Band FAQ

New to the JHS Band program or just interested in what we have to offer?  You’ve come to the right place!

At our annual Band Interest Meeting, JHS Director of Bands Michael Larkin presents general information about our band program.  You can view the May 2015 PowerPoint presentation by clicking this link.  For a summary of this presentation, see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

The Jupiter High School Band is large and growing!  There is a lot to keep track of because we are a busy and accomplished program!  You may feel overwhelmed with information, but we hope this page and the links referenced below help you find the information you need.

How can you make the most of your experience in the Jupiter High School Band?

STAY INFORMED
Band families are kept up to date first and foremost by email using Charms Office Assistant.  All parents and students must have an email listed in their Charms account in order to receive emails.  See our Communication/Email page for information on how to access and update your Charms account and read archived emails.

Our online Band Calendar is kept up to date with band rehearsals, performances, deadlines, and other important events and associated details.

The Communication/Email page also references other ways to communicate and get informed.

UNDERSTAND BAND FEES
The band program is very expensive to operate.  The funds we receive from the school district do not come close to covering expenses, so we are essentially self-funded.  With costs for equipment, instruments, repairs, travel, uniforms, instructors and much more, it is very important that all members of band pay their band fees in full and on time.

The band budget is fairly distributed among all band students so that all of the band’s financial obligations can be met. Student band fees are calculated by dividing the overall band budget by the number of expected students in each program.  Students in co-curricular activities (marching band, winter guard and winter percussion) pay more in band fees than students who do not participate in those groups because of the additional expenses associated with those groups.

Band fees can be paid outright or raised through the many fundraising opportunities that we offer.  It’s up to each band member to decide how much of his/her band fees will be paid out of pocket and how much can be fund raised.

Look for more information on our Band Fees and Fundraising pages.

BE INVOLVED
The BEST way to learn about the band program is to get involved!

Get to know your student’s friends and their parents and make new friends yourself!

ASK QUESTIONS
The Band Director is your first go-to person for questions and concerns about band.  However, sometimes he can’t answer all of your questions during band class.  If you have a question or concern about a band activity, check your emails for a contact person or the online band calendar for activity details.  Or, visit our Band Parent Organization page for committee chairperson contact information .

Our band parents are always willing to answer questions!  When in doubt, stop any band parent and ask for help.

Students are encouraged to ask questions of their student leaders.  See our Leadership Team page for the names and positions of our band leadership members.

MEET OUR STAFF
We are very fortunate to have some of the best music and visual instructors in the country working with our students!  Visit our Staff page for individual biographies and photos.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Most of the information presented in class and emailed via Charms is available on our web site.  Visit these pages:

  • Band Calendar – up-to-date details on rehearsals, performances and other deadlines
  • Forms – Paperwork required to participate in band classes and fundraisers is available for printing and downloading
  • Band Handbook – Online copy of the handbook distributed to all students at the beginning of the school year
  • Uniforms – Everything you need to know about rehearsal and performance uniforms for all band ensembles
  • Band Camp – Everything you need to know about spring and summer marching band camps
  • Photos – View and download photos from band activities taken by our fantastic band photographers
  • Videos – See past performances of band ensembles

Frequently Asked Questions

What band classes are offered?
We offer:
– Color Guard
– Wind Symphony
– Jazz Band
– Symphonic Band
– Percussion Ensemble
All percussionists enroll in the Percussion Ensemble class.

What is the time commitment involved for band?
As in every band, the major time involved is homework: Practicing daily at home!

Is fundraising mandatory?
No, fundraising is not mandatory.  But, it is a great way to experience band and all of the exciting extras that we do for free.  It will help offset the cost of your Fundraising Commitment and/or Fair Share fees.  If you fund raise enough you will not have to pay anything out of pocket for fair share.  See our Fundraising page for some of the fundraising opportunities that can reduce your band fees.

Can I be in a magnet program (or academy) and band?
YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  The majority of our marching band members are also in the Medical, JROTC, Environmental magnets or Culinary, Engineering or Criminal Justice academy programs.

