Welcome to the SFA Band & Angels Family! You will spend a lot of time over the next year with the parents, students and directors who make up these award-winning programs. If you are new to the Band or Angels programs, we realize it can be a little overwhelming at times so here are some tips to let you know what to expect and have some fun along the way. And, even if you are a seasoned Band or Angels parent, there might be a few good reminders in here for you, too!
Much of the information you are looking for will be on the SFA Band website: www.sfaband.org. Take a few minutes now to familiarize yourself with the website and check it regularly. The website includes all contact information for Booster Club officers and committee chairs, Booster Club By-laws, the band calendar, fundraising event details, important forms, and lots of great photos and videos of band performances.
Go to the band calendar NOW and put all the important dates on your personal calendar: http://www.sfaband.org/charms-calendar/. Doing this now will save you a lot of time later! There are instructions on the website for how to sync the calendar to your smartphone.
You can get updates about the band program as well as contest results, photos, videos and more by liking/following the Band & Angels on social media:
Facebook: Stephen F Austin High School Bulldog Band and Angels Dance Team
STUDENT PICK-UP AFTER PRACTICES, GAMES and CONTESTS
Expect your student to be ready to go about 15 minutes after a practice ends. If your student is in the Percussion Front Ensemble, add a few more minutes to the pick-up time because they have a lot more equipment to move back to the band hall from the practice field. All practices run until the stated end time. Then students return to the band hall to put away instruments, get books/homework, and other items. After games and contests, students will need to enter the band hall to properly hang up their uniforms and put away instruments and equipment. Everyone is expected to help with this. Please don’t encourage your student to skip out on their duties so you can leave early! When everyone helps out (and parent help is welcome!) we ALL get to go home sooner. Please do not park/wait in the lane directly outside of the band hall doors to pick up your student when we have contests and football games. These are roadways and parking areas that will need to be used by the band trailer and truck to unload instruments and equipment. Blocking these access points will delay the unloading of the trailer and truck. Please park on the marching band practice field when picking up your child from a contest or game. Trust us, we will all get home faster if you park (and stand) away from the band hall entrance area!!! And, your car will be less likely to get dinged by an instrument case as kids walk between cars to get from the buses to the band hall.
For a more accurate pickup time after games and contests, please subscribe to the SFA Band Remind text messaging service. You will receive a text message when the students leave the stadium with the approximate arrival time back at SFA. This is a free service that you can register for by sending the message: @sfaparents to the number 281-769-7348.
CARPOOLING IS YOUR FRIEND
We can’t stress enough how much carpooling will save your life and your sanity. Whenever possible, carpool for summer marching camp, after-school practices, and any contests or other events. The early and late drives to the band hall can spread you thin, so definitely make an effort to find parents/students who live near you and can share rides. We should be able to provide a list of students broken down by neighborhood area, so that will help in coordinating carpools. It also keeps it less congested at the band hall with fewer cars.
Running a band program takes an incredible amount of work and dedication from the students, staff, and parent volunteers. The Band & Angels Dance Team could not do what it does without a large parent volunteer base. WE NEED YOU. WE WANT YOUR HELP. WE WELCOME PARENT INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT. THERE IS A ROLE FOR EVERYONE! Please sign up to help with chaperoning, tailgating, costumes & uniforms, Spirit Wear, fundraisers, etc. Not only will you help the band program continue at a high level of excellence, but you’ll also enjoy the experience a whole lot more. We promise! You will get out of it what you put in – if you don’t ever spend time getting to know other parents and students you will miss out on some of the best experiences you can have as a member of the band family.
LOG YOUR VOLUNTEER HOURS
We need you to keep track of and report your monthly volunteer hours associated with our Booster Club. The Band & Angels as well as AHS and FBISD all benefit from an accurate reporting of volunteer hours. The Band & Angels are consistently one of the campus organizations reporting the highest number of volunteer hours for the school. Volunteer hours include anything you do for the Band/Angels/Booster Club, including phone calls, time at school, work done from home for the program, chaperoning, fundraising, attending booster meetings, etc. We have made it easy for you to record your volunteer hours. Simply go to the volunteer page on the band website: http://www.sfaband.org/log-volunteer-hours/. It will take about one minute to complete the form. You can log hours once for the whole month or you can log hours every time you volunteer – do whatever is easiest for you to do and remember. Please report all hours for the month by the last date of each month. Thank you for your help with this!
A great way to know what is going on with the Band & Angels is to attend the booster meetings. Booster meetings are scheduled approximately every six weeks. Please consult the band calendar for all booster meeting dates. These dates are made available at the beginning of every school year. We will send you a reminder when meetings are coming up.
You will notice that Mr. Chreste and the Staff communicate via E-mail frequently. Please read these E-mails, as you will gain a tremendous amount of information about the program if you read these messages. Members of the Executive Board for the Booster Club will also send out important communications about volunteer opportunities, schedules, fundraising activities, and other important issues. While it can be overwhelming, they are striving to keep you and your family informed of the news that may affect you.
GAMES, CONTESTS and CONCERTS
Come out and support the students at their games, contests, and concerts! It’s a blast! It means a lot to the students when they can hear you cheering for them in the stands. At contests, look for other SFA Band & Angel parents and sit with them, even if you don’t know them. There is solidarity in numbers and it makes it much more exciting to cheer for the band when we are in a group! The kids can see us from the field as well. Get into it. Make a spirit flag you can wave or make a sign. Wear the school colors. AND, please be a good supporter of all the other band programs you see. There is nothing worse than a group of loud, cheering band parents who only clap when their own band performs. Please “Be Remembered” by cheering on all the schools out on the field and being friendly towards parents from other band programs. We all share a unique bond and you’ll find a fun camaraderie in it.
COME SEE AN AFTER-SCHOOL PRACTICE
The last 15-20 minutes of each after-school practice is typically when the band will do a full run through of their marching show. It is exciting to watch these and see the progression of the show over the season as they learn more of the show. We encourage you to stop by early when you are picking up your student and watch the end of a practice. The band program has some of the hardest working kids on campus. You’ll understand why after you watch a few practices.
We look forward to a fun and successful year with the SFA Band & Angels Dance Team. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us. All contact information is available on the band website. Let’s go Bulldogs!