FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to be a great player to join band?
NO! We have summer sectionals, music coaches and band camp to provide students focused time to practice with their instruments.
Do you have to sign up for Marching Band & General P.E. as two separate classes?
No! Marching PE counts towards your PE credit during the fall & spring season.
Does Marching Band involve students to the exclusion of other school activities?
No. We have students that are involved in all aspects of student organizations and clubs. Students will have to learn to manage their time wisely to be involved in several school activities, but it can be done and has been done successfully for many years.
Do I have to be in Marching Band if I join band?
No. But we highly recommend becoming a part of the Cardinal Alliance marching band. Most of the fun in high school band comes from marching season. You get to learn a field show, make tons of new friends, play and hang out at football games, go to competitions all over Southern California, and much more! Be a part of marching band! It's the best part of high school band!
What if I am not good enough to be in the Cardinal Alliance?
All you need is to want to be a part of the Cardinal Alliance and we will help you with the rest!
Can a student be in Marching Band if they are not in a band class?
No. Students must also be enrolled in an additional band class.
Is Marching Band actually fun or just a lot of work?
Marching Band is so much fun that most students think of it as the highlight of the year!
Each section has their own traditions and activities, and being able to hang out with the rest of the band and make new friends is a really neat experience.
Yes, Marching Band is a lot of work, but everyone agrees at the end that it was well worth the effort.
I didn't sign up for band. Can I still be in the Cardinal Alliance?
Yes. Just speak with the Band Director, Mr. Tramm.
How can I get in touch with the Band Director?
Please call the Band Office at (760) 290-2700 extension 3230 or e-mail Mr. Tramm at: Michael.Tramm@smusd.org
As an incoming freshman, what do I actually sign up for?
If you are a Marching Band student you should sign-up for Marching P.E. and Concert Band.
I want to take a schedule of demanding classes. Will I still have time to do Marching Band?
Yes! Even if you've signed up for multiple A.P or Honors classes, marching won't be a problem. In fact, the Cardinal Alliance includes some of the highest-achieving students on campus, and everyone finds time to fit everything in.
Can I play sports and do Marching Band at the same time?
Yes! The Band and Athletic departments work closely together to arrange schedules to accommodate students participating in both activities. It is not always easy, and does require some advanced planning, but most conflicts are worked out with good communication between students, parent, coach, and Band Director. The student must take initial responsibility for working out conflicts by communicating with the coaches and band staff.
Is it possible for a student to participate in a FALL sport & Marching Band?
Yes! We have a number of students who have participated in track & field or volleyball but it can definitely be a challenge to avoid conflicts. Remember, advanced planning and flexibility are key when participating in many activities.
Can I take Marching Band all four years of high school, and still get in all of my graduation requirements without attending summer school?
Yes. However, if you choose not to take summer school, you will not have much room left over for extra electives. Many band students end up taking one to two semesters of summer school just to get ahead or a few classes at Palomar Community College.
I currently don't own an instrument, and play on one that was provided to me by the middle school. What will happen for me next year?
Thankfully, the Cardinal Alliance keeps a large amount of school-owned instruments. It will be no problem to find an instrument for you to play during both the marching and concert seasons.
Should I have a different instrument for Marching Band?
If you are fortunate enough to have purchased a more advanced instrument after playing your beginner student instrument in middle school, we suggest you use the "advanced" instrument for inside playing and the student model for outside playing. We provide drum-line equipment and mallet instruments for percussionists (you will need to buy sticks and mallets). We suggest that you purchase or rent-to-own an intermediate/advanced model of your instrument for better performance in high school and beyond.
Can you give me information about Band Camp?
Band camp takes place at MHHS and is required for all competitive marching band students, and is scheduled 2 weeks prior to the start of school. During this time, students learn the show that is to be featured at halftime during football games and also in the marching competitions. Students spend a majority of the day through late in the evening learning marching fundamentals, show music, and marching drill. Students return home each night. Contact Mr Tramm directly for more information: Michael.Tramm@smusd.org
Are the August Band Camp rehearsals required for membership in the Marching Band?
Yes. Students electing to become a part of the Cardinal Alliance Marching Band must attend band camp in mid-August of each year. Much of the material that will be learned and performed through the fall marching season is introduced during this time to allow the students enough time to master the skills necessary to perform effectively throughout the marching season.
What are summer sectionals?
Sectionals during the summer are held by the section leaders and are highly recommended. The sectionals are designed to help students prepare for band camp and get a head start on the music.
Who provides the Band uniforms?
MHHS, along with supplements from the Music Boosters, provide uniforms for the Marching Band. Gloves, shoes and "blacks" are purchased by the students at the beginning of Band Camp.