Lafayette Band

A Million-and-One FAQs for New Band Families

Whether you have a student thinking about joining the Lafayette Band, a "new marcher" coming in this year, or are getting set for another marching season, here are about a million-and-one questions you might have! This page is maintained by parent members of the LBA, so is not "official policy". For serious questions, or a statement of that "official" policy, please contact the band director, Mr. Dee Bishop--he is happy to answer any questions you might have. In addition, to get a live, real-time picture of what's going on, be sure to check the eNews, or swing by the LBA Facebook page.

Regardless, we are thrilled you are here--we're a family, and we're committed to welcoming you and your student, and supporting you! TOGETHER is how we offer positive experiences to all our students!

Any student eligible to attend Lafayette High School can join the band! Band is an elective class available to all students, though prior experience playing a band instrument is recommended. Any student who enrolls in band class is automatically a member of the marching band, and participation in the marching band is a component of all band classes. Students who play a school-sponsored Fall sport can request an exemption from this requirement.

There are three concert bands at LHS (Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band) that meet during the school day as individual classes. An audition process occurs each spring to place students (for the following Fall) in the concert band most appropriate to their skill and experience level. Members of all three concert bands come together in the marching band.

Additionally, students in 8th grade who are districted to attend Lafayette HS can join the band as an extracurricular activity.

Drum majors are the conductors of the marching band, and serve as performance and musical leaders for the entire band. Section leaders are experienced band members selected to lead the individual sections of the band. Each year 3-4 drum majors are selected from the whole band, and 1-4 section leaders for each section.

Drum major training, auditions, and interviews are open to any interested band member and occur in the Spring. The band directors select drum majors for the following year. Further interviews (open to any interested band member) are used by the band directors and drum majors to select section leaders.

Selection as either a drum major or section leader is a significant honor, as selection is competitive based on auditions and interviews.

The Color Guard is a non-instrumental section of the marching band. Traditionally they perform dance- and acrobatics-based moves with flags, rifles, and/or sabers. The Color Guard is a critical part of the band, and is open to any interested student in MS or HS..

During the non-marching season, the Color Guard competes in "Winter Guard" competitions..

Instrumentalists enrolled in band class can join the Color Guard instead of marching with their instrument, but you do not have to be in band class or play an instrument to join the Color Guard! Ms. Emily Banks is *TITLE HERE*.

The Percussion section plays both marching instruments (snares, quints, bass drums) and non-marching instruments that are usually located on the front sideline (marimbas, xylophones, chimes, cymbals, timpani, synthesizers, drum kits, etc.). The "drum line" is the set of band members who play marching instruments, while the "pit" or "front ensemble" is the set of band members who play non-marching instruments..

At times, non-percussion non-marching instrumentalists (guitars, oboes, etc.) perform as part of the pit/front ensemble..

While all percussion players in the band are members of the percussion section and perform with the marching band, selection to the drum line specifically is highly competitive. Mr. Aaron Jones is the band director who leads the Percussion section.

Students enrolled in band class are placed into one of three different concert bands, which meet during the school day as three different classes. Students with the most experience and technical skill are placed in the Wind Symphony, while students with the least experience are placed in the Concert Band.

Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble are additional elective classes for students interested in Jazz performance. The most experienced and skilled students are placed into Jazz Ensemble.

Every student who enrolls in band class (and/or Jazz band class) is guaranteed placement into one of the concert bands (and/or Jazz Band or Jazz Ensemble). Auditions for placement into these groups occur in the Spring, and all middle school band directors are provided detailed information on how students at their schools (if attending LHS) can audition.

Ensemble placement is decided by auditions that occur during the spring before the next school year begins. Students are assigned to a band/ensemble based on skill level and experience by the band directors and must elect the appropriate class when the submit their schedule request for the following year.

Robert Dee Bishop is the Director of Bands and Dr. Chris Strange and Aaron Jones are the Associate Directors. Emily Banks is in charge of the Color Guard. There are other band staff that assist with marching and sectional instruction throughout the year.

Sections are groups of players with common/similar instruments. The Lafayette Band sections are: Flutes, Clarinets, Low Reeds, Alto Sax, Trumpets, Mellophones, Trombones+Baritones, Tubas, Percussion, and Color Guard..

Each section has one or more section leaders. During marching season, these groups will both rehearse with the full band and in sectionals, which are usually held one evening a week. During the winter concert season, sections perform as "chamber" groups which meet weekly in the evening.

The directors choose selections from a wide range of musical literature to use as source music. This is sent to professional band composers to combine into a unique musical setting. The marching forms, also called drill, (the patterns and shapes formed by the band, and the paths by which individual band members move to form these shapes) are also created by professionals to match and augment the full musical setting..

The LBA provides funds each year to cover the costs of this work. While it is possible to use music and marching composed for other bands in previous years, top bands, including the Lafayette Marching Band, commision new and unique music and marching tailored to their available instruments and marchers every year.

The full marching show is about 10 minutes long (see questions in "Band Performances/Competitions for details on rules/judging, incluing details of timing), and generally consists of ~3 identifiable sections, or movements. Often the show is learned section-by-section, but otherwise these "movements" are just like movements in an orchestral work--parts of the whole.

To contribute to the overall effect of the band's performance, set pieces and or props are used on the field. Sets and props are pieces of scenery or accessories just like would be used in a play or musical on stage, and may be things that move, are climbed on, or are carried by band members..

Generally, set and prop design is completed by the show designer (see "Where does the marching show music come from?"), and are entirely built by our Field Crew. Sets and props are loaded onto, driven, unloaded, and brought onto the field by the Field Crew as well.

We're always looking for more Field Crew members, so if you'd like to help build or transport sets and props, or to have a chance to be on the sideline down on the field while the students perform, email!

