Frequently Asked Questions
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Here we’ve included some of the questions most frequently asked by our parents, students, and prospective band members. If you still have questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Q: My student signed up for Marching Band, what type of commitment is he making?
A: Marching Band is a very big commitment, with the season lasting from the first week of August through the end of November. But as our students will tell you, it’s well worth it! Practices are held after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout the season, ending at 6:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 5:30 on Wednesdays. In addition to practices, students march during all home football games, play in the stands at all in-county games we attend, and march in one or two parades. The Marching Band also performs at approximately four competitions each season. Bus transportation is provided to all events not located at Hoggard.
Q: You mentioned “competitions.” What exactly are marching band competitions?
A: Students will often tell you that competitions are their favorite part of marching band! They are all-day events that serve as fundraisers for the hosting bands. Bands from many surrounding schools compete for various awards, such as Music, Overall Performance, Color Guard and Best in Show, to name a few. A competition day lasts about 12-14 hours, depending on the location of the competition. Students spend the morning at Hoggard High School practicing their show, then eat lunch, pack up the buses, and head out to the competition. Lunches are often provided by our Hospitality committee, but students are responsible for evening meals at the competition site. All families are encouraged to attend competitions to support our Marching Vikings.
Q: What do I need to know as a band parent about football games?
A: The band performs for pre-game and at half-time of each home football game. They also play music while in the stands. This time is considered class time for the students and is required. Football games usually start at 7:30 p.m. but band student call time is 5:45. Students should be in uniform and ready for inspection by 6:30 p.m. Students will “step off” for the stadium at 7:10 p.m. for the pre-game show. After students perform at half time, they are free during third quarter to go to the concession stand or “mingle” with friends. Students must be back in the stands and ready to play by the end of third quarter. When the game is over, students are expected to make sure that the bleachers are clean and help return equipment. They should also return their uniform to its garment bag and hang it on the rack before they leave.
Q: If Marching Band is a big commitment for my child, then what commitment am I making as a parent?
A: Band, unlike many other student organizations in high school, depends heavily on parent involvement. When a child joins band, so do his or her parents. Every parent is automatically a Hoggard Band Booster and the band boosters are ALWAYS in need of parent volunteers. All parents should consider volunteering, as many parents will tell you about the fun and camaraderie that comes along with it. More information about opportunities to help will be discussed at the mandatory parent meeting held during the week prior to the beginning of band camp.
Q: Is there a fee to join marching band?
A: There is no fee to participate in band; however, each student is required to purchase needed uniform consumables, such as shoes, gloves, and t-shirts, along with having a working instrument and flip folder. Uniform items and flip folders can be purchased through the boosters as we order in large quantities. Fees for accessories vary and Freshman fees are often the most, ranging from $80-$100.
Q: Speaking of uniforms, I know that uniforms are provided, but is my student responsible for taking her uniform to and from events? And also, what should she wear underneath it?
A: Students are responsible for ensuring that their uniforms are neatly hung in their provided garment bags, and kept on the garment rack in the band closet across from the cafeteria. Students will purchase a band t-shirt and shoes (as mentioned above) that are kept at home and worn to each event. Because students usually change together, it is best to wear comfortable athletic shorts under their uniforms. During cold months, they may choose to wear thermal pants as well.
Q: What is band camp and when does it occur?
A: Band camp is where marching band students start to learn the upcoming season’s “show.” This is their halftime and competition performance. Band camp is held the first two full weeks of August on Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Additional practices are held the week before school starts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (times TBD).
Q: Will my student need to bring anything other than his instrument to band camp?
A: Students should bring a water bottle (12 – 16 oz.), sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. Some students also bring bug repellent. It is recommended that students wear light-weight clothing and MUST wear sneakers-no sandals! Students should pack a nutritious lunch and snack that does not need refrigeration or heated in a microwave.
Q: What if my family can’t afford the fee for uniform accessories or an instrument?
A: Along with New Hanover County Schools and Hoggard High School, the band boosters want all students to be able to participate in their activity of choice, regardless of socio-economics. If you are faced with a hardship and cannot pay for necessary accessories, please speak to Mr. Reed as soon as possible so we can take the necessary steps to help. All information will remain confidential.
Concert & Symphonic Band FAQ
Q: What is the proper attire for Concert and Symphonic Band?
A: Male concert band members (freshman/sophomores) must wear black pants, a white dress shirt, a tie, black shoes and black socks. Female members must wear a black skirt, a white blouse, and black shoes. Symphonic members (juniors/seniors) must wear formal attire. Males must wear black tuxedo pants, a white non-ruffled tuxedo shirt (pleated front), black bow tie, black cummberbund, black socks, and black shoes. Females will wear a black dress that is to be ordered to assure uniformity.
Q: What is the information for ordering my daughter's dress for symphonic band?
A: Dresses for symphonic band can be ordered by contacting Stage Accents at www.stageaccents.com. Please follow directions on the website for measuring and selecting the size needed for your daughter's dress. The dress is style Sarina #8655 with Pearl Necklace 7801 and 7800, Pear Earrings 7820 and 7821. Hemming will likely be needed when the dress arrives, so order right away and be on the lookout for someone to do your alterations.
Q: I've heard the band uses the website CHARMS for communication. Can you tell me what CHARMS is exactly?
A: CHARMS is a website used by many bands as a communication tool. It allows the band director and boosters to keep students and parents updated on events, emails, news, and more. To learn more about CHARMS, please visit the website at www.charmsoffice.com and follow the directions to locate the John T. Hoggard High School Bands or contact Mr. Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I’ve heard of booster clubs, but what exactly is the Hoggard Band Boosters?
A: The Hoggard Band Boosters is an organization dedicated to promoting the John T. Hoggard Viking Bands (Marching, Concert, Symphonic, Jazz and Color Guard). Every parent of a band student is automatically a member of the Hoggard Band Boosters. The booster organization is comprised of an executive board, president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, with several standing committee chairs as well. All booster members are encouraged to attend the general booster meetings held monthly on the second Tuesday of each month. In addition, members are welcome to attend executive meetings held just before the monthly meetings.
Q: Does the band offer any group activities or events?
A: That is a very good question! The Marching Band is a very close group of students. They spend many hours together and form lasting bonds and friendships. The band boosters encourage students to socialize outside of band events to strengthen these bonds. One of the most popular social events is heading to Jimbo’s Restaurant after each home football game. This activity is NOT a school sanctioned event and is not usually chaperoned (although many parents have been known to “hang out” in the parking lot while their student eats inside), but band students have been eating at Jimbo’s for years and the owners and staff have a great relationship with our band. Other social activities include band booster sponsored dances, the occasional chaperoned movie night, and “Section Bonding Night” which occurs at the beginning of the season and is usually held at an upperclass student’s home. There is also a band banquet held at the end of each school year.