Dealing With Adversity On Your Band Trip - Travel 101

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Dealing With Adversity On Your Band Trip

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Band Travel · 22/10/2016 18:59:00
Tags: BandTravel
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Marching Band Trips: Preparing for The Performance

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Performance · 10/10/2016 17:03:00
Tags: TravelPerformanceTips
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Fundraising & Promoting Your Band Trip!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Fundraising & Promoting Your Trip · 15/7/2016 14:34:00
Tags: FundraisingPromotingyourtrip!



Handling the money for your Band trip!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Financial Management · 24/6/2016 10:11:00
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Choosing the right Music Travel Company

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Choosing a Travel Company · 5/4/2016 12:33:00
Tags: MusicTravel
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Choosing the right chaperones for your next Band trip!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Choosing chaperones · 21/3/2016 15:36:00
Tags: BandMusicTravelChaperones

When choosing adults to chaperone your next Band trip!




Would you ask this couple to chaperone a band trip?
Vet your chaperones carefully! Require all adults traveling with your group to obtain both a Criminal and Child Abuse Clearance and have these records on file with your school.

Require all of your chaperones get Criminal and Child Abuse Background Checks.



Travel 101 A Band Director’s Guide for Planning Student Travel
http://www.bandtravel101.com/





Why do I need a Music Travel Company for my Band Trips?

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Travel Safety & Security · 16/3/2016 14:47:00
Tags: MusicTravel



The Benefits of Travel with your Band!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Travel Benefits · 9/3/2016 16:42:00



Band Boosters or Band Director who is really in charge?

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Band Booster Groups · 26/2/2016 11:16:00
Tags: #band#boostergroup

Let me start by saying band boosters are the “salt of the earth”, most dedicated, caring, volunteers who would give you the shirt off of their back if they thought it would help your band program! Participation varies from band to band but needless to say it is vital for every band director to stay involved, maintain good communication and a positive working relationship with your booster’s because they can either help your program thrive or break and undermine your program!

The primary function and reason for any booster group’s existence should be to work hand in hand with the Band Director to help organize and implement programs that will supplement and enhance the band program and experience beyond what the school district provides. Unfortunately over time in some programs these groups become more independent and isolated from the director and far too powerful. It may be from neglect or apathy overtime by the director or most often by poor leadership within the booster group itself. Instead of working in consort with the director for the good of the program they in turn try to control the program and director even dictating what they should do. 

Whose job is it anyway? It is not their place to tell you the style of show and music to play, who should be on your staff, how to discipline, when to rehearse, where and when to travel, or what event, festival or number of competitions to attend each year. They try to tell you how to do your job! It’s unfortunate and truly amazing when this happens and how powerless and helpless a director can feel when dealing with a situation like this.

While parents are always entitled to their opinion remember you were hired as the Band Director and are responsible for the implementation of your band program. It can happen when an established band program loses a veteran director and they are replaced by a new one fresh out of college. The boosters feel it’s their responsibility to maintain the status quo and in many cases will overstep their bounds and pressure the new director to do things they are uncomfortable with and don’t agree with. This can also happen when your booster group has the wrong person in the leadership position and they push their own agenda instead of yours. Their ego, attitude and zeal for power can splinter the group and alienate the parents who want to help your program.

As a director I maintained control of my booster group by working to ensure we always selected people in leadership positions who I knew would work hand in hand with me to create the best outcome for our students. I not only scheduled and attended each meeting but I formulated the meeting agenda with the booster leadership. Our bylaws were very clear and defined their role as the officers and support group for the band. I made it clear from day one that I was in charge of all decisions regarding the educational and instructional aspects of the program. I would always share my thoughts with them on what I planned each year for the show, music, travel, extra performances, staffing etc. for informational purposes. My experience and relationship over the years with my band boosters was respectful and positive and I could not have done half the things we accomplished without them. My boosters would do anything I asked and they always went above and beyond what I could have ever expected of them.

I would encourage every young band director to work hand in hand with your booster officers to create a positive relationship and define appropriate boundaries from day one. It is paramount to encourage the right people to seek leadership positions from year to year. Stay involved with your boosters, share your appreciation for their efforts but maintain control of your program. As I stated in the beginning band boosters are the “salt of the earth”, most dedicated, caring, volunteers who would give you the shirt off of their back if they thought it would help your band program! I hope you can experience the same wonderful blessings of a great booster group like I was so fortunate to have during my career.