New marchers are any students who are in their first year with the marching band. This includes any student in any grade who is new to band. Often new marchers are freshman at LHS, but 8th graders zoned to attend LHS are also eligible to join the band, and any student in any grade who is new to the band is a new marcher! In the Spring and beginning of Band Camp there are a few new marcher specific rehearsals. Generally previous year 8th grade marchers join their classmates at new marcher events their freshman year, though they are no longer new marchers!

Band council is a student-only organization that helps plan and schedule events during the school year. The band council consists of a president, vice president, class representatives, and section leaders. President, VP, secretary, and class reps are elected by students. Section leaders are automatically placed on the council. Band council holds meetings once every month to discuss rehearsals, events, and fundraisers.

Marching season starts with band camp in mid-July and ends with the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Championship, which is held each year at the end of October. In addition, the Lafayette Band marches in the Lexington Holiday Parade in December.

The band website ( hosts a calendar that can be synced with your phone, and a detailed breakdown of the current week's schedule is emailed in the e-News every Sunday evening. Reminders and notes are often shared via Remind and on the LBA Facebook page (see more in "Getting Connected", below!).

No! The different sections have a range of overlapping and individual rehearsals. During marching season these generally occur after school from about 3pm until ~6:30pm. This is in addition to "camps" (all day rehearsals) during school breaks..

The Color Guard and Percussion section often have separate rehearsals, and each instrumental section has rehearsal with other instrumentalists and their own sections. Contact your section leader and/or see the band calendar at for more details!

Yes! It is critical that every student attend every rehearsal and competition! Mr. Bishop can approve requests for absences, but generally only does so for illness or family emergencies..

If you have concerns or questions, please contact Mr. Bishop directly!

It is not advised to plan a vacation during marching season. If you have a conflict, please contact Mr. Bishop immediately.

Occasionally during practice and warm-ups the band may move inside the building to practice if it is raining, but we DO march (and certainly compete!) in the rain. On competition days, the uniform crew will provide ponchos for the students..

While the band staff and volunteers do everything possible to protect instruments, please be advised that your instrument may get wet, and will suffer bumps and bruises during marching season. Typically, if you own a nicer instrument, such as a wood clarinet, you should also have a plastic/less valuable instrument for marching season.

Check the calendar on the website ( for up-to-date information..

During marching season, rehearsals are typically everyday after school from 3:45 until ~6:15pm. There are "camp" or "mini-camp" rehearsals lasting all day (generally 8 am to 5 pm) the three weeks before school starts (Band Camp), during Fall break (Fall Camp), and a few times during the Spring (mini-camps)..

Students should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before rehearsal starts..

While there is practice every school day during marching season, Mr. Bishop does not hold practice the first day of school.

Check the calendar available at Mini-camps start in April before the upcoming school year. Band Camp happens the last three weeks of summer break. Fall Camp happens during fall break, generally the Wednesday, Thurday, and Friday of the break. All "camps" are day camps and are held at LHS.

Rehearsals start with a warmup routine that students learn at mini camps in the Spring. Warmups include a light jog, stretches, cardio, body (dance-like movements used to add effect while marching), and marching warmup routines. After warmups, sections typically split up (usually split between brass, woodwinds, and percussion) to work on either music, choreography, or drill (marching steps and patterns). Sections go through rotations and work with different directors throughout rehearsal..

Towards the end of rehearsal, the whole band will come together and work on drill. This usually includes working on different sets (small segments of the show) and doing a full run of the portion of the show learned to date at the end of rehearsal..

Parents and families are encouraged to arrive for pick-up early and watch these run-throughs at the end of rehearsal--it's a great opportunity to meet other parents, get a sense of the work the students do, and show our pride and appreciation of their efforts!... It's also cool to see/hear the show up close as they polish it!

Typically, once the school sets the orientation schedules Mr. Bishop will identify a specific orientation for band students to attend. If all band students attend this orientation it minimizes disruption to rehearsals. Please watch the the calendar on the band webpage at, or announcements through Remind or on the LBA Facebook Page for more details.

At Spring mini-camps, students learn the body (sets of dance-like movements added to marching to enhance the visual effect of the show) and cardio warmups that are used at every rehearsal during the marching season..

At Summer Band Camp, students learn marching fundamentals (how to achieve consistent steps and appearance while marching, how to march in various directions, make turns, and vary step size, all as part of a coherent group), show music, drill (the patterns of marching that form shapes on the field), and choreography (the body movements that enhance visual effect). The 1st movement (see "What is a movement?") of the show is the main focus of Band Camp, and the band will performs this portion of the show at the Parent Performance on the last day of Band Camp..

At Fall Camp, the band focuses on learning the 3rd movement/last parts of the show, having learned the 2nd movement during regular after school rehearsals.

Students learn and rehearse the show music at Camps and during Band Class. Students work with band directors and section leaders to learn and rehearse music..

All music for the show must be fully memorized.

While students learn drill for the 1st movement and music for the whole show at Band Camp, refinements and rehearsal of these parts continues throughout the season. Drill for the 2nd and 3rd movements is then added incrementally as the season progresses, allowing each section to be focused on individually for a number of weeks. The band generally has learned the full show by the end of Fall Camp, and the remaining weeks of the season are spent perfecting the show for State.

Students should bring their instrument, music, a towel (beach towel size), sunscreen, waterjug, and comfortable shoes and clothing. We work outside on the Band Lot (parking lot behind the school closest to the stadium) usually, so towels are used for comfort (e.g., to sit on) during warmups..

Rehearsals are physical, and it can be quite hot, so all students should wear deoderant. A hat that shades the face and neck can also be useful. Sunscreen should be applied before arrival, and reapplied throughout rehearsal, as appropriate. Students with medical needs or concerns must contact Mr. Bishop and the Chaperones before summer band camp.

