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bandparentky

Band Competition Etiquette

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Speaking as a band parent, I'd like to address the issue of "Band Competition Etiquette", especially at today's competition at Beechwood.

I'll set the scene for all of you.....,

First, you have all of these bands coming from all over the State, spending money from their school or Board Of Education accounts, just to make sure that their bands have a chance to show the public what they've learned over the past many years of them preparing for this moment, that means the most to them and their school and community.

You go to a very well-run competition, like Beechwood's, run by a great group of Band Boosters, Parents, Volunteers, and the Host School's students acting as their guides.

The bands are willing to put everything they've been taught, on the line, for the enjoyment of their famlies, fans, friends, and their school pride, and to keep Musical Arts growing in our State.

We go to our seats waiting to see what these bands are going to perform for the entertainment value, but most important, to compete with bands in their own Class, and hopefully walk away knowing that their performance wowed the crowd, and will walk away knowing that all of the hard work and dedication is appreciated, just to have it ruined by a few people in the stands that are ignorant of the basic rules of "Etiquette"!

We sat at the 50 yardline about 8 rows up from the bottom of the stands, and for the rest of the entire Prelim's, all we heard was the ringing of cell phones going off, perople actually carrying on loud conversations, as if no one else mattered but their trivial banter with someone on the other end of their cell phones.

Besides that, we had at least 6 groups of different band parents speaking aloud, making crude remarks about each school that performed, laughed when some color guard members would drop their sabers, rifles, or flags, and that's not the half of it!

We had students from these schools stomping their feet on the metal stands for no apparent reason, speaking aloud amongst themselves and making fun of every little mistake that would be made throughout each performance, even their own school's time on the field!

I turned around several times to glare at them, thinking that this may stop this madness, but it was to no avail.

After the third band in Class A had performed and there was a few minutes to speak to these groups of people, I asked an older gentleman that I thought may have been one of their chaperones, and asked him if he was connected to this one group of kids, and he told me yes, but if I had a problem, to go over to their Assistant Director, since he was sitting amongst them in the stands!!!! Word must have gotten around, since they did quiet down, since their turn to go an perform was coming up in about an hour from then.

After we thought that problem was over, then three other groups of parents had just arrived and decided that if was their choice to talk aloud while the Class AA began to perform. These ladies and gentlemen spoke so loud that it was really hard to even hear the larger bands perform.

I did approach one of the three groups of adults and asked them if they would please stop speaking so the rest of us that paid our admission and came to see their children perform, would be able to enjoy everyone's performance.

They were appauld that I ask them to give this courtesy to us and especially to the hard working band students and their Director's. And these parents were from the larger bands that attended and competed today. Of course, when it was their bands turn to perform, you could have heard a pin drop!!!

The "final straw that broke the camels back" was when we had an a lady right behind us, whose cell phone began to ring very loudly, decided to carry on a long conversation with her friend on the other end. My wife decided to turn and ask her to stop speaking on her cell phone and she tells my wife, and I quote, "I'm a teacher at -------- school and I have to take this call", right in the middle of PLD's performance. Unbelievable!

For those of you that read this post, whether you're a parent, student, family member, or fan, PLEASE use your heads when attending a musical compeition, and give the much due respect especially to all of the bands, their Director's and Staff, and also the people in the stands that came to support the child's band and all of the other bands that have been working all year just for 15 minutes of their undivided attention.

This is crazy that grown adults would do this to their own children and the children of others, knowing how much sweat and tears go into these performances, and how much they want to be the best they can be for those few moments on the field.

I'm ashamed that people of my age group would do this week after week.

How can we expect for the students and fans from the other schools to learn the basics of etiquette, when the adults aren't following the rules themselves.

Please, if you have to make or take a call on your cell phones, try to downgrade each and every band but your own, and talk amongst yourselves, please do it outside of the seating area and let the rest of us enjoy our childs accomplishments.

Thank you!

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I wasn't at this contest, but I agree wholeheartedly that it occurs at most. I think we should all find the vibrate or silent button on the cell phone and if we must take a call, LEAVE THE STANDS. Yes, it's rude to move during a performance, but in my opinion, it's ruder to talk through a performance.

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I was at this competition and during a AAA performance, about 5 to 10 band parents in a different band but same class laughing up a storm saying things like, "I thought our band was poor!" and "This band really sucks, why do they even try" This was very rude, after the bands performance I told them they should be ashamed of themselves and left. But when I sat down next to my parents I see about 3 band parents from a 5A Band ranting on, and it was OBNOXIOUS!! The older women even looked rude, if that makes sense. I was sooo mad I just wanted to hurl my water bottle at both sections.

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this is also one of my biggest problems today! people who act like this is just horrible.

 

I remember a couple of years ago, there was a family behind me at state finals that just talked and talked throughout the whole thing, I repeatedly said things to them, but unfortunately they were foriegn and I'm not sure they understood english.

