Join the Band!!
The information below is basic information to start you on your journey toward being part of one of the largest and most respected groups in the Arlington Central School District.
To be in the BRASS, PERCUSSION, WOODWIND SECTION: You much have prior experience such as middle school band, orchestra, piano, or private lessons. You must BE ENROLLED IN A MUSIC CLASS at Arlington High School this fall!
To be in the COLOR GUARD: You do not have to have prior experience. You DO NOT NEED TO BE ENROLLED in a music class at Arlington High School. In fact, most guard students have a little dance background and come to our program from the orchestra, choirs, theatre, or other school programs.
What instruments make up the sections of the Arlington Marching Band?
The WIND SECTION is a group of performers who play: Piccolo*, flute, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax*, trumpet, mellophone* (marching horn), trombone, baritone*, tuba.* This section works in much the same way that a concert band wind section does, with the exception of the number of members. We hope to have around 96 wind players in the Arlington Marching Band!! *These instruments can be loaned to members of the band at no charge!!
The PERCUSSION SECTION is made up of two sub groups - PIT and BATTERY:
The PIT is a group of performers who play: marimba, xylophone, vibes, bells, chimes, timpani, auxiliary, concert bass drums, gong, drum set, and PIANO. The cool part about this section is THERE IS NO MARCHING!! You just stand still and play great!!
The BATTERY is a group of performers who play: snare drums, tenor drums, and bass drums This portion of the band is referred to as the "drumline", but make no mistake, to be in this section you must read music and be ready to be a great musician.
The COLOR GUARD is a group of performers who:
Perform using flags, rifles, props, and dance to bring the music to life!! The 20+ males and females are a highlight of the Band to many of our spectators!
WHY JOIN the Arlington Marching Band?
Each year about 98% of those students who are eligible RETURN TO PERFORM ANOTHER YEAR! Each year The Arlington Marching Band welcomes about 40 new members into the band!
Why do students return year after year? Here is what they had to say....
"I love all of the friends I've made."
"I knew more people going into my first day of high school through the summer camp with the Band."
"Knowing that all of the hard work pays off."
"It is an experience you cannot get anywhere else in high school."
"Getting to play in front of thousands of people each week is a rush!"
"Lifelong lessons...life-long friends"
"You develop a discipline and drive that helps in all of your other classes in High School"
"The chance to get to know 130 people from every grade level is a blast. I made friends from every grade and every group at Arlington"
"Who doesn't like to travel all over, make people cheer, and have fun with your best friends"
"The feeling of accomplishment that comes from teamwork, hard work, and a need to aspire to a higher level......it is an irreplaceable feeling!"
"As a freshman, I got to play next to students from the upper bands like Wind Ensemble and Jazz Machine before my friends started school. I think it gave me an edge"
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
I'm already an AHS Student and I didn't join the Marching Band my freshman year. Can I join now?
Absolutely!! Each year we have new members from all four grades. There is never a bad time to join the Arlington Marching Band!!
Do you have to be in a music class to be in the Marching Band?
If you are trying out for the color guard......no. If you play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument......yes, you need to be in a band, orchestra, or choir class as Arlington THIS FALL.
Do you practice after school every day?
NO WAY!! The Marching Band does have some summer practices, but people still take summer vacations and attend summer camps in June, July, the first part of August, and the week before school starts. When school starts and you need more time for school work, we only practice TWO SCHOOL NIGHTS PER WEEK!
Are there auditions for the Arlington Marching Band?
Yes. But, we accept over 98% of applicants. Your attitude and attendance is the biggest factor! This year we will have a Marcher/Member Policy which will allow us to accept more students. The auditions occur in the late spring (April and May) and are not a single "snap-shot" audition, but rather a series of mini-camps that allow us to really see what every student can achieve.
Are there ways to support my child through your booster group?
The Arlington Band Boosters, INC. is our lifeline! Without the dedicated volunteers who give us their time and talent, our band would not be what it is today! There are literally hundreds of ways to help. You can sew flags, build or transport equipment, chaperone a trip or concert, bake something, donate supplies for camp, speak with your business about a donation or sponsorship, usher guests at a band competition, etc. etc. etc. THE LIST IS ENDLESS!! It is through the work of our parents that we safely and successfully get through each year.
I’m worried about grades and Marching Band. How do the current kids deal with the band and study schedule?
First, we only practice two school nights a week during the months of September, October, and half of November. Second, knowing the schedule ahead of time allows students (with parental assistance) to plan their study time -- a valuable skill in high school and beyond. Third, most students budget their time better in the fall. Statistically, most students’ grades are better during the 1st term (marching band season) than the 2nd term.
I don't own the instrument I need for Marching Band. Can the Arlington Band help?
We have complete sets of marching brass, percussion, tenor and bari saxes, piccolos, and color guard equipment. All of this equipment is checked out (free of charge) to students who use that equipment.
The Marching Band offers a wonderful experience; does it cost me any money?
This coming season, each student will be responsible for a total approximately $700. This may seem like a lot of money; but considering the experience and benefits for their children, most families find it a bargain. There are fundraising opportunities and confidential assistance programs available to every student. THERE ARE SOLUTIONS FOR EVERYONE! NO CHILD WILL BE LEFT BEHIND FOR FINANCIAL REASONS!
My child wants to switch to another instrument. Is that allowed?
We generally encourage students to work toward achievement on one instrument but switching is, in rare cases, the right answer. The best thing to do is to contact Mr. Keech at the high school and discuss the options. If there is going to be a switch, let’s get started soon!
Can my child participate in Marching Band and a SPORT or CLUB?
They can if you feel they can handle it, but Arlington's Athletics and Marching Band have strict attendance policies. In the past it has been our experience that a vast majority of students cannot handle a varsity sport and Marching band. Clubs that meet after school and some "outside of school" activities are possible. Again, the attendance policy for Band camp (August) and during the school year, is near 100% so if you are concerned, contact Mr. Keech.