It depends on the severity of the rain. If there is light rain with no thunder or lightning, students continue to work outside. It is advised to check the weather before rehearsal to decide whether to bring a raincoat or poncho. If there is lightning, thunder, and/or heavy rain, students will work inside, usually in the cafeteria or band room. As noted elsewhere, while every effort is made to protect instruments, they can get wet and/or suffer bumps and bruises, so it is highly recommended to march with a less expensive instrument.

At least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, as students need to be ready to go at the scheduled time. Check the calendar for rehearsal start times..

Summer band camp usually begins at 8am, and ends at 5pm every day. School day rehearsals start at 3:45pm and usually go until 6:15pm. It is important to note that if a rehearsal ends at a certain time, that is when students stop rehearsing; NOT when students will be leaving. Mr. Bishop, drum majors, section leaders, etc., typically give important announcements at the end of each rehearsal that take about 5-10 minutes, and students must gather their things and head to the senior lot for pickup (see below)..

We encourage all parents and guardians to arrive early for pick-up and walk over to the band lot (practice area) to see and hear the day's final run-through and to meet other parents and families!

Students mainly rehearse in the band lot. This is the parking lot on the back side of the school (near the Band room entrance) closest to the footbal stadium. It has two entrances on either side of the Louie Mack Building. These entrances will be blocked off during band rehearsal, and no cars may drive on or through the band lot during, (and/or immediately before or after) rehearsal..

Students should be dropped off and picked up in the senior parking lot, located right next to the band lot. This is to ensure the students' safety. The Senior lot has one entrance just before the softball field. The Senior lot is structured as a one-way loop, with the towards-the-band-lot leg next to the school, and the return next to the softball field.

After school hours students and parents/guardians can park in the senior lot. In fact, we encourage parents and guardians to arrive early for pick-up, leave your car in the senior lot, and come over to the band lot to see and hear the final run-through of the day. It's a great way to see the work students are putting in up close, and to meet other parents and families!

Generally, yes! In fact we encourage parents and guardians to arrive early for pick-up, park in the senior lot, and walk over to the band lot to see and hear the final run-through of the day! It's a great way to get a sense of the work the students are doing, and to meet other parents and families..

NOTE: we do request that no video or audio recordings of band rehearsals are taken. With 22 state championships, and a nationally competitive band program, other bands are constantly angling to see and hear "what Lafayette is doing". We want them to see and hear us... at competitions and other public performances when we are ready!

The first "perfomance" by the marching band each year is the Parent Performance at the end of Band Camp. This informal performance in the LHS stadium shows off the progress made towards learning the show at Band Camp..

The marching band performs at every Home football game during halftime..

Through September and October the band performs at ~3-4 band competitions which are held in surrounding counties on Saturdays..

The band also performs (in exhibition, not competition) at the Lafayette Invitational on a Saturday in mid-September (at LHS)..

The band closes the marching season by performing at the KMEA State Championship in late October, and marches in the Lexington Holiday Parade..

Concert bands and instrumental chamber groups perform a number of concerts in the winter and spring.

The marching band performs at halftime at every HOME football game. We do not travel to away games.

Students are generally required to report to the band room to prepare for a football game sometime between 4 pm and 5 pm (depending on the exact start time of the game). Students should eat between the end of school and this report time, if at all possible..

There is generally a brief rehearsal in the band lot, and then the students march as a block to the stadium. They are in place in a reserved section at the north end of the home stands at least 30 minutes prior to the game, and perform the National Anthem approximately 10 minutes before the game begins. Students remain in the stands during the first half, making their way to the sideline as the first half ends. They perform one or more movements of the show on the field, then return to their section in the stands..

If there is a competition the next day, students are sometimes released before the end of the game. Students walk back to the band room to change out of their uniforms, and filter out of the band room door to leave..

As with all band performances, a detailed schedule is provided to the students listing all necessary report times.

Parents and familes are strongly encouraged to attend football games!! We sit all over the stadium, but often congregate near the band section (north end of the home stands) or near the 50 yard line, often 1/2 to 2/3rds of the way up (for a good view!). Parents and families may NOT sit with the band or in the band section. The Lafayette students stand at the front of the stands just to the north of the 50 yard line in front of the cheerleaders. It is generally possible to sit some rows behind them--they are usually a family friendly bunch.

Definitely bring you flags, and wear your band pins and Lafayette gear (see below for how to get these)!.

Parents and family members do have to buy tickets, which are available at the gate. Tickets are $5, and they accept both cash and credit card, though cash can be faster. There is general concession food available in the stadium at the south end of the home stands. A fun option, though, is to arrive early to watch rehearsal, bringing along food to picnic with at the outside of the band lot..

About 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the game, the band marches as a block from the band lot (where they rehearse briefly before the game) along the side walk south of the baseball field. They enter the stadium through the gate on the northwest corner, and enter the stands on the ramp at the north end of the stadium. It is recommended that parents and families enter the stands using the center ramp (not the ramp the band uses)..

Many parents and families gather to see the band finish rehearsing and line the sidewalk they march along on the way to the stadium. To see the band march to the stadium families should plan to arrive and park ~60 minutes before the scheduled game start time. Families should park in the senior lot, as the band lot will still be closed for rehearsal. (Once the band marches to the stadium the band lot is opened for parking, so late arrivers can park there..

Often families will leave the stands to walk with their band student from the stadium back to the school whenever the band is released. You can meet your student as they leave the stands via the ramp at the north end o fthe stands. Once back to the band room, depending on your student, it can take as few as 10 minutes to change out of the uniform and be ready to head home..

Football games are quite short, with only 12 minute quarters, and a 20 minute half time. If the score is not competitive, the clock runs continuously. A typical first half can be as short as 30 minutes, ranging up to ~45 minutes. Plan accordingly if you aim to attend only for the half-time performance..

See additional notes on what to bring to the stadium in "What to bring to band performances/competitions".

