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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I have to be in band to be in Marching Band?

A. As a wind player or percussionist you must also be enrolled in a concert band in order to qualify for Marching Band. Color Guard is open to any all who are interested. Dance experience is encouraged but not necessary.

Q. Can I play a sport and be in Marching Band?
A. YES, you may play a sport and still participate in Marching Band.  Currently, we have many members who successfully participate in freshman, junior varsity, and varsity men’s and women’s athletics.

Q. What do we do after Marching Band during second quarter?

A. Upon completion of the Marching Band season, the band will begin preparations for the Christmas Parade as well as a concert performed by the winds and percussion. After that concert, we complete the year with a group marching show design project. Color guard members are expected to write aND perform original flag work as part of their presentation so they begin doing that after the Christmas Parade.

Q. How do we get into Marching Band?

A. Marching Band is open to any and all students who are interested. Throughout the spring, we hold spring camps where we start learning many of the fundamental skills that come into play throughout the season. Students will be given a commitment form that reserves their place in the band. This is due around late May.

Q. As a percussionist, what instrument(s) do I try out on?

A. The directors and percussion instructors will determine where to place students to ensure balance and the overall achievement of the individual. 

Q. What is the pit or front line?
A. The pit or front line is the mallet and auxiliary percussion instruments.

Q. How do you become a drum major?
A. One can apply to be drum major after their first year in Marching Band.  The interested students complete a questionnaire and proceed through an interview process.  Extensive training opportunities are offered to those selected as drum majors.



Color Guard

Q. What is color guard?
A. Color guard is a very important part of the North Marching Band.  The color guard is comprised of people who perform with flags, rifles, sabres, and other props to add an important visual element to the Marching Band.

Q. When does Marching Band begin?

The spring weekend camps are published around November/December and the rest of the season is published around March/April. Please direct yourself to the calendar tab above for previous or upcoming examples.

Parade and field competition schedule

Q. How many parades and field shows do we perform?
A .Each year the number of performances varies depending on the “focus” of that particular year, i.e.: a major trip year.  Generally, the Waukesha North Marching Band appears in 6-8 parades, 6-8 field marching competitions, and 3-5 North football half-time performances.

Instruments and music 

Q.Are school instruments provided or do we need to rent?

A. We will attempt to provide as many specialized instruments (mellophones, tuba, baritone, tenor saxophone) as possible.  The number and quality of the instruments is limited.  Therefore, if possible students should rent or own their instruments.  These instruments will be issued in excellent playing condition and will be reconditioned once a year.  Any damage to the school instruments, outside of normal wear and tear, will be the responsibility of the student.

Q. Do we memorize the music?
A. Yes. Students memorize the summer parade music, the fall field show music, and the holiday parade music.


Q. How much does the uniform cost?

The cost of the uniform is built into the season. There is, however, an additional charge for shoes, which only have to be purchased as needed. Students are responsible for replacing damaged or missing uniform pieces. Black socks and hair bands, for students with long hair, are necessary for every performance.

Q. What uniform parts do students provide?
A. Black socks and hair bands, for students with long hair, are necessary for every performance.

Q. When do we receive our uniforms and how are they fitted?
A. During the spring camps, a team of band parents completely measure and size students in band uniforms from current available stock.  We take great care and pride that the uniform is fitted properly to each individual band member.  In a similar manner, color guard uniforms are sized at a separate rehearsal.
Q. Where should the band launder the uniform?
A. Please click on the pdf icon for uniform care and laundering instructions.



Q. What kind of fund-raising do we do?
A. The fundraising committee is responsible for two types of fundraisers: Good of the Band (GotB) and Individual Student Account (ISA). Good of the band fundraisers benefit the overall cost of the season and allow dues to be lower from the start of the season. Individual Student Account fundraisers are there for individual students to help pay for their dues that are owed to the band. 

Q. How much money do I need to fund-raise?
A. Goals are determined by the performance schedule for the season or year, i.e.: destination of major/minor trip and travel expenses.  This, too, is clearly communicated to students and parents.



Q. How do we travel to the field shows and parades?
A. We travel on school buses for “in town” or short distance trips.  Coaches (ex. Wisconsin Coach Lines) are the rule for out-of-state performances.

Q. Do we need chaperones?
A. Yes. Please email for more information.

Q. Who covers the transportation costs/staffing/show design/overnight housing?
A.Transportation, show design, and any necessary overnight housing are covered by Good of the Band Fundraisers as well as student dues. Staffing is covered by district provided stipends as well as summer school employment.

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