WHY SHOULD I JOIN BAND?
HOW MUCH TIME IS INVOLVED WITH BAND?
HOW CAN I FIT BAND INTO MY ACADEMIC SCHEDULE?
WHEN DOES THE SAYING “EARLY IS ON TIME, ON TIME IS LATE” APPLY?
WHAT KIND OF FUNDRAISING DOES THE BAND DO?
WHEN IS PRACTICE REALLY OVER?
WHAT DOES A NON-BAND MEMBER NEED TO DO TO JOIN BAND?
WHAT ARE BAND MEMBER REQUIRED TO WEAR FOR EACH UNIFORM?
NOW DO WE KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY CALENDAR CHANGES?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A BAND MEMBER PRACTICE?
WHAT IF I MISS A BAND EVENT?
WHAT COSTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH BAND?
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PURCHASING A BETTER INSTRUMENT?

 

WHY SHOULD I JOIN BAND?
Because you need band and the band needs you! If you are planning to go to college, have a job someday, or otherwise enter the real world, you need to be well-trained and well-rounded. Experiences in the arts are valuable not just for the sake of artistic activities, but for the connections and skills that transfer into a successful, fulfilling existence. Among the other great things you can do at Penncrest high school, band is an important part of that training.
 
You may have been playing your instrument for a number of years now. And when you are younger, usually this process includes a good amount of struggle. Sometimes it's not fun, and you can even question whether the work is worth it. My advice is to not give up just yet! Most musicians find that the high school years are the "payoff" for all that work on basic skills. With our band, you can begin to enjoy and share the progress you have made over the years, and play in a quality organization that you will be proud of.
 
This is a difficult decision for a lot of people, so you should gather as much information as possible to be informed. Whatever you decide, make sure it is on sound reasons and judgments. Here are some materials to get you started:
    •    Click here to find out What you can expect from the Penncrest Band
    •    Click here to find out What Colleges Expect from you
    •    Click here to find our What employers Expect from you
    •    Still not convinced? Read this: Why Band?

 

HOW MUCH TIME IS INVOLVED WITH BAND?
During the school day, band will take up one elective period. It meets every day for the full year. You will also have one sectional per week, which will pull you out of another class. The period that this occurs on rotates, and does not hit the same class period more than twice in a marking perioD.
Your rehearsals for the marching band will be on Wednesday evenings for two hours. Color Guard and drum line will rehearse an additional day each week for up to two hours. These rehearsals begin in September and end in early November.
Performances are mostly during the first marking period which is also the fall football season. We perform at all home and away games. Games are almost always on Friday nights. Saturday performances occur sporadically and can include parades, community events, and band festivals. Overall, the marching band performs around twenty times in the fall season.
Concert Band and Wind Ensemble perform a winter and spring concert, as well as possible performances at local and national festivals.
Practicing should be on average 3-4 days a week, at 30 minutes a session. Of course, if you want to be good, you will need to practice every day.
Many people initially say they don't have time for band. However, we all have the same 24 hours to work with, and some of the busiest students at Penncrest perform with the band. Band helps develop the discipline, work ethic, organization skills and goal setting skills necessary to handle busy schedules. Take a close look at what you do each day, and decide whether or not you want to play your instrument in the Penncrest Band. If the answer is yes, you will find a way to make it work. If the answer is no, then you wouldn't find time if there were 60 hours in the day. It's all in the attitude!

 

