October 2019 Band Parent Forum

Band Parent Forum October 8, 2019

***This was notated and is written in conversational, first person from Mr. Berard. I have done my best to stay as close to verbatim as possible. -Sally Whitaker BPA Director of PR***

  • Thank you to the many volunteers from GRI. Due to the weather there were many changes throughout the day and everyone’s flexibility and help is appreciated.  We tried to get communication out as best as possible, there will always be bumps in the road, but overall the day was a success. Thank you to everyone for showing up and being an audience. The show was received really positively.
  • I have won a lot of contests, I have not won a lot of contests — it’s 7 people’s commentary in real time. You will never hear me say “our goal is to win that show”  we are there to learn. We need to keep things in perspective, things can fluctuate based on any one judge. GVME won 6 of 7 captions in Prelims. The judge for the caption we did not win had us in 6th place. In Finals, the judges had different captions. We won the caption the previous judge had put us in 6th place for. The new caption that judge was in charge of…we got 6th place in that one. We obviously hit that judge’s hot button/pet peeve. They saw kids out of step and nothing else. It is really easy to react if you see something you don’t like. It is easy to miss all parts of the show. Kids did really well, prelims were more energetic, finals were more clean, but less energy.

Decision to leave early Saturday night

By the time we got to 11:30 pm the kids were cold and tired. They had spent last 4 months used to 90 degree weather and some didn’t realize it would be chilly, didn’t bring a sweatshirt or warm clothing options. There were kids lying on concrete due to being tired.  Band staff, student leaders,  and drum majors were presented with the option to stay or go, and the choice to leave was made. I thought the best thing was to get the kids out of the cold and home. It was late, it was cold. Public acknowledgment would have been great, but that would have put the departure time from school around 1:15 am. We really do have the best interest of the kids in mind, we take the voices of the students into consideration as well. There were some holes in communication, but overall pick up went well.

Update on the Show as a Whole

Thank you to the parent volunteers for helping in the effort to keep improving the show. Props and uniforms are being updated to enhance the performance and the help is appreciated.

The overall theme of the show is moments throughout life. There are moments in life that we experience alone. That is why we have the soloist (Nathan Steinmueller) as the lone focal point mid show. Everything stops, it’s just Nathan. I know it’s a really big ask, asking this kid to be a pro right in that moment, but it comes together as the other students flow back in.  There are moments that bring us together. That is the emotional crux of the show. Moments of triumph will be featured at the end. THere is a reason all of the picture frames are blank, it is so you, the audience, can put your own images in  there. This is our moment.

If you are the praying type, please pray for no rain Thursday and Friday 🙂


Band photos will be taken prior to the football game. We are using Interstate Photography, the same company that does school photos. The delay in taking photos was due to waiting for uniforms to come in. Individual photos begin at 4:45 pm, then set up for the group photo in the gym. Ordering information will be emailed out.

If any of your students need to do a retake of their  SCHOOL PHOTO they can do it Friday evening at 4:45 pm. The school retake day is the Friday we will be leaving to go to St. Louis.

Uniform crew needs extra volunteers for Friday to assist with Breast Cancer Awareness uniform embellishment. There will be a pink feather incorporated with the Shako wrap. Please reach out to operations@gvbpa.net if you can help.

Weather is not looking real good, we will play it by ear. If the temperature drops as low as forecasted, we will accommodate as needed. We will not have kids sitting out in the rain and cold. While we would love to get another run in, we know the need to stay healthy is number one.

St. Louis

I was hoping to have the info packet today, but the final packet came in yesterday (Monday) at 5 pm so time did not allow. The full itinerary will come this week.

  • We will stop in Columbia to practice at Marching Mizzou  practice field.
  • We will load the trailers Thursday evening after rehearsal, the rest will be Friday morning prior to departure.
  • BOA performance is 8:15 pm Friday night. This is the only guaranteed performance in St. Louis.
  • Staying at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch. The plan is to do a group photo Saturday morning.
  • Finals performance is not guaranteed, there are 89 bands performing, 28-30 are strong enough to make  finals, they will only take 14 bands. I am guessing there will be no more than a 6 point difference from top to bottom. Competition is going to be tight.
  • If we do not make finals, we will not stay to watch, as we will be watching finals in Indianapolis. We will eat dinner and then depart for home, arriving  around 10 pm. If we do make finals, the typical arrival time is between 3:30-4:00 am.
  • If you are planning on having your student stay with you please turn in an alternative transportation form in ASAP. The Grain Valley Schools website activities page has a form you can print out. It needs to be signed and turned in now. You will pick up your student after the performance, and make sure to check out with any GVME director.

On Travel Policies

I firmly believe that if we do everything we can to set the expectations of how they should behave, we will not be disappointed. Rather than assuming they will all break out, we expect they will behave appropriately, then deal with the 1 or 2 that misbehave rather than setting expectations that everyone fails. I do not tape students into their rooms. I adamantly believe we have the best kids in the school, and I set the expectation that they will behave.  If we have to tape doors shut we shouldn’t be traveling overnight.  There is no competition that is more important than the lessons that can be learned from how to behave when traveling. I once lost a competition by a 10th of a point because we were missing students that were sent home for shoplifting. Expectations are set, if they are not followed I have no problem sending kids home.

If we expect them to do the right thing, they will probably do the right thing.

  • Figure it out is rule number one of the band.
  • No drugs, no drinking, no stealing, no sex. Those are my four rules.
  • Our kids will do well.


  • No final packet yet.
  • Rehearsal Friday morning before departing. We may do a sack lunch or have students grab a lunch on the road. Details to come.
  • See the stadium Friday upon arrival we will go to Circle Center shops and restaurants and then check out Lucas Oil Stadium. There is a great block of bands to watch Friday evening: Avon, Center Grove, Castle, and Carmel. We will watch their performances and then head to the hotel.
  • Performance time is 11:15 am We will plan to enjoy the city and experience of travel. If we make Finals great, but we will still have a fun trip.
  • Sunday morning we will be on the road around 8:15 am, a stop to eat, and home by 3:30-4:00 pm.
  • We are staying near airport in Greenfield, Indiana.


Please sign up for St. Louis and Indianapolis as soon as possible. Our parent volunteers need time to coordinate for these large trips. If you find out you can volunteer last minute please check with president@gvbpa (Kim Kruse). Just showing up can often cause confusion during competitions.

The Great Giveaway Fundraiser 

Tickets and money are still being counted. Friday evening will be the drawing, during the Parent Ambassador Tailgate Event. The BPA will go live on Facebook and the winners will also be announced at halftime. Please sign up for the BPA Tailgate party before Thursday evening. Don’t forget to dress warm!

Spirit Apparel

There are a few odds and ends to wrap up,  misprints etc. These will be taken care of as quickly as possible.