FAQ ABOUT BAND AT MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Q. My child is really enjoying middle school band. How is high school band similar to what goes on at MMS and OVMS?
A. The high school band courses, entitled Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble, are parallel to Muir’s Cadet Band/Concert Band and Oak Valley’s Varsity Band/Concert Band courses. There are three ability-based bands that meet as a class during the school day. In these classes, members will study major band literature, continue learning performance practices for their instrument, perform in a few evening concerts, participate in chamber music/Solo & Ensemble, and travel on educational trips.
Q. How does my child enroll in Concert Band/Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble? Is there a cost to participate?
A. When the high school counselors come to your child’s school for registration, your child will be able to elect a band course. All incoming freshmen should initially select “Concert Band;” Ms. Sare will be to your child’s school prior to spring break to hear your child play and will consult with your child’s current band director to place your child in the appropriate ensemble. There are no costs to participate aside from a uniform fee and lock deposit.
Q. Does Milford HS have a Jazz Band?
A. Yes!!! The Jazz Band is a 7th hour class—it meets outside the school day on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Students enrolled in Jazz Band will receive an additional 0.5 credit per semester and must be concurrently enrolled in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, or Wind Ensemble. Students will be able to select Jazz Band when they register for classes. The Jazz Band will rehearse in a Big Band format.
Q. High school marching band sounds a lot different...tell me about it…
A. The Milford Marching Band is an outstanding group of young men and women who perform at home football games, local parades, and compete in shows sanctioned through the Michigan Competitive Band Association (MCBA). The Marching Band starts each year with camp prior to the start of school, and during the school year, it rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 pm and all day Saturday, with a show almost every Saturday. While this sounds like a lot, it is comparable to the time investment of a varsity sport. Students in marching band must be concurrently enrolled in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, or Wind Ensemble.
Students enrolled in Marching Band get several additional benefits! First, additional instructors are brought in to work with marching band students. Students benefit from a smaller instructor to student ratio and get valuable feedback from experts on that instrument. See the “Marching Band Staff” for more details on some of MHS’s instructors. Also, students in Marching Band get to be part of an important team and forge friendships across grade levels and ability levels. The band has a long history of success, including many state finals appearances. This year, the band took 11th place at MCBA State Championships, held at Ford Field. The best part of being in a marching band is this: every member is a first-string, Varsity player--you will never be benched; there is no one who can fill your place--you are unique, valued, and an important part of our ensemble!!! Milford’s marching band students are some of the hardest working and most respected students in the school! And if you’re worried about the “coolness factor,” check out this website: http://www.ranker.com/list/30-famous-people-who-once-were-in-marching-bands/robert-wabash
Q. Is there a cost associated with Marching Band? How do I sign up?
A. Yes, there is--the fees for marching band cover the cost of additional instructors (it's like having private lessons--you get so much extra help from someone who is an expert on your instrument--see the Marching Band Staff page), music (our shows are unique--custom arranged just for us!), drill (the way each band member moves on the field to create different formations), travel expenses, your stay at camp, meals, special equipment, and many other things. But don't worry--the Milford Band Parents, which your parents are automatically a part since you're in band--offer so many different ways to fundraise! Many families pay for their musician(s) to participate in marching band with no out-of-pocket cost through participating in fundraisers! Ms. Sare and the Band Parent Council are always looking for new ways to lower costs and increase revenue to make marching band something that all students can make happen! There will be an informational meeting in early February for students and parents interested in Marching Band—your middle school band director will keep you updated here.
Questions About the MHS Band Program, Answered by Current Band Parents
A) Parent of a Freshman Oboe/Color Guard
B) Parent of a Sophomore Clarinet
C) Parent of a Sophomore Tuba
D) Parent of a Junior Flute
E) Parent of a Senior Trumpet/Drum Major
I'm glad my child is part of the high school band program because:
A) Band teaches discipline. You cannot consistently make beautiful music from an instrument without dedication to practice and consistent effort while you are playing. Those students who exert themselves develop habits that translate into other aspects of their lives. They also gain an appreciation of truly good music, not just the “canned, repetitive sounds” that are so common on the radio and in our society today.
B) It provides a healthy and fun environment for my teenager to grow socially and musically; helps my teenager feel more comfortable about going to high school by giving her a chance to know good upper classmen and women before the start of her freshmen year; gives her potential leadership opportunities; and it is good for college applications.
C) Despite how much time is needed to be in band, he is really keeping his grades up! It seems as if a lot of the kids in band are in AP classes, and his fellow band members encouraged him to take AP classes in 10th grade. He has a very nice core group of friends.
D) My daughter enjoys the band program and I feel that music is an integral part of her education...it is a plus that she enjoys it so much.
E) They are a tight knit group and it is nice for the freshman to make friends with students and upperclassman. Learning an instrument is like learning a language and one can play an instrument for life (as opposed to playing sports). Also, studies have shown that learning an instrument increases academic performance.
Something all middle school parents should know about the high school band program is:
A) If you really want your child to excel musically, this is where they will gain the experiences and nurture their talents that will last for a lifetime.
B) It’s fun. It can be a lot of work for the kids, but it is more balanced than other schools: Milford practices 2 week nights a week, while Plymouth-Canton practices 4 times a week. Kids do not have to take PE if they are in Band all 4 years
C) Something all middle school parents should know about the high school band program is: Marching band requires a LOT of hours of participation. Also, there are no free weekends between mid-August through November.
D) Your child can successfully enjoy the band program without being a part of marching band, if he/she wants to join a fall sport. Don't give up on band...you CAN do it all and have fun!) It is not as intimidating as their child may think it will be.
Being in high school band changed my child in the following ways:
A) We have had 5 children go through the High School band program, which at times it was difficult to juggle schedules, but was worth it. Each of our children has developed a greater appreciation for music. They have mastered talents and are more confident. Participating in band taught them to work through trials and to be successful, to work both individually and together as a group to achieve a goal.
B) Helped my child open up socially. Helped my child improve her music skills.
D) It has made my child more musically self-confident. It is easier for her to play in front of judges and an audience which has enabled her to expand her playing to include playing in church.