P-CEP Bands Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions asked by families who are new to the instrumental music programs at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park. If you don't find the answer to your question here, try checking our Contacts Page (scroll down to Other Contacts) for someone who can address your question directly. If you are not certain who to contact, send a meesage to General Information mailbox.

Select a FAQ category here to display the questions below:

Registration for High School Classes traditionally begin at the end of January to the beginning of March. Students will receive information from their middle schools.

The Directors will visit your middle school in the spring and listen to every 8th grade band student and place them in one of the concert ensembles. The directors will communicate with the counseling department to place you in the correct band class.

Your student can take band 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. Ideally every student would take band all 4 years. However, some students may not have that option.

Usually. Contact your counselors or the Directors for assistance if you are having trouble fitting band into your schedule.

Yes. Please make and appointment to speak with one of the High School directors to learn more about this process.

Yes. Please make and appointment to speak with one of the High School Band Directors to learn more about this process.

Possibly - see your counselor or ask the Directors for more information.

Marching Band students are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Concert Program. Contact the directors if you intend to participate in Marching Band if you are not in the Concert Program. Color Guard members are not expected to participate in the curricular band program.

Your student is strongly encouraged to join the curricular Concert Band programs.  We understand that with the STEM Academies, increasing graduation requirements and other educational opportunities at the P-CEP,  it is not always possible to fit music programs in a student's school schedule. Contact one of the directors if you are experiencing an issue fitting a Concert Band class into  your schedule.

This is a common concern among new parents.  The reality is the students' grades are usually higher during the marching season than they are after.  The kids learn to manage their time, and the older students help look after the younger ones.  The average grade point average of band students is consistently higher than the P-CEP population as a whole.

In addition, as an extracurricular activity the marching band falls under the athletic eligibility rules. The band directors monitor students grades to ensure they are permitted to continue to participate and will intervene if there is a problem, though the need to rarely arises.

We firmly believe students should experience and enjoy their final months of middle school. Continue to participate in your activities and join us at the end of those seasons. Contact our New Member Representative or one of our directors (listed on the contacts page) to let them know your situation and they'll hold a spot open for your student.

It depends on how far we are into the season, but the answer is usually that we can still work the student into the program.  This is a fairly common question in September right after school begins. We can certainly invite your student to join us at that time.

Officially, once the marching band budget has been approved, the boosters will release a participation agreement that includes the fee schedule and rules for participating.  Your student may not participate in any performance or travel with the band unless the agreement and other necessary paper work has been signed and turned in. 

Unofficially, come to rehearsal!  Let our directors know of your students desire to learn more about the program and they will greet them and invite them to participate.  Parents are encouraged to contact our New Member Representative (listed on the contacts page)to get more information about the program. 

Certainly not - enjoy your family time!  All we ask is that if your student is in town that s/he attend rehearsals.  We cover a lot of ground at each practice and we don't want your student to fall too far behind.  We also don't want to anyone to get hurt because they didn't know where they were supposed to be and get run into by another marcher.

This is the nature of a competitive marching program.  In fact, the show will keep changing right up to the last performance.  This can sometimes be frustrating for a new marcher, but they learn to adjust to it fairly quickly.  In some cases the directors are reacting to comments from judges.  In any case, the directors will continually tweak the show so the kids can enjoy the best performance possible.

There is no doubt that there will be some tough times marching for a highly competitive marching band.  Overall, the good far outweighs the bad.  Like any endeavor worth pursuing in life, there will be some difficult times to be endured in order to achieve success.

Keep in mind the payoff toward the end of the season is huge.  Being a part of a team that executes at a high level front of hundreds or thousands is an experience that cannot be replicated and will never be forgotten.  Encourage your student to stick with it - it will be worth it!

You should also encourage your student to talk to the directors. They may be able to assist with any specific issues or explain why they are doing what they are doing.  There is a purpose behind their actions.

All that being said, it is surprisingly difficult to get the students to go home at the end of rehearsal. Even during an all day rehearsal on Saturday, they are charged up and having fun.

No, every marcher needs to be at every performance.  The directors will clear the schedule the day of one of the homecoming dances every year to ensure everyone has the opportunithy to participate.  All the band students will attend the same homecoming regardless of which is their home school.

Competitions take place on Saturday afternoons or evenings.  The dates are posted on the calendar when they are scheduled.  

There are no competitions or rehearsals on Sundays.

The uniform is more than the physical components like the jacket and pants. The goal of the uniform is to present the band visually as a single cohesive unit. Painted nails, rings, or anything else that can draw attention to an individual marcher breaks that visual element. To ensure that consistent appearance, students must remove all nail polish and jewelry. The only exception to this rule is the band necklace students receive at band camp.

This requirement for uniformity also applies to hair - for both boys and girls. Hair should be a natural color and should not be visible when wearing the shakos (the marching hat). Long hair, for both boys and girls, must be pinned up to keep it from showing under the rim.

The kids are welcome to have jewelry and painted nails during rehearsals, including band camp.

The fees are set after the board meets to set the budget.  The budget is dependent on the show design, the number of contests in which we compete, where those competitions take place, as well as a number of other factors.  Those fees are spelled out in participation agreement once released, typically sometime in the spring.

