Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GV BPA? – The Grain Valley Band Parents Association supports the band!  Every parent/grandparent/guardian is part of this organization by virtue of your student’s participation. As the mission statement reads the BPA provides “…unwavering support for the Grain Valley Bands program…”. This support comes in many forms and requires a huge team of volunteers. The BPA continuously works to ensure the students have everything they need for performances, rehearsals, and other fun activities. We provide nourishment, move and transport equipment, build props, alter and launder uniforms, take photographs, and even create an annual yearbook. Fundraising is important as it provides the primary monies necessary to pay the expenses associated with competitions and performances.  In addition, fundraising efforts are designed to keep individual band fees as low as possible. The BPA also offers individual fundraisers to students and their families in an effort to offset as much of the costs as possible. While most of these are voluntary fundraisers, the band dept does require a couple of them per year.
And most importantly…The BPA has a great time cheering on the kids and working together.

How will I know what is going on?
Charms and the Director’s weekly Fan Fare! Newsletter are your primary sources for student information. Make sure you have a valid email address entered in Charms to ensure that you receive all of the email notifications that are sent which includes the weekly Fan Fare! You will also want to keep up to date with the calendar in Charms either by syncing it on your phone or checking regularly.  Events are added and changed in Charms. All of the band directors and BPA use Charms for communication.
Facebook – “Grain Valley Bands” and “Grain Valley BPA” are the official Facebook pages.  Please keep in mind that social media is a supplemental form of communication.  The Charms email is the primary form of communication.
Twitter – follow gvbands and grainvalleybpa for updates and information
Web page – The official page GV Bands web page is currently under construction. is the official BPA web page.
Band Terminology
Shako — Hat worn by the marching students.
Plume — Feather worn in the Shako.
Call time — Time a student must be ready to begin rehearsal, performance, etc.
What is Band Camp Like?
The camp schedule can be found on Charms, once finalized.  It is also typically distributed at the April Orientation.  Camp is pretty intense, and you can expect your student to be tired (and probably a little sunburned) when he/she gets home.
Your child should dress cool, layer as needed, wear good tennis shoes, sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. Pack a lunch (or dinner for evening dates), and drink plenty of water. You will need a blue gallon water jug for your student. 

The students learn everything from basic marching techniques, to music, to on-field movements. The process requires memorization of positions on the field, as well as, all of the music played during the show, and that means repetition.
There are section leaders to help your student learn the expectations and to encourage them through the process. 

Some rehearsals will include clinicians who come in to evaluate the show and provide professional feedback to the band directors and students. Some clinician camps are on a weekend day. 
Your student will be provided with rehearsal attire that will be required for most rehearsals. Having the students wear the same outfit helps to visually identify issues with formations on the field. (This clothing is also worn to events and under the band uniform.)   The color guard will receive the same apparel, but may have separate requirements like a body tight. It may be useful to have a second set on-hand if your student forgets that they were supposed to wear this to the next rehearsal. You will have the opportunity to order this later this summer. 
Don’t be late! A common saying amongst the band is “15 minutes early = ON TIME, on time = LATE, late = TROUBLE”
What can I expect at a home football game?
Students will report to the high school at a time designated by the director “Call Time”.
Students will put on their uniforms at the school.  (They will need to wear the appropriate clothing under their uniform.)
The band will play the national anthem prior to the start of the football game.
The band will be seated together in the band bleachers.
Band students will be under the supervision of the band directors throughout the entire game.
Parents attending the football game will need to sit in the spectator seating.  
The band will perform at half time or after the game.
After the football game, the students will return their uniforms to the trailer and pick up their area in the band room.
The directors will release students at the end of the night.
What’s a typical competition day schedule?
Students will report to the high school at the time designated by the director “Call Time”.
Students will travel to the competition on a bus.
Students will perform their show.  They will be competing against other bands in the same classification as GVME.
Preliminary awards will be announced at the end of all class performances.
Finals will start after a short break.
GVME will perform their show again.  This time, they will be competing against all finals bands, regardless of classification.
Finals awards will be announced at the end of finals.
Students will load the trailers and buses and return to the High School.
Students will be dismissed by the directors.
What is a Section Leader?
Sections leaders are returning band members who have demonstrated a positive attitude, marching skill, and a desire to help others. Students apply for these positions each year. Your student’s section leader will likely organize social events to help the group get to know each other over the summer. They will also use social media, chat apps, and text messages to converse with your student and share information. If your student says they need to download an app so that they can talk with their section, they are probably telling the truth! This is a great way for section leaders to make sure that freshman members know what is going on and what they need to do. They have even been known to give band members a ride to or from rehearsal, if necessary.  The Section Leader is the first person that your student should ask when he has a question.
When can I watch the show?
Rehearsals are now open!  However, please respect the process and be a quite observer.  
There are also plenty of opportunities to see the band at competitions and home football games, at which the band will perform their show at half-time, and will also play the pregame music.
Your student will also participate in the Grain Valley Fair Daze parade.
Please do not post pictures or video of rehearsals or the shows on Social Media.  Copyright infringements could cripple the program.  In addition, we want to protect the integrity of the show and ensure it doesn’t get leaked to the competition.
How can my student earn his Letter?
The requirements for lettering are spelled out in the GVME handbook.
The most important component of lettering is attendance. Your student cannot miss any performance, competition, visual rehearsal or required sectional. Some “excused” absences are allowed, but you will need to work with a director to determine if the absence is excused.
Refer to the band handbook for official information on this topic.
What if I still have questions?
Send any question you have to:
This email address is monitored and your question will be routed to the appropriate person.