Marching Band 101

Still have questions? Hopefully this will help!

Welcome to the LM Marching Panther Band!

This document provides the tips to Surviving Marching Band. We are all one big happy family and each student plays an integral part in! These are the things that everyone forgets that Freshmen/new parents don’t know. This is the information you need to make the season awesome! It will be stressed repeatedly, if you don’t know or understand something ASK! Everyone knows that band people are the nicest.


Marching Band is more than just Band class and Friday night football games. It is the unique combination of a fine arts class, a social club, and a sport.

  • As such your child will need a physical. It’s due before they can start.
  • All of this starts mid-July and runs until roughly mid-November. (It’s just easier to think of it this way.)
  • Marching Band becomes Pep Band for basketball season, playing at the boys’ home games.

Because this is such a mammoth activity, it requires time, money and communication.

Let’s break these down:


To have a thriving program requires volunteers. The LM Band Staff is just not large enough to do everything. Everyone is busy, but if everyone helps just a little then nobody is over-taxed. There are lots of jobs to be done. You will be required to work the basketball concession stand (c’mon! it’s not hard!) Some other jobs will be as-needed, such as hem uniform pants or paint lines on the practice field. Find something YOU like to do and grab a friend to do it with you!  Volunteer Opportunities


Ok, I won’t lie. It’s not cheap. BUT let me break it down this way. How much would you pay to know your teenager is supervised, improving his/her future and having the time of their life with high quality friends? Let’s use some round numbers to break down the fee. $275 fee ÷ 16 weeks = $17 a week to have your child educated, transported, and entertained?!? IT’S A BARGAIN!!! But wait!! There’s more!!!! You can help keep this price low!!

  • Fundraising: the more butter braids we sell to others, the less we all pay! The more hot dogs basketball fans eat and more Band Festival goers buy, the less we pay! HELP OTHERS HELP THE BAND!


  • Remind - THE MOST IMPORTANT LINE OF COMMUNICATION IS REMIND, which is a text alert app. This is how Mrs. Smith will communicate with you. This is how you’ll be informed when to come pick up your student. (Unless you like sitting in the HS parking lot for hours.) Speaking of - when they arrive is exactly that: when they arrive. They still have to unload the trailer and put away their uniforms, instruments, etc. so don’t be in a hurry. Want to get home faster? Come help unload the trailer or put away uniforms. Many hands make light work!
  • EMAIL - THE OTHER THE MOST IMPORTANT LINE OF COMMUNICATION IS EMAIL, make sure the band boosters have your (not your child’s) correct email address. It is imperative that we have a valid email address for you as a parent.  Critical information is sent via email from the band boosters and Mrs. Smith. It is the most accurate and official communication for band boosters.
  • - There is a lot of good information on our website. It is regularly updated throughout the year.
  • Facebook - We will share photos and videos here as well as fundraising information and other good news.
  • is how we coordinate volunteers. Everything from staffing the concession stand for basketball games to band camp donations and volunteers.

OK, What Else……

Band Camp

  • Percussion Camp – the week before band camp starts, Monday -Thursday 5-8
  • Band Camp - starts mid/late-July, Monday through Friday 8-4 for 2 weeks before school starts. A water bottle, sunscreen, music and instruments need to be brought every day! 
  • All students should come to the band room when they arrive at school - this is where you will leave your belongings including your instrument case then you report to the field.
  • The students are expected to be on the marching band practice field at 8 AM  - all the marching band students will be on this field.  It is the field next to the tennis courts with the podium that has the sign on it that says Little Miami Marching Band.
  • If the students cannot be outside due to weather they will be practicing somewhere inside the building - band camp runs 8 to 4 regardless of the weather.
  • We will have yogurt, granola bars and fruit available for the students throughout each morning in the band room but this is to supplement a healthy breakfast that they have already eaten at home. This is not to be their only breakfast. Please keep this in mind and eat before you arrive at school.

Band Camp Lunch

  • Lunch is provided via parent donations and supplemented by the booster.
  • All food donations should be brought to the band room on the day it was requested for. If you cannot bring it on the day requested, please let us know. We will be collecting food every morning both weeks.
  • All frozen food should be defrosted in advance. We are preparing and serving out of the inside concession stand. We are limited on space and resources so having it thawed out reduces cooking timing.
  • Lunch is prepared and served by parent volunteers every day in the cafeteria.


  • Once school starts, practices are Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-8:30pm and Wednesday after school until 4:30pm. A water bottle should be brought to each practice.
  • We like to hand out popsicles to the students and staff after the hot practices. Keep an eye out for sign-ups to donate via!
  • In the spring there will be a few practices for parades and the fine arts festival.


  • There is a “Summer” and a “Formal” uniform. They will be told in advance which uniform they should wear and it will be emailed out and posted on our website on the events page under Performance Information.
  • Formal uniforms are kept at school.  They are passed out and collected before and after each event. Students wear their black band t-shirt and black band shorts under their formal uniform. 
  • For uniform details please see the Uniform Information and Policy which can be found on our website under Resources then Marching Band Forms
  • LABEL EVERYTHING!!!! Do it NOW! Even the stuff you think they’re not even going to take off. TRUST US!!!
  • Dinkles = shoes. Label these too!
  • TIP: buy a white/silver Sharpie and mark your last name inside.
  • Go buy the socks and black layers now. You do not want to wait!

Events – football games, festivals, parades

  • Mrs. Smith will let the students know what time to be at school and we include the times on the website calendar whenever possible.
  • We have access to the building (band room, uniform room and restrooms before & after each event) for students to get and put away their uniforms and instruments.


  • We meet at school. Getting to and from school is up to the family.  Many families carpool.
  • Buses take them to and from away games and other events (festivals and parades) not at LMHS.
  • Mrs. Smith will send a remind with what time to pick up your student. (for home and away events)


  • Your student will want to have money for concessions.
  • Parents are encouraged to attend festivals.
  • Festivals do charge an entry fee and festivals may even have a parking fee.
  • Festivals are a fundraiser for the host school.
  • The entry can range from $5 to $12 per person.

Football Games

  • Your student will want to have money for concessions during 3rd quarter break.
  • The Band does attend all Away football games. They may or may not perform their full show and it may be before or after the game.


Fundraising is key to having a successful program year-after-year. Yes, everyone needs to fundraise. Some things can be donated but there are other events that REQUIRE parent participation. Fundraising cuts down on everyone’s fees and improves the overall program. Major fundraising components include:

  • The concession stand for all home Basketball games (girls and boys). Signups for each game will done via
  • The Butter-Braid Sale. This sale is a big fundraiser. It involves selling and delivering frozen pastries. Usually done in time for delivery prior to Thanksgiving.
  • Letter Writing Campaign is done on the last day of band camp. Each student is asked to bring in 10 addresses to mail a donation letter to. Please take this seriously and send the addresses of people who are likely to make a donation.
  • Dine-to-Donate nights. On particular nights, the Band will receive a percentage of the receipts. All you have to do is show up, mention the group or maybe present the flyer and eat.


So there you have it! It is overwhelming but your student will have the time of their life, create life-long memories, and become a better person! Who knows? You may too!