Freshman Band Member & Parents’ Guide
to Marching Band 2006-7!

“This is NOT your parent’s marching band!”

Brought to you by Your ECHS Band Boosters, Inc. (aka: the parents)

This refers to those of us who were in marching band many years ago --- Marching Band today is WAYYYYYY different! This also refers to the idea that this is, and always should be, for the kids, with a lot (OK, A LOT!) of help from A LOT of parents and others!

New vocabulary, otherwise known as FAQs (frequently asked questions) especially asked by those of us who are new to Central, too! This Symbol will be used to show especially important info from Mr. C….


See Color Guard. They’re used interchangeably, especially at Invitationals.

Band Camp:

This is held the 1st and 2nd week in August, from 8:30-4:40, your kids will be hot and tired, want to quit and will stick with it anyway. They usually catch “the fever” after the first football game and/or the 1st Invitational! From there on, extra practices are attended at the kids’ requests. Freshman Camp in early July is when 9th graders learn to march & learn many of the terms in this FAQ, then there are 2 weeks of evening rehearsals, and full-band attends Band Camp. In addition to afternoon or evening practices during other weeks, it can make for a short summer. Yes, you may go on vacation, but not all summer. Sorry, this is high school now. (Attendance forms are required for absences) Once school starts, extra practices are often student requested, believe it or not!

Band Door:

The SW doors of the school on Blazer Blvd. Often locked and where band members swarm out following practices. Beware of student drivers along Blazer Blvd. There is no crossing path; you take your life in your hands crossing anywhere, even though the posted speed limit is 30 between the bridge near Waterfall & Goshen Ave. PLEASE don’t park, drop off OR pick up along Blazer Blvd. or in the small staff lot, DO park in the staff lot (after hours) to the west side. Use this door for drop-offs and pick-ups for Tuesday evening practice, late practices, after football game p/u and band camp. Use the main doors (east) for parent-teacher conferences & attending school functions!


Marching Warm-ups; forward, backwards, sideways (This is all some of us did in marching band way back when!)


See Drumline; different from batteries which your kids always need more off for everything electronic!

Black Socks:

They MUST have them under their band uniform slacks. Extras are available from chaperones for emergency use. If you use these, just wash and return them so the next kiddo who forgets them or grabs blue by mistake has some to borrow, too!

Blazer Brigade:

The ECHS Marching Band—the best band around as far as we know!!

Bus Chaperones:

Band Parents who volunteer to travel to competitions on the yellow school busses. You are not assigned to your student’s bus, especially if your child doesn’t want you to be, or if you don’t want to be. (Now, why are you doing this? Saves gas money? No parking headaches? Hmmmm…)


The drumline’s beat, to which the band comes onto the field. Several variations!

Class A:

This is our level for competitions. Yes, we were in Class B previously, when they only considered grades 10-12 school populations. ISSMA currently uses 9-12 and we are with the “big guys”. (Penn, Goshen, many Ft. Wayne schools)This doesn’t take into account the % of students participating in band, live with it. You’ll realize this @ the invitationals when there are bands of 50 to >200 all in Class A. Concord and Northridge are in Class B; & Class C and D are smaller schools (Fairfield). We cheer for everyone as all band kids are awesome, and everywhere they put in a ton of hours for each show! We like to cheer for other Elkhart County bands, as you’ll see at regionals & state. We “Band” together with area schools!

Color Guard:

See Auxiliary; group of hard working marching band members who use flags, & hand movements instead of musical instruments; valuable part of the whole picture for The Show. Some fundraisers are for Color Guard only because they need additional equipment & clothing each year. Everyone can support these though! Tryouts in the spring.

Doctor (Beat):

The loud (& annoying) metronome used to keep everyone in time. Battery lives by it.


AKA Battery, these percussion students start in early spring to be ready for July & beyond. Consists of snare drums, Tom’s (5 smaller drums on one harness) & bass drums.

Drum Major(s):

Awesome students selected during spring tryouts; must be able to withstand director’s wrath, pressures of award presentations.

ECHS Band Boosters, Inc.:

This is YOUR band booster organization and every band parent is a member! We have no dues, trust us, you’ll give in plenty of other ways! This is the 501C IRS title for your many checks! Band Parents’ meetings are held every other week (all school year long) in the fall and once a month after marching season and contain a lot of information you will need to know! Also this is where and when you get signed up for bringing food and helping with various events.


These are what the Color Guard performs with to the movements of the marching band. They work very hard to get the motions together (or wave, if that is the desired effect). Band Parents may be called on to “help sew”. This may include taking over the sewing lab at ECHS and “pinning” or sewing fabric pieces together. Then, when you think you’re all done, a new flag might be added, & the process begins again. Friendships are formed and a good time is had at Sewing/Pinning Parties! You are always invited to join us!


