BHSME FAQs

Here is a handy list of questions that have frequently been asked about joining the Beaverton High School Marching Ensemble (BHSME). Be sure to let us know if you don't find the answer to your question!

 

What does "BHSME" stand for?

BHSME is the abbreviation for Beaverton High School Marching Ensemble. We are an "ensemble" because the group also includes our Color Guard.

What exactly are my obligations when taking a band class or participating in the marching ensemble?

When you forecast for a band class, it means that:

  • You will meet during the school day like any other class. As part of your grade, you will be expected to sit with and perform in the stands at all home football games and selected varsity basketball games, and at a variety of school assemblies and concerts.

Joining the Marching Ensemble is an extra-curricular activity (outside of school hours). In addition to what is listed above for taking a band class, the requirements include:

  • Attending Band Camp - This requirement is MANDATORY, since you will be learning the marching skills and field drill moves needed in competition. You must attend in order to be part of the marching ensemble, so plan accordingly.
  • Attending several after-school practices and one evening practice every week in Sept/Oct
  • Attending 3 or 4 Saturday all-day-and-evening marching competitions in Oct/Nov
  • Marching in the Beaverton Celebration Parade
  • Marching in the Macy's Holiday Parade (optional but highly encouraged)
  • Attending several after school practices in late spring for one of the Rose Festival parades
  • Marching in the Starlight or Grand Floral Parade
  • You must meet the No Pass, No Play grade point requirements (no F's, 2.0 GPA).

In the BHS course catalog, there are three levels of band classes available. I'd like to forecast for one of the upper level bands. Whom do I contact and what arrangements do I need to make?

Please talk to your middle school band director about making a recommendation to the BHS Director of Bands, prior to February forecasting.

I signed up to take a band class - does that mean that I'm automatically in the Marching Ensemble?

No. Being a member of the Marching Ensemble is an extra-curricular activity, much like a fall sport. Although you don't have to audition, our season starts before school opens, with Band Camp in the last part of August. Attendance is mandatory, and the dates will be posted each year as soon as they are set. Participation in the Marching Ensemble is strongly encouraged for all band students.

Can I still be in the Marching Ensemble if I don't take a band class?

Yes. You will be expected to attend Band Camp and all out-of-school rehearsals and performances. Taking a band class for credit is highly recommended. Please contact the Band Director and the Band Booster president to ensure that you get onto our mailing list.

I plan on attending one of the BSD Option Schools or a Private School. Can I still be in the Marching Ensemble?

Yes - as long as the BSD Option School or Private School does not offer Marching Band, you are within the Beaverton School District attendance boundaries* and you can meet the requirements listed in question #2. Please contact the Band Director and the Band Booster President to ensure that you get onto our mailing list.

*Students may join the BHS Marching Ensemble if their attendance area school does not allow them to join their schools marching program. This policy is subject to change as other BSD High Schools change their membership criteria.

I am Home-Schooled. Can I still be in the Marching Ensemble?

Yes - as long as you are within the Beaverton School District attendance boundaries* and you can meet the requirements listed in question #2. Please contact the Band Director and the Band Booster President to ensure that you get onto our mailing list.

*Students may join the BHS Marching Ensemble if their attendance area school does not allow them to join their schools marching program. This policy is subject to change as other BSD High Schools change their membership criteria.

What if I want to play a fall sport - can I still be in the Marching Ensemble?

Yes! We have had band members involved with Cross Country and Soccer - just about all fall sports are possible with the exception of Varsity Football and Varsity Volleyball, because of the direct time conflict with their games. Planning your time wisely and communicating with your coaches, section leader and the Band Director will be essential. Fall sport tryout times may overlap - see the Band Director and your coach in August to arrange any short absences from either activity. Don't worry - it will all work out.

What happens after fall football and marching competitions are over - are there other activities available to band students?

Yes! As part of each band class commitment, you will be expected to participate in the Basketball Pep Band, which plays at selected Varsity Basketball games. We usually split the band in half, forming "Orange" and "Black" groups, so that students will be playing at 8-10 games during the basketball season. The music is upbeat, fun and admission to the games is always free! Participation in these performances will affect your grade.

Band students also may play for school assemblies, the spring musical (audition required), the Beaverton Celebration Parade, Macy's Parade (optional but encouraged), the BHS graduation ceremony, and one of the Rose Festival parades.

Does the Marching Ensemble go on any trips?

We average 4 competitions per season.

Competitions are all day and evening in length, held on three to four selected Saturdays between the end of September and early November. Students ride on chaperoned buses to and from the competition sites.

Every 4 years a big trip usually takes place. Destinations have included the Gator Bowl/Disney World in Florida and the Heritage Festival in Hawaii.

When does the Marching Ensemble hold their practices?

In late August we hold Band Camp, where attendance is mandatory. In the fall, the full ensemble (band and color guard) usually practice Tuesdays, 6:00-9:00pm and Fridays, 2:45 to 5:00pm. Sections generally practice on Mondays from 2:45 to 4:15. Occasionally sections opt to meet more often - this is a student-driven decision made by section leaders and each section. The color guard practices are tba. These practices will end after our last competition.