I am in an academy and also need to take a PE or HOPE class plus a foreign language.  How can I be in band when I only have two electives per semester?
You DO NOT have to take PE or HOPE in 9th grade!  Anyone who tells you that your 9th grader MUST take those classes in 9th grade is WRONG!  It is also against Florida Department of Education policy to force a 9th grade student to do so!  PE, Health and HOPE may be taken any time before graduation.  The Florida Virtual School (www.flvs.net) offers 95 online courses from PE to Chinese and from History to AP Calculus.  Most of the band students use FLVS to reduce the amount of homework during the school year and to give them time to take electives that are important to them.

Can I participate in sports and in band?
Yes.  Many of our band members are on various team sports.  It is very important that you read the calendar and address any conflicts well in advance.

What co-curricular activities are offered?
Students can participate after school in the Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band (May through August), Winter Guard (late November through mid-April) and Winter Percussion (late November through mid-April).  There are Fair Share fees associated with participation in these co-curricular activities.

When are practices for marching band?
During the school year, the Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band rehearses on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:45 p.m. starting the first week of school through the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Rehearsals or competitions are held on most Saturdays, and there are four or five Friday night home football games.

What happens if I cannot be at a practice?
If you are absent from school and it is an excused absence, you will be excused from band practice.  Other than that, you must submit your absence request in writing.  There will be no excused absences for performances.

What band camps am I responsible to attend?
All Spirit of Jupiter band members (including Color Guard) need to attend the spring rehearsals and June, July and August Band Camps.  We are a very competitive band and we will rehearse a lot.  All camps are mandatory.  See our Calendar page for specific dates.

How do I prepare for band camp?
Get outside and enjoy the heat between now and the first camp.  THIS WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.  Pace yourself and be careful not to overheat.  Also, start walking or jogging to get yourself in better cardiovascular shape.  Drink plenty of water every night before camp.  Eating healthy and knowing good nutrition habits are a huge tool to success.  You need to take care of your body so that we can all be strong.  There are practice materials on our Practice Materials page with warm-ups for woodwind, brass and percussion.

Do I need a different instrument to march?
Double reed players, pianists, guitar players and bass clarinetists will need to play a secondary instrument (like tenor saxophone or auxiliary percussion), or march in the color guard.  Talk to Mr. Larkin about what you’d like to play!

What items do I need for band camp?
You will need to wear an all-white t-shirt, green shorts, socks, and cross-trainer sneakers (not high-tops or skating shoes), and a light-colored hat.  Also, you MUST bring at least a gallon of water.  Sunscreen must be worn and healthy snacks are important as well.  See the Uniforms page for more information on what to wear for Band Camps and rehearsals.

How long is marching season?
Marching season begins with spring rehearsals in May and ends after the FMBC Championships in November (the weekend before Thanksgiving).

How do I get into Spirit of Jupiter?
The Spirit of Jupiter auditions will be held during the first spring rehearsal.  Don’t worry, we understand that if you are new you will know very little about marching at the beginning!  You will be taught everything you need to know.

Do I need to be able to play an instrument to be in Color Guard?
No, but you must be enrolled in the Color Guard class (1st period).

Is there a class for Color Guard?
Yes!  All Color Guard members must be in the guard class.  It is a Fine Arts credit needed for graduation.

What is the cost to be in the Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band?
The Fair Share cost varies based on the number of students participating in the band and the show design for that year.  See our Fair Share page for more information.

My child is not a great student and good organizer of time.  How will he/she balance homework and marching band in the fall?
Your student’s section leader and other students in the leadership council can help share strategies to organize his/her time and manage responsibilities.  Our New Student Liaison (a parent volunteer) will also help any student that is having problem juggling band and classes.

Can I have a job and be in marching band?
Yes.  But, it is imperative that you communicate your band commitment dates and times with your employer so that you do not miss a band rehearsal or performance.  A part-time job is not an excused reason to miss a rehearsal, performance or event.