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Marching Band

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I’m interested in Marching Band, but I’ve never marched before. Is that a problem?

Not at all. Our marching is a learned skill and is unlike anything you have done so far. Marching fundamentals are taught and demonstrated at each rehearsal. Each year several students without prior marching experience join the marching band and end up loving it. If you bring a great attitude and a willingness to learn, you’ll be off to a great start.



Will marching band fit into an aggressive academic schedule?

Yes!!! This is one of the major concerns of incoming students. We highly recommend that you do not delay trying marching band because you think it may take too much time. Each year many students participate in marching band, along with other activities, and most students find that the time commitment causes them to organize their time more effectively. The summer season starts with rookie rehearsals the last week of February with full rehearsals starting just after spring break. We rehearse 2 evenings a week with Saturday band camps in March, April and May. Our competitive season for the summer season starts the first week in June and lasts until the end of June. Competitions are on various Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays with one Sunday Band Festival.


The fall season is usually the busiest time. Marching Band meets for rehearsals in the evening twice each week. Since the band performs at all home varsity football games, we also meet Friday evenings about 4 times each year. These competitions are always held on Saturday. Along with a new school year starting up, this six-week time period is usually the busiest for the members, but is easily doable with good time management.



Will marching band and it's time commitments affect my grades?

It should not! Above all, you are at Champlin Park High School to receive an academic education. Good grades are mostly dependent on effective time management skills and good personal discipline. If you are conscience about your classroom experience and stay organized, grades should not be a problem. Many of Champlin Park's top students are in the marching band. The band's schedule has been carefully developed to compliment the school's academic offerings. Outside of our "band camps", the band only rehearses about 6 hours each week, which is considerably less than most sports and after school activities.



Can I do other extracurricular activities too?

Absolutely! Contrary to popular assumptions, band members are actively involved in many athletic programs of all levels at Champlin Park.



Can I hold a job while in marching band?

Yes. Several of our students do have jobs during the marching season and throughout the year. With proper notice, most employers are very supportive of our schedule. Your work schedule needs to be scheduled around our rehearsals and competitions, but if you choose to hold a job, there is still time with proper planning.



Is an audition required to join marching band?

No! Just sign up! Auditions will be used for drumline, but these are only used to evaluate each member to see which instrument is best suited for them and the percussion ensemble. Screening auditions are held for all brass and woodwind players during the first couple of weeks to determine part placements for music. NOBODY will be cut from the band during these auditions.



What instruments are used in the CPMB?

Winds: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Bari Saxophone, Trumpet, Mellophone, Baritone (Trombone) and Tuba.

Percussion: Snare, Tenor, Bass and Cymbals.

*Keyboard, auxiliary and various electronic instruments will be used in the fall.



I did not see French Horn or Trombone on the instruments used list. What if my student plays one of these instruments?

In marching band, French Horn players transition to Mellophone. This is a marching version of the French Horn, but with a forward facing bell. Due to the length of the trombone slide, it causes an issue for students when performing drill. For this reason, we have them switch to baritone. Students will use the same mouthpiece but they will need to learn valve fingerings instead of slide placements. This is an easy transition and we WILL help them with this!



Are instruments provided?

Percussion instruments are provided, as are mellophones, baritones and tubas. Other than that, students are to use their own.



Can I be in the marching band if I do not play a band instrument?

You sure can! If you are in choir or orchestra, you can audition for a spot in our drumline or in our color guard. If you aren't in any musical program during the school day you can still become a member of our color guard.



What kind of show does the marching band perform?

During the summer season, the band will learn a 4 minute routine that can be performed strictly on a street. This activity is very different than it was 20 years ago. It has even evolved in the past 5 years. No longer do students learn a simple piece of music and march straight down the road. The music is much more advanced and there is complex drill and choreography to go along with it. This show is designed to be performed competitively in front of judges along each parade route.


During the fall season, the band spends 2 weeks learning an 8-10 minute "show" to be performed on a football field. This show is designed to entertain audiences while demanding creative choreography and showmanship from the band's members. Again, this show is designed to be put into competitions where we are judged.



Where does the marching band perform?

During the summer season, the band will perform at 10 different parades around the state of Minnesota. We start our season at the Father Hennepin parade in Champlin, and finish at the Alexandria Vikingland Band Festival which is the state championship for summer parade bands.


During the fall season, we perform around 8 shows beginning in September and ending in mid October. These shows are mainly held on Saturday's with the exception of our parent preview show, which is held before school is back in session. Along with the Saturday shows, the marching band will act as a pep band for all home football games during their season.



What are the physical demands of marching band?

The physical demands of marching band are like any other athletic activity. We conditions ourselves and stretch daily and practice to perfect our skills. Marching band students WILL run, do push-ups, do sit-ups and various other activities to get them into shape. They will sweat! It takes a lot of work to condition the body to be able to march a 1.5 mile parade, in 95 degree heat while wearing a full uniform, or perform a 10-minute show in 85 degree heat. Don't let that scare you away! The staff has been doing this for many, many years and by time the parade season comes around, each member will be ready.



I heard that it can be really hard work?

Yes, at times, but anything worth achieving is hard work. Regardless, band is fun and rewarding with the right approach and work ethic. Band is FUN in that you get to participate in a unique activity with your peers and you learn how to be successful as a person. There is a great deal of camaraderie amongst our students. It is one of the very few activities where all students, grades 8-12, work together to achieve success. Many life-long friendships are made through marching band.



I still have a few questions, what should I do?

One option is to ask a current member of the marching band. If you don't feel comfortable with that, you can get in contact with Mr. Johnson or any other member of the staff and we will be able to answer any question that you may have to put you at ease. 

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