The Lafayette Invitational is a marching band competition run by the Lafayette Band and hosted in the Lafayette Stadium. This is an extensive all-day event which raises a substantial amount of money for the band. Students and parents sign up for different jobs and shifts throughout the day to help the event run smoothly. Lafayette Band performs in exhibition after all bands have competed in finals. Exhibition means the band in not judged, but does perform.

BOA is an acronym for Bands of America. BOA is an organization that runs large marching band competitions nationwide, at different levels. These levels include regional, super regional, and grand national competitions. Lafayette Band usually participates in one of these competitions each year in mid October. In the past, Lafayette Band has attended BOA competitions in Indianapolis, IN (super-regionals) and Johnson City, TN (regionals)..

The Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Marching Band Championship is not affiliated with BOA. The state competition is the largest competition for marching bands in Kentucky. Students compete with other bands in their class for the coveted state title--of which Lafayette has won 22--by far the most of any school. "State" occurs at the end of the marching season in late October and is held at a Kentucky university.

Prelims are the first (preliminary) round of performances at a competition. Bands are judged within their class and scored accordingly (see below). The prelims score determines the bands placement in finals competition, during which finalist bands perform a second time. The top scoring bands from prelims, regardless of class of competition, advance to the finals round. Scores from a band's finals performance (the second of the day) determine the Grand Champion (overall competition winner). The KMEA State Championship differs in that there are separate finals competitions for each class.

Yes! Anywhere between 10 and 20 (or more) bands will gather for a competition. They are intially grouped based on a combination of the size of the band (number of student performers) and size of their school (9-12th grade enrollment). Lafayette is one of the largest bands in the state, and is consistently the largest high school (by 9-12th grade enrollment) in the state, and competes in the top class, called 5A (the smallest class is called 1A)..

All bands perform once in a preliminary round ("prelims"), and are judged by at least six judges, three on or near the field, and three in the press box. Bands are scored on musical performance as an ensemble and as individuals, on visual performance as an ensemble and individuals, and on the general (overall) effect of the music and visuals. Within each of these categories are sub-scores. All scores are combined and weighted according to a set formula, and the band receives an overall score. The Color Guard and Drum Line may be scored separately as well..

The bands ranked within their class and win awards based on their rank. The top 10-12 bands overall, regardless of class, are selected to perform again in a Final round ("finals"). The finalist bands are scored again on their second performance, and ranked by overall score, with the top scoring band (in Finals) named "Grand Champion". During Finals, awards for Best Music, Best Visual Effect, Best General Effect, Best Color Guard, and Best Drumline are also awarded based on the appropriate sub-scores. Among the most competitive bands, fractions of a point will generally differentiate finalist bands..

Scores are made available to both the bands and the public after both preliminary and finals rounds. The website is a good resource for current and past scores. Judges are experienced band directors and marching band professionals drawn from all over the country and are paid for their time. For extremely large competitions (like State) some competition classes hold prelims, semi-finals (semis), and finals. There are so few bands in Kentucky in Class 5A that there is no 5A preliminary round for the KMEA State Championship, and all 5A bands automatically qualify for the semi-finals..

At regular competitions, the prelims generally occur beginning in the morning, and running into the early afternoon, with the finals following in the evening into the night. See details of competition schedules and timelines elsewhere..

Note that there is a never a garauntee that a band will advance to the finals round, though the Lafayette Band aims to not only final, but win, every competition they enter.

Band competitions happen on Saturdays in September and October and last all day, starting with an early morning rehearsal, and concluding with arrival back at Lafayette HS generally around midnight or later. The band usually attends three competitions, the Lafayette Invitational, the KMEA State Championship, and possibly a BOA event each year.

The band directors will circulate a detailed schedule for every competition. Generally, though, students start the day with an early morning rehearsal at Lafayette, typically beginning at 7am. Students rehearse until mid morning, and are then fed lunch by the food crew. Students are given time after lunch to fix hair before departing (via assigned buses) for the competition. Departure times depend on the band's assigned preliminary round performance time, which is generally known a week or so before the competition. Typically these times are around around noon..

Once arrived at the competition, the band will dress and warmup before prelims performance. After prelims the band attends the preliminary awards ceremony, at which the best bands in each class are recognized. After this, assuming the band makes the finals, students change out of their uniforms and are fed dinner before having mandatory rest time. Mandatory rest lasts about an hour, and students are given time to rest and take a quick nap. After mandatory rest, students get dressed again before having rehearsal and warmups..

The band competes in finals competition at a time determined by a draw following the prelim round, typically in the late evening. The day concludes with finals awards, where awards are given for overall best visuals, general effect, music, percussion, colorguard, and overall placements. The Grand Champion band is generally invited to remain on the field after Finals awards to offer an encore performance (the third of the day, generally occuring ~10-11pm). After awards and possibly an encore performance, students change out of uniforms and load buses to head back to Lafayette HS, generally arriving around midnight or later.

Note that students must remain with the band for the entirety of the day, and must travel both to and from the competition on the band buses.

The band is transported via buses to competitions. The band usually takes six buses to competitions. Bus placements are assigned based on student signups, where students can request a bus. Parents are not permitted to ride with band students on the bus. Several chaperones are assigned to each bus to supervise the students.

Yes, parents, families, and friends attend band competitions! You are STRONGLY encouraged to do so to support the band and share the experience with other band families! Competition attendees must provide their own transportation unless they are a member of a band crew directly supporting the band on the competition day.

Expect to be impressed, a bit overwhelmed, and to have a great time!.

The schedule for attendees is somewhat variable, based on (1) where the competition is, and details of how the competition site is arranged, (2) when the band is scheduled to perform in prelims, and if you intend to see the prelim performance, (3) if the band make finals, what finals time they draw, and if you intend to see this performance, and (4) if they are named Grand Champion and perform an encore, if you intend to see this performance!.