 

And there are people in every group that does this, the above mentioned family was with PLD....so it's just not small schools or country schools, or city schools.

 

I believe the important thing to do is write people who need to know. In my line of business, writing to a series of people who need to know, fixes lots of problems.

 

I would write a letter, and send a copy to the band director, the principal of the high school, the super intendent, and also a letter to KMEA.

 

People will do it as long as they get away with it. I don't believe they have malintent, however most people are so clueless they don't notice what is going on around them! So we are just as guilty unless we take measures to help stop these problems.

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I was at Breechwood, but fortunately we were sitting at the 30 yard line left. The crowd around us was very quiet during all performances. We( our band board) always tries to educate the new members and their families about competition manners. I agree that ALL of us need to speak up and remind everyone that no matter the band, ALL of the members work very hard and are true gifts to their communities and schools.

Edited by Trumpet player

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As a member of PLD's Board, I'd like to personally apologize for any problem caused by our parents / fans. I'd also like to assure you that we had already been discussing the need to re-emphasize the rules of etiquette with our members upon seeing the first post in the forum. Be assured that we will be taking steps immediately to address this issue. Again, I'm sorry for any lack of respect shown by a PLD supporter.

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If mentioning a name is helping change things already Im sharing the bands.

 

Surprisingly, the rude comments about Holmes was from Highlands.

 

The other parents laughing up a storm oboxiously were from GRC.

 

These are not the only people I noticed, but these were the worst offenders. I suggest a letter to the band director and a freakin announcement even if it has to be before every single band. If they can block off the stands, why cant they speak a few needed words?

 

Thanks

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As a member of PLD's Board, I'd like to personally apologize for any problem caused by our parents / fans. I'd also like to assure you that we had already been discussing the need to re-emphasize the rules of etiquette with our members upon seeing the first post in the forum. Be assured that we will be taking steps immediately to address this issue. Again, I'm sorry for any lack of respect shown by a PLD supporter.

 

Personally, I did not hear about any problems from the PLD group. I wasn't sitting near them, but I don't want to mention the band fans involved in this issue, because I know that most fans try to be respectful during the performances.

It would be nice if those of you that read my orginal thread about this issue at the beginning of this discussion, it would help people understand what the word "etiquette" truly means.

Thanks for the nice emails that I've received from many of you that are planning on mentioning this to their local booster organizations and their students.

Thank you.

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As a member of PLD's Board, I'd like to personally apologize for any problem caused by our parents / fans. I'd also like to assure you that we had already been discussing the need to re-emphasize the rules of etiquette with our members upon seeing the first post in the forum. Be assured that we will be taking steps immediately to address this issue. Again, I'm sorry for any lack of respect shown by a PLD supporter.

 

 

SousaMom,

 

I appreciate your apology for the then parents. I assure you this was years ago.

 

I also wanted to point out that, I wasn't trying to just single you guys out. I was just trying to show that every school has parents/supporters that do this.

 

Best of luck this season! Can't wait to see the show!

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This is a much needed thread, Thank You!!!! We as parents should be the first to abide by the standards of etiquette!! We financially support our children, school, and band. Most of us I know have had to give up some of our time and money to make sure our kids have every chance to succeed. Therefore, we should be able and willing to uphold these principles and pass it on to the family and friends we invite to these activities/competitions. I believe one of the problems is lack of interest and communication between the kids, director, and parents. We have 20 or so parents who do 99% of the work and attend all meetings, but on competition day parents are coming out of the woodworks. How are they supposed to know anything without being involved?! This is just one of my problems with"unavailable" parents. I do agree announcements are needed often during shows, and I also believe the Host Band should have the right to ask unwilling participants in etiquette to leave the stands.

I'm done venting, sorry if I got a little sidetracked, just a real sour note for me.

Good Luck this year to you and your children!!!

 

I am a Mercer County booster and welcome any comments or criticism.

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This is a much needed thread, Thank You!!!! We as parents should be the first to abide by the standards of etiquette!! We financially support our children, school, and band. Most of us I know have had to give up some of our time and money to make sure our kids have every chance to succeed. Therefore, we should be able and willing to uphold these principles and pass it on to the family and friends we invite to these activities/competitions. I believe one of the problems is lack of interest and communication between the kids, director, and parents. We have 20 or so parents who do 99% of the work and attend all meetings, but on competition day parents are coming out of the woodworks. How are they supposed to know anything without being involved?! This is just one of my problems with"unavailable" parents. I do agree announcements are needed often during shows, and I also believe the Host Band should have the right to ask unwilling participants in etiquette to leave the stands.

I'm done venting, sorry if I got a little sidetracked, just a real sour note for me.

Good Luck this year to you and your children!!!