HOW CAN I FIT BAND INTO MY ACADEMIC SCHEDULE?
Band meets one period each day. It takes up one elective slot. As a freshman, your schedule will probably look like this:
    •    Math requirement
    •    Science requirement
    •    Social Studies requirement
    •    Language Arts requirement
    •    Phys Ed / Heath
    •    Concert Band
    •    Foreign Language
It is recommended that you complete your foreign language requirement your freshman year. Penncrest requires two years of a language for graduation. If you took a language at Springton, that counts as one of the two years. Once you have satisfied the two year graduation requirement for foreign language, that elective slot opens up to take different classes. Some students continue with foreign language, while others take an additional math or science. Still others use this as the chance to take an elective in another area of interest, such as art, business, computer science, or music theory.
The important thing is to remember that your schedule is a four-year plan. If you can't take something your first year, then wait until your schedule opens up later in high school. Certain classes such as band and foreign language are sequential and therefore not easy to take a year off in. Better to work on those consecutively.
Students with rigorous academic schedules can still find ways to make band fit into their schedules. We have had students take double lab sciences, multiple AP courses, double math, and perform with the band, orchestra and choir. Many of them graduate with honors, some in the top 10 of their class, and we have had valedictorians come out of the band! Students go on to all kinds of post high school experiences, from the military and workforce to state schools to Ivy league schools. Check out the pennants of our graduates in the band room sometime.
If you enjoy music and are not afraid of a challenge, then band can still fit into your schedule. If you're still not sure, please contact Mr. Snyder and he'll be happy to work with you.


WHEN DOES THE SAYING “EARLY IS ON TIME, ON TIME IS LATE” APPLY?
Glad you asked...

    •    Every waking and sleeping minute of your life.
    •    When you go for that job interview.
    •    When you get to where you need to be, and then remember something that you forgot to do. If you're early, you have time to deal with it.
    •    When the bus is scheduled to leave.
    •    When the person you are competing for that promotion against is late, or just on time.
    •    When someone is counting on you.
    •    When you want to be focused, relaxed, and effective as opposed to frazzled, stressed, and inefficent.
    •    Not just in band (but definitely in band).

Graduates of our program often cite being on time as the most important thing they learned in band. It is one skill that will literally put you ahead in a world that is always running behind.

 
WHAT KIND OF FUNDRAISING DOES THE BAND DO?
The band program runs two types of fundraisers: individual and group.
Individual fundraisers are designed to help band members pay for their trips. Funds raised are reserved in an individual account for which members will receive a statement twice each year. All individual fundraisers are optional. They include the hoagie coupon sale (October & January), pie & chocolate sale (November), and the car wash (June).
Group fundraisers raise money for overall group expenses, and help subsidize costs of trips, equipment, staff expenses, and the banquet. These events are tied into musical activities which also benefit the community. Our current group fundraisers are the Craft Show in November, and the Indoor Invitational in February. Students volunteer their time to work these events as their contribution. Because they are Penncrest Band events, they are mandatory for all band members.

 

WHEN IS PRACTICE REALLY OVER?
Whenever possible, practice is going to end when it says it will on the schedule. Everyone's time is respected. And if the band members are expected to be on time for the beginning of practice, it is the responsibility of the staff to end practice on time.
 
That being said, don't expect to be pulling out of the parking lot when the schedule says practice ends. With a big organization like this one, there are a number of things that need to happen when we finish our work: announcements, cleanup, and usually a short trek back to the band room. Looking at the big picture, our organization runs on time better than most, and amazingly well considering the complications and the size of the group based on what we do.

 

WHAT DOES A NON-BAND MEMBER NEED TO DO TO JOIN BAND?
Prospective band members entering Penncrest high school need to: have experience on a band instrument, have the abilities to work hard and follow directions, and have a great, positive attitude!
 
If you are an eighth grader at Springton Lake, you need to sign up for Concert Band at the high school. If you're not sure if that's the right thing for you to do, email Mr. Snyder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Once you sign up, you are in the band!
 
If you are new to the district or just started (or restarted) an instrument, you need to meet with the director and schedule a time where I can hear you play. If it is determined that you would be able to handle high school level music, you can sign up for either Concert Band or Wind Ensemble, based on director recommendation. If you are not playing at a high school level yet, private lessons will be recommended, with a follow-up audition in six months to one year.
 
If you are interested in performing with our color guard for marching band or winter guard, a meeting with our guard coordinators will be set up to discuss your membership. Email me to coordinate that meeting. Band members may join color guard instead of marching their instrument in the fall. Non-band members may join if they spend a year with the winter guard or with the marching band as an alternate first, then march in the fall the following year.
 
You do not have to be in band to be in the jazz band. That group auditions in the fall.


