New Band Parent/Guardian/Student Guide and FAQs

New Band Parent/Guardian/Student Guide and FAQs

***The PASSWORD for protected pages changed June 4, 2019. Please ask your student for the new password, or you may email Mr. Musick/Mrs. Lyttle to request it***

A PDF link to the handout/information about the 2019-20 Program is *NOW* available, click here: If you have questions, please email



Welcome to the Award-Winning Air Academy Band Program!

*2019/20 Parents/Guardians* : to receive the newsletter after May 16, 2019, you MUST sign up!  CLICK here: 


Questions about the form? email:

Below you will find answers to the most commonly-asked questions about the Air Academy Band Marching Program! 🙂 Some information will change, but we’ll do our best to keep this page up to date.

Please also see PARENT/GUARDIAN RESOURCES for information about how to pay fees, sign up for scrip, and other band activity information.

Table of Subheadings:

Band MiniCamp (May/June) Mandatory for all band/guard

Summer Sectional Practices

Drums Along the Rockies (mid-July)
Band Camp (Late July/August) **Mandatory for all band/guard**
Band Picnic (August)
School Year: School Days (mid-August)
Marching Season: Monday rehearsals, Thursday rehearsals *MANDATORY*
Section Dinners (Starting in August)
Football Games **Mandatory Band/Guard**
Marching Competitions **MANDATORY*
Chili Dinner/Poster Night/Senior Speeches (October)
Band Website
Social Media

Before you do anything else:

“Kadet” = KAY-deht


Questions? Going to miss a rehearsal? Contact your director!

Band director: Joseph Musick

Email Joe Musick

Assistant band director: Vanessa Cheverez Lyttle

Email Vanessa Lyttle

In addition, D20 (in consultation with Air Academy Band) hires a Color Guard/ Winter Guard Coach/Director, as well as a number of part-time special directors and coaches. All directors are fully screened and background-checked. Part-time coaches/directors are hired to help prepare the marching band for competition.

The biggest surprise–busy SUMMERS!

Marching band and guard students start training the moment the school year ends, and continue activities all summer long.

Learning the music and basic marching techniques lead up to band camp where the final drill (steps and movements on the field) for this year’s show get memorized.

You’ll be amazed how quickly your student progresses!


*see also: CALENDAR

Band MINI Camp

Mandatory for all band/guard* 

* 2020 dates TBA


*contact a director for questions

Teaching through the arts motivates children and increases their aptitude for learning.
~ Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind, 2001

Back to top


*dates are subject to change

Band & Guard Students are *EXPECTED* to participate as often as possible

    • Sectional Practices *2020 dates TBA
    • WHERE: at AAHS Band Room
    • if your family is in town, your student is encouraged to attend!  If they are going to miss, they should email Mr. Musick, Mrs. Lyttle, and let their section leader know!
    • Drumline and Guard often have additional practices on different days of the week, section leaders and directors will provide more information
    • Students use this time to learn how to play marching instruments, techniques, etc. as well as memorizing music/drill for marching season
    • There is a 2-3 week break midsummer
    • See also *BAND CALENDAR*

Drums Along the Rockies TBA

*optional activity

      • A marching event! Highly competitive bands from around the country perform. AAHS students are encouraged to attend. Mile High Stadium—

Back to top

“Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any group in our society.”
~ H. Con. Res. 266, United States Senate, June 13, 2000

Summer Band Camp 2020

***Mandatory for all band/guard students***


2020 dates TBA



      • Wear comfortable sneakers & good wicking socks
      • Wear AAHS Marching Band practice shirt *each student will receive ONE practice shirt as a result of fundraising*(parents/guardians: HINT buy at least 4 of these shirts when you get a chance at the BAND GEAR table– as they will get dirty and smelly – fresh one for each day! Extra practice shirts will be sold…  watch for the table!
      • Wear weather-appropriate, school dress-code compliant clothes
      • Bring your instrument, MUSIC and DRILL SHEETS (people often rent lower quality instruments for marching, because they get a lot of hard use…no wooden instruments, please!)
      • NOTE TO BARITONE(TROMBONE) MELLOPHONE(FRENCH HORN) and CONTRA(TUBA) PLAYERS: FOR MARCHING BAND We will use Air Academy horns for your marching instruments. Tubas and baritone/trombone players should bring a mouthpiece if you have one.
      • Have extra instrument supplies on hand (reeds, oil, etc.)
      • Bring and fill large water jug, and DRINK YOUR WATER – personalize it as they all tend to look the same
      • Bring a SACK LUNCH & SNACKS
        • WEAR sunscreen
        • Bring personal or prescription medications with you (for your use only!)
    • Optional: wear kneepads…we rehearse on asphalt!
    • RAIN OR SHINE—we REHEARSE & make progress

MARCH-A-THON 2020 date TBA

What is it? Our BIGGEST fundraising event! Check out this page: MARCH-A-THON

Band Picnic 2020 date TBA–During Band Camp

    • Who? Band & Guard students and FAMILIES
    • When? Where? What to bring? INFO LINK when the new one is available for 2020!
        • Order marching shoes (new) or find a pair of used ones
        • Buy Band Gear & Spiritwear (t-shirts and more!)
        • Meet other families in the band
        • Ask questions at the Q&A table

Back to top

“[…]students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation.”
~ College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2000

School year: School Days during MARCHING SEASON

    • Students will need to bring a SACK LUNCH on band days, as rehearsals often continue into much of the lunch hour
    • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for marching, every day
  • Some sections have sectional rehearsals on other nights of the week, talk to your section leader so you know to add these to your calendar

Back to top

Additional practices may be scheduled. EVERY week you can pretty much count on….