Typical competitions that the band participates in (e.g. Bourbon County, or George Rogers Clark) are about 45 mins - 1 hour away from Lexington. Parking is either on-site (Bourbon County) or at one of a number of remote sites (GRC). In either case it will take some time to park and walk (and/or ride shuttles) to the stadium--typically 30 minutes, plus or minus, depending on site details. Once at the stadium you will need to buy tickets, and may buy a program. You should bring both cash and a credit card, including enough cash to buy food at the concession stand, if desired. There are often small art fairs, competition t-shirt booths, bake sales, or other vendors at competition sites. Generally parking is free, but may be on a grass field. Entry tickets are typically ~$10 per person..

Once inside the stadium you will want to find seats--something that can be challenging depending on when you arrive and the size of the stands (Bourbon County: small; GRC: larger). Only the home stands are used. It is STRONGLY recommended that you bring a seat cushion or seat cushion with back, as you may be seated for an extended period of time in cramped and crowded stands. Generally you may only move around in or into/out of the stands between band performances, so be sure to arrive enough ahead of Lafayette's performance so you can move into place at least a band or two early. THAT SAID, you are encouraged to arrive MULTIPLE Bands ahead of Lafayette, both to ensure you get seats, and so that you can get a sense of what other bands are doing. Each band has a 15 minute window (see details elsewhere) in which to perform, so you will be able to see 4 bands per hour. With up to 20 (or possibly more) bands performing in prelims at each competition, the prelim round in total can easily last more than 5 hours, as every 4-6 bands there is often a 15 minute break..

Please come prepared for all weather: wear a hat and sunscreen (this is essential!), bring ponchos (umbrellas are generally discouraged). You can package some hand towels in ziploc bags to use to dry off seats, etc, in case of rain. Towards the end of the season wear MANY LAYERS, gloves, hats, scarves, blankets, etc., and bring hand warmers--it is windy, exposed, and cold in the stands. Early in the season bring lots of water, a personal fan, and sunglasses--in the evenings as the sun sets it will often be in your eyes, and early in the season it is HOT and shadeless in the stands!.

Depending on when you will be watching bands, you can purchase food at the concession stand, though lines are often very long and selection limited. Often band families will go together to local restuarants, though, again, they can be busy depending on timing..

There is generally a couple hour break between prelims and finals, and you may remain in the stands, or leave and return. Though only 10-12 bands make the finals, attendees from all the finalist bands generally watch the entire finals. Because of this, the stands are often most crowded during finals. Particularly at smaller stadiums, arriving during finals may mean that you are unable to find a seat. A 12 band final will last 3.5 hours (3 hours of performing plus two 15 minute breaks) plus 30-45 minutes for awards, plus 30 minutes for any encore. Finals often start around 6 pm..

There is a delay after the final finalist band performs, during which the host high school band usually performs "in exhibition". The finalist bands then arrange themselves on the field, and awards start, often around 10 pm. The Grand Champion (top finals band) generally remains on the field after awards, warms up, and performs their show again as an encore, starting, typically between 10:30 and 11pm.

Yes. For regular band competitions attendees should plan to buy general admission tickets at the gate for ~$10 per person. BOA events and State sell both General Admission and Assigned Seat tickets. These prices vary. For State, tickets must be bought as a group, and will be organized by the LBA. Additional details will be shared with families via Remind, Facebook, email, etc., towards the end of the season.

The Band Camp Parent Performance and "Pack the Lot" evenings are fun ways for parents and families to come watch an (informal) full run of the show at the end of Band Camp or regular rehearsals. The annual Band Camp Parent Performance happens on the last day of band camp, and the the band will perform the first movement of the show at the football stadium. The Color Guard and Percussion sections also often perform skills demos..

From time-to-time during the fall, Mr. Bishop will announce a "Pack the Lot"--essentially an invitation to families to come en masse to pick up students (that is, to pack the parking lot!) so the band can show off their progress. These "Pack the Lots" generally are announced for non-football Fridays. The night before the KMEA State Championship is a special "Pack the Lot" performance, where students perform the show for parents one last time before they compete at State. At this "Pack the Lot", families are enouraged to make signs and wear show shirts to show their support as the students prepare to end the season.

Lafayette Band Association rents box trucks to transport props, sets, and large instruments to and from competitions. The field crew handles the loading and unloading, and the field crew consists of all parents volunteers. Smaller instruments, such as flutes and clarinets, are kept with students on the bus.

Charms is a database that helps the Lafayette Band Association manage and track contributions from its members. We work hard each year to keep the database up-to-date with the current band membership and parent/guardian contact information. For questions about Charms, email

While the band is unable to provide a directory, the LBA operates a private Facebook page for current band family members (Lafayette Band Association - Pride of the Bluegrass). This is a great resource for asking questions, getting updates on band activities, and connecting with other band families. PLEASE FOLLOW/JOIN THIS PAGE.

Please note that the band directors maintain a separate public Facebook page that only the directors can post to (Lafayette Band "Pride of the Bluegrass").

Most sections also have Remind groups, group texts, and GroupMe chats. Contact your section leader for more information.

Yes, there are often group texts or GroupMe chats for parents and/or students in each section. Contact your section leader for more information.

Remind is an app that allows people to sign up to receive mass texts from the band directors. There are several Remind groups for, e.g., different ensembles including Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Percussion, and Color Guard. There is also a group for the entire band. Everyone (parents, guardians, and students) are encouraged to join their appropriate Remind groups. To do so, download the app on your phone, and enter the appropriate Remind code. All Lafayette Band Remind codes can be found at the bottom of every E-news.

The BBBS picnic is a big get-together for students to play games, meet people, and enjoy good food before the marching season officially starts. This event usually happens the week before freshman band camp starts. Underclassmen may be assigned to a "big brother" or "big sister", which is an upperclassmen member of their section. They are in a group with other students. This is done to help students socialize and get to know each other.