Most expenses are covered with the participation fee.  These include:

  • Transportation to all competitions (local and out of state)
  • Food during travel
  • Housing
  • Competition uniforms (a.k.a. Competition Grays)
  • Professional instruction / Staff
  • Use of school owned instruments

Some expenses are extra because the student will own the item and might use it for more than one season:

  • Gloves
  • Summer uniforms
  • Shoes
  • Jacket
  • Member t-shirts

You can find additional information about uniforms in the uniform section articles under the Students tab.

There may be a few added expenses such as a lunch break during bus travel or souvenirs. You will be notified before departure of any anticipated expenses.

All checks should be made out to either "Plymouth-Canton Music Boosters" or simply "PCMB".  Please do not make the check out to Plymouth Canton Marching Band - the bank will not let us deposit those checks.  

This applies to all checks going to the organization, including marching band or concert band, participation fees, and fundraising.  There are some cases where the funds are not actually coming to the boosters, such as tuxedo cleaning fees.  You will be notified to whom the check should be made when it's not coming to the boosters.

We are accepting on-line payments through PayPal. PayPal charges a 2.2% + 30 cents fee for these payments, which is added to the total. You can find more information about using the service on our PCMB Payments page.

If you prefer, payments can also be made by cash or check at the booster meetings. Checks can be placed in the white mail box in the band room or mailed to the PO box:

Plymouth-Canton Music Boosters
P.O. Box 701135
Plymouth, Michigan 48170

Be sure to write the name of the student on the check to make sure we credit the correct account.

You have a few options.

1. You can use our PCMB Payments online payment system. PayPal charges 2.2% + 30 cents per payment, which is added to your total.

2. Drop a check in an envelope with your student's name on it and put it in the white mail box in the band room.

3. Bring your cash or check payment to the Booster meetings.

4. Mail your check made out to either "Plymouth-Canton Music Boosters" or "PCMB" to the post office box (also listed on the bottom of the home page):

Plymouth-Canton Music Boosters
P.O. Box 701135
Plymouth, Michigan 48170

Please do not give any payments to the directors.

It is better to pay by check, but you may bring cash to the Booster Meetings.  Never send cash through the mail or drop it in the white mail box.

No, the $25 fee goes to the district and is not a part of the participation fees paid to the boosters. 

The basic uniform consists of a pair of charcoal gray bibs, a short jacket, gauntlets (separate cuffs between the end of the sleeves and the top of the glove), gloves, a shako (hat), with a detachable plume (feather), and marching shoes. Tuba players wear berets rather than shakos.  Each year marchers are issued black member shirts that are to be worn under the bibs.

Each year a fitting day is held in the summer.  This day is mandatory for all marchers.  Students will be fit for all parts of the marching band uniform.  Each piece is numbered and recorded on a contract sheet.   On that day you will also be fit for shoes, gloves, and member shirts, which need to be ordered. Returning marchers are given their previous year’s uniform to try on first, and will be given a new uniform if it no longer fits.

On fitting day you will be issued a zippered garment bag that has your name on it. The pieces of the uniform will remain in that bag, and are kept in the uniform closet. After a competition, you will neatly hang up the bibs and jacket, make sure the plume is in its protective cardboard tube, and put the gauntlets and gloves in the bottom of your bag. You will take home your member t-shirt, black socks, and marching shoes. Plastic cases for your shakos (hats) are marked by name and stored in the bottom of the same closet as the garment bags.

The cost for the gray uniforms are included as part of the band program.  There is an additional cost for accessories to the band uniform.  The total for these accessories (marching shoes, member shirts, gloves, dry cleaning, etc.) is about $60. Shoes can be reused provided they still fit and are in good condition. These charges are applied to your member accounts and billed to you along with membership costs.

The fees are calulated during the budget process in the spring. Once the board had voted the fee schedule is released with the participation agreement. Contact the Treasure or New Member Representative for additional information (listed on the About/Contacts page).

Heritage Logo in Plymouth supplies our "spiritwear".  They typically attend our booster meetings during the marching season as well as our mandatory parent meeting in June.  You can also go to their Web site (www.heritagelogoworks.com) for more information.

In addition to the spiritwear, Heritage produces a show shirt every year.  The designs on this apparel is specific to the show during the marching season or commemorates the big trip for the year such as the Macy's or Rose Bowl trip.  These orders are coordinated by one of your boosters and submitted to Heritage in large batches.  Watch for information about these special orders on the Web site, in the booster meetings or fanouts.

Heritage can also do custom work, such as adding a logo to a jacket or bag you supply.  Contact Heritage for more information.

The white mail box is a full sized mail box we used to see on the streets around town. It is locked and only the directors and some members of the board have access.  It is located in the big band room to the left of the white board at the front of the room next to the door closest to the directors' office.

Most forms are found under Students then Student Forms.  You will need to create an account on the site first and log in to download any forms showing a lock icon.

Anyone who has a student in the Instrumental Band Curriculum, or Extra Curricular Ensembles under the umbrella of the P-CEP Music Boosters is already a booster.