Marching Band FAQ

Who is involved in Marching Band?
 All students enrolled in the Concert Band, Advanced Band, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensembles are automatically included in the marching band as part of a class requirement.  Additional students from the music department are welcome to join in the front ensemble percussion section.  In addition, both band and non-band students are allowed to participate as part of the color guard.

What about meals?
Dinner will be provided at Band Camp and on performance days in October. Students will be expected to pack their own lunch for band camp. A small fee is collected at the beginning of each year to offset costs.

What is the Marching Band camp like?
It begins with the first few days of camp setting up the fundamentals of playing, marching, and rehearsal procedures. Each day we spend time learning playing fundamentals, show music, and marching formations.  We aim to finish the first movement or two of our show by the end of camp so that we can present it at the parent performance.

What if I have a conflict with band camp? 
Contact the head director as soon as possible to work out a resolution. It is really important not to schedule any vacations and check the band calendar to avoid this issue. A conflict could result in you being placed in an “crew” position depending on the circumstance.

I don’t own an instrument, will one be provided?
School owned instruments are limited in availability. The annual cost is only $60.

I’m nervous to join high school band because I have never marched before.  Will I be behind?
Not at all. During the summer rehearsals and Band Camp, you will have an opportunity to learn to march. Each year several students without prior marching experience make the band.  In fact, the majority of the freshman class has never learned to march either! If you bring a great attitude and a willingness to learn, you’ll be off to a great start.

How much of a time commitment is Marching Band?

During the summer, the band has a voluntary rehearsal every Tuesday week (see calendar).  Before school begins after we return from band camp where we learn the majority of our show.

Marching Band rehearsals are held only twice a week outside of the normal school day, Tuesday and Thursday, during the Fall quarter (Late August-October).   We also have two Saturday rehearsals that take place in September.

Game Day Fridays are very busy but rewarding days, with an after-school rehearsal and loading to move the equipment over to Zaepfel Stadium.  There are usually 5-6 games a year, almost always on Friday nights.

In addition to football games we also perform in the Sunfair Parade (late September), we compete in four competitions (first four Saturdays of October), and perform in the Veteran’s Day Parade.

Every year there are students who also compete in sports and take Honors/IB classes.  Most students find that the time commitment causes them or organize their time more efficiently.  With the proper mindset, it is possible to do all three!

I didn’t like Marching Band in middle school. Should I even bother with band at Davis?
Every person in the Davis Marching Band will tell you that marching is completely different from what they did in middle school. First of all, our band is competitive. We actually put together a complex field show with a themed music/movement and compete against other high schools around the state.  It is quite a bit different and quite a bit more fun than parade marching.

We spend our time focused on creating that special atmosphere unique to Davis High School football where we play throughout the game more than any other Big 9 school band.

All of our music and drill is specially designed by our design team. The Band has an unmatched following and is well-appreciated throughout campus and in the local community.

Most importantly, the people in the Davis Marching Band make it a truly great organization. Relationships forged among the members of the Band are among the strongest on campus. Before deciding not to do high school band, you are encouraged to contact the director and speak with a current Band member to get a student’s perspective.

Does the Marching Band have a color guard?
Yes. The Marching Band uses color guard to help tell the visual story of our show.  They are one of the most important parts of our ensemble!

What if I don’t play an instrument? Can I still be involved with the Marching Band?
Yes! We are looking for dedicated students to become color guard members.  Students wishing to join band for the first time must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the director.

Do I need to be enrolled in a band class to participate in Marching Band?
Yes.  All students must be enrolled in Concert Band, Advanced Band, Wind Ensemble, or one of the Percussion Ensemble classes.  Exceptions will be made for color guard as well as other music students interested in playing synthesizer in the front ensemble.

Concert Band FAQ

How do I audition for the Concert Bands?
All incoming students are placed into either our Concert Band or Intermediate Percussion Ensemble.

If you wish to be in Advanced Percussion, Advanced Band or Wind Ensemble  there is an assessment that takes place in the spring. This audition consists of an etude written for that year.  In addition behavior, attendance at performances, grades, and other factors are taken into consideration in regard to ensemble placements.

How do I participate in the Concert Band/Intermediate Percussion Ensemble?
The Concert Band/Intermediate Percussion Ensemble is open to all A.C. Davis students who played in band through 8th grade.

Students rejoining band after a year of not doing band or students who have never participated in band need to meet with Mr. Beck.  In this meeting we will discuss expectations as well as set up weekly lessons with an upperclassmen to ensure that the student doesn’t enter significantly behind their peers

These groups still have the requirements of marching band, pep band, and attending competitions/concerts.

Jazz Band FAQ

When are Jazz Big Band Auditions?
Jazz Big Band auditions are held before school during the first few weeks of classes.   We will start as a large ensemble learning a few charts and the basics of improvisation.  Then we will schedule audition times about 2-4 weeks into school on excerpts from those pieces as well as a short demonstration of improvisation abilities.  From this audition, students will either be placed into Jazz Band 1 or Jazz Band 2.

Do I receive credit for Jazz Band?
 Yes.  Once accepted, students will be enrolled in the Zero Hour Jazz Band course and Davis High School.