The band banquet happens at the end of the school year to celebrate the students' hard work and success throughout the marching and concert seasons. All marchers, percussion, and guard members and their families are encourged to attend! Tickets and details will be available in early Spring each year.

The end of season party occurs at the end of the marching season (usually the Saturday after State). It is a celebration for students, and is generally held at Lafayette. More information will be available as the end of the marching season approaches.

The eNews is the email newsletter sent to parents and students every Sunday. It is, perhaps, the single most important way to keep up to date on band information. The eNews includes important dates, news, and other happenings for the upcoming weeks. Important fundraiser information and announcements are included. While all email contacts in the Charms database are generally added to the eNews recipient list, to make sure your email address is on the list, email

Marching band uniforms consist of a hat, top, "bibbers" or "bibs", socks, shoes, gloves, and dry-fit shirt. Students are issed a hat, top, bibs, and one dry-fit shirt. Students must purchase socks, shoes, gloves, and any additional dry-fit shirts. Color Guard members have their own uniforms specifically designed to augment the show. Like marching uniforms, the LBA covers the cost of Color Guard uniforms.

Bibs are a type of overall pants that marchers wear underneath their uniform top, which is like a jacket or over-shirt. Students wear a band-issued dry fit shirt underneath their top and bibs. The dry fit shirt is what students arrive wearing before competitions and performances. Students are issued one dry fit shirt at no cost, but can purchase additional ones.

Uniforms hats, tops, and bibs, as well as Color Guard uniforms, are owned by the band, and are purchased each year by the LBA. The band spends more the $200 per student per year on uniforms.

Yes! Marchers and Color Guard members are given new uniforms every year that are specifically designed to match the show theme. Drum majors wear the same uniform every year: a black top with black bibs.

The bulk of your child's uniform will stay at the school under the Uniform Crew's care. The Uniform Crew washes each and every uniform after every performance. They also organize, store, maintain, and distribute the uniforms to students. If your student has any issue or concern with their uniform, they should immediately contact the Uniform Crew. Your student will remain responsible for their dry fit shirt(s), shoes, gloves, and other smaller items they will need during the marching season. IT IS STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO WASH THEIR DRY FIT SHIRT AFTER EVERY USE. Every other member of the band appreciates student's diligence in keeping their dry fit shirt(s) fresh.

Students are required to wear specific shoes with their marching or Color Guard uniform. Marchers wear shoes called Dinkles that are specifically manufactured for marching bands. Color Guard members generally where a type of dance show/slipper (details will be provided during the summer for all Color Guard members). Students must purchase their own shoes. The Uniform Crew sends order forms home with every student during summer band camp. From time-to-time, gently used shoes are available from previous marchers. Contact the Uniform Crew with questions..

In addition marchers are required to wear tall black socks. No logos, designs, or other markings may be visible on the socks.

Contact the uniform crew at with any questions or concerns about uniforms!

“Red Bags” are high quality (red!) duffle bands with the band logo that are used by students, particularly on band performance days, to carry their shoes, socks, dri fit shirt, shorts, hair accessories, deodorant, and any other items they may need throughout the day.

Families may order a Red Bag for their student to own and may opt to have their student’s name embroidered on the bag. Order forms for Red Bags are circulated beginning at the Parent Meeting at the start of Band Camp and through the eNews. The band has a supply of Red Bags for students who do not purchase their own that may be borrowed for the marching season.

**Special instructions on hair for the 2023 Marching Season will be forthcoming from the Band Directors.*.

For marchers at all marching performances all hair must be worn up, and may not hang down from beneath the marching hat. This applies to EVERY MARCHER. Hair may not hang over the ears. Once "up", hair MUST fit comfortably with the hat, and may not disrupt or interfere with correct placement of the hat on the student's head. If you have long hair, or hair that covers any part of your ears, you should speak with your section leader for recommendations on how to wear your hair during marching performances. It is strongly recommended that you practice arranging your hair BEFORE performance days so that you have all necessary supplies and know your plan will work. Please note that you must have your hair fully ready BEFORE any call/report times.

Color Guard directors will determine how Color Guard members wear their hair. Unlike marchers, hair is considered part of the costume, and is styled to enhance the visual effect of the Guard performance. Details on hair will be provided to Color Guard members well in advance of the Band's first public performance.

The band provides "Concert Uniforms". In the past, these have been traditional marching band uniforms (jackets and pants), but we are in the process of replacing these with a more comfortable and functional alternative. The band directors will let students know what to wear well ahead of every concert.

Marchers wear the dri-fit band shirt they received at band camp and black shorts. Color Guard members wear a dance unitard. Depending on the weather, marchers are permitted to wear long sleeve dri-fits and pants (long sleeve unitards for Color Guard members) under uniforms as it gets colder in the season.

The Lafayette Band Association (LBA) is the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the Lafayette Marching Band. While anyone can join, parents and/or guardians of students in the band are automatically members..

Each year the LBA provides THOUSANDS of volunteer hours and more than $400,000 in direct financial support to make nearly everything the band does possible. The LBA pays band staff, purchases uniforms, show music, instruments, props and sets. The LBA pays for travel to and from competitions, provides food for students during camps and trips, provides housing for students on overnight trips. LBA members maintain and clean uniforms, serve as chaperones, prepare and serve food, build, maintain, transport, and place on the field props and sets, transport instruments, organize and operate the band store, organize and arrange photographs of band students, and "get done" whatever the band staff needs.

Only band class with the three primary directors. No additional staff, or funds for marching activities.

To cover all band activities, including marching and concert season, the LBA provides >$2200 per student. Broken down roughly this includes >$600 in travel costs, >$400 for paid staff, >$300 for show related expenses, >$220 for uniforms, >$100 for food, plus a host of other expenses. This can vary slightly from year to year based on travel costs etc.

