Welcome to the East lincoln Band!

This information has been put together by a group of parents who spent a large portion of their “rookie year” in various stages of confusion. In the many hours spent together watching practices and performances, waiting to pick up kids, and following yellow school busses, we asked lots of questions.

As novice band parents, of course we wanted to know what we should do. We wanted to share with the “upcoming rookie parents” some of the answers to these many questions before we too forget how it felt not knowing what was going on…(of course we still don’t have all the answers)!

Being a member of the East Lincoln High School Band Program will bring your children an interesting, and fulfilling educational experience. They will work hard and experience many triumphs, as well as downfalls; two things that will prepare them for the real world after high school.

We sincerely hope this guide will answer some important questions about time management, time commitment, band fees and how to pay for them, fundraising, and uniforms. We would also like to give you some “insider” information on what it takes to be a band student, and a band parent!


How will my child have time for all of this and still be able to make good grades?

How will our children have the time to go to rehearsals three days a week after school, perform at eight to twelve Friday night football games, and compete on Saturdays? How will they have the time to do all of this, within a three-month period, and keep up their grades??

TIME MANAGEMENT will be the most important tool that your children will acquire when they become a members of the East Lincoln Band.

The students quickly learn that they must use every minute of their day wisely. The time not spent in practice has to be spent doing schoolwork, there is no other choice and they know that. At any given time you will find students in the band room, out in the hallway, or in any other space available doing homework. This is taught to them when they first join the program and it is expected of them. Remember that most band members are Honors or AP students.

Your student will learn how to keep a schedule, how to be punctual, and how to set priorities.

During the first week of Band Camp, a detailed schedule will be distributed to all band students. It will list every rehearsal, football game, and competition your student will be required to attend the next three months. You can also view this schedule on the Band’s web site at www.eastlincolnband.org and this schedule will now become a permanent attachment to your refrigerator.

Your child will also become punctual. They will be taught the meaning of the phrase…

“Early is on time, on time is late!”

Finally, your child will learn how to set priorities. No longer will you see your children staring mindlessly at the television, or playing PS3 or computer games for hours upon hours. Band rehearsals and homework will now fill their free time. (If only the band program could teach them to make time to take out the garbage without being reminded 100 times!!!)

Does my student really have to be at all of these rehearsals?

Rehearsals during Marching Band season are mandatory. One absent member will disrupt rehearsal for all members of the band. To be able to put the best possible musical product on the field, the staff and director need for all members of the band to be present during all scheduled rehearsals. Please see the Band Handbook for the consequences of missed rehearsals. Your membership depends on consistent participation. Management of a band this size is a monumental task and it becomes next to impossible if members of the band are absent. Please help your student make every effort to be there.

How Do Parents Get Involved?


Getting involved in the band program will give you the opportunity to share with your child the last four years of their education, these years that go so fast and are rarely enjoyed by many parents. Your child might say they rather not have you around, but most parents actually learn that in reality they appreciate your involvement and will thank you in the future.

East Lincoln has always been fortunate to have a very supportive group of parents. The band parents are needed to support the director, and help with the details of fundraising, transporting, feeding and watering an organization this size. The band needs parents to be able to function; it is for this reason that we urge you to get involved. Join one of the many committees; we need your help. Grandparents, siblings, or any member of your family can get involved and make a difference. Join the Band Boosters, it is a great way to meet the parents and the kids your student will be spending much of their time with for the next few months.

The easiest way to volunteer is by attending the monthly Band Booster meetings where you will learn more about the program and where it needs your help. The Band Booster meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm in the Bandroom.

Don’t just sit in the car, get out and ask, “How can I help?” It is fun and you meet the other parents with the same interests as yours. As a guideline, it is recommended that every family contributes at least 25 hours to the Band Program.

How Do We Keep Informed?

The band web site is a place that you will want to visit often not only to keep informed, but also to view the most recent pictures of the band’s activities. It is here that you will find the latest information on all upcoming events and fundraising opportunities. Make sure to visit our web site at www.eastlincolnband.org. You will find rehearsal times, schedules, Band Handbooks, Chaperone Guidelines, and all parent contact information.

How Do We Pay For This?

There are many questions about the economic impact of the Band Program. While middle school programs traditionally do not have fees, the high school band program is very different. When we hear the bottom line, we sometimes wonder how we are going to be able to raise the funds needed for our children to be able to continue the pursuit of their musical interest. We do not want the economic factor to keep any student from participating in band.  Some of the most successful fundraisers are the Panthers Combine, the “Shack” Concessions, Fish Fry, Fruit Sale, Corporate Sponsorships, and many other ideas that come up throughout the year.The best way to learn about these fundraising opportunities is by keeping informed; and the best way to keep informed is by visiting the Band web site and attending the Band Booster meetings that take place all year  long.

The fee schedule is broken down into regularly scheduled payment amounts. You can deposit smaller amounts into your child’s account ahead of the payment due date. This can be done all through the year so you don’t have to come up with all the money at one time.Due dates are not flexible, however unique circumstances can always be discussed and worked out with the Band Director or Band Booster treasurers.