Another way to get $$ from parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc. The “big” ones are: Peelers, Flowers, Poinsettias/Greens, Fish Fry, Car Wash/Nelson’s Chicken, Garden Walk; and SCRIPS. As you can tell, they go on all year long. Some contribute directly to your student’s band fees or trips and can reduce them significantly (SCRIPS, peelers and flower flats). The others go for the general band fund which covers everything else! A LOT of parent and student help is needed with every fundraiser!

Goodie bags:

Not reserved for birthday parties! When the band goes to invitationals or regionals “far away” (such as Ft. Wayne or Indy, but not Concord, Goshen, or Penn) snack bags are made for each band member with chips, drink, candy, cookies etc. These are “equal” and separate gift bags for sections are discouraged to maintain band unity. Contributing to these goodie bags is requested a few weeks before by as many parents as possible! Stock up now on water, candy, snack deals as the sales come up!


Perform “The Show” at football games; make sure you have all of your snacks and have used the restroom prior to this, Band Parents do NOT leave the stands during this time. This is when our kids shine.


The horizontal marks on the football field, divides the field into thirds.


Last trip was Spring Break 2006, the next one is planned for 2010. Aloha Blazers. Pending is a trip to New York Spring Break 2008.

Horns Up:

Visual where the bell of instrument is directed at the press box.


These are “warm-ups” to District, Regional, and State competitions; judges’ scores are important, and increasing scores each week is the goal!


Indiana State School Music Association; sponsoring organization for District, Regional and State Marching Band competitions, as well as Solo & Ensemble Festival and All-Region. All-State Honor Bands.

Low Brass:

Sousaphone (marching Tuba), Baritones, Mellophones (marching French Horn), Trombones

Mark Time:

Marching in place, keeping time (used instead of tapping foot as in concert band)


marching French Horns

Mr. Burton:

Assistant Director who joined the staff in 2005. Also directs Concert Band & Pierre Moran Band very well. Very talented family as his wife, Gaye is the Director of Concord’s band and their daughter, Joy, is quite the dancer! Both joined Mr. Burton on the Hawaii trip and are certainly part of the Central family now!

Mr. C:

Mr. Carnall (Tim) Director, yes he yells at your kids, and talks with your kids, yes he cares about each band member and their family, yes he loves band. Yes, he can hula!

Mrs. C:

Mrs. Carnall (Sandy) Color Guard Director and a darn good (North Side) director too! Mother of Samuel/ Sammy/little Mr. C and Elizebeth Ann/Libby and also wife of Mr. C!


Something your band member will always have need of. Snacks at invitationals are reasonably priced and support other bands. Especially during marching band, on Friday nights and Saturdays have “extra” handy as you’ll need some for admissions, programs, extras too!


Current band members march in the Bristol Homecoming Parade the Saturday after the 4th of July, all band members march in the Labor Day (cancelled for 2006) and Memorial Day parades on Main Street in Elkhart, and the band marches in the ECHS Homecoming parade from Goshen Ave. to the football field. Summer uniforms are worn for all parades except ECHS Homecoming.

Parade Block:

4 across for tunnel approach or marching from band door to football field.


These are the credit card size summer fundraiser coupons ($10) that are good all year long and give you 2 for 1 at many different restaurants and % off at other stores. Easy to sell and well worth your purchase!

Pit Crew:

These dedicated and valuable parents (and some grandparents, siblings, etc.) are responsible for loading and unloading of pit equipment (see The Pit), setting up The Pit within the time allotted before a performance, and very quickly getting it “down” after the show, loading and unloading again to get back to ECHS, and getting it back in the school and the trailers back to their spots! Tired yet? A fun group and a great place to get your workout!


the feathery top that goes on the hats! Subject to Freshman (plume on backwards) joke.

Practice Field:

Yeah!! The new practice firld is now finished! We are getting good use out of it.

Practice Logs:

Not related to Practice Field at all. Think back to when you tried to get your kids to practice their instruments each week during elementary and junior high just to fill out this required practice log, and you will celebrate no longer needing to beg them to practice—they WANT to practice (sort of), they NEED to practice (big time) and they KNOW they have to practice or they’ll mess up for the whole band!


playing of opposing team’s school song, National Anthem, & ECHS school song at home football games.


These are the “extras” that add to the visual effect of a show. Stay tuned - parents needed to help… always! You’ll never regret it!


Another name for Tom’s, but yes, there are 5 drums on one harness.


