Contests usually begin with a preliminary performance by each band. After prelims, an exhibition band will perform, followed by a presentation of awards. (This is when we find out if our band made it to the finals.) There will be a small break, and the finalist’s band directors will meet to find out what time we play in the finals. The finalists will perform again in the evening. After that we sit in the stands anxiously awaiting the results. There is a final presentation of awards. In the event that the band does not make finals, they usually stay to watch the finals.
Arrive Early – No one is allowed to enter the stands during a performance so don’t be surprised to see staff at each entry to stop spectators. (I’m talking about entry into the stands, not the stadium) You will have to wait until the band is through playing before staff will let you in. Quickly find your seat before the next band begins their performance. This may seem silly but it is disruptive to the judges and the band. We want them both to be able to focus on their jobs without distraction from us. Please note that parking is usually a hassle so allow time for that.
Show Support – Wear your school colors and sit together in the stands. In the past, the kids have commented on how great it is to look into the stands and see the big splash of green, cheering them on. CPHS Band knows we are there to support and encourage them and we are a proud bunch! If you are there early, spread your stuff out and save some seats. When you see familiar faces or shirts entering the stands, wave them down. The prime spot is on the 50 and up high! At every contest I’ve been to, parents of other bands will recognize my shirt and tell me how wonderful our band is!
Know When to Make Noise – Cheer like mad when the band enters and exits the field. This really pumps them up and makes a statement to the judge. Bring noise makers, wave banners, whistle, scream, clap….and more cowbell please!
Know When Not To – During the performance applaud and cheer, but do not use any Noisemakers or Whistle as that might interfere with the judge’s ability to hear the music and our kids will suffer.
Know When to Cheer/Applaud – When a really cool formation takes shape, whenever you see the horns tilt up to the press box for an impact statement and you hear that really big sound, when the soloists or ensemble complete their piece, whenever a featured section (i.e., drumline) knocks your socks off with their playing, when the color guard creates a visually stunning special effect, and when you get goose bumps because the sound is so awesome.
Sportsmanship – Remember that as parents we are also representing our band and are an example to our children. Certainly applaud for other bands when they look and sound great, but just applaud and cheer big time when our band is on the field. The judges notice. Just have some common courtesy for others by turning off those cell phones or putting them on vibrate and wait the few minutes it takes for the program to end to return that call. Keep talking down to a whisper during the performance and do not enter/exit the stands, change seats, etc.
Additional BOA Contest information
No Video or Audio Recordings – BOA has specifically asked us to inform you that there is absolutely no video or audio recordings allowed in the stadium. No personal recording devices will be allowed into the stadium. Any such recording will be confiscated. There will be a professional video production company which makes and sells tapes of the performance. They are expensive. (Personally, I would pick up the order form at their booth and decide later if you want to order. On the order form it has the address and number and probably the website)
Professional Pictures – Jolesch Photography will be taken group pictures after each performance and sometimes manages to get some great sectional & actions shots on the field. You may place an order at the event, mail payment or pay online at www.bandorders.com or www.jolesch.com. Participants that order the photo at the game and do not forward payment within 21 days will receive them on a C.O.D. basis. (Last year I was able to check out pictures on their website a few days after the contest so you can always order then). Personal photography cameras are allowed.
Souvenirs – There are plenty of opportunities here. T- Shirts, videos, patches, jewelry, etc. There will be an “event” t-shirt which lists the performing bands on the back and an event patch. You can also order these on line. Almost everything on sale at one contest will also be on sale at another one so don’t feel pressured to buy.
Tickets – You can buy separate tickets to the prelims and finals or you can by a day pass which will get you in to both. Please note that the stadium is completely cleared between prelim and finals. If you are going to both, it is probably better to purchase the day pass.
Note: to access the BOA website you can go to cphsband.org, click on other links, click on Bands of America. You can also check out www.bands.org/public/events/regionals. This will give you information on merchandise to purchase, videos, map, ticket info (you may order online), etc.
Student Contest Schedule – The directors will usually send a schedule home with the students by Tuesday or Wednesday. It will include report time, rehearsal time, departure, lunch, and other pertinent information. He may decide to have the band spend the night at the band hall depending upon how late the band will get back from the game and how early they play at prelims.
Charter Buses – Buses are generally icy cold so send your student prepared with a jacket or small blanket. (Blanket sharing is not allowed). Send snacks for the return trip, but know that buses are generally full so any cooler must be able to slip under the seat. Sharing coolers is a good idea. Students can bring movies to watch on the bus but only G or PG is allowed. This is a district policy; remember some of our students are barely 14. Personal CD players are allowed but they are the students’ responsibility.
Medical Needs – The med bag is stocked with only the basics. Send any specialty drugs in their original bottle clearly labeled and the med bag attendant will keep it and administer as instructed. For students who tend to get motion sickness, it has been suggested that they take it before going to bed on Friday night. It will still be effective Saturday and they won’t be as groggy.
Parking Lot Protocol – Upon request of the Band Directors, do not try and track down your student in the parking lot or warm up area BEFORE the competition. They start mentally preparing for the contest before they step off the bus and they are on a strict time schedule. If you are worried because they haven’t been feeling well, rest assured that there is a designated chaperone on the med bag that follows the band around to address needs. Every contest has EMS on the premises.
After the performance, you can try to track them down to congratulate them on a great show before they board the buses. However, be aware that ONLY BAND MEMBERS AND STAFF may board buses. This is a security issue. Students leave all of their belongings on the bus and the staff takes every precaution to safeguard them. Also, the buses are very crowded as it is and some of the students are trying to rest. If you need to speak with your student, ask a chaperone or another student and they will gladly get him for you. Parents, siblings, relatives and friends are asked not to board buses at any time.
Checking Your Student Out – If you need to check your student off the bus after the contest, you must send a note to their band director prior to contest day. That note will be placed in the bus folder so the chaperone of that bus will know ahead of time. You will have to track down the bus in the parking lot (follow the band out of the stadium) and check them out with the chaperone by showing proper I.D.
Ineligible Students – Students who are ineligible to participate because of failing grades may not associate with the band in any way before, during or after the contest. (This is also true for games.) Failure to abide by this rule could result in any awards being stripped from the band at a later date.