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Plymouth Canton Music Boosters

PCEP Band Programs 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. 


CANCELED Friday, September 8 @ 7pm Novi vs. Canton
Friday, September 15 @ 7pm Howell vs. Plymouth - USA
Friday, September 22 @7pm Plymouth vs. Canton - Beach
Friday September 29 @ 7pm Brighton vs. Canton - USA
Friday, October 13 @ 7pm
Friday, October 27 @ 7pm - PLAYOFFS - Pajamas

***All tickets can be purchased at

Concert Ensembles

How do I register for High School band?

Registration for High School Classes traditionally begin at the end of January to the beginning of March. Students will receive information from their middle school counselors. All students entering P-CEP will have the opportunity to audition for an advance ensemble. Any student not wishing to audition will automatically be placed in the P-CEP Concert Band. (Entry level course)

How does my student audition for band?

Students entering the P-CEP Band Program will submit a video audition to the P-CEP Band Directors prior to Memorial Day each year (Materials provided after Spring Break) The P-CEP Band Directors will  the listen to every 8th grade band student and place them the appropriate concert ensemble based on experience, instrumentation, and level of preparation. The directors will communicate with the counseling department to place you in the correct band class. 

Is band a four year commitment or can a student enroll in 1, 2 or 3 years?

It is highly encouraged that your student commits to a minimum of two years in the PCEP Band Program. Doing so will allow them to experience many unique opportunities that are not offered yearly. (Performances, trips, clinicians, and much more!)

Can my student be in band for all four years?

Yes! Absolutely Yes! There is a way for everyone to schedule band for all four years. Please contact a P-CEP Band Director so that they can assist if you are having trouble fitting it into your schedule. This includes students that are interested in the Arts Academy, IB Program, or STEM programs. . 

Will band fulfill the Visual Performing or Applied Arts credit?


Can my student take band if they sign up for IB or STEM classes?

Yes! Please reach out to a P-CEP Band Director if you have questions on how to fit band into your schedule. 

Can my student take band if they sign up for the Arts Academy?

Yes! Please reach out to a P-CEP Band Director if you have questions on how to fit band into your schedule. 

Marching Band

Do you have to be in concert program during the day to join Marching Band (or Color Guard, Winter Guard, Winter Percussion, etc...)?

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.

The Marching Band spends a lot of time in rehearsal. Won't my student's grades suffer?

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 student’s grades to ensure they are permitted to continue to participate and will intervene if there is a problem, though the need rarely arises.

My eighth grader wants to join Marching Band, but he is already involved in other activities in the spring that prevent him/her from attending rehearsals or other events at the high school. Does that mean he can't join?

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.

I see that rehearsals for marching band have already started - is it too late to join?

It depends on how far we are into the season, but the answer is usually 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.

How do I join the marching band?

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 paperwork has been signed and turned in. 

Unofficially, come to rehearsal!  Let our directors know of your student’s 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.

We didn't know about the summer practices before we scheduled our vacation - do we need to cancel our plans?

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 anyone to get hurt because they didn't know where they were supposed to be and get run into by another marcher.

My student told me they reworked a show segment they just spent a week learning - why do they keep changing things?

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.

My student is having a hard time with Marching Band and is thinking of quitting. What should I tell him/her?

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.

I see there is a performance on the day of my student's homecoming dance. Can s/he skip the performance to go to homecoming?

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 opportunity to participate.  All the band students will attend the same homecoming regardless of which is their home school.

When are the competitions?

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.

My student has a new manicure and nice jewelry. Why does it have to be removed before the marching band performance? Is purple hair ok? What about at rehearsals?

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.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

I see people wearing P-CEP and PCMB shirts and jackets. Where can I get them?

Canton Embroiderysupplies our "spiritwear".  You can also go to their Web site ( for more information.

In addition to the spiritwear, the marching band has 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 Canton Embroidery in large batches.  Watch for information about these special orders on the Web site, in the booster meetings.

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

What is the White Mail Box? Where is it?

The white mailbox 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. Payments (checks only) and Forms should be put in the "white mailbox". Do not put payment or forms on Directors' desk.


Winter Percussion

When does the Group Practice & Perform?

Usual Rehearsals are Tuesday Evenings, Thursdays Afterschool, and Saturday Mornings/Early Afternoon. Competitions will take place on Saturdays as well.

What is the cost?

Tuition for the upcoming season is not finalized yet but will range from $1000-$1,200 (dependent upon total number of members).

Who is eligible to be in the Marching Battery Section?

The Battery section is open to all Percussionists enrolled in Band, however, we do have many wind instrumentalists who will join the Front Ensemble or the Marching Cymbal for the season.


Plymouth Canton Music Boosters

P.O. Box 701135 
Plymouth, Michigan 48170

Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

Plymouth Canton Music Boosters

P.O. Box 701135 
Plymouth, Michigan 48170

Email: [email protected]

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