We get them every year – the frantic “what am I supposed to be doing now??” emails, phone calls and visits. Trust us, you’re not the first parents to ask these questions, and you will definitely not be the last! Hopefully we can help with a few pointers:
- Ask questions! Really! You can email Mrs. West, the director, or Mrs. Stabile, the president of the GSBPA anytime.
- Make sure we have your email address. If you haven’t been getting emails from us, chances are that we need an updated address. Send an email to one of us and we’ll fix it right away! We send a LOT of updates via email, and we won’t sell your address to anyone.
- Check this website. We try to have as much information online as possible, including the band calendar (it’s a LIVE Google calendar, so you know it’s as accurate and up-to-date as it gets), forms (like the transportation, medical and weekly athletic schedule forms, along with the band handbook), sound files so your son or daughter can practice their marching music at home, and even the points spreadsheet – so that you know how much you still need to fundraise for the fall season or spring trip.
- Go to the Band Parent meetings! They are held the second Monday of each month in the HS Band Room at 7:30 PM. There’s one tonight (July 15), since we couldn’t meet last week. Go! Ask questions!
- Become a chaperone. When we ask veteran band parents what helped them the MOST, they always say “being a chaperone!” You will get to know the kids very quickly this way, and it is not difficult. You will have lots of other parents with you, and it’s a lot of fun!
Here are some of the most recent questions we have gotten – and their answers. If you have anything to add, please comment below!
Q: Do the kids have practices going on now? When are they?
A: Check the calendar. Right now, every section in the band (except the managers) are practicing at least once a week.
Q: Do we owe money right now? How much? How do we pay it? Are there fundraisers? Can I just pay cash?
A: Each student in the band needs to participate in mandatory fundraising, amounting to 100 points, to help pay for some of the activities that the district doesn’t cover. They pay for transportation to all of our football games, our sheet music, our staff and some equipment, but everything else has to be covered by the GSBPA.
- 50 points need to be in each student’s account no later than August 24 (Kennywood Day) — EVEN if they are not going to Kennywood. (It’s just the due date!)
- The other 50 points are due no later than September 14 (Hempfield Band Festival)
- After the first 100 points, EVERYTHING deposited into their points accounts or earned through fundraising goes toward the spring trip to NYC. It will cost somewhere around 1000 points.
Fundraiser materials are always on the piano in the band room, and you can contact Danita Theis, our Ways and Means chair, for more information. You may also choose to write a check to add funds to your student’s account. Make all checks out to “GSBPA”, add the student’s name in the memo line, and bring it to school. Mrs. West will make sure it gets sent home with the right person.
There are certain sections that have money due to their instructor, as well. Winds should have all purchased gloves, shoes, lyres and flip books. The drumline has purchased sticks. Colorguard, majorette and dance team girls should all have $70 turned in to their instructor for a warm-up suit, and any colorguard member who wishes to have their own practice equipment should also turn those orders in this week. If you have any questions, please email the staff member or ask them at practice this week.
Q: We are going on vacation next week. Who do I tell?
A: Send his/her instructor an email. You can find the staff’s contact information here. The instructor’s don’t bite, and they are very understanding about vacations – they just need to know where the students are going to be so they can plan accordingly! We would much rather have students miss summer practices for vacations than band camp!
Q: I have to get the medical form notarized… how do I do that?
A: Contact Gretchen Davidson and she will notarize it for free! Thanks, Gretchen!
Q: I am so excited to be a band parent! How can I help?
A: We are excited to have you join us! Contact Beth Stabile, the band parent president, and she can connect you with a parent who needs help.
Again, welcome to the band family!! We know that many of you are new band front parents, so bear with us. A lot of this is new to us, too, especially the Dance Team! We are super excited for a great season, and we want to help as much as possible. Please, just keep those questions coming! Band camp will be here before you know it!