B Band FAQ's

Band Frequently Asked Questions


Do all students taking Band classes at JMHS participate in marching ensemble?

Yes, all students enrolled in band must participate in marching band.

How long is the marching band season?
The marching season begins in mid-August and runs until approximately early November, depending upon the football season.
How many hours a day is marching band practice?
In August, the marching band practices vary from week to week, but students should plan on around 5-8 hours per day.  The schedule is posted several months in advance on the band website.  www.jmhsband.org.  Once school begins, marching practice is every Monday (2:45-5:30 pm), Wednesday (5:30-8:30 pm) and Thursday (2:45-5:30).  Occasionally there are changes to the schedule and these are posted on the calendar on the website.
>Does the marching band play at all football games?
The marching band performs at all home football games during half-time.  It does not travel to away games.  The band also plays pep-tunes during the first and fourth quarters of all home football games.
Are there other marching band performances?
Yes, the marching band marches in the JMHS homecoming parade the last week of September and the Vienna Halloween parade the last week in October.
What is a marching competition?
The JMHS Marching Band prepares one marching show per season.  This show is performed in 3-4 competitions in the region.  In these competitions, the band performs at an outdoor stadium before an audience and a panel of judges.  Competitions are held on Saturdays during the marching season.  Most require 6-10 hours of the students’ time, but usually one is a trip to New York or Pennsylvania and may require up to 20 hours of time.  The students are transported on buses and given food during these competitions.
How many marching competitions are there each year?
In general there are 3-4 each year and they are posted well in advance on the website at www.jmhsband.org.
What happens if a student has to miss a performance or competition?
The band is a team and missing a performance or a competition takes away from the entire team.  There is, in fact, a hole created somewhere in the show which can be quite noticeable.  All students are expected to be at all performances and competitions unless they are too ill to attend school.
Do students have to purchase their own marching band uniform?
No.  Uniforms are a component of the marching band fee.
What if my student does not play a marching band instrument?  What does s/he do?
Students who normally perform on instruments that are not standard instrument of the marching band (ie. double reeds) have several options that include marching an alternate instrument, performing as a member of the sideline percussion section, or performing as a member of the visual ensemble (color guard).

How many concerts does the band perform each year?
Concert band season includes:  Tiny Tots concert in late November/early December, winter concert in December, pre-assessment concert in February, District Band Festival in March, pyramid concert in March and spring concert in May.  Please check the website calendar to confirm dates.  www.jmhsband.org.
How often are concert band rehearsals?
Concert band rehearsals are two days a week.  Which days depend on whether your student is in Symphonic Band or Wind Symphony.  One practice is after school and the other is in the evening.  Dates of all rehearsals are posted on the band website at www.jmhsband.org.
Are students required to have concert attire?
Yes.  Men wear tuxedos and women wear black tea-length dresses and pearls.  The women buy their dresses at the beginning of the year and the men may rent tuxedos from the band or purchase their own.

What fund raisers are the students expected to participate in?
  • Tag Day:  Tag Day is the first Saturday in September after the school year begins and lasts from 8:00a.m. – 4:30 p.m.--see description below
  • Vienna Turkey Trot: This event is held on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of November.--see description below
Tiny Tots Concert:  This event is held the week after Thanksgiving
Voluntary fundraisers:

The following fundraisers are voluntary.  

  • Wrapping Paper: September 1, catalogue and information sent home with students, available on the Band website and by contacting:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
  • Citrus:  October and November, catalogue and information sent home with students, available on the Band website and by contacting:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   
  • White House Ornaments:  November and December orders taken via the blackbox or by contacting: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., booth sale opportunities on Election Day and select weekends outside Giant Food stores.  Sign up for booth sales on the Band website.  
  • Scrip (see below)
What is Scrip?
  • Year round the JMHS Band participates in a \"scrip\" program that allows families to purchase gift cards (called \"scrip\") for grocery stores and many other merchants. Families can buy scrip online through the Great Lakes Scrip Center. Scrip is available for grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and many other vendors. You spend $100 for a gift card that is worth $100 of merchandise. Between 2 and 15% of your gift card purchase price goes to your family\'s student account - the rebates for each vendor are listed on shopwithscrip.com.
What is Tag Day?
Tag Day is the JMHS Band program’s largest fund-raiser for the year. All JMHS Band students participate in Tag Day. Students dress in their marching band uniforms and go door to-door soliciting donations throughout the Madison school district.  This fund-raiser has traditionally been highly successful, reflecting both the overwhelming community support and the extraordinary effort of the students in asking for the support.
How do I pay band fees?
Band fees may be paid through the Band website using Paypal, offline by cash or check placed in the blackbox located in the Band Room, or by applying Student Points accrued in the student’s account.
What is the Blackbox?
The blackbox is a secure, locked, black box located in the Band Room just outside the Band Director’s office. Please always use envelopes when depositing items in the blackbox (these are located atop the blackbox).
What is the Vienna Turkey Trot?
Each November, the band teams up with the Volunteer Fire Department of Vienna to host a 5K race.  This year there will also be a 1 mile fun run and for the second year in a row, a 10K, in addition to the 5K.  The Turkey Trot is a wonderful community event that gives the band great exposure within the Vienna Community, earns a significant amount of money for the band and is tons of fun.  Band families have ample opportunities to help out with this event.  More information is posted on the website at www.jmhsband.org.

What are the volunteering expectations of parents?
Parents are encouraged to volunteer according to their skills and time.  Everyone is welcome to participate in the band parent association.  The Band Boosters requests 5 volunteer hours per family per year.
What volunteering opportunities are there for parents?
Each year parents receive a survey of volunteering opportunities.  Parents may chaperone performances or trips, hem uniforms, chair committees, help with fund raising activities, volunteer with the Turkey Trot, etc.  If you have specific questions about volunteering please contact the volunteer coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Does it cost more money if parents don’t volunteer?
No, but we hope you will volunteer to do your fair share 
What does the Band Parent Association (Band Boosters) do?
  • Due to continued school budget cutbacks for the Fine Arts programs, the Fairfax County School System now funds only the band director’s salary, repair for school owned instruments, a limited amount of new music purchases and an occasional instrument purchase. It is the Madison Band Parents\' Organization that provides funds to:

* Pay for specialists (professional musicians) to assist in teaching sectional rehearsals for the band, and for the Color Guard and the Winter Guard instructors

* Design and choreograph the marching show

* Purchase new instruments, equipment and music

* Provide registration fees for competition

* Provide for professional staff development

* Cover the cost of transportation

  • The Band Parents also help to organize the bands trips, provide chaperones for all band and Winter Guard events and help to transport equipment and students to and from band competitions


What is the spring trip?

The optional spring trip is a fun opportunity for the students to get away for a few days in the spring and enjoy a new location with friends.  They will perform a concert at the location and have lots of free time with fun, planned activities.  Spring trips the last few years have been to Boston, Gatlinburg, Williamsburg, Orlando and St. Louis.

Is participation in the spring trip mandatory?


How much does it cost to go on the spring trip?

The price varies depending upon the location.  In the past few years the trip has cost approximately $600.

Who chaperones the trip?

The Band Director and Band Parent volunteers.

Where will the spring trip go this year?

This decision will be made and announced in a few months. In 2014, the spring trip was to Boston, MA



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