band that consists of the following sections: pit percussion, drumline, guard, woodwinds and brass. The Plymouth Whitemarsh Marching Colonials has a long history of success dating back to the 1970s when the Marching Colonials captured six Cavalcade State Championships and three National Field Championships.  The program returned to glory as the Marching Colonials captured the 1998 Cavalcade State Championship. 

Marching Colonials FAQs

Does my son or daughter have to play in Concert Band to be eligible to participate in Marching Colonials?
No. However, the Concert Band is the center of the program and teaches basic musicianship and skills. The majority of the students that participate in Marching Colonials also are enrolled in Concert Band.

When do the Marching Colonials rehearse and perform?
The marching season begins in late April or early May with weekly rehearsals in the evening until school ends. Rehearsals start again in early August in the evening. Band camp happens in mid-August. Once school starts, rehearsals are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays. The Marching Colonials perform from September until November at football games, competitions on Saturday nights, parades and various community events.

Does my child have to audition to become a member of the Marching Colonials?
There are placement auditions for percussion and guard. If students do not possess basic skills, they may be encouraged to be a manager or banner carrier.  This policy ensures that anybody that wants to be a member of the Marching Colonials can be.

How does my child sign up for the Marching Colonials?
The band director will visit the middle school several times in the Spring. Students can sign-up by attending the opening rehearsal in the Spring.

When can we see the marching band schedule for the year?
The schedule is printed in the Band Handbook and distributed at the mandatory parent meeting in early June.

Is the Band Trip mandatory?
Yes. There are performances on the Band Trip so it is necessary for everyone to attend.  The band boosters sponsor fundraisers to defray the cost of the trip.  The trip is lots of fun and builds the team spirit of the group!

Will each student have an individual “Band Trip” account?
No. According to recent legal and financial advisors, students are not permitted to have individual accounts.  Money raised through fundraising that is designated as a Band Trip fundraiser will be evenly distributed to the students; however, each student is required to participate in good faith in fundraising efforts.