In order to answer many questions that first time band parents and students may have, please take a few minutes to read through our FAQ sheet. If this doesn’t answer your questions, please feel free to contact our Directors or Booster Officers. Contact information is located under Who We Are.

Science Hill High School Band Booster Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the Band Booster organization? Science Hill High School Band Boosters, Inc. is incorporated as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, complete with a charter, bylaws, and board of directors. The purpose of the organization is to provide for the needs of the SHHS Topper Band program that are not already provided by the Johnson City School System. Many committees are in place to accomplish the extensive goals of the organization.
  2. My child is in 8th grade. Do I need to come to Band Booster meetings? Rising eighth grade parents are strongly encouraged to attend Band Booster meetings. A lot of the information discussed will only affect current marching band members, but you will have an opportunity to hear what events are coming up and to interact with other band parents.
  3. How often do the boosters meet? The Friday of band camp (typically in late July) is traditionally the first meeting each year. After that, meetings are held the first Thursday of each month from September through April. Meetings are usually held in the new cafeteria at SHHS at 7:00 p.m.
  4. How can I find out what happened at a meeting that I missed? The Band Booster’s website (www.shhsbandboosters.org) is a great resource for information and upcoming events.
  5. Do the eighth graders only participate in concert band at Liberty Bell? Yes, but they are invited to play with the marching band in the stands at a home football game each year. Each eighth grader is assigned a “buddy” from the upper classes in their section. This is intended to give them a sample of what the next four years of band will be like.
  6. How many students are in the band? For the past few marching seasons, we have averaged about 160 students in band for 9–12, including color guard. During the spring, the Wind Ensemble typically has about 50 players, and there are around 70 students in the symphonic band.
  7. Is my 8th grader required to fund raise? 8th graders are not required to fund raise; however, any amount they earn during that year goes into the general fundraising account that accumulates during their tenure in the Topper Band.
  8. How many fund raisers are there? There are typically three – a pancake breakfast early in the fall, fruit/cheese later in the fall (around the holidays), and a spring fundraiser (TBA).
  9. What other ways does the band raise funds? Concessions at home football games (our biggest fundraiser), trailer ads, and grants. More information on each of these can be found in the committee descriptions under Who We Are.
  10. How can I get in touch with a band director? Phone the band room office at (423) 232-2193 and leave a message if no answer. Or, e-mail either of the Topper Band directors: Dr. Carson Vermillion (vermillionc@jcschools.org) or Dan McGuire (mcguired@jcschools.org).
  11. What is the best way to meet other band parents?
    1. Come to Band Camp Parents’ Night – Each booster committee will have a current parent member present. This provides a great opportunity to ask questions and find where you fit.
    2. Volunteer – A multitude of opportunities exist such as helping in the concession stand (every parent is expected to work at least one home varsity football game in the concession stand each year), assist the field crew with the set-up/take-down of equipment and props for the marching band, chaperoning, and many others. A more complete list of volunteer opportunities is listed on the website under Who We Are.
    3. Come to the Band Booster meetings.
  12. How many marching competitions are there and what do they entail? Typically the Topper Band competes in three marching competitions during the fall season. Competitions are held on Saturdays and run from mid September through early November. At these events, the marching band performs the full show and competes with other bands of similar size and skill.Students must attend these competitions, and must travel and remain with the band until the competition is over. Most competitions are day trips no more than a 3 to 5 hour drive, sometimes returning in the wee hours of the morning. Occasionally an overnight trip for a competition will be scheduled.
  13. How many concert band competitions are there and what do they entail? Typically the Topper Band competes in one concert band festival each spring season. Each concert band performs three prepared pieces and at least one sight read piece. Judges score the bands and assign ratings for prepared pieces, sight reading, and overall. Students must attend these festivals, and may miss a portion of the school day. Occasionally the bands will remain at the site following their performance to listen to other bands perform. These competitions are usually local or within a 1 to 2 hour drive.
  14. What is the difference between marching and concert band? Marching band is for ALL students in grades 9-12, and concert band are divided into two groups – wind ensemble and symphonic (all players that are not selected into the wind ensemble). There are also opportunities to participate in the jazz band and pit orchestra.
  15. How are students selected for the Wind Ensemble? The wind ensemble is reserved for the top performing 60 players. Most are from the upper classes, but if there is an opening, and if a 9th grader is good enough, they will be invited. Typically we average only four or five 9th graders in the wind ensemble in any given year.
  16. Can you give me more information about color guard? Color guard is a part of marching band, making up approximately 15%-20% of the total marching band. Auditions for color guard occur in the winter or early spring each year. They rehearse, perform, and compete as part of the marching band. As a fund saver, the flags used by the color guard are made by the flag committee, instead of being purchased each year. This is another great volunteer opportunity.
  17. Can you give me information about Band Camp? Band Camp is required for all marching band students, and is typically scheduled a couple of weeks prior to the start of school. During band camp, students learn the sets and music  for the show that is to be featured at halftime during football games and also in the marching competitions.The camp begins on Monday and culminates Friday evening with a run through of the show for the parents immediately following the first Band Booster meeting. Students spend all day each day from early in the morning through late in the evening learning marching fundamentals, show music, and marching drill. Typically, students must pack a lunch. A hot evening meal is provided for the students by the Band Boosters. Students do return home each night. Band camp fees are assessed to cover the costs and are paid to the school, not to the band boosters. Typically the Band Camp fee is $100.
  18. What is Chaperone Training and when is it offered? Chaperone training includes bus training, which is done by Johnson City Transit, and is typically scheduled for late afternoon on the Friday of band camp. Bus training is required for any adult who will be riding on a Johnson City school bus. Only band students and bus trained adults are allowed to ride school buses to and from a band events.Additional information specific to band chaperoning is also provided by the chair of the chaperone committee at the same time. Bus training is not required for charter buses, but the same pool of chaperones is typically used. Chaperones for major trips are selected based upon their experience and proven chaperone abilities. Chaperones must be parents, grandparents, or guardians of current band students, or otherwise approved by the Band Booster board.
  19. When the band makes a big event trip, can I as a parent travel along with the band? On most trips, there are two different opportunities for parents to travel along – as a chaperone or as a “tag-along.” Chaperones are required to attend training at the beginning of the band year and will be responsible for supervising students on the trip. A “tag-along” travels with the band, but is only responsible for him or her self.