The LBA raises money in two primary ways: the Family Contribution, and various fundraising activities. We work to raise as much money as possible via fundraising activities to reduce the expected Family Contribution. Currently, we are able to fundraise just under half the total required funds. The remaining funds (some $220,000) must be directly donated by band families via the Family Contribution..

In terms of fundraisers, we aim to raise ~$60,000 operating Bingo each Thursday, ~$35,000 via our SnapRaise fundraiser, ~$20,000 in sponsorships, ~$20,000 selling discount cards/books, ~$13,000 from hosting the Lafayette Invitational, ~$12,000 from hosting a Winter Guard event, and an additional ~$50,000 from the Band Store, Restaurant nights, Kroger Rewards, a mattress sale, raffles, Pay-the-Day fundraiser, etc.

For more information about fundraising contact For more information about sponsorships contact For more information about Bingo contact

SnapRaise is an online fund drive during which we solicit donations from families and friends. Students provide 20+ email addresses of family members and friends who might be willing to support the band. SnapRaise generates an email and web campaign soliciting direct donations. We aim to raise ~$35,000 during this ~2 week fund drive..

The Lafayette Band raises ~$60,000 per year operating Bingo games once a week. Profit from Bingo nights represents the band's biggest fundraiser, and the fundraiser that most focuses on raising money from the community, as opposed to band families. The LBA runs Bingo every Thursday night, year round, excluding holidays. Band families are expected to volunteer at Bingo ~4 times per year. More information can be found at, or email

"Spirit Nights" are when a business decides to donate part of their proceeds from sales to the band (i.e. band families eat at Moe's a particular night and earn cash for the band). These are a great way to support both local businesses and the band. Discount cards/books are cards or books of coupons and discounts honored by local businesses. We sell them each fall throughout the community, aiming to raise ~$20,000 each year.

For more information about fundraising contact For more information about sponsorships contact

The opportunities and experiences our students have as part of the band are only possible if we generate funds via fundraising. All our band families are busy, stressed, and bearing many burdens. We feel strongly that the benefit of band is worth our effort, though, and every band family is encouraged and expected to participate in all band fundraisers.

The Family Contribution represents the amount of money per student that individual families are expected to provide to support the entire band. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the Family Contribution for one band student is $1,300. This may be paid in a single payment, or over the course of the year. For families with more than one student in the band, additional students increase the expected family contribution by $650 per student.

Failure to pay the family contribution increases our reliance on (and the effort required for) other fundraising. We encourage every family to do what they can to help all our students have the most impactful and positive band experience possible. We encourage, and expect, all families to actively support LBA fundraising activities!

While you cannot earn credit toward your Family Contribution, we recognize that every family is in a different situation. The band has myriad volunteer needs above and beyond the family contribution, and all band families are expected to share the burden, enabling all our students to have a positive and life-changing band experience! From time-to-time the band does have need of in-kind contributions. If you might be able to support the band in this way, please contact the volunteer crew chief best aligned with your resources!

To make a full contribution via credit card/PayPal in Charms:

  • Log in to your Charms account.
  • Check your account for accuracy. All Contributions are posted in the Fixed Payment Detail. Credits are posted in the Miscellaneous Ledger Detail.
  • In the middle section Student Fixed Payment Detail, click on the PayPal button on the 2023-24 Band Contribution you would like to submit (it will turn blue).
  • Then click the blue button "Pay Fixed Payments."
  • The PayPal screen will open. Click on the Green "Start Payment."
  • Log in to your PayPal account OR Pay with Debit or Credit Card.

    To make a partial Contribution via credit card/PayPal in Charms:

    • When you click the "finances" button once you are logged in to your student's account, click at the bottom where it says "Make Miscellaneous Payment."
    • Here you can choose the amount of the contribution you would like to make.
    • The contribution will stay in the misc ledger until it hits the full contribution amount and then it is transferred and applied to the 2023-24 Band Contribution.
    • In the description box, please put 2023-24 Band Contribution and the student's name.

The LBA provides lunch and dinner (organized, prepared, and served by the Food Crew) to students on competition days.

During New Marcher camp (the first week of Summer Band Camp), students should eat breakfast before camp, and must bring their own lunches. During full Band Camp weeks, pizza is provided free to students for lunch on most Fridays. On other full Band Camp days, students may elect to purchase meals served by the Food Crew. Dinner is provided by the LBA for students before the Parent Performance on the last day of Band Camp.

Food is not typically provided for mini-camps unless the camp lasts from morning until late afternoon. Food is not provided before football games, and students should squeeze in a quick dinner between the end of school and report time. At football games and competitions, students are given water bottles as needed while in the stadium and during warmups.

Our Food Crew prepares and serves food for the band, email if you'd like to help out, or to make a donation!

Chaperone crews have medical information and they work with the Food crew to accomodate allergies. Typically, nut products are never provided or brought on trips or at camps. Allergies should be reported on our required medical forms. PLEASE GET YOUR MEDICAL FORMS TURNED INTO THE CHAPERONE CREW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

WATER IS CRITICAL FOR REHEARSALS! Every student MUST bring their own jug of water--at least a full liter, ideally more. Chaperones will have coolers full of ice and water available, but every student should have their own jug for rehearsals. Chaperones also have emergency snacks if a child has low blood sugar or is feeling sick.

For competitions, food and water are provided, though students can bring their own snacks and water in their Red Bag.

The Color Guard are a key part of the band, enhancing the visual visual and artistic effect of the show! They collectively work in conjunction with the band to convey the story of the show using different elements such as dance, tossing of sabres and rifles, and tossing or twirling of colorful flags.

Members of the Color Guard can also compete in Winter Guard, a great opportunity to build skills and learn new techniques!

