O’CONNOR HIGH SCHOOL BAND, ORCHESTRA & COLOR GUARD FAQ’s


MARCHING BAND FAQ’s

Is Marching Band required?

No. It is not mandatory to participate in Marching Band at Sandra Day O’Connor High School. Students are highly encouraged to participate in Marching Band as it is the largest social activity within the band program. It is also consider the most fun part of the high school band experience.

Do you have to be signed up for a band class in order to participate in the Marching Band?

Yes. Students who wish to participate in the Marching Band must be enrolled in a Concert Band class in their regular schedule.

Can my student quit the band at semester if they only want to participate in Marching Band?

No. Band is a year-long commitment.

How much does it cost to participate in the Marching Band at O’Connor?

The cost will vary per student depending on the section (woodwinds, brass, percussion, color guard) they participate in and whether or not they are new or a returning member.

What are the band fees used for exactly?

The Fair Share Fee is paid by every student participating in the Marching Band and helps offset the cost of the drill design, music arrangement, and music licensing fees. Fair Share also helps pay for props, transportation to competitions, equipment, and the upkeep of the band trailers.

The Meal Fee is paid by every student in Marching Band to offset the cost of providing dinner each Summer Band Camp and rehearsal days throughout the marching season, dinner before each home football game, before and during competitions as needed and for special events throughout the year. It also helps pay for Gatorade and water for each event. These nutritious meals ensure the students are well fed, well hydrated and prepared to rehearse and perform their best.

The Uniform Fee is paid by Marching Band students to offset the cost of alterations and cleaning expenses for marching season. Because the uniforms are used for many years, it is imperative they are hemmed correctly, cleaned properly and kept in the band hall rather than at home.

The Equipment Fee is paid by ALL students participating in the band program, whether they are part of the Marching Band or not. The Equipment Fee helps offset the cost of cleaning, repairing and replacing equipment as necessary including percussionist and color guard.

All other equipment is purchased at Registration Night and owned by the students: show t-shirts, uniform shorts, water jugs, garment bags, marching shoes, gloves, etc.

What are the payment options for fees?

Payments for ALL fees will funnel through the SDOHS Bookstore. Payments can be made online by visiting “payments.DVUSD.org”.

Tax Credit – Each year, parents can pay up to $400.00 for joint households and up to $200.00 for single households in tax credit contributions. The SDOHS Tax Credit Request Form (click on the link to the left) must be submitted with the payment in order to receive the tax credit. Follow these instructions (click on the link to the left) provided by DVUSD to understand the policy and procedures for all tax credit payment.

Students can drop off checks or cash (please make sure you get a receipt from the bookstore clerk!) to the Bookstore, but they must make it clear that the payment is for their “Band Club Fees”.

When are payments due for Band Fees?

The first installment for Marching Band fees will be at the “Registration Night” in May. The first amount of $250.00 will be due that night at Registration.

Students planning to attend the Band Retreat (an optional event, but highly encouraged for your student to attend!) will need to pay the $150.00 Band Retreat fee by June 21st in order to participate.

The Meal Fee will be due by July 15th.

All payments for accessories (various amounts depending on what is ordered for your student) will be due August 1st.

The final fee which is the Equipment Fee will be due August 30th.

What if my student has a credit in their account carried over from past years?
Any credit in your student’s account, whether paid toward band fees or not, will automatically go towards your student’s 2019-2020 Band and Color Guard fees.

Can I use the credit in my student’s account to pay for the first installment of $250.00 due at Registration Night?

Yes. However, in order to receive the credit you must show documentation from your child’s account that there currently is a credit of however many dollars that you would like to go towards your child’s 2019-2020 Band Fees. All students must pay a total of $250.00 at Registration Night, so if your child has a credit of $50.00 in their account, parents would still need to pay the remaining balance of $200.00 at Registration Night.

Can we fundraise directly for our student’s individual account?

There will be Band Booster lead fundraiser that will go toward the general Band Booster account, and there will be Band Student lead fundraisers that will go toward the general Band Club account. This is a change beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. Any fundraisers that have been done in the past for individual accounts may, or may not, continue to run allowing parents and students to fundraise for their individual child’s SDOHS account.

How many contests do the students participate in during Marching Season?

