Frequently Asked Questions

If I am in band, can I also belong to other student clubs?
YES! In fact, most of the Gaither Band students belong to several student clubs! We encourage involvement! Clubs meet once a month during school on a special "Club Day”. We even have a music club titled “Tri-M Music Honor Society.”

 If I am in band, can I also participate in sports?
Yes, we encourage students to participate in sports. We have had students on the varsity and junior varsity football teams, basketball, softball, track, weightlifting, baseball, volleyball, etc… The student has to be organized with a planner to avoid conflicts. Please contact Mr. Dell if you are interested in sports, especially football or volleyball.     

Do I have to audition for the Gaither band program? 
NO. Everyone is welcome to participate in the band REGARDLESS OF YOUR PLAYING ABILITY.   
Wind Ensemble, yes. Our concert bands are split into two classes: Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. The Wind Ensemble requires an audition which consists of 12 major scales played in under 3 minutes with few or no mistakes, by memory, as well as a short excerpt from a piece of music that we are planning on performing in the upcoming year.  Most incoming freshmen are placed in Symphonic Band their first year, or least semester to get acquainted with Gaither. After the first semester, we audition students who are interested in moving up to Wind Ensemble, however that is based on instrument openings. 

The marching percussion is auditioned every year. These auditions take place in May. All incoming 9th graders play in the front ensemble for the first year. We have over 30 percussionists, but we can only march 13 on the field. Everyone else performs in the front ensemble. The percussionists are in their own class and perform other events besides marching band. 

Jazz Band – no, but is mostly upperclassmen. This also depends on instrument openings. We also have an after school jazz band that meets from November to February and everyone may participate, however there is a max of 30 students. 
 
I’m not sure whether I will like band or not. What should I do?
All students are encouraged to -at the very least – try band for their freshmen year; at least you earn the performing arts requirement. If you feel that you don’t like it, there is no obligation to stay in.

Can I be in band all four years?
Yes! You only need 24 credits to graduate; band fulfills your requirements for fine arts and elective credit. You can even take 2 music classes every year and still have room for more electives.  

Will being in band have a NEGATIVE effect on my grades or scholarships?
NO! As a matter of fact, during your junior and senior year, you can take band for honors credit. You can earn an extra .5 credit just by taking band during your junior and senior years. There is also an A.P. Music Theory class offered to juniors and seniors. Research has shown that the extra time you spend in band not only helps you build your musical skills, but also makes you smarter in math, science, and English!

Does the Gaither Band take any trips?
Yes! Trips are one of the most fun parts of being in band. In the past, we have traveled to Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inaugural Parade, Atlanta, GA, Gatlinburg, TN, Williamsburg, VA, New Orleans, LA, Myrtle Beach, SC, etc… We take “mini” trips during the year to Tallahassee, Orlando (Universal Studios or Disney), and other cities across the state. We try to plan a big trip every other year.   

Do I have to be in marching band?
Yes and no.  We highly encourage all incoming members to try it for at least one year, however, we do have a non-marching/stands only system that can be discused with Mr. Dell.  Please don’t quit band because of marching band – there is a solution to fit your schedule.  Please communicate with Mr. Dell regarding this.  We understand that it can be a little intimidating, but it really shouldn’t be. Almost all freshmen say they were a little scared of marching, but it’s really not bad at all. We don’t march everyday during the school year like other bands (Tues/Thurs).  You get to travel to all football games and two competitions across the state. Our primary emphasis is on concert bands, so the marching band is used as a fun way to learn a lot of concepts that easily transfer to the indoor bands and solo/ensemble playing. That’s not something you want to miss.  
Marching band is a lot of fun. It is where you meet everyone and make a lot of new friends. It’s a great way to make the transition to high school. While all your non-band friends are scared on the first day of school, you will have already made close to 150 new friends you met at band camp. A lot of important things are learned, and you will be a much better musician. But it’s fun… you should at least give it a try. I think that if you don’t do it, you’ll feel like you missed out on a great experience and a lot of fun when you hear everyone else talking about it.  

Is band expensive?
There is money involved with being in band. The average band fee is around $200, which includes band camp, uniform rental, dry cleaning, FBA assessment entry fees, buses, competition fees, etc…All of this money can be paid through fundraisers. We have several parents who work at the various fundraisers throughout the year to pay for everything; this means nothing comes out of your pocket. No student is EVER denied membership due to financial difficulties. 

Do I have to go to band camp?
Yes, why would you want to miss it? Band camp is the only chance we have to get all of this accomplished:
·         We get to know each other and become a "family" of friends working together to make an exciting musical and visual show.
·         We make new friends and get used to the school.
·         We learn the marching portion of the show.
·         We learn basic concepts of good marching techniques, and apply it to the show.
·         We learn basic concepts of good playing techniques, and how to play and march at the same time.
Missing band camp means losing a spot in the marching drill. You will become an alternate and have to shadow another student in your section until someone either is out sick or gets hurt.      
The band camp schedule will be posted once the school district releases their dates. Please schedule your vacation time around it. 

If I did not register for band can I change my mind; can I still be in band?
YES– just have your parents call the school at 975-7340 and ask for the guidance department. You may also have your parents write a note and fax it to 975-7349. Be sure to include the course that you would like to drop, in order to fit band into your schedule.

I’m zoned for Gaither, but I planned on going to a school-of-choice. Can I change my mind and switch back to Gaither?
YES–just have your parents call the school at 975-7340 and ask for the guidance department.  They will take care of everything. 
 
If you have any other questions, e-mail Mr. Dell at brian.dell@sdhc.k12.fl.us