DO I HAVE TIME TO BE IN THE MARCHING BAND?
Absolutely. Much of the learning and hard work for the show and music will be frontloaded in the fall (band camp) so that all students can continue to make their academic program their priority. The rehearsal schedule will be flexible to the point that ANY student in ANY program can be in the band without surrendering valuable time needed for their academic success. Compared to your high school schedule, remember we don’t compete in competitions and we only perform at home games. After the band is established there will likely be only one addition performance each season as an exhibition band or with an invitation for other travel opportunities. Student academic opportunity will always come first. The director will put in constant effort to make sure that marching band is a positive boost to your grades and experience at WVWC.
WHAT STYLE OF MARCHING WILL THE BAND PERFORM?
We will perform in a hybrid marching style that will be unique to West Virginia Wesleyan. There are main two purposes for this which are 1) This will allow a student from any program to come and adapt to the style presented and mastered at WVWC and 2) the style will be unique to the traditions established at WVWC by the students mastering the craft. (The general look and show elements of the band will emulate that of a modern southern band while it will have fundamentals that are simple, clean, and elegant.)
DO I HAVE TO AUDITION TO BE IN THE BAND?
No. In this startup year the director will be in contact you and or your band director to get an idea of your experience level. With everyone, especially in this first year, learning everything from scratch the willingness to try hard and be a positive part of the band is a valuable and needed skill regardless of your experience.
WILL THERE BE A BAND CAMP?
Yes! The band will likely meet starting around 2 weeks before the start of the Fall Semester in to start work. (The move-in date will be published when it’s solidified.) This first season is entirely unique because there are no upperclassmen to teach the fight song, cadence, marching style, and overall traditions of the band. All of these things will be developed this first season and will have the flavor of those involved the first few years. Student traditions are very important in the success and attitude of a successful band family and they will be completely supported by the director.
WHAT'S GOING TO BE THE SIZE OF THE BAND?
Ideally once the band has established itself the marching band will have more than 100 participants involved in the performance. This is not a cap but the goal in a mainstay collegiate band in the state of West Virginia. Our eventual goal is obviously to surpass this as long as we maintain our close-knit family atmosphere in the band itself.
WILL THE BAND HAVE A COLOR GUARD?
Given the fact that the interest level in guard remains high the answer will likely be yes. Ideally the choreography will be created in multiple levels so we can have beginner level students side by side with more seasoned and experienced members. (Choreography and fundamentals will be maintained by student leaders and overseen by the director.) There is no experience needed to join the guard; just a good attitude and a work ethic to learn something new so please get all your friends to join. We’d love to have you!
HOW OFTEN WILL THE BAND REHEARSE?
There will be likely 2 -3 scheduled rehearsal blocks available for rehearsal for the week but the weekly schedule for “how many” and “which ones” will change from week to week to accommodate students academic schedules. (After learning Pre-Game, Half-Time, and other music the rehearsal schedule will be limited only to what’s needed to maintain quality while adding fun aspects and music. We will also have this many rehearsal blocks available so that academic conflicts are not an issue. The director’s goal is to have rehearsal as infrequently as required but will always make the absolute best time of the student time.)
WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE DRUM LINE/MARCHING BATTERY?
The marching drum line will consist of snares, tenors, basses, and cymbals. This is the heart of the marching band and will be full of student traditions and sounds that drive the band. There will be a cadence established (to be premiered in the 2014 season) so that audiences can recognize our band from drum line alone and the personality and tone will be set. (There will be additional cadences learned each season but likely not the first season since everyone will have to learn the new cadence from scratch.)
WHAT AM I RESPONSIBLE FOR PURCHASING IF I JOIN THE BAND?
You are responsible for your band shoes (Brand/color will be pre-determined – approx. $20-$25) and you will also make sure you have proper maintenance equipment for your instruments. This includes grease, oils, tape, and cleaning cloths. For the drum line you will need to purchase any replacement sticks you incur through the season. (Everyone will be liable for damage to their school instruments with damage that’s more than normal wear.) Color guard will need to purchase uniform shoes and accessories. Other possibilities for purchase requirements might include: Band Polo or Shirt.
WILL THERE BE A FRONT ENSEMBLE/PIT?
If there are students only interested in being in the front ensemble then they will definitely be a thriving member of the band’s halftime performance. There will be limited rehearsal needed once the show is learned thought we will include these members in as many other aspects as possible. The director’s preference the first years is to have a full battery line so those who have been in pit/front ensemble who would like to march on the drumline are welcome to learn (especially bass drum or cymbal line!)
DO I NEED TO BE A MUSIC MAJOR TO BE IN THE BAND?
No. In fact the majority of participants in most collegiate bands are non-music majors. This will give music majors an outlet for training as well but more importantly this is a large student organization with a common goal.
WILL THE BAND PROVIDE INSTRUMENTS?
As much as possible, yes. The band will provide as many instruments as they have available for students to sign out but will not be able to provide every instrumentalist. Students are allowed and encouraged to play their own instruments when possible. The director will have to okay the instruments quality (to make sure it’s appropriately playable) or will explore other options with the students.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL GAME DAY SCHEDULE?
This will change depending on the time of the game and the other events taking place (such as Homecoming.) In addition to having a slow warm up in sectionals/full group warm up, we will change our procedure until we develop an exciting game day environment.
DO I NEED TO PERFORM AN INSTRUMENT OR BE IN THE COLOR GUARD TO BE IN THE BAND?
No. There are open spots for band assistants for those that want to participate and be part of the band family but do not want or are unable perform.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PERKS OF JOINING THE NEW MARCHING SEASON?
- Not many people get to say they were part of the START of a band program.
- You will get to shape and mold the very first student traditions and level of excellence.
- You will get to be the very first of the new marching band alumni.
- You will be part of the great family environment that only exists in a close marching band.
- There are no band fees!
- Your parents get to be our #1 fans without the stress of work from band boosters.
- The band will strive for excellence in performance, attitude, fun, humor, and appropriate professional maturity.