Check out my book Travel 101 A Band Director’s Guide for Planning Student Travel and blog on my website. www.bandtravel101.com/




How to create a Band Handbook and eliminate student and parent issues and problems!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Band Handbook · 23/2/2016 11:58:00
Tags: BandHandbook

Communication is the key to any successful organization! Create a comprehensive student handbook for your marching band program and require a Contract signed by both the student and parent validating they have read the handbook and understand the rules and policies for membership. Present this material at a new band parent informational meeting before scheduling and auditions each school year to alleviate problems regarding your program once a student has been accepted for the band. Below is a format for and summary of the items I included in my marching band handbook and the Student Contract I used. Once your handbook is complete share it with your Administration and School Board for approval before distributing it to your students.
Andrew M. Yaracs – A Band Director’s Guide for Planning Student Travel
http://www.bandtravel101.com/


Organizational Philosophy
Auditions
Band History & Performance Resume

Policies
Grading – Based on 100% per 9 weeks grading period (45 days), School District Grading Scale, Attendance, Scheduled Performances, Scheduled Rehearsals, Unexcused absence, Participation Grade, Schedule Changes, Skills & Music Memorization Grade
Uniform/Equipment Inspection
Tardy for a rehearsal or performance
Behavior Policy - Behavior/Attitude
Performance Policy
Travel/Transportation
Student Contract / Medical Form / General Fund
Medical concerns & physical requirements for participating in marching band

General information
•\tAppearance matters!
•\tYou are not permitted to wear jewelry from the neck up or on any other body part where it would be visible when you are in uniform.
•\tMusicians that use make-up should keep it understated or not use it when in uniform. Auxiliary Units have specific make-up guidelines for performance.
•\tNail polish should be removed if you do not wear gloves or if it will be visible at any time when in uniform.
•\tPlease do not expect the directors or chaperones to look after valuables such as cell phones, IPods or portable DVD players. If you bring them you are responsible to them.
•\tStudents are not permitted to bring food or drink in their band or auxiliary bags
•\tWe do not permit students to visit the refreshment stands at football games
•\tBrass & woodwind players will need a flip folder for use with their stands music
•\tAll pregame and halftime show music must be memorized

Mandatory Camps = Mini Camp – June, Percussion Camp, Auxiliary Camp, Band Camp – August
SUGGESTED BAND CAMP ATTIRE
•\tDress appropriate for the weather of the day!
•\tBring rain gear when the weather dictates!
•\tDO NOT WEAR SANDALS, FLIP FLOPS OPEN TOED OR FLAT SHOES; it is impossible to march properly in these. Students should wear socks and tennis shoes to avoid foot injuries.
•\tAvoid perfume, hair spray, hand lotions, creams, etc. they will attract bees and wasps.
•\tUSE SUNSCREEN
•\tBring sunglasses and a hat
•\tBRING A WATER COOLER OR WATER BOTTLE! (You may want to bring snacks)
•\tAny student not appropriately attired (especially footwear) will be asked to sit out. This will influence your participation grade.

Annual Projects – list all yearly events, fundraisers etc.
Special Trips - One of the bonuses of being in the band revolves around our travel opportunities. While many organizations dream about taking trips together we are in a position to make these dreams come true. It serves as positive testimony to the work ethic of our band members, and is one of the privileges we enjoy as a group.

There are additional expectations attached to group travel. When we accept an invitation to perform away from home, we also assume the responsibilities of being ambassadors and representatives of our band, school and community. Individual considerations now become secondary to the entire organization’s welfare. The term good behavior takes on an all-new meaning as we assume the role of musical emissaries. Your best effort is now “the norm,” and you will be asked to rise above it many times during our trip, displaying the ultimate in appropriate manners and personal deportment.

We will be judged not by our intentions, but by our behavior. There are no second chances at a first impression; therefore, we must pledge ourselves to emulating excellence both in our musical and our social performances. The worth of our band will be based on the attitude generated by our band members. The reputation of the band is in your hands. Treat it with the dignity it has earned... and deserves.

We are enjoying the fruits of labor seeded by your older peers. Our future bands are counting on you to pass on that same heritage so they will have a similar kind of learning opportunity during their high school careers.

Should there be any need for disciplinary action, we will ask those in question to return home and the problem will be addressed immediately following the trip.

Fund Raising
Band Parent Booster Organization
General Fund
Band Uniform Care & Handling – all uniforms must be dry cleaned professionally
Itemized Uniform replacement costs - Students will be billed for any loss or damage to the uniform
Students that use school owned instruments or equipment are responsible for any loss or damage
Band Staff - list each position and their contact information
Student Leaders
Senior students play a major role in the success of our program. Leadership positions include Drum Majors, Auxiliary Captains, Flag Captains, and various student leaders for marching, music, clerical, inventory, music library, and band manager positions. Drum Major and Captain Positions are selected by audition and student leaders are selected through an application screening process.
Annual Awards – presented at the band banquet
BAND MOTTO
Keep up with all the latest band information on the band website!

Student Contract Form
Student’s Name, Grade, Instrument/Position \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t
•\tI WILL NOT POSSESS OR USE ANY TOBACCO PRODUCTS, ALCOHOL, SUSPECTED CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, OR WEAPONS DURING ANY MARCHING BAND FUNCTION.

