Dear Grenadiers and Families,
As we approach the beginning of the band season on Monday, we wanted to get some information out to you that will hopefully answer some questions and make the transition back to in-person band smooth for everybody. We know that the transition into high school band can be overwhelming for new members. This year, more than ever, we are all in the same boat as we come out of a year with limited musical opportunities and hybrid learning. We have done our best trying to put all of the puzzle pieces together, but realize there will need to be a grace period to ensure we have everybody on board and get all members and families up to speed. Please read the information in this letter to better understand what you will be embarking on as a member of the Grenadier Band. More information for parents will be given out at the first parent meeting scheduled for August 10 at 7:30pm in the LHS Auditorium.
The Liberty High School Grenadier Band (LHSGB) begins rehearsals on Monday, August 2nd. This first week is a shortened week, with rehearsals running from 8am-noon Monday-Thursday. We are using this week as a “ramp up” week to refresh marching basics, ensemble playing, and simply just getting everybody back together.
The weeks of August 9th & 16th will be the full day rehearsal going from 8am-3pm.
We then go to a mixed schedule the week of August 23rd, due to the beginning of the teacher in-services.
The full August schedule is attached, so please be sure to look it over.
It is expected that all students attend all rehearsals as members of the LHSGB. We can only prepare the band to its full potential when we have everybody there. Timely parental communication for absences is essential, when possible.
What about lunch during band camp?
Starting the week of August 9th, our district food service provides lunch for the band and athletes. Lunch is free and provided each day for students choosing this option. Students are also welcome to pack their own lunch.
What should I bring to Band each day?
It is important that students come prepared each day to rehearsal. Along with their instruments/equipment and music, students should also bring:
- Water bottle
- Hats (if desired)
- Flip folders and lyres are strongly encouraged for each instrument
What should I wear to Band each day?
Dress for the activity. We will be outside a lot during rehearsals, so dress accordingly. Also, it is important that students wear proper footwear for marching! Students MUST wear sneakers/tennis shoes or something similar. Your shoes should have a flexible sole. Sandals, Crocks, or any other open toe/heel shoes are not permitted. This is for the safety of everybody as they march.
Though we encourage you to dress for hot weather, please be reminded that this is a school function and that dress codes do apply. Please wear shirts that are appropriate and cover your body. Tank tops are permitted.
I’m an athlete. How does that work with Band?
There is always strong communication between the directors and the coaches. Once the athletic season starts on August 16th, student athletes will be splitting their time between Band and their sport. Student athletes should inform us of their sport and their practice times so we can fully prepare each rehearsal. It is our goal to never put a student in the middle of a scheduling conflict. Liberty takes pride in allowing students to participate in multiple activities.
Once the season starts, we operate under a simple rule: Performances take precedent over practices, games take precedent over rehearsals.
Communication is ESSENTIAL! We rely heavily on the BAND app. We ask that ALL students and families download this app to receive all notifications. Announcements about schedule changes, reminders about rehearsals and performances, as well as miscellaneous information all go out through the BAND app.
Information will also be sent out through the Band Parent organization in email and/or posted on the website at lhsgbopc.org.
As we begin the new season, we do have to acknowledge that we are still dealing with a pandemic. Though we are moving to a more normal way of making music, we are still in need of following some safety procedures. We are following directives set forth by the BASD, the Bethlehem Health Bureau, the CDC, as well as guidelines specific to musical instruments outlined by numerous comprehensive studies.
- Students will be masked in the building. Students can be unmasked outside.
- Any student who is not vaccinated should remain masked outside when we are doing field work.
- Bell covers are still recommended when playing indoors. If you still have a bell cover from last year, please continue to use it. If you do not, you can create a makeshift cover with a piece of cloth and a rubber band.
- Flutes will not be required to use face shields.
- Indoor music rehearsals will be taking place inside of the auxiliary gym. Chairs will be spaced out with students having their own stand.
We must remain dedicated to creating the safest possible methods for doing Band. Please follow all guidelines at all times and remember that this isn’t just about you, but also those around you.
Most students have been fitted for uniforms by now. If you have not received a uniform, you will be fitted during the first week of rehearsals. Along with the uniforms issued by the school, all band members (except majorettes) need to have black shoes. These shoes should be a solid black dress shoe that is fit for marching. No hard soles, heavy boots, or sneakers. If you need further clarity on what kind of shoe is needed, please reach out. If anybody cannot provide their own shoes, the Band does have a small supply of shoes from former members. White gloves will also need to be purchased from Mrs. Z. We will have those available during rehearsals.
More in-depth uniform care and maintenance will be discussed with the students during rehearsals.
Band picture day is Friday, August 13th at 8am. We will do a large group picture, as well as specific small group shots. This year we are offering individual pictures for anybody interested. Students do not have to get an individual picture taken, but they will be available. Order forms for individual pictures will be available through Christmas City Studios.
We are hitting the ground in a full sprint this year, with preparations for performances already having started. If you have missed the news about these performances, here it is:
Saturday, August 14th
On Aug. 14th, the LHSGB will be joining the Freedom Patriot Band in being part of the filming for the movie The Hail Mary. Lehigh Valley native and Hollywood actor, Daniel Roebuck, has been filming The Hail Mary in the area for the past couple of weeks now. On that Saturday night, we will be filming in the BASD Stadium. The filming should be taking place between 7-11pm. Like any movie shoot, we will need to remain flexible.
This will be in full uniform. They are also asking that as many family members and friends we can have to fill the stands, the better.
Friday, August 20th
This night will be the official LHSGB preview night in combination with the 100th Anniversary Kick-off event. The band will perform much of pregame and halftime during this event. This will be the Band’s first opportunity to march and perform for the community in over a year and a half!
Tuesday, August 24th
The LHSGB and Freedom Patriot Bands will once again be teaming up to perform at the district-wide faculty and staff convocation. This year, convocation will be taking place in the BASD stadium at 8am. The bands will perform the Star-Spangled Banner, as well as pep tunes throughout the event.
I know that is a lot to digest right now, so please take the time to read it over a couple of times, write things down, and get physically and mentally prepared for the next few weeks, and beyond. There are so many more events to look forward to as the season goes on, but we need to focus on everything coming up in the next few weeks.
We will hold our first parent meeting on Tuesday, August 10th at 7:30pm in the LHS Auditorium. More information will be discussed at that meeting.
In the meantime, please join us for a more social gathering on Wednesday, August 4th at 7pm for a viewing of the Emmy Award winning PBS documentary about the LHSGB entitled “Second To None.”
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to the directors with any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you all and bringing music back to Liberty and the Bethlehem community!
Mr. Allen Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. William Lennox (email@example.com)