There are three different “circuits” the Marching Band will participate in during the regular marching season. ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association) will have sanctioned events that are hosted by area high schools. The AzMBA (Arizona Marching Band Association) also has sanctioned events hosted by area high schools. And finally, new to Arizona beginning in the 2019 season, BOA (Bands of America) will have a Regional in Flagstaff at NAU’s stadium.

The Marching Band will participate in 5 to 6 different events, hosted by ABODA, AzMBA and/or BOA, including State and Super State. All contests will be added to the band calendar as we are register for each event.

How do we pay for entry into each marching contest?

The Band Fair Share fee will help offset this cost, as well as the fundraising by the Band Boosters.

Is there an audition to make it into the Marching Band?

No. Students who wish to participate in a woodwind, brass or marching percussion spot must be able to demonstrate proper marching technique, which will be taught to students at their Freshman Marching Camp and/or Summer Camp. Students with physical handicaps may or may not be able to participate in the marching band, but Ms. Frost does have experience teaching a blind student to march on the field. “Where there is a will, there is a way!” is her motto.

All incoming freshmen will need to attend the “8th Grade Audition Camps” held in May. There they will learn proper posture and marching techniques, helping them prepare for the Summer Band Camp in July.

If my student fails a class during Marching Season, will they be allowed to compete at competitions?

No. Similar to athletics, all students participating in the Marching Band must remain eligible in order to march and perform with the Marching Band. Should a student become ineligible and remain ineligible, their spot will be replaced by another member. Should a student become ineligible and remain ineligible, they will not receive a refund for their band fees. Grade checks will be carried out by the directors and staff beginning the first week of school all the way through the end of the marching season.

CONCERT BAND FAQ’s

What are the different names and descriptions for the Concert Bands at O’Connor?

Wind Ensemble is the top concert ensemble at O’Connor and consists of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Sophomores and juniors that audition into and make the Region Bands will automatically win a spot in the following year’s Wind Ensemble. All students in the Wind Ensemble will be required to tryout for Region Band in January. Students in the Wind Ensemble will be expected to take private lessons year round on their primary instrument. See the director for scholarship support.

The Symphonic Winds is a new concert ensemble to O’Connor beginning the 2019-2020 school year and will consist of sophomores, juniors and seniors. All students in Symphonic Winds will be required to tryout for Region Band in January. Students in Symphonic Winds will not be expected to take private lessons year round on their primary instrument, but they are highly encouraged for student success. See the director for scholarship support.

The Symphonic Band concert ensemble is returning, but beginning the 2019-2020 school year, the ensemble will only consist of freshmen students. All incoming freshmen students will automatically be enrolled into the Symphonic Band at O’Connor High School. We have 7+ feeder programs that our students are coming from, meaning we need to get everyone on the same page fundamentally. It is also an opportunity to build class camaraderie since they will participate in band together all 4 years of high school. All freshmen will not be required to tryout for Region Band, but it is highly encouraged. Any freshmen that makes it into the Region Band will automatically be placed into Wind Ensemble for their sophomore year. Students in Symphonic Band will not be expected to take private lessons year round on their primary instrument, but they are highly encouraged for student success. See the director for scholarship support.

If my student doesn’t want to participate in Marching Band, can they still participate in Concert Band?

Yes. All incoming freshmen will register for “Symphonic Band” while current freshmen, sophomores and juniors will be required to audition into Symphonic Winds or Wind Ensemble. Any student that auditions into and makes the Region Band will automatically be added to the Wind Ensemble for their next year of band.

Is there a fee to participate in a Concert Band?

Yes. All students who participate in Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds or Symphonic Band will be required to pay a $50.00 Equipment Fee. This fee will be due by the end of August the year they are participating.

What if my student is participating in Marching Band, do we owe the Equipment Fee twice?

No. If your student is participating in Marching Band, they will pay the $50.00 Equipment Fee once for the entire year. If your student is not participating in the Marching Band, they will still owe the $50.00 Equipment Fee.

Will there be any other fees associated with Concert Band participation?

Yes. Students in the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds will be required to register and audition into the ABODA Region Band, which is a $25.00 fee. If they make the Region Band, there is a $25.00 participation fee. Students who make Region Band automatically qualify to audition into the All State Band, which is another $25.00 fee, and if they make the All State Band they have another $25.00 participation fee.

In total, if your student makes it all the way to All State Band and participates, they will have paid a total of $100.00. These fees will be due at separate times in the Spring Semester.