WHAT ARE BAND MEMBER REQUIRED TO WEAR FOR EACH UNIFORM?
The Marching Uniform consists of: tunic, pants, shako, gauntlets, gloves, red band shirt, black socks and marching shoes. Guard uniform consists of: vest, pants, leotard, and guard shoes. This uniform can be adjusted based on weather, and indoor versus outdoor performances. Information on adjustments will be posted in the band room the week of the performance.
 
The Informal Uniform consists of: red band shirt, pants, athletic shoes of any color.

The Concert Uniform consists of: tux shirt, black dress pants, black dress shoes, and black socks (or hose for certain types of women's dress shoes). Bow tie is provided by the band.

The Wind Ensemble uniform consists of: black shirt, black dress pants, black dress shoes, and black socks (or hose for certain types of women's dress shoes).  Red vest is provided by the band.

More information about Uniform is available in the Band Handbook.


HOW DO WE KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY CALENDAR CHANGES?
    •    Check the board in the band room. Band members are responsible for communicating all information with their parents.
    •    The web site will be updated. Subscribe to e-alerts for any changes.
    •    In the case of short notice (same day) changes, section leaders will alert band members through social media or via text message.
    •    Ask another band member, especially a section leader!
We do our best not to change the calendar, but sometimes life changes things on us.


HOW OFTEN SHOULD A BAND MEMBER PRACTICE?
This depends on a number of things. What is the level of difficulty of what you are practicing? What is the expectation for you and the ensemble? What is your expectation of yourself? What are your goals as a band member and a musician?
 
There is no set time that works for all musicians of all ability levels. HOWEVER, here are a couple of general guidelines that I have observed over the years:
    •    Our program is designed for the average student musician to succeed with 3-4 practice sessions per week, at between 30 and 60 minutes per session.
    •    If you want to be GOOD, you must practice every day, and have a specific program for practicing created by a qualified music instructor.
    •    If you want to major in music or are thinking about music as a profession, you need to be putting in 2 hours a day. This will entail sacrifice in other areas of your life but otherwise you will not compete well in the competitive world of music auditions.
Keep in mind that QUALITY practice is always more important that QUANTITY practice.


WHAT IF I MISS A BAND EVENT?
First, always remember how important you are. The band needs you (no one can play your part or march your dot for you), and you need the band (you can't make up the Memorial Day parade by marching down State Street by yourself the next weekend) in order for us to be the Penncrest Band. That's why all band activities are mandatory for all band members.
 
If you need to miss an event, here's what you do:
    •    Do everything you can ahead of time to work the conflict out or split your time.
    •    Make sure your absence is allowable based on the list in the Handbook.
    •    Notify the director a week in advance in writing, and get approval. The note must be signed by a parent.
    •    If it was a graded activity, you must make the grade up within two weeks by taking a performance exam. After two weeks, it becomes an unexcused absence which means you fail the performance.
Unexcused absences do not qualify for a makeup exam, and are grounds for dismissal from the program. Remember we are counting on one another and we need people who honor their commitments!
 
See the Band Handbook for more information on absences and grading.
 

WHAT COSTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH BAND?
Costs are kept to a minimum through careful planning, economic use of current equipment, and of course the fundraising efforts of the band members and parents. Students will purchase items which they need personally and cannot or should not be shared from student to student.
 
The standard costs in all levels of band are the instrument, instrument supplies, and optional private lessons. For our marching program, students also purchase a red band shirt, marching shoes, white gloves, lyre, flip folder, and Jock Jams music book. A tuxedo shirt will also need to be purchased for Concert Band.  The band trip is optional, so there are no mandatory costs associated. If a student damages a school-issued instrument or equipment, that cost will need to be covered by that student.
 
Most of these costs are one-time purchases when entering the program, and only revisited for wear and tear or resizing reasons. I hope you'll find our costs are reasonable, especially when comparing to other activities, and also because every member has the opportunity to raise funds to keep costs down.
 
Click here to view our equipment order form (prices subject to change).
 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PURCHASING A BETTER INSTRUMENT?
That's a huge question. Please take a look at this article, Stepping up to More Advanced Musical Instruments.

 

SLMS Music Events

Veterans Day pictures
 
Halloween Parade pictures
 
Spring Training Pictures!
click here to view
 
SLMS @ the Sixers!
 
 
8th Grade Night Slide Show