• Marching Band Frequently Asked Questions


    Can I be involved in band and other activities/sports?

    YES! We have numerous athletes in the band program, including several Varsity athletes. The majority of band members are involved in other activities in addition to band such as Choir Class/Extra-Curricular Ensembles, Foreign Language Class/Club, Drama, Academic Team, Chess Club, etc... The keys to participating in multiple activities are communication and balancing the time between activities and academics.


    Do I have to march in the Marching Band?

    NO! You choose how involved in Marching Band you would like to be. We have 3 options available: Permanent, Alternate, or Manager.
     Permanent: 100% committed (you promise to be prepared for and attend all summer and weekly rehearsals as well as all performances in their entireties)
     Alternate: NOT 100% (although you are not required to attend all summer and weekly rehearsals or performances, you agree to be at as much as you can be with the hopes of performing)
     Manager: You can’t commit to attending rehearsals, but will try to attend performances to help move equipment, pass out water, and support your peers.


    When does the Marching Band Rehearse?

    We typically rehearse for a few nights after school is out and then once a week in June (on Thursdays from 6:00-8:30 pm). Band Camp is typically the week before school starts and meets each day (Monday through Friday). Once school starts, we rehearse on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:30 pm.


    Why is 100% attendance so important to the Marching Band?

    The Marching Band activity is unique. Specific music, drill, and color guard work is designed for each member of the group. Each member is dependent on the other members to be successful. Marching Band is the ultimate in TEAM sports. The success of the band is directly related to every member being at every practice and every performance.


    Will I be guaranteed a spot marching on the field?

    All of our marching band shows are designed for a specific number of performers. Based on what instrumentation the show calls for, members of the band will be assigned either a numbered position or as an alternate. Each numbered position will have a specific coordinate sheet detailing their positions on the field. Alternates will be assigned a person to shadow.

    Younger students, new students, and those with little experience can expect to be alternates more often than upper classmen. Selection of alternates will be ongoing and can change at any time. Alternates are an integral part of the Grant Band program and are expected to attend every rehearsal and performance. 


    What do I do as an alternate?

    It is the goal to have each member of the Marching Bulldogs march half-time at least once during the season, provided they remain in good standing with the band. Decisions on who marches from weekto-week are based on absences, memorization, and overall ability to march and play.
     Alternates will perform pre-game and stands tunes with the rest of the band in the stands throughout the football game as well as in parades and pep assemblies.
     Alternates will help transport and set up equipment at festivals/competitions.


     What can I expect when taking band at Grant?

    Ms. Skolar strives to provide a safe, educational experience through the learning and performing of instrumental music. Students will be encouraged and challenged to grow musically and socially through teacher and peer interactions. In addition to learning how to become better musicians, students will learn many life-long skills such as: problem solving, critical thinking, leadership through group interaction, and self-esteem through pride in accomplishments.


    How do I earn my grade?

    Your grade will be determined from the following categories: Rehearsals, Performance Assessments,Performance Attendance & Punctuality, and Written Work/Tests


    When will I get my marching band music to start practicing?

    Music will be mailed to you as soon as it is available (usually in early May).


    Does Grant own any instruments that I can borrow?

    Grant does own several instruments that may be loaned out. Please speak with Ms. Skolar as soon as possible to make arrangements. Please note that if you play the following instruments, you will need to check out a school instrument: french horn (mellophone), tuba (sousaphone), or percussion (marching tenor, snare, or bass drum; marching cymbals; pit equipment).


    I play oboe or bassoon-what do I play in marching band?

    You can play the instrument you first learned (if it’s different than oboe or bassoon) or learn how to play a second instrument (ie. clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, or percussion-percussion requires a schedule change for the first half of First Semester). You’ll have plenty of time and guidance, so the transition is easy!


    What other musical opportunities are available for me?

    There are a number of opportunities available to you at Grant! In addition to Marching Band/Symphonic Band, we have extra-curricular ensembles that are voluntary and meet after school. We have a jazz band, pep band (plays at home basketball games), and pit orchestra that provides music for the spring musical. There are also two contests that students can choose to participate in: ILMEA’s District 7 audition and Solo and Ensemble contest. In addition, Grant has an excellent choral program that includes ensembles that meet during the school day as classes and purely extracurricular ensembles that meet after school. Ms. Skolar and Ms. Koske (choral director) work closely together to ensure participation in both areas if a student desires.