See your director for scholarship support.

Are there auditions into the different concert band ensembles?

Yes. Each year following the Spring Concert in May, all freshmen, sophomore and junior students will audition into either Symphonic Winds or Wind Ensemble. All students, except seniors, will be required to audition regardless if they plan to participate in band the following year.

If my freshmen student is really talented, can they place into Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Winds their freshmen year?

All incoming freshmen will be automatically enrolled into the Symphonic Band their freshmen year at O’Connor. If your student has been playing their instrument for a long time, has participated in extra performance ensembles outside of their K-8 or middle school band program, and has been studying privately with a private lessons teacher for more than one year, an exception may be made for that student to audition into the Symphonic Winds or Wind Ensemble at O’Connor. See the director privately for support.

If my student fails a class during the semester, will they be allowed to participate in ABODA Area and State Concert Festivals?

No. Any students that become ineligible during the spring semester will not be allowed to participate in the ABODA Area and State Concert Festivals. Grade checks will be carried out by the director beginning in January and through Area Concert Festival in late April.

COLOR GUARD FAQ’s

Is there a different set of fees for Color Guard?

Yes and no. All Marching Band Fall Color Guard students must pay the $250.00 Fair Share Fee, the $220.00 Meal Fee, and a $200.00 Uniform and Equipment Fee. They will also be responsible for any makeup costs and various accessory fees (shoes, water jugs, etc.)

The $250.00 Fair Share Fee is due at the Registration Night in May for all participating Marching Band Fall Color Guard members.

Students participating in Winter Guard will pay a $250.00 Uniform and Equipment Fee that will be due in the month of January. See the Band Director for financial support.

Can my student keep their uniform at the end of the Marching or Winterguard season?

No. It is important to build and grow the uniform “closet” or inventory to allow for future savings. It is the hope of all directors involved to potentially reuse uniforms in future fall marching shows or indoor winter guard shows, saving monies and resources.

Does my student need to register for the Color Guard class in order to participate in Fall Marching Color Guard or Spring Indoor Winter Guard seasons?

Yes. If your student does not play a concert band instrument but wishes to participate in the Color Guard program during the Fall Marching Season and/or Spring Winterguard Season, it is highly encouraged to sign up for the Color Guard class in their schedule. During the class they will receive instruction and information as well as have a class to rehearse and practice their material.

Can my 8th grade student participate in the Spring Winter Guard season?

Yes. We have had several 8th grade students participate in the Spring Winter Guard seasons at O’Connor.

When are auditions for Fall Marching Color Guard?

All students who plan to participate in the Fall Marching Color Guard with O’Connor must attend the Audition Camps held each April. See the O’Connor Band Calendar (link at the top) for specific dates, times and locations.

What should my student wear to the Fall Marching Color Guard auditions?

Black, comfortable clothing should be worn. Be prepared to wear sneakers, dance shoes or to go barefoot for the audition camp process.

Is it required to have dance or other color guard experience in order to tryout for Fall Marching Color Guard or Spring Indoor Winter Guard?

Dance experience is highly preferred but not necessary to audition and participate in Color Guard. Our very talented directors will teach all skills required, include equipment such as flag, sabre and rifle. No experience is required.

PERCUSSION FAQ’s

Is my student required to have participated in percussion in the past if they want to be part of the O’Connor Percussion program?

If my student has a piano background, does that help?

Will my student be required to take Private Lessons for percussion?

Will there be a Percussion Class in the class schedule?

What is the “Front Ensemble” or “Pit” vs. the “Battery” Percussion sections?

How does the audition process work for “Front Ensemble” or “Battery” percussion for Marching Season?

Will there be any supplies or equipment that my student will need to purchase for Concert Band season?

ORCHESTRA FAQ’s

Is there a fee to participate in Orchestra at O’Connor High School?

Does my student need to know how to read music in order to participate in Orchestra?

Will there be school owned instruments issued if my student participates in Orchestra?

Is there an audition for Orchestra?

JAZZ BAND FAQ’s

Is Jazz Band offered in the class schedule?

Is there more than one Jazz Band at O’Connor?

When does Jazz Band meet?

What instruments are part of the Jazz Band?

What if my student doesn’t play a Jazz Band instrument, are they allowed to participate?

When does the Jazz Band perform or compete during the year?