New Band Parent/Guardian/Student Guide and FAQs

New Band Parent/Guardian/Student Guide and FAQs


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:  NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

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*
Poster Night (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, Air Academy Bands 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–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 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* 

* June 3-5* 2019 8am-4pm


*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

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*dates are subject to change

Band & Guard Students are *HIGHLY ENCOURAGED* to participate as often as possible

    • Sectional Practices *2019*  MONDAY evenings, 3-5:30pm  
    • When: Monday June 10,17,24  and July 15 & 22
    • WHERE: at AAHS Band Room
    • if your family is in town, your student is encouraged to attend! 
    • 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
    • Please email Mr. Musick or Mrs. Lyttle if you’re going to be absent
    • See also *BAND CALENDAR*

Drums Along the Rockies July 13 2019

*optional activity

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“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 2019

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


M-Th July 29- Aug 1

M-Th Aug 5-8

M-Tues Aug 12-13

TIME: 8am to 4pm *ARRIVE AS EARLY AS 7:30 AM*



      • Wear comfortable sneakers & good wicking socks
      • Wear AAHS Marching Band practice shirt (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


    • Who? Band & Guard students and FAMILIES
    • When? Where? What to bring? INFO TBA * Tentatively set Thurs Aug 8, 2019 *
    • Each family is usually asked to bring items to share (like six-pack of cold drinks, entrée to feed 4 and either a salad or side dish or veggie tray)
        • BRING CHAIRS/Blankets!
        • Order marching shoes (new) or find a pair of used ones
        • Buy spiritwear (t-shirts and more!)
        • Meet other families in the band
        • Ask questions at the Q&A table

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“[…]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

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

MONDAYS: after school short practices

Mandatory for all band/guard

Monday August 19 Through Monday Oct 21   2019

TIME: 3-5:30pm


Thursday Practices (After School)

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 4:45-5:30pm
      • 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.

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“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)
      • Band students will report to the band room before the game (usually about 5:30pm)
      • Tickets are around $5 for adults to get in
      • 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

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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 and the band FB page.)
    • Families are encouraged to attend competitions.  

        • Tickets are purchased to either watch Prelim or Finals or Both.
        • Plan to pay using cash (those lines are shorter than the credit card lines) and are approx. $15-25
          • “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”
          • the finalist bands will compete in the order dictated at Prelim awards (and it’s usually last-place 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 where they will be expected to help unload, put away equipment, and clean the buses before they are dismissed

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CBA Marching Affairs – Scores 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

      • Follow the band on FACEBOOK –this is a great way to get information, see photos and videos, get updates on ETA to return to the school
      • 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
    • Photos submitted must be about the band
      • Facebook – @airacademyband

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Poster Night

        • The week of  State competition, parents make (or have made) posters with your child’s photo (still or action shots) and something about the show name.
      • We place these all down the walls of the band hallway  
  •  This is supposed to be a secret for the freshmen
      • 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
    • The morning before State competition, the parents line the road, holding the posters to cheer the kids on to State
Poster Night

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“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

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“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