start of the season
The Marching Eagles’ color guard begin with clinics and try-outs in mid May. Percussion clinics, followed by auditions (for placement with the section - everyone is accepted), are in early June. The marching percussion, consisting of the front ensemble (pit) and battery (marching drum line), have sectionals outside of regular band rehearsals (usually twice weekly) throughout the season. The entire band begins rehearsing together a few weeks later. Band rehearsal dates can be viewed by following the calendar link. During the early summer rehearsals students begin to learn the music for the season as well as basic marching techniques. The band’s first performance of the year is the Lakewood July 4th Parade.
The first full week of August the band goes to band camp off campus and overnight. While there the band begins to learn the drill for the season’s shows and starts putting the music to the drill. There are extended rehearsals (from 1:00-9:00) Tuesday through Friday the week before band camp and Tuesdays and Thursdays between band camp and the start of school. Performing Arts Boosters provide dinners for these extended rehearsals, host a pool party following the final rehearsal before band camp, and host a pot-luck family dinner one evening during which the band performs a preview show for families and friends. In mid August the band travels to Cedar Point where they parade through the park and spend the rest of the day at their leisure. While attendance is strongly encouraged for all the summer rehearsals, only band camp (the first full week of August) is required.
During the first quarter of the school year, the marching band rehearses on Tuesdays from 6:30-9:00 (on Coughlin Field, behind the school) and Wednesday through Friday from 3:30-5:30 (on the front parking lot). These rehearsals are considered an extension of the school day - students are required to attend unless excused from school.
The band performs the National Anthem during pre-game as well as a half-time show and in the stands at home football games. They also perform during half-time and in the stands at nearby away games. For Friday games, the band stays after school to rehearse and Performing Arts Boosters provide dinner prior to the band’s departure by bus to the game. Following the game, band members return by bus to the school to store equipment and uniforms before being dismissed. At games, band members must remain in the stands within their sections except for third quarter, during which time they are free to visit the concession stand.
Band competitions are either half-day or whole day events. Between 6 and 20 bands perform in 15 minute intervals for a panel of judges and an audience. Family and friends are encouraged to attend and support their bands. When schedules have been finalized they are posted along with driving directions on the SEHS competition page. Results of previous competitions can also be viewed when available.
On Saturdays when there is a competition and no football game, band members arrive at school an hour or two prior to departure for a light rehearsal. When there is a football game and competition on the same day, students travel directly from one to the other and there is normally no rehearsal involved.
Busses provide transportation to and from competitions. About an hour prior to performing bands are given a short time to warm-up in an allotted space, usually a short distance from the stadium. Assisted by parent and student roadies the band and equipment move to the stadium. After performing members return to the busses to store their equipment. They go back to the stadium sitting together to watch the remaining competition. They normally have an opportunity to visit the concession stand at this time. After all bands have performed there is an awards ceremony after which the band departs. A rating of I-Superior at an OMEA local competition qualifies the band for state finals held at the end of the season. In the event that the band has to leave a competition early to attend a football game or other commitment a representative stays at the competition to accept awards.