 

I am a Mercer County booster and welcome any comments or criticism.

 

I wish that every parent that reads this thread would read it at your next band boosters and band parents meetings before the end of our season.

Many band have the same problems as you stated...., a few parents doing all of the work and others that just show up on competition days. i suggest that possibly your Band Director send a letter, via "snail mail", so those that don't or can't attend your meetings, will have some idea of what is expected of them at competitions.

Thanks for your input.

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Yes, I agree it is amazing to me how grown people act at the comps. Also I don't think they realize that this unlike football is a sport you need to HEAR. Every band booster president should E-mail this to every band parent and bring it up at the meeting for new parents. These kids are putting their lives into every preformance and have worked so hard to get to the comp it is a shame some people miss the point of why we are there. Not just your band, but every kid there deserves and has earned your undivided attention.

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This thread really caught my attention. I thought that I was one of the few people who has experienced rude audience-attenders, but I guess I was dead wrong.

At the LaRue contest it was just... catastrophic! People kneeing each other in the backs without so much of an apology, band parents and grandparents alike yelling at others to get out of there way when a band hadn't even started performing, people pushing each other, band parents laughing it up at their younger children when their band wasn't performing (but others were), people laughing at dropped flags and badly played notes.... oh, it was terrible. And I was in the smaller side stands too. My boyfriend said that the main stands were even worse.

 

Let's hope people start growing up mentally. I get enough rudeness at school and at football games, I don't want to have it at a place where EVERYONE is supposed to be a class act.

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Below are some of the points of etiquette that we share with our members. Feel free to pass them along!

 

DO NOT...

- Enter or leave the stands during a performance.

- Talk during any performance. (Oohs.. Ahhs.. and Wows are always allowed!)

- Make negative comments about any of the bands or spectators.

- Compare another band's performance to our own in a negative manner.

- Use your cell phone during a performance.

- Block another spectators view.

- Leave trash in the stands.

 

DO FEEL FREE TO...

- Apologize if caught doing any of the above.

(Don't get angry if someone shhh's you so that they can hear their band!)

- Clap for every band to show your appreciation!

(BOA requests that everyone stand and clap for each band performing... a great tradition!)

- Make at least one positive comment about each performance.

- Compliment other band's members and parents on their performance and their cool show shirts!

- Congratulate other band's on their accomplishments and thank them for sharing a great show with us!

- Gently remind other parents / family / fans of proper contest behavior.

- Always set a good example for our students.

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Below are some of the points of etiquette that we share with our members. Feel free to pass them along!

 

DO NOT...

- Enter or leave the stands during a performance.

- Talk during any performance. (Oohs.. Ahhs.. and Wows are always allowed!)

- Make negative comments about any of the bands or spectators.

- Compare another band's performance to our own in a negative manner.

- Use your cell phone during a performance.

- Block another spectators view.

- Leave trash in the stands.

 

DO FEEL FREE TO...

- Apologize if caught doing any of the above.

(Don't get angry if someone shhh's you so that they can hear their band!)

- Clap for every band to show your appreciation!

(BOA requests that everyone stand and clap for each band performing... a great tradition!)

- Make at least one positive comment about each performance.

- Compliment other band's members and parents on their performance and their cool show shirts!

- Congratulate other band's on their accomplishments and thank them for sharing a great show with us!

- Gently remind other parents / family / fans of proper contest behavior.

- Always set a good example for our students.

 

At our competition 2 weeks ago at Russell a 20 sum year old boy was up and down our whole preformance! Thats all u see in the video. My mom was gettin mad and wouldent let him thro and put her hand up but he just went down a row and went on through! First you shouldent be up and down in the stands while any band is preforming and it was blocking views of people and its just plain rude! <_<

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Below are some of the points of etiquette that we share with our members. Feel free to pass them along!

 

DO NOT...

- Enter or leave the stands during a performance.

- Talk during any performance. (Oohs.. Ahhs.. and Wows are always allowed!)

- Make negative comments about any of the bands or spectators.

- Compare another band's performance to our own in a negative manner.

- Use your cell phone during a performance.

- Block another spectators view.

- Leave trash in the stands.

 

DO FEEL FREE TO...

- Apologize if caught doing any of the above.

(Don't get angry if someone shhh's you so that they can hear their band!)

- Clap for every band to show your appreciation!

(BOA requests that everyone stand and clap for each band performing... a great tradition!)

- Make at least one positive comment about each performance.

- Compliment other band's members and parents on their performance and their cool show shirts!

- Congratulate other band's on their accomplishments and thank them for sharing a great show with us!

- Gently remind other parents / family / fans of proper contest behavior.

- Always set a good example for our students.

 

Thank you for providing this helpful list of notes to all of your local booster members.

If anyone who reads the above post would copy it and read it at your next boosters meeting, things would get much better.

