Here are a few common questions – the answers to which should get you off to a good start! For the total picture, please download the HS Band Parent Handbook from the link to your right.
Who’s running this show, anyway?
The Tiger Band is headed by Mr. Keith Lancaster, and assisted by Mr. Derek Woods, who also directs the Color Guard, and Mr. Lance Brightwell, who directs percussion. Middle school Directors Mr. Jay Larson and Ms. Jana Galloway assist as well, as do a myriad of techs (former band students themselves) and when we are lucky enough to have them, student teachers. In addition, each section of the band has several student leaders, known as section leaders, who are also responsible for making things happen on the field. The folks are all excellent communicators who will reach out to you in a variety of ways. For more information on how the band communicates, please visit the Communication page of the “Parent Info” section of this website (link available to the right).
The DS Band Boosters provide support in many ways including sending out e-mail blasts. Not getting any e-mail from the boosters? Contact the VP of Membership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens on game days?
On game days, students report to the band hall as soon as school as school is dismissed, to prepare for the game by gathering all their equipment, practicing music one last time, and changing into their uniforms. For home games, students do have the ability to leave to get meals, but need to be back at their designated time (the Band Council also sells burgers before home games as a fundraiser for their activities, so consider supporting this very worthwhile venture by purchasing your home game meals from them!). The Tiger Band takes buses to the middle school at around 5:40pm, and marches to the stadium from the band hall about a half hour before the kickoff. For away games, students cannot leave after school because the band departs earlier, but you have the option of signing up to have meals provided for your student; that form is available at Band Registration. When the second quarter of a game is almost over, the band leaves the stands and goes onto the track to begin warming up. The Tiger Band performs their marching show on the field during the half-time break. At home games, they remain on the track in front of the crowd, playing spirit songs to pump up the crowd for the beginning of the third quarter, before returning to the stands for the rest of the game.
After the game, the band remains at the stadium until most of the crowd has left. Sometimes, they will run through the show one more time in the stands. Members then march out as a group, load up their instruments and ride buses back over to the high school band hall. If the Tiger Band has been in formal uniform there is a strict procedure that the students must follow to return their uniforms to the storage closet, which may take up to half an hour or more to process all the students. If you are waiting for your child, we welcome your assistance with unloading trailers.
What happens on contest days?
The Tiger Band usually competes in 4-5 marching contests each season, in addition to any UIL contests. We compete in contests to get feedback on our performance from qualified judges. From this, we can assess our progress in marching, musicality, performance, and overall development of our program. In addition, it is exciting to see how we line up against other bands across the State.
Contests are generally a full-day affair, with report time early in the morning and return time late at night. The time that the Tiger Band reports to the band hall to leave for a contest depends upon the performance slot they are assigned. The Directors’ weekly email will always inform you of the report time. Students will get their uniforms and load the trailer (sometime this is done the night before, if there was a football game performance). After a brief practice, the students board the buses for the contest. There are usually two rounds of a contest – prelims and finals. You can stay tuned to the Tiger Band Boosters Facebook page or Twitter feed (links at the bottom of this page) to see these results when they are available. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend contests – you can serve as a chaperone and ride the bus, or you may bring your own car and cheer from the stands. The band boosters provide students with a meal (usually a sandwich, chips and cookie) and a snack. If it is going to be a particularly long day, however, you may want to send a small amount of money with your student for them to purchase an additional snack from the contest’s concession stand. Upon returning to the school, all equipment must be unloaded and uniforms turned in before students can leave.
What happens at practice?
Practice may be held at the high school or at the stadium at the middle school. During the summer, practices are often held twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, with a break in between.The keys to surviving summer practices are comfortable clothing, plenty of sunblock and HYDRATION! Be prepared to do a lot of laundry, as your student will likely want (need) to change clothes between practices!
During the school year, most practices are held in the morning, so students will probably want a clean shirt and deodorant before going to classes. For Monday night or any other evening practices, many students bring a ‘second lunch’ to have after school before practice. If practice is at the stadium, a bus has been available in the past to transport students there and back to the HS (this will be updated for 2014 closer to the start of the school year), although many non-driving students catch a ride with an upper-classman. Some parents also take their non-drivers to Monday night practice, and stay to see the show’s progress!
Formal, informal, white shirts – help! How do I know what my child should wear?
The band does have several uniform options. For marching performances, they are in formal uniforms, which are stored in the band hall. Underneath those uniforms, they will need to wear black or dark blue lycra shorts. (These can be purchased at Academy or most sporting good stores; other types of shorts will not be allowed). Students will also wear a solid white t-shirt with sleeves (short sleeves are fine) under their uniform jacket. All hair must meet standard set by director, and there should be no visible jewelry. Color of shoes and socks (they need black and white of both) will be determined by whether they are wearing white pants or black pants, and the Directors will note this in their weekly email. For the first few games of the season and for pep rallies, the band usually wears their informal uniform. This consists of the band/guard polo shirt, khaki pants, black band/guard shoes, long black socks, black belt.
Polo shirts are ordered at registration; parents pay for them and pick them up at Laser Graphics at the Frog Pond. (Parents can get a parent band polo for themselves there, too!)
Band shoes are ordered and paid for at registration. Parents need to separately purchase the white t-shirt (at least 3 recommended), black and white socks (several pairs are advised), khaki pants, and belt. Each student has a locker in the band hall. They will need a lock for it. We recommend getting a small bag for your student to keep his/her items (clothes, deodorant) so it’s less likely they’ll lose things.
For day-to-day practices, students can wear whatever athletic/comfortable clothing they wish, provided the outfit meets school dress code. However, for Monday night practices, all students are required to wear solid white t-shirts (no logos). This is so that the directors can observe the movement of the band as a whole, without anyone standing out because of their clothing.
Can’t find the answer to your question here or in the Band Parent Handbook? Then head over to the DS Tiger Band Boosters Facebook page (link below) and ask away. Someone there is bound to know the answer!