For those of you who are new band parents, and as a reminder for those of us who have done this for a while, we wanted to post a few guidelines for competition etiquette. Competition days can be overwhelming for our new families and sometimes the little things get overlooked.
One of the most important parts of a band show is the audience. There are many types of spectators at a band show and they have many different reasons for coming to the show. Each band performing at a competition event has their own story to tell. Some come from large schools, others come from small schools. Some have overcome odds just to have a marching band in which to participate. Some may have experienced difficult setbacks, while others are experiencing their most positive marching season ever.
Regardless of each band’s particular circumstances, every student who takes the field has made the choice to use music, color, and motion an art. As parents, boosters and spectators, we each have a responsibility to recognize those efforts by simply being a good audience.
It is also important to realize that although it is fun to visit with family and friends during a contest, it is unfair to distract other spectators from enjoying the show. This is true at any performance, including a marching band performance. Be respectful of all other spectators and hopefully they will extend you the same courtesy.
Things you should DO:
• Be supportive of each and every band. Be considerate during each band’s performance and show your appreciation for their hard work by your hearty applause at the end of every band’s performance as well as when they take the field for competition.
Remember, the students in the other bands have worked just as hard as our own students. They deserve our respect and applause. Every marching band member in every band is participating in an activity that is teaching them teamwork, respect and pride in what they do. There are no losers in this activity.
• Show up early. This is especially true for supporters of larger class bands. Many smaller class bands have great shows. Arrive early at the next show and see what you have been missing.
• Turn off (or at least put on vibrate) your cell phone. If you receive a call during a performance, wait until that performance is over before returning the call.
• No matter what your personal opinion of a particular performance, never say it out loud unless it is complimentary. Every band on the field is “somebody’s band”, and it may be the folks sitting next to or behind you. Give to the other participating bands the same respect and attention you hope they will give to our band.
• Refrain from conversation during the performances. Show respect for the bands and the spectators around you by not talking during a performance.
• Do not allow children to play in the stands and distract other spectators. Obviously, children are the future of this activity. It is good for them to see why big brother and big sister are always at practice and are not at home. However for their safety and as a courtesy to others they should not be allowed to run up and down steps and play in the aisles so others may enjoy the show.
• Do not leave or return to your seat during a band’s performance. Wait until a performance has ended before moving about. You will only need to wait 15 minutes, at the most, before the next break. There is sufficient time between bands to move in and out of your seating area.
• Do not obstruct the view of others. Please avoid standing in front of people trying to watch the show. If you have a banner to display, try to do so from the top of the stands or in some way that others can still see the bands.
• Refrain from calling out your student’s name when the band takes the field. Instead of drawing attention to one individual (which usually embarrasses that student), stick to the traditional, “Go South Hills! Go Band! Go Huskies!” cheer that will bring attention to the entire ensemble.
• Listen more than you talk, especially with boosters from other bands.
• Buy a program and familiarize yourself with how the event is being judged and scored. Be an “informed” spectator.
• Buy something from the concession stand. In many cases a band competition may be the major source of a band programs yearly budget. They have made a large investment and would appreciate your support. In most cases you will find that the prices are much less than what you will pay at your local movie theater.
• Do not boo other bands or the contest results during the awards. Unfortunately every one is not going to agree on contest results. Booing the award winners or the judges will not accomplish positive results.
• Attend as many performances as possible to support our students and enjoy the show.
The best seats are as close to the 50 yard line and as high up in the stands as possible. Naturally, these are the first to go. If you want to have the best seats, arrive before the show begins and stake out your spot. Wear your SHHS Band & Color Guard gear and look for other SHHS fans so everyone can sit together.
Each contest has its own rules concerning video recording. Please watch signs at the stadium entrance gates and observe the rules. When we know in advance we will post information on our web site. Some contests do not allow recording but do sell professionally produced videos at a cost.
THE USE OF NOISE MAKERS, AIR HORNS, BELLS, WHISTLES, ETC. IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR A BAND EVENT. THIS IS A CONTEST, BUT NOT A SPORTING EVENT.
Don’t get out of control with noisemakers; less is more. Limit your noisemakers to make it a pleasant experience for those around you. Most competitions don’t allow air horns or other loud, distracting props, so make sure you’re always compliant.
The most important rule of all ! Come see your child perform. They work really hard and whether they say it or not, they love it when you are there to see them perform. COME OUT AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE !
Hopefully these tips will make your experience more enjoyable as you cheer your favorite band on and support all the performers of this amazing art form.