Marching Band FAQ'S

Why should I join the high school band? What benefit will I get from it?
That's a great question. You will get MANY benefits from it. Other than obtaining a possible scholarship to college (aka free money!), you will get these things for sure: ---->Friends! From day one, students have a huge support system! Band is a BIG family, and you will learn to depend on one another. Students are brought together by music and performance! ---->Exercise! It is said that students will burn 200-400 calories per hour of marching band (depending on weight and intensity of drill). Most band students drop quite a few pounds every marching season. ---->Life skills! Students are taught not only music, but vital skills that will help them later in life. They are taught leadership, the value of hard-work through goal-setting and accomplishing goals, responsibility, discipline, excellence, compassion, socialization, etc. There is really not much that band does not cover. In addition, students are given the skills to be successful in college and possibly earn a scholarship by playing their instrument. ---->Intelligence! Music, especially marching band, is one of the few activities where students are forced to use both sides of the brain at the same time. Research studies suggest that students involved in music on average score significantly higher on standardized tests than those not involved in music. ---->Pride! Signing up for the marching band means that you are part of the biggest organization BTCS has to offer! Also, you are automatically a part of a very successful organization – locally, regionally, and nationally! The band always does well at marching and concert band competitions. Last year, the band had an OUTSTANDING 45-10 record! Many professional sports teams do not have as good of a record. ---->Trips!! We take all kinds of trips, i.e. football games, concert festival (Knoxville), All-East (Gatlinburg), big trips (like Florida, New York, Chicago, etc.) ---->Most importantly, you are given a gift! You are given the gift of music. We teach you, and all we really ask is that you are passionate, enthusiastic, and that you give your gift to others through performance. Rehearsals are sometimes tough, but every performance should be fun!
How much does it cost to be in the band?
We do not mandate marching band "fees". Instead, we request a donation of $350, which is tax-deductible. Some things do have to be paid for by the family though, i.e. an instrument (if we do not have one to loan you), instrument accessories (reeds, valve oil, sticks, mallets, etc.), etc. Some purchases are required for marching band. Here is the list: -Marching Band Shoes ~$30-$40 -Wind Suit & Under Armor ~ $80 -Black Marching Band Gloves ~$5 -Long Black Socks ~$3-$5 If someone chooses to be in the Winter Guard they are required to pay a fee - typically $300-$400 depending on travel. Winter Guard can be charged a fee because it is not a required class and is strictly after school. Traveling: Student may also be asked to pay for certain large trips. Fundraising helps bring this cost down for all students.
How much does the band travel and what kind of trips does it take?
The band is probably the organization that travels the most out of any BTCS organization. The marching band travels the most. They go to all football games, about 3-4 band competitions per season, 2-3 parades per year, and other events in which to serve the community. The concert band travels less. They go to concert festival in March and normally take a spring trip. These spring trips are large events. The band traveled to Chicago in 2016. They have also traveled to Florida on multiple occasions (Disneyworld and Universal Studios), New York, and other places along the eastern coast of the U.S. The band even traveled to Ireland in 2002! Other groups travel as well. The winter guard competes about 5-6 times per season, the percussion section will go to festivals, and there are events like ETSU Honors Band, Virginia Tech Honors Band, All-State East, and All-State in which we take smaller groups of students.
How can I pay for all the donations, trips, and materials I need?
First of all, a student is NEVER turned away because of finances. There is a place for EVERYONE in the band. If you ever have a problem with paying for anything, simply talk to Mr. Semones about it, and he will work with you; however, there are fundraising opportunities purposely spread out over the school year as to not be such a huge burden on families. Some trips are even paid for, like football games, competitions, honor bands, etc. We do ask that if you have financial problems, you should be very active in our fundraising efforts and in working Viking Hall/Race Track when shifts are available.
Is band easy?
Not exactly. It is a very fun and rewarding activity, but you need to be willing to put in the time and effort that it takes in order to be successful.
What kind of groups/ensembles can I play in at Tennessee High?
Click on our "Programs" tab and find out. :)
I don't know how to play an instrument. Can I still be in band?
Yes! If you are looking to learn an instrument, we have woodwind, brass, and percussion instructors that offer extra help. If you can't find a musical instrument that suits you, color guard is also an option.
I play guitar. Can I still be in band?
Only if you can play Free Bird. Just kidding! If you play an instrument that is not typically used in a high school band, see Mr. Semones. It's possible you could still play your instrument in the marching band front ensemble or in the jazz band.
Can I be a cheerleader, athlete, or a member of a club and still participate in band?
YES!! Most of our band members are involved in all kinds of other activities and we encourage diversity in our students. Will these events ever conflict? Probably, but the band directors and coaches work together to help you with your schedule and to find your niche in high school. We have had cheerleaders march the field show in their cheerleading outfits before.
Do I have to learn a new instrument in marching band?
Probably not, but there may be circumstances where we ask you to play on a similar instrument; i.e. French horns will play mellophones, tubas will play sousaphones, etc. We never ask anything of you that you won’t be able to do.
Can a student be in just one semester of band, and not both?
Band is viewed as a year-long commitment. When you sign up for band, you need to enroll in both semesters. Certain exceptions are made depending on scheduling, health, etc. Please speak with Mr. Semones if you think you might have a concern or conflict.
Can a student still enroll in band/change their schedule after the deadline of March 31?
Yes. Contact the Tennessee High School guidance office at 652-9317 and tell them you wish to enroll your child in 4th period instrumental music (woodwind and brass only) OR 3rd period percussion/color guard (percussion and color guard only). They will help the student with their schedule change. See the list of counselors and their phone numbers below: o Last Name A-E Ms. Skeens (423) 652-9405 o Last Name F-K Ms. Herrick (423) 652-9402 o Last Name L-R Ms. Fleenor (423) 652-9400 o Last Name S-Z Mr. Henry (423) 652-9325