MONDAYS: after school until 5:30pm—short practices/sectionals

Mandatory for all band/guard

Monday August 19 Through Monday Oct 21   2019

TIME: 3-5:30pm


Thursday Practices (After School until 8:30pm *section dinners at 5:30pm*)

Mandatory for all band/guard

      • Once school starts, almost every Thursday…. band practice takes place from 3-8:30pm until Marching season is over
      • Students need to wear white band practice tee-shirt, have marching instrument, music, drill and tennis shoes, hats, sunglasses, water, etc.
      • Families Come watch – they usually do a run-through of what they learned the last 15-30 min of practice before 8:15pm – (don’t post videos online until after our first competition, please!)
      • Location for this after school rehearsal is in the band room & bus parking lot
      • Kadet Krew often sells band gear Thursday evening – get your shirts, sweatshirts, hats
    • MEAL PROVIDED: Section Dinners: THURSDAYS (during Marching season)
      • On almost all Thursday band practice nights, each section eats dinner together in the cafeteria around 5:30pm
      • Section parents organize this
    • usually parents/guardians are asked to sign up to contribute items for dinner: bring main dish, sides, drinks, paper products, utensils, etc.

Back to top

“College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts for performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol-related problems.”
~ Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

Football Game Nights

Mandatory for all band/guard

      • Friday night football HOME games  – the band plays pep songs in the stands and performs show at halftime (for a number of games, 2019 schedule TBD)
      • Band students will report to the band room before the game (usually about 5:30pm)
      • Tickets cost around $5 for adults
      • Band & Guard students must stay until the end of the game* Unless otherwise directed*
      • Band students will be dismissed at the end of the game to put away equipment and go home
      • STUDENTS: Wear warmer clothes under uniform or send with “hot hands/feet”
      • Generally they get 3rd quarter of game “off” to go buy snacks
    • Parents/guardians, friends & family—If you attend the game, please stay for the entire game

Back to top

Marching Competitions


**Mandatory for all band/guard**

        • BAND STUDENTS will generally need to be at the school EARLY (by 7:30-8 am of a contest day) depending on destination (find out specific time at Thursday practice and watch your weekly email, the website, and the band FB page.)
    • Families are encouraged to attend competitions.  
      Click HERE for competition information, etiquette, and “best success” attendance hints

      • We cheer for all of the bands!

      • Two parts to most band competitions:

          • “PRELIMS”

              • all bands compete in their school category (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A or 5A).  We are 4A.  
              • After all bands have competed at PRELIMS, they have a Drum Major Retreat, where all the drum majors line up and do their school salute.
                • Places are then announced
      • FINALS
          • After the stadium is cleared for a break, the finalist bands will compete in the order dictated at Prelim awards (it’s usually last-place points-wise to first-place order (AAHS is usually one of the last bands to perform)
          • After all bands have competed, they will either have a full retreat (each band comes out to the field) or a Drum Major Only Retreat
          • They will then announce placements, caption awards and 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners.
        • AT THE END OF COMPETITION, BAND STUDENTS will  be bused back to AAHS — they will ALL be expected to help unload, put away equipment, and clean the buses before they are dismissed.

Back to top

CBA Marching Affairs – Scores and rules for scoring for competitions found here:

“[…]the friendships that I have made here and everything that I have worked toward to help build the success of this program has not only taught me to be a better musician, but a better friend, student, daughter, and leader. Being part of this marching band is a gift I will never be able to fully repay, and has given me a purpose in life greater than myself. This activity is something that I want to continue doing throughout my life and help other kids just like me in the future, achieve. ” -2017 AAHS Band Student

Social Media and PHOTOS

      • Photos/Videos of students take place during practice and competitions, but there are guidelines followed in keeping with legal guidelines, etc. ALL Photos must be taken in public locations (places where there is no expectation of privacy) and must meet school, social media, and legal best-practice guidelines. Any photos shared with our program will be reviewed with these in mind.
      • We cannot stop photographs from being taken; band is a public performance event. Here’s a helpful link explaining the legalities of public photography :
      • If you have photos you’d like to share, you’re encouraged to use the band SMUGMUG account, where high-res photos are available to share.
          • NOTE: ALL Photos must be taken in public locations and meet school, social media, and legal best-practice guidelines, and will be reviewed

Back to top

Poster/Chili Dinner/Senior Speeches Night

This is different for the 2019-20 school year. State Competition falls on a MONDAY…so we are combining some of our traditional events to take place on the final THURSDAY evening of practice: (*note: the PLANS are still evolving, but here’s what the board is working on)

        • Will take place the Thursday, the week before  State competition
        • We will have a THURSDAY evening POTLUCK dinner (chili)–for all band/guard families and students.
        • The end-of-the-year video will be played
        • STUDENTS ONLY will go with directors so senior band/guard students can give their “farewell” speeches 
  • for POSTERS parents/guardians make (or have made) posters with your student’s photo (still or action shots) and something about the show name. 
  • Some people get really artistic with this (lights, full size professional posters or you can be simple – just make one because kids are really bummed if they can’t find their poster.
      • Walgreens is a great option for those who are craft or time-challenged
Poster Night

Back to top

“The greatest thing about marching band is that no matter what section you’re a part of, you get constant encouragement from everyone in the band.”-2017 AAHS Band Student 

 Band Website

Important pages:

      • Calendar of events throughout the year

Back to top

“Marching band is amazing because not  only have I learned discipline and perseverance, but I have also met a new set of friends who are basically my siblings. These are the bonds that I treasure the most, because my bandmates are there for me on any day, good or bad , and we will do whatever it takes to help each other succeed.” -2017 AAHS Marching Band Student