Uniforms, Uniforms – What Do They Wear?

Marching Band Rehearsals:
Wear comfortable shoes, closed toe, no flip flops. A white t-shirt, and shorts are appropriate. Students may want an extra t-shirt in case of a sudden rain shower.

Football Games:

    • Black marching band shoes – These are special marching band shoes that clean up well with shoe polish. They cost about $30 for new.
    • Band Uniform top
    • Band Uniform pants
    • T-shirt / shorts to be worn under unform for group changes. Students will change into and out of uniform in the Band Room.
    • Black gloves (these can be purchased when the shoes are purchased). We suggest having several pairs. They cost about $4 per pair.
    • Black socks.  We suggest having several pairs exactly alike. (Dryers love to eat socks.)

Color Guard uniforms change from year to year.

Tips to remember while in uniform: 

    • No visable jewelry – One small hoop is permitted in each ear
    • No make up (Guard is the exception, it is part of the uniform)
    • Colored drinks, condiments, and any other messy or greasy food is not to be eaten while in uniform. Clear liquids only.

Are There Really Inspections?

Inspections are held before games in the band room. Students should be in place no later than the time they were told to report. Your student and their instrument (even the inside of the instrument) will be inspected as they stand at attention by sections. Students should be sure to not have and visable jewelry hair showing. No make up should be worn when in uniform. Failure to pass inspection could lead to your child not performing with the Band for that performance!

Helpful Hints to Save You Time and Grief:

    • Make your child responsible for being prepared. The first time they forget something will be the last!!! They learn to be resourceful when they have to be.
    • At the end of each practice session there are usually announcements – listen up. This is your best opportunity to find out who, what, where and when things are going on.
    • Network – This is how we meet each other. It is also one of the best ways to get helpful hints on band parenting from others.
    • Carpool to competitions.
    • Be prepared to cheer! The band loves it when they have their own cheering section. Sit with other ELHS Band Parents.
    • Don’t put uniform items away in the closet or drawers when cleaned. Keep all items (socks, shoes, band shirt, gloves, etc.) in a bag. These tips will save time spent hunting for them each time they are needed.
    • Keep extra gloves, socks, needle & thread, etc. in your car or purse just in case.
    • Visit the band web site to stay informed.
    • Make sure all of your contact information is correct in Charms. Your child’s Charms ID can be found on the board in the band room.

Terms & Phrases heard only in the band world

    • “Band practice is at 5:30.” ““Early is on time, on time is late!”
      When you drop your child off at 5:00, there will be students already there, ready to play. At this point, the anxiety level for being late dramatically increases. The band actually takes the practice field for warm-ups around 5:15. This is when your child will be sweating bullets. Always allow extra time. There are no excuses.
    • “Where are your pages in sheet protectors or dot books?”
      These are laminated cards that students wear around their necks during band camp that tell them exactly where they stand for different setups, like Opener 6. A good place to keep these is in their band binder or music folder.
    • “ Where’s my dot?” or “Do we line up on the hash?”
      This does not refer to insects or food. These terms indicate how the practice field is marked off. Students use their coordinate cards to answer these questions.
    • “Play to the box!”
      This means that instruments should be directed toward the press box of the football stadium, where the powers-that-be live and flourish.
    • “Oh, just sit where band parents sit.”
      The hallway just outside of the band room is where parents who will be chaperoning meet and the pit or equipment trucks are loaded. After inspection (see more under uniforms), the band will warm up in two large circles. When it is time, the band will march by two’s into the stadium.  No food or drinks are allowed while in dress uniform, except when on break. When they are marching in, they are not allowed to move anything except their feet, not even a smile, so don’t distract them! A lot of band parents sit just right of the band (facing the field), which is in the area of the 30-yard line.
    • “Are you working the Pit?”
      The pit is not something bad. It’s a group of percussion instruments that travel on a trailer and are stationary during performances. Parents in the Pit Crew work feverishly to set up and take down the pit in record time, before and after a performance (and you think race pit crews are fast!!)
    • “Last Time”
      This can mean one more time, a few more times, it can mean you’re beginning to approach the road to the last time, or it can mean we’ll keep doing it until you get it right!

You Know You are A Band Parent When. . . . 

      • You make three more trips than expected to drop off you child with everything they need.
      • You carry spare black gloves, needle and thread, safety pins, black socks and duct tape in your pocketbook.
      • You follow buses around all day on Saturdays
      • You can’t pick your child out of the crowd because they all look alike.
      • You no longer speak of your child as a fourteen-year-old daughter/son, but as a “freshman trumpet, freshman flute,” etc.
      • You prominently display a band calendar in the kitchen, have band dates marked on the calendar in your purse and/or have the Band Hotline Number on your speed dial.
      • You use your oven more for baking goodies for bake sales during home football games or treats, than for sit-down meals.
      • You know that you will be wearing something orange and green every Friday night and on Saturdays.
      • Early is on time and on time is late.
      • You don’t leave home without cushions to sit on, camera and camcorder.
      • You are cheering with other band parents.