Marching Band Survival Guide

The experience of participating in the Scripps Ranch High School Marching Band goes beyond learning how to play music.  Students gain lifelong skills and make friendships that build into a strong network of peers.  They learn responsibility, leadership, sharing, time management, and discovering what a group can do by working together! It builds character, self-esteem, provides comfort, creates a family, and makes memories that will last a lifetime.  The bond between the kids only gets stronger throughout the course of the year!


Marching Band camp is a 2- week program during the last two weeks of summer, Monday – Friday, 3:00 pm-9:00 pm. This schedule may change year over year and is determined by the director and school administration.  The band and color guard have to learn their show, including memorizing the music as well as their positions and movements on the field. They also need to get into the necessary physical condition. They perform the same 15-minute show throughout the season, often adding segments and complexity.

Marching Season
The marching season is September through mid-November.  Practices are Tuesdays – Thursdays with additional practices schedule as needed. Students perform during home Varsity football games on Fridays and Tournaments on Saturdays. More information is available below.

Typical Practice Schedule:
All rehearsals listed are start times. Students are expected to show up 15min prior.
Tuesdays: 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Wednesdays: 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Thursdays: 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Fridays: Football games and 1x month evening practices 5:00 – 10:00 PM (Dates TBD)

This schedule may change year over year and is determined by the director and school administration.  

All rehearsals are mandatory, and promptness is expected. Students need to learn the music and the drill on the field. If one person is missing, it slows everyone down. If your child must be absent, make sure they notify their section leader and drum majors.

Mid-November until the end of semester students report to the band room three days a week immediately after school until 3PM in order to obtain PE credit (due to scheduling issues – exact days are determined by the director each year.  Often the director will use this time for winter concert rehearsals.)


Mr. Shedd is the Music Director. He has 5-6 assistants including Mr. Brown (MMS), with specific roles, such as Color Guard Instructor(s), Percussion Instructor(s), Visual Instructor(s), etc.

Drum Majors and Assistant Drum Majors lead the band. Students usually go to their Section Leader with questions. There is a remarkable level of self-governance and student leadership, as upperclassmen support the rookies. Discipline is key. Students are expected to respect their leaders.


Daily Band Camp Schedule

  • Music Block: Indoor rehearsal when it’s hot
  • Athletic Block: Running, push-ups, stretching, etc
  • Dinner: Bring your own
  • Marching Block: Practice drills on football field


  • Comfortable athletic clothes
  • Layers for night drills on football field
  • Closed shoes
  • Hats/sunglasses
  • Sunscreen before and during camp


  • Kids should have a sensible breakfast and lunch before band camp, and bring their dinner. Some sections might organize potlucks. They will probably eat another meal after they come home.
  • Bring LOTS of water. Many students bring a ½ gallon thermos so they have enough water and it stays cool. (Click here to view an example)

Shopping list (wait for band camp to start for advice from older students)

  • White t-shirts (easier to see kids on the field)
  • Sunscreen and chapstick
  • Water cooler
  • Flipbook or spiral-bound index cards, 4 x 6 with a long shoelace (For drill steps – hung around neck during practice)- These are provided at the beginning of camp

Parent involvement

  • We highly recommend carpools for drop off and pick to save gas and grief
  • Make your child responsible for being prepared. The first time they forget something will be the last!
  • Come to the stadium after the first few days to watch the marching block. You will get an idea of the show and meet other parents.
  • Support your student. The first few days, they will be physically exhausted and may need to ice sore muscles, but they will already know there’s nothing they’d rather do than Marching Band. It’s worth it!


In addition to our website,  we communicate using emails and “Remind”.  Some families get news and information from their kids, while others rely on the website and fellow parents.

We try to give you advance notice of parent meetings, but sometimes, they are scheduled suddenly for the next day. Look out for details on the student and parent gatherings. You have a High Schooler now… they have their own social life, so we’d better get ours!


Uniforms are provided. They are one-size fit all and easily adjustable. During Band Camp, parent volunteers assist with uniform fitting. Students will wear the same uniform all season during performances. They are stored at school in the uniform racks. At the end of marching season, they are dry-cleaned and stored for the next year.  Uniforms consist of:

  • The provided uniform consists of overall-like pants, a jacket, and a Shako (hat with a plume). They are stored in boxes with the uniforms.
  • Students wear black shorts, black “Class B” T-shirts and black socks under the uniform (Compression shorts are suggested). We recommend buying more than one pair of black socks. The dryer likes to eat them and they get lost “somewhere” in your child’s room.
  • Marching shoes are supplied, but students may buy their own.
  • Black marching gloves are optional and available for purchase.
  • Long hair is worn up under the shako and must be off the face.
  • Colorguard uniforms are provided but the style may vary depending on the theme of the show.

The Boosters sell SRHS Music t-shirts, shoes, black band gloves, and other accessories for sale but any white and black shirts are fine. We also have Parent Booster shirts for purchase.  Spirit gear is optional and NOT required.

We participate in the California State Band Championships tournaments, competing against other schools in nearby counties. Tournaments are held on Saturdays. The schedule will be posted as details become available. We may travel as far as Riverside, Orange, or LA Counties.

Typically the students have a “call time” of when to arrive at school. They load their instruments, uniforms, and other items onto a truck, and travel by school bus to the tournament location. When they arrive, they unload the truck, eat, change into uniforms and perform. After the performance, they change, load the truck, watch other schools perform, attend the awards ceremony, and then return to school by bus. It’s a long day. Parent volunteers are needed and encouraged, although it’s mainly supervision, as all the kids have responsibilities.

Parents and families are encouraged to carpool to tournaments. You will enjoy the performances and understand how scoring works. The goal is to accrue enough points to compete in the semi-finals and championship finals.

Some years, we host a tournament at Scripps Ranch High School. Parent volunteers will be needed to coordinate this huge event!

Football Games
We perform at home football games. The band plays pep tunes during the game and performs their show during halftime. The kids love having their own cheering section, so come and support them! Tickets can be bought at the door or your child can buy them for you at the Finance Office during school.

Alma Mater
All hail our Alma Mater, we lift our song anew, Forever, only loyal, to Cardinal, White, and Blue.
For your lofty dreams and standards high We’ll reach together toward the sky.
Our hearts remaining true
Dear Scripps Ranch High, to you!

Go the Distance-Corps Song
I have often dreamed of a far off place
Where a hero’s welcome would be waiting for me
Where the crowds would cheer when they see my face
And a voice keeps saying this is where I’m meant to be
I’ll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile would be worth my while
When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong

You know you’re a Marching Band Parent when . . .
You make three more trips than expected to drop off your child with everything they need.
You can’t pick your child out of the crowd because they all look alike.
You refer to your child by their year and instrument – “freshman flutist.”
You prominently display a band calendar in the kitchen and have band dates marked on the calendar in your purse or at work.
There’s no such thing as a prior commitment.
You know that you will be wearing something maroon every Friday night.
You hum the tune to “Fried Chicken” all day long!