We know we can't change some people, but it's up to all of us parents, students, and director's to make sure these rules apply to everyone.

If anyone else has anymore idea's on this subject, please post them.

Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to post their idea's and suggestions!

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If anyone attended the Grant County Competition last weekend, you'll know that as usual, they made for a great day for all of us that attended that day. Thank you Grant County Boosters, Parents, and Volunteers.

I'm sorry to report that in the stands, the story was much different.

I'm not going to call-out this group of Band Parents, Fans, and Marchers, but once they pefromed and made it back to the stands, it was not a good time for the spectators.

We were seated near the 50 yard line and had a group of bands students sitting in front of us, making crude remarks, talking on their cell phones, and were very disrespectful to the bands following them during their performance. I know where they were from since they were wearing their Show Shirts.

I finally had enough and had to stand up and nicely ask them to stop talking and to respect the other bands like all of us did when they were on the field performing earlier in the day.

There was even another group from another school that moved over to our area of the stands because these parents, fans, and students, were so rude to their band, that they asked if they could sit with our small group of band parents.

This has got to stop!

I don't want to mention the band, their fans, and parents, that caused all of the problems, but once this season is over, a full report will be sent to their Director, Principal, and their Super.

It's a shame, but this group of people have caused problems at other competitions this year as well.

Please, if this sounds like your band, all we ask as spectators, is to be able to enjoy ALL of the bands competing that day, and to respect the hard work and dedication that all of these bands have put into their Shows.

Please note that I'm not here to bash the Host Band, Grant County, but to ask everyone else to somehow keep control of yourselves and your students.

I'm sure when my letter arrives at this school, their Director, Booster President, Principal, and Super, will not be happy to hear what happened last week.

Everyone, please remind everyone in your group, including your fans and students, to be respectful of all the bands at all times.

No cell phones, talking during any performance, walking around in the stands while bands are performing, and show the respect that we give you every time we watch you perform.

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It's very unfortunate when you're trying to watch and listen to a band, but you can't hear because the band parents are screaming every other set. Strangely enough, it seems like there is a correlation to how bad a band is to how loud and how often the parents scream. During the performance of the lowest-scoring band at Lone Oak last night, I could only hear bits and pieces of the performance. There were no less than five instances of whooping during each section of their show, when at best, only one was merited. I realize that the parents are proud of their children, but come on, did they teach you which sections were supposed to be crowd-pleasing so you would know when to applaud? Kudos to the students in that band. The parents need some training.

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It's very unfortunate when you're trying to watch and listen to a band, but you can't hear because the band parents are screaming every other set. Strangely enough, it seems like there is a correlation to how bad a band is to how loud and how often the parents scream. During the performance of the lowest-scoring band at Lone Oak last night, I could only hear bits and pieces of the performance. There were no less than five instances of whooping during each section of their show, when at best, only one was merited. I realize that the parents are proud of their children, but come on, did they teach you which sections were supposed to be crowd-pleasing so you would know when to applaud? Kudos to the students in that band. The parents need some training.

 

I agree! All of us must educate as many parents, students, fans, etc, to be respectful of each other. It starts at home and hopfully at some booster meetings. Thank you for your comments!

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I was also at a Couple of Competitions and I felt that bands and band parents were being very rude.

Edited by bandiesrule!

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Definitely deserving of a refresher.....just this weekend at the Exhibition at Adair County, besides the loud talking around us and people walking back and forth right in front of the performing bands - there were 2 boys about 12 or so shooting cap guns at each other, the audience, and the bands going by after performing! Maybe the do's and don'ts should be posted at the competitions and in the programs..?

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I wasn't at this contest, but I agree wholeheartedly that it occurs at most. I think we should all find the vibrate or silent button on the cell phone and if we must take a call, LEAVE THE STANDS. Yes, it's rude to move during a performance, but in my opinion, it's ruder to talk through a performance.

 

 

I tend to agree with this. I know that when we, the band, were in the stands waiting through prelims and watching other bands it was expected that we act like adults and nothing less. Now, that's not to say there wasn't a few idiots in the group, but we did our best for the most part. In a competition, it should be treated as though you are at the local symphony hall. And I think the same rules that apply at my local hall (Schermerhorn Symphony Hall here in Nashville, TN) should apply at any outdoor presentation. Regardless of the setting, music is an art and it commands the respect that art presentations have with them. Not to mention, and I know a bunch on here will agree, the kids bust their tails for the most part and want the crowd to enjoy their performance.

 

I always love it when I go to DCI's Regionals here in Murfreesboro, TN at MTSU. You'll get the random stupid setting by you that wants to whine and compain about everything and then laugh at all the mistakes during the shows. I usueally turn around, or whatever I need to do to look at them, and just simply ask if they could do it better? 9 times out of 10, they haven't even put a marching band uniform on so they have no clue. I love it!

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