•\tI UNDERSTAND THAT IF I VIOLATE THIS RULE I WILL IMMEDIATELY BE EXCLUDED FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY FURTHER MARCHING BAND ACTIVITIES. THE APPROPRIATE SCHOOL OFFICIALS (Principal, Superintendent); WILL BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED AND CURRENT SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICIES GOVERNING THESE OFFENSES WILL BE ENFORCED.

•\tI WILL TREAT MY FELLOW BAND MEMBERS, CHAPERONES, MEDICAL STAFF, AND DIRECTORS WITH RESPECT. I UNDERSTAND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICIES REGARDING HAZING, PROFANITY, DISRESPECT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

•\tI UNDERSTAND THAT IF I VIOLATE ANY OF THE BAND POLICIES I MAY BE SUSPENDED FROM PARTICIPATING IN ACTIVITIES AND PERFORMING WITH THE BAND AND APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICIES WILL BE TAKEN.

I have carefully read all of the information above and in the marching band student handbook and understand my commitment, responsibilities, and the policies that pertain to my membership in the marching band. I expect to abide by all of the policies stated above and in the handbook. I expect to put forth my best effort in all that I do to continue the success and fine tradition of the band and to be present for all band activities.

Student’s Signature, Parent/Guardian Signature, & Date \t
STUDENTS THAT FAIL TO TURN IN A COMPLETED CONTRACT WILL BE DROPPED FROM THE BAND ROSTER




Preparing your Band for a nationally televised parade appearance!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Performance · 22/2/2016 14:43:00

Based upon the size of your band and auxiliary unit(s) give careful consideration to how you place instruments and auxiliary members in your parade block formation. Every band is different and what works for one may not for another. Strive to achieve maximum impact from your band not only for those along the parade route but your television audience. Often smaller bands try to look bigger by marching in rows of four with large intervals and distance between them stretching the form and thinning the sound. Keep musicians closer together, arrange your instrumentation to create a balanced wall of sound. Utilize your auxiliary units to enhance your size and overall appearance. If the street is very wide be careful not to compress your form in and stretch out. Consider the way your band will sound on television. Place your strongest musicians and marchers on the camera side. A microphone location can often pickup an individual player as they march by so proper placement of your strongest musicians is paramount. Think or your arrangement and how it is scored so you can set your instrumentation to provide the best overall balance and blend for your band.
•\tTo enhance your presentation and crowd appeal consider adding visual horn moves at appropriate climax points in the music. A 45 degree angle elevated to the right, left or straight can be very impressive and provide impact.
•\tEveryone loves the percussion section stage your section to provide maximum visual impact. Incorporate stick visuals where appropriate.
•\tAuxiliary units can add that sparkle to your presentation. Select appropriate flags, hoops, or props to coordinate with your musical selection and be creative with their placement and visual choreography.
Know your strengths both musically and visually. Play up those elements and hide your weaknesses. We expect all band directors and additional staff / chaperones that walk the parade route dress in a professional unified manor.




Grow your program!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Recruitment · 21/2/2016 16:34:00

Band, Orchestra and Chorus Directors are you having trouble keeping students in your music program? Why not plan a special trip and performance opportunity in addition to your normal performance schedule. Whether you travel every year, every other year or once every four years a trip can be a great incentive and motivating force for recruitment and maintaining the students in your program. My book Travel 101 A Band Director’s Guide for Planning Student Travel will give you the tools and help you’ll need to plan a safe, rewarding and educational travel opportunity for your students. Available in both E-book and softcover format get your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Author House Publishing Co. For additional information about my book and numerous links to travel related sites and performance events visit my website. http://www.bandtravel101.com/ 



Travel Safety & Security!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Travel Safety & Security · 21/2/2016 16:17:00

In addition to chaperones you should always travel with a certified nurse, EMT, or paramedic. Whether your school provides a nurse or you recruit a volunteer nurse, EMT or paramedic from your band parents or community, including a medical professional should always be a vital part of your overall safety plan.



Dealing with Food Allergies!

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Menu Selection · 21/2/2016 15:59:00

When making your menu decisions you’ll need to account for any students that have special diet requirements and food allergies. Work with your travel representative to provide alternative meal choices for these students. Students with food allergies often carry an EpiPen on them for use in emergency situations. Be sure to advise your chaperones and medical personnel of any students with these issues. A food allergy can often cause a severe reaction that will require immediate medical attention.   



Does someone have their hands in your cookie jar?

Published by Andrew M. Yaracs in Financial Management · 21/2/2016 15:55:00

Band Booster organizations often handle large sums of money in their student trip accounts. What would you do if you found out your trip fund was suddenly missing a significant amount of money? Did someone have their hands in the cookie jar while no one was looking? Protect yourself and your booster organization from fraud by limiting the number of adults that handle money and purchasing bond insurance to cover all those that do. Require at least two signatures for all your checks and have your books audited yearly.




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