When does Jazz Band rehearse?
 Jazz band class meets every day before school from 7-7:55.

Do I need to be enrolled in a band class to participate in Jazz Band?
Yes.  All students must be enrolled in Concert Band, Advanced Band, Wind Ensemble, or one of the Percussion Ensemble classes.  Bass players must be enrolled in an orchestra class at Davis.  Exceptions will generally be made for Guitar and Piano players who do not play a band/orchestra instrument.

General FAQ

How can I participate in the Pep Band?
Everyone in the band program will be divided into two bands and will have assigned games.  This will cause all band members to attend approximately half of the basketball games      (~5 nights). If you wish to go to all events, you are invited to do so.  If there is limited availability for state, students will be selected on an attendance, seniority, and instrumentation basis in that order (students failing classes will not be allowed to travel to state during the school week). Pep Band will begin after marching season.

*Note: Conflicts with a game must be communicated with the director in advance.

Do I need to be enrolled in a band class to participate in Pep Band?
Yes.  All students must be enrolled in Concert Band, Advanced Band, Wind Ensemble, or one of the Percussion Ensemble classes.

How much time is involved with the Band?
This is one of the major concerns of incoming students. We highly recommend that you do not get discouraged because you think it may take too much time. Each year the best academic students and athletes from A.C. Davis participate in one or more bands. These students find that not only are they able to pursue multiple activities, but that the time commitment causes them to organize their time more effectively.

Some students are also concerned that by being so busy they will not be able to have the true “high school experience.”  However, it is important to remember that high school is an active and not passive experience.  In order to get the most out of that experience, you need to be involved in as much as possible.  Unlike movies and TV, great reward (and memories) do not come without sacrifice.  I have found students are able to achieve whatever they put their mind to which in turn helps them develop the skills that are necessary to be successful after high school.

Marching Band rehearsals are twice a week outside of school, Tuesday and Thursday, during the Fall semester in addition to one half-hour sectional per week. Rehearsals are held in the evening following classes, and last approximately 3 hours. Dress Rehearsals will be held Fridays before competitions when there is not a football game. Game Day Fridays are very busy but rewarding days, with an after school rehearsal.

The Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble rehearse every day during normal class time for the entire school year.

Can I get credit for being in band?
Yes! Students in every ensemble receive fine arts credit for their participation.  All high school students are required to have a minimum of 2 years of fine arts credit in order to graduate.

Will I be able to do band and the IB Program?
Yes! Students are able to do 4 years of band as well as participate in the IB Program for a full diploma.  Students will be enrolled in whatever band they audition into for freshman and sophomore year.

In their Junior year, the student will then enroll in 5th Period IB Music with Mr. Beck.  As long as the student’s playing skills have met the audition criteria, they will also participate in the Wind Ensemble which happens concurrently and will satisfy the group performance requirement for IB Music.  These students will also meet with Mr. Beck outside of class time to cover additional materials relating to music history, theory, and multicultural music.

At the conclusion of IB Music junior year these students will have satisfied their requirements for the IB Group 6 (Arts/Elective) diploma requirements*.  Then senior year, these students will have 5th period open to enroll in regular Wind Ensemble again.

*Note: Group 6 (Arts/Elective) studied at the SL level only requires 1 years worth of credit to satisfy the requirements.  IB Art and IB Physics are also in this category and are typically used by non-music students to satisfy their Group 6 Arts/Elective requirement.

What instruments, equipment, and fees do I need to supply?
We ask that those students who do own instruments to please bring them. Instruments will be provided at Band Camp check-in for $60 for those students who do not own their own instrument, who do not wish to use their professional-quality horn on the marching field, or who play a large brass instrument, such as sousaphone, baritone or mellophone.

Many fundraising opportunities will be presented throughout the year if you have trouble paying for fees. All travel costs, with the possible exception of overseas travel costs, are assumed by the High School.

Is there a place for me to store my horn?
Yes. Space is available for each band member’s instrument. Lockers or shelf space for those actively participating in the band program may be obtained from the director.

When should I expect to receive information about the Band?
General information about the Davis Marching Band is given to all incoming Freshmen in the Yakima School District in May.  All returning students will receive their information during band class.

If you are transferring from out of district or haven’t heard from us but would like to, please contact the band director (beck.brian@ysd7.org) with your current address, phone number and email address. In the mean time, many of your questions may be answered on the Band Web Site.

Is high school band worth it?
The short answer is yes.  Involvement in music in high school helps you to develop friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.  Those looking for a “high school” experience will find that those memories will only come from being involved in an active group.  Yes, band may be a lot of time.  However, great reward does not come without great sacrifice.  Through the high standards set in our program you will learn how to manage time efficiently, work as a team, become a leader, and set high expectations for yourself.  In addition, colleges will also look for consistent involvement in school groups.  Many admissions officers and employers will look for music students due to their work ethic.  Lastly, many studies have shown the positive impact of music on IQ and test scores.  To read more, please visit our Advocacy Page.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
 For Booster related questions please contact Jennifer Elwood.  For all other inquiries please contact the directors, Brian Beck and Sam Howard.  Contact info can be found on the Booster and Contact Us pages.