Any Lafayette High School student can join the Color Guard, as well as middle school students zoned for LHS. If you play a band instrument, you may join the Color Guard, though you should reach out to Mr. Bishop to discuss your plans, so he and the Band can plan accordingly.

No. Some members do play instruments during concert season, however you do not have to play an instrument to participate.

Color Guard members must enroll in the Fall elective Color Guard course, which takes place at the same time as Concert Band class. Students who plan band instruments and are placed into Wind Symphony or Symphonic Band are expected to enroll in both the appropriate Band class and the Color Guard class. Please contact Mr. Bishop and/or the Color Guard staff for more information.

All students interested in joining the Color Guard will perform with the Guard, but, just as the Drum Line is a subset of the Percussion section, only the most experienced and technically skilled Color Guard members are chosen to work with sabres and rifles. Auditions for sabre and rifle positions will be publicized well in advance--and, ideally, all Color Guard members would be experienced and skilled enough to perform with sabres and rifles!

The Color Guard frequently rehearses seperately from marchers, sometimes at overlapping times, often in the evening after rehearsal for marchers. The Band Directors organize rehearsals to allow both sectional rehearsals, and rehearsal time together as a full band. Detailed schedule information is always avaialble in the eNews.

These are props that are danced with, twirled, and tossed by the Color Guard. They are NOT real weapons in any way..

Sabres are made to look like curving swords (think of a long pirate sword) and have a hilt on one end. They are made from composite materials (to be light and durable) and are NOT sharp..

Rifles are made to look like single action rifles (think WWII era M1 Garand), and are made of wood or composite materials. They are completely solid and cannot shoot anything..

Silks are beautifully patterned fabrics of various sizes (sometimes 10s of feet long!), and designed to be attached to variously sized flag poles (often 5 or more feet long). Flags, rifles, and sabres are twirled and tossed in complicated coordinated patterns while Color Guard members dance and move among the band on the field.

Amanda Morris is the Guard Director; Tyler Terawood does Program, Uniform, and Prop Design; Jaasiel Wilson does "All The Things". Additional techical staff include Sydney Peters, Emily "Shelly" Shelton, Morganne Dixey, and Stephen Griffe.

Spunity is a combined word of spirit and unity. Spunity are spirit weeks that happen the second and third week of band camp. Each section decides on themes for each day of the week, and students will dress up as that theme. Spunity is a fun way for sections to bond and work together, as it is a competition. The section that shows the most spirit, unity, sportsmanship, energy, and pride will be awarded the Spunity Stick, a long standing tradition of the Lafayette Band, at the end of band camp.

Letters and bars are earned by completing a band season...Just like you would earn if you we in track or another sport. Show Patches can be purchased at the band store. BOA (Bands of America) competions sell all kinds of memorabilia. State patches are sent to Mr. Bishop.

The Band Store sells Lafayette band gear. Usually magnets, lanyards, buttons, Patches etc. It is typically open before football games and sometimes after practices. Before football games, the Band store is often set up along the sidewalk between the band lot and the northwest entrance to the stadium. From time-to-time the band store will make clothing orders available via announcements on Remind, Facebook, and in the eNews. Times that the band store will be open are often posted in the e-News.

Yes--and they are a great way to celebrate your student and allow them to show their Lafayette Band PRIDE! They can be purchased from the Locker Room, a specialty sporting goods store in Lexington on Lane Allen Rd. While there a number of official Lafayette HS options, you can choose among a wide range of stylistic details. Most band members get a blue base jacket with white sleeves. The Locker Room has numerous photo examples, and they are happy to sew on patches and letters for you!

Photo buttons, show magnets (for your car or refrigerator!), pins, patches, Lafayette Band lanyards, and other items are awesome (and common!) ways for stuents, parents, guardians, and other family members to show their band spirit and support band members. Many of these items can be purchased from the Band Store.

Photo buttons are available separately, and are generally available to order after individual band pictures are taken. Band pictures are taken in the late summer once uniforms arrive.

We use the French Flags as a symbol of Lafayette High School. We wave them so our students on the field can see where we are, a get a visual sense of the degree of support they have from fiends and families! Flags will be for sale for $1 at band performances--buy one for everybody in your family, and bring them with you to all the band's performances!

Spell out Lafayette, and say Lafayette at the end. Sounds like: L-A-F-A-Y-E-T-T-E Lafayette!

The Lafayette Marching Band builds a culture around PRIDE. This sets a foundation of expectations for how we (students and supporters) behave, how we carry ourselves and interact with others, and how we work and dedicate ourselves. The Lafayette Band has a truly unmatched tradition in Kentucky, and is a nationally competitive band program. We do not apologize for our success, nor do we lord it over others. We carry ourselves with PRIDE, no matter the situation or circumstance..

As part of this, we encourage families and friends to cheer loudly--with abandon, even!--in support of our band. It MATTERS to the students to hear and see us, and they, and all our band families, SHOULD take great pride in the work embodied in every band performance. So yell and cheer with passion and pride at every opportunity! Always do so supportively. As they enter the field and get set, cheer. At big moments ("pushes") in the show, add your voice to the enveloping sound of the band. When our soloists finish, or the Guard executes an impressive move or sequence, let them know we noticed. And when the show ends, let the entire stadium (and the judges!) know how wonderful the show was.

Before and at the end of the show we stand and cheer. During the show we remain seated so all can see. Cheer for other bands to let them know we appreciate their work, as well--but be sure everyone knows how proud we are of our band and our students.

Our legacy of success does make Lafayette a target or goal for many other bands. Sometimes you will hear comments, but generally band families are very supportive of each other, and we should ALWAYS be supportive of all students and all bands. Nothing sums it up better than our band students holding hands with members of a rival band as they both wait to hear who won the KMEA State Championship.

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