Hey, Band! I am SO EXCITED to see you all again! Freshmen, WELCOME TO THE FALCON MARCHING BAND! Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, WELCOME BACK! I know that parents and students alike have so many questions about the upcoming season and I have had to delay my answers as I was awaiting approval from administration who was awaiting approval from the health department, etc.. However, I am able to share some vital information with you as our first rehearsals approach. Remember, if you have a question that did not get answered in this message, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for marching band, click HERE. I know this FAQ is long. If you would rather download to read, click the button below!
Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
Is Marching Band on this year? Oh, it’s on. It’s so on. Buckle up, Falcons, this is going to be a season like no other!
Is the Falcon Marching Band competing this season? Sadly, all of our competitions have been cancelled. Although this is very disappointing to some of you (myself included), please remember that all Illinois marching bands (as well as most marching bands across the nation) are in the same situation we are. We will make the most of this!
It may benefit us all to focus on things that WILL be the same. You can count on the following things this year:
- The Wheaton North Band is a FAMILY!! We play, march and care for one another no matter the circumstances!
- We use marching band as a vehicle to improve as musicians and performers.
- We are instructed by a highly qualified staff who are completely dedicated to our development as musicians, performers, leaders and citizens.
- We perform for knowledgeable clinicians and adjudicators to aid in our progress throughout the season.
- We perform as one of the premiere spirit organizations of Wheaton North High School.
- We perform as a service organization to our community.
Always remember that the Falcon Marching Band is built on a solid foundation of family, excellence, class and pride. Remember: we are not great because we are successful. We are successful because we are great! We are using this foundation to guide us as we make the final plans for the 2020 season.
What’s the deal with the band calendar? Usually all dates have been finalized a long time ago. Presently, we are only able to schedule a couple weeks in advance. All dates through band camp are confirmed and are on the calendar. We are currently planning events both at the school and in the community that will provide a meaningful experience for all of you. Please bear with us as we use the coming weeks as we finalize our schedule. Events may include:
- Performing at WNHS sporting events.
- Weekly or bi-weekly performances of our show and other prepared music at WNHS
- Virtual performances with area schools
- Collaborative performance with the WWSHS Marching Band
- Performances with WNHS cheer and dance squads
- Community performances where the band and audiences can distance safely.
What will rehearsals be like once school starts? We are still planning on two evening rehearsals a week as well as a sectional rehearsal after school. We are working to get those scheduled as soon as possible.
What do I need to know for the rehearsals on 7/24 and 7/31? These rehearsals will be dedicated to getting acquainted and reacquainted with one another, team building, teaching marching fundamentals and introducing everyone to our show music: The Beatles!
Please bring the following:
- A mask: You need to be masked before rehearsal until we get everyone at a safe social distance. During rehearsal, you are masked at all times if you are indoors. If you are outdoors, you will be placed in a spot that will be at least 4 steps (or 7.5 feet) from the nearest person. Once everyone is placed, you will be instructed to remove your mask if you like. Everyone must be masked after dismissal. Band staff is masked at all times.
- Your instrument (The school provides instruments to mellophone, baritone, sousaphone, and percussion students. Some are currently being cleaned and may not be ready by 7/24. If they are not ready, no need to bring an instrument from home).
- Athletic clothing This consists of:
- Athletic shoes and socks
- Athletic drawstring shorts
- Tee shirt (dry fit material is preferable)
- Insulated water jug or bottle This is VERY important as there will be no communal water dispensers. A half gallon is the preferred size. Click HERE for an example.
Where do I go? All band should report to the field the very first thing for a full band meeting. After the meeting, battery will retrieve their drums, front ensemble will meet in the band room and brass, woodwinds, and guard will stay on the field.
Are instrument lockers available? Not at this time. Sousaphones and percussion will be allowed to store their instruments in the band room (you must be masked when putting instruments away). Everyone else must bring their instruments home.
What about bathrooms? Bathrooms will be available. Please touch as little surfaces as possible and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before you leave.
Are parents allowed to watch rehearsals?: In the past, our rehearsals have been open to whoever would like to watch. Per IDPH and CUSD 200 guidelines, parents are not allowed to attend rehearsals at this time. Once parents are allowed to attend, I will let you know.
In light of the Covid-19 epidemic, what guidelines are in place to keep us safe? Lucky for us, marching band has no problem executing a quality performance while maintaining social distancing. The following guidelines have been put in place by the district for marching band:
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has recently released a statement that allows schools to offer summer recreation as part of the IHSA’s Phase 4 of Return to Play that aligns with Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Health and Safety guidelines will follow the requirements of the Centers of Disease Control, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the National Federation of High Schools (NFHA) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).
The Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South High School communities would like to offer our students the opportunity to come back to our campuses beginning Friday, July 24th for summer recreation making sure that the health of each student and staff member is the top priority and that all guidelines are being strictly followed.
- Groups of 50 or less can meet indoors and outdoors. Brass and Woodwind players are only permitted to play their instruments outdoors. Percussion and Color Guard may rehearse indoors, but they need to be masked.
- Outdoor groups of 50 or less must remain at least 30 feet apart from each group.
- Indoor groups of 50 or less can only have one group per space. Brass and woodwinds will not play indoors under any circumstances.
- Equipment will be cleaned/sanitized after each session.
- Band Staff must wear face coverings both inside and outside.
- Students must wear a face covering inside at all times.
- Students must wear a face covering outside unless 6 ft. physical distance is maintained (marching band students will maintain a distance of at least 7.5 feet or a 4 step interval).
- Students must wear a face covering when reporting to and exiting all camps.
- Limited bathrooms will be available inside the building.
- Students must bring their own water bottles and should bring enough water for the entire practice or activity as filling stations will not be available.
- Only non-contact practices and activities will take place. No contests will take place at this time.
- Spectators, including parents, are not allowed at practices and activities.
- Hand sanitizer will be available and students and staff will be asked to wash (if available) or sanitize their hands upon entrance to the practice/activity, exit of the practice/activity and will be encouraged to sanitize their hands often throughout the practice/activity.
- Families must self-check for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-certify prior to each practice/activity that students are not displaying any symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Fever of 100 F or greater or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Headache (not due to a chronic condition)
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose (not due to known allergies)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Students who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days or anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not report to practice or activity and should inform their coach or teacher immediately.
- Close contact, according to the CDC, is defined as being within 6-feet of another person for longer than 15 minutes.
- Students or staff who show symptoms at practice/activity will be sent home immediately and will be referred to a physician for evaluation and testing.
What does that mean for drill? Our drill (formations on the field) can easily be adjusted to meet these guidelines and keep everyone at a safe distance. HERE is an example of socially distanced drill. Note that there are two blocks of brass and woodwinds members ten yards (or thirty feet) apart from each other. Percussion and guard are their own separate unit in the back, also ten yards away. Within these separate units is a distance of four steps (or 7.5 feet). Actually, this example gets the students within six feet of each other but our drill will not get closer than 7.5 feet.
What happens if someone tests positive for COVID 19? Parents, if your child tests positive for COVID-19, please notify me via email ASAP. I will notify administration who in turn will contact our district liaison with the DuPage County Health Department. They will offer everyone guidance on how to proceed. Please know that your child’s anonymity will be protected with the other band members and staff. We will make every effort to ensure that only myself, administration and the county health department know the identity of the student.
If there are any questions about the safety protocols or the upcoming 2020 season, please don’t hesitate to email me!
Also, if these protocols change, I will notify everyone ASAP!