New props for Color Guard from Winter Guard 2006. They are wooden and heavy! Very cool visual!


This is the last time The Show is performed before the band leaves ECHS and what Mr. C/staff does just before the kids can have their “dinner”—or meal brought by parents- on the days of Invitationals or ISSMA Contests. Get there about 15 min. before the scheduled times or you might miss The Run-Thru! (times are always approx.) Be prepared to receive coaching from Mr. C as to appropriate times to clap and cheer during The Show to maximize effectiveness for judging.

School Song:

Central’s Fight Song (don’t worry, you’ll learn it, too, or at least learn when to clap and cheer!)

Seat Cushions:

Bring to football games, Invitationals, etc. for personal comfort, splinter prevention; and (along with blankets/beach towels) to save seats!


Phrase used to tell everyone to get in position (different from Sets and Set Sheets)


Group of blocked moves that make up each marching form: Opener, Ballad, Closer

Set Sheets:

gives the coordinates and counts of each set; students wear these on key rings on belt loops.


Term for what Color Guard does with a flag or rifle! Please do not say “twirl”!


The talented and very giving adults and college students who create “The Show” and work countless hours and days and nights and more days and more nights to create “The Show” at inadequate, little, or no remuneration. They are THE BEST!


(also referred to as “Going to State”) For Indiana, this is the grand finale of the marching band competitive season; ECHS has gone 2 of the past 4 years, coming in 8th in 2002 and 5th in 2003 (Top 5!) in Class B. It’s definitely worth your trip to The Dome to see our kids on the Jumbotron and it’s also worth all of that hard work all season long to wrap it up with a Trip to the RCA Dome! What a goal for everyone to be working towards, but a dream for many kids around the state. Only 10 schools go in each class, 5 from the “north” and 5 from the “south”.

Summer Uniform:

Khaki shorts (of appropriate length) & band t-shirt, WHITE socks & WHITE shoes; worn for Parent Preview Night; parades(Labor Day/Mem.Day); first (warm) football games.

The Pit:

This is the percussion section that doesn’t march, now known as The Front Ensemble. Kids who are in fall sports (tennis/soccer/volleyball) often can still participate in Blazer Brigade by being in The Pit, too. Not the same as “The Pits”, which is what your student may say about homework, school, or chores. (Which by the way, will need to go on hiatus during marching band; that is chores, not homework!)

The Show:

Consists of Opener, Ballad, and Closer. Changes are frequent (you will hear complaining) and the show builds during the first few weeks of school. Theme changes every year and The Show gets better every year! Amazing how that happens…


part of the football stadium under the stands. Avoid being in the tunnel if the drumline bothers you! They love the noise reverberating there!


These are the “extras” that the kids learn once the basic marching is learned and they add visuals to make the show more entertaining! Might include some ballet moves, squats, sways, fancy footwork, head and arm movements, etc.


Between summer band and extra practices, they need and will drink a lot of water. Stock up on cases when it goes on sale, as well as boxes of Capri-Sun, good snacks, etc. We added a wonderful water tank during the 2005 season reducing the individual bottles in our landfills or needing recycling!


What you used to be able to enjoy—perhaps doing yard work, watching a bit of TV, just hanging out Those days are gone. You are now a band parent. You no longer have a weekend in the fall. Be prepared to be tired on Monday morning from chauffeuring to and from the home football game on Friday night, enjoying the pre-game and halftime shows (and the game too); getting your student ready for Saturday morning practice; bringing “dinner” (anywhere from 10 am - 2 pm) and watching the Run-Thru; then traveling to Invitationals and cheering on the Blazer Brigade and politely cheering for other bands, too, for several hours and then returning home often (very) late Saturday night. You try to catch up on Sunday, but mostly spend it like you would have spent Saturday had you been home, but you’re much more tired now and then you have Monday the next day. Repeat for next weekend. Through October! Ahhh…November…and Band Band-quet!

White Shoes:

Required for summer uniform. These need to be “dedicated” to band, ALL white and stay clean/white!


Flutes, Clarinets, Sax

Winter Guard:

Winter 2006 was the first time ECHS had a Winter Guard squad. They performed at basketball halftime shows and learned to spin rifles (wooden), a new prop for us! (OK, some propellers were used in 2005!)

Winter Uniform:

AKA Full Uniform; consists of jacket, pants, hat, plume, black band shoes, and black socks. They get fitted for uniforms early in the year and usually keep the same uniform unless sizing changes all 4 years! (They do keep growing, don’t they?)

Disclaimer: No copyright necessary since these evolved from freshman band parent experiences in 2003-4. Additions and changes have been made each year as needed. Any additional submissions or corrections can be made to