Competitions are all day and evening in length, held on three to four selected Saturdays between the end of September and early November. Students ride on chaperoned buses to and from the competition sites.

What Goes On At Competitions?

It is important for parents to know what they should expect when they go see their students compete AND it's very important for families to try to attend these competitions. This is OUR team's performance and a cheering section is always appreciated!

Departure and approximate return times, plus directions on how to get to each show, are
announced the week prior to each competition. BHSME travels to each competition as a
group, with chaperones and staff, on Beaverton School District buses. Chaperones get into almost all competitions for free.

Competitions take place, rain or shine! Dress for the weather. Cold, wind, rain and an occasional ray of sun have all been experienced. Layering of clothes is always helpful along with an umbrella/rain repellent outerwear and a seat cushion.

Our preliminary performance at each show will be in the morning or early afternoon - we usually do not find out the schedule until the week of the show. Parents traveling separately from the Ensemble should plan to arrive in time to find parking and purchase tickets. Tickets for the shows are approximately $10 to $15 per person, plus programs, which can be from $3 to $5.

If you have BHSME/BHS colors, wear them so other BHS parents can find you, sit together, and cheer together. Seating is first come, first seated, though it is great to be able to sit in a block. Most competitions request that you remain seated during performances, but you can clap and cheer for us!

If we march in the morning, parents attending the show will need to plan for lunch. Ensemble members will be provided snacks and one meal, but are ultimately responsible for their own food; they can pack a sack lunch/dinner, healthy snacks, or bring money. Concession stands will be open at every competition.

Preliminary rounds may start as early as 7:30am. The order of bands in prelims is determined by a random draw. After preliminary performances are complete, there is an award ceremony generally between 4:30 - 6:00pm. Teams that receive high enough scores will perform again in the evening for finals. The order of the evening performances is set partially by scores in the preliminary competition and partially by random draw. The better the score in prelims: the later the performance time. (If we don't make finals, we may choose to head home early.)

While students choose on which bus to ride, they must ride on the same bus to and from the competition.

If you plan to take your student home with you, parents must:

  • Make arrangements with the Band Director in advance of the competition.
  • Provide a written notice that the student will give to the chaperone on his/her bus.

We strongly discourage separate riding because we want all of the students to be together on the trip home. Chaperones need explicit permission to release a student to his or her parents for the ride home. We take roll call each time we board buses, do not leave with your student without prior arrangements.

If your student does not return to the school on the buses, he/she is responsible for making sure that a responsible person is chosen to return his/her uniform/costume and instrument on the bus, AS WELL AS check them back in when the Ensemble arrives back at the school.

You will receive a competition schedule. We try to make details for each competition (call time. performance time, etc.) available at least a week before a competition.

What is "Band Camp" - and why is attendance mandatory for Marching Ensemble members?

Band Camp takes place in mid to late August. (See #2 for specifics). This is a time of hard work, where students learn the drill (field formations) they will use in competitions and at football games.

It's also a fun time - where friendships are formed as the band comes together as a unit. On the final Friday evening, family and friends are invited to see the band perform all they have learned. A dessert potluck usually follows. You can expect to see a sea of proud, slightly sunburned faces on the field, and hear enthusiastic cheering from the stands. It's amazing to see how far the group comes in such a short time!

Getting to know other kids before school starts is a real bonus for freshmen band members.

Fall sport tryout times my overlap - see the Band Director and your coach in August to arrange any short absences from either activity. Don't worry - it will all work out.

Can incoming freshmen and new marchers get their music early in the summer, to prepare for Band Camp?

We always try to get music to the middle schools before school is out for the summer. Music may also be available at our "Welcome" event, held at BHS in late spring. Music will also be posted on our website.

Do you have to have your own instrument, or are some available through BHS?

BHS can provide for most large instruments, and percussion. Please see the Band Director for specifics.

Are there fees involved with joining the Marching Ensemble?

Yes. There is an Activity Fee levied by the Beaverton School District, which you will pay directly to the District. The fee is $85.00 for the 2017-18 school year. Participation fees for all marching ensemble members is $450 for the 2017 school year. New members pay $45 more for new marching shoes. BHSME participation fees are among the lowest in the state

Participation fees cover many things including uniform fees, competition fees, meals and transportation expenses. Note: These fees are subject to change due to Beaverton School Board action or budget constraints.

There are fundraising opportunities for students, and financial aid options are available through the Band Boosters, depending upon availability of funds and family need. Each year the financial aid program has helped approximately 10-12 students. Financial aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis and is provided based on a student and family's need and their willingness to volunteer. It is strongly recommended that requests be submitted by July 1st. Financial aid applications may be downloaded here. The financial aid program is supported by the generosity of current and alumni band boosters and local businesses.

Can I letter in band?

Yes! The requirements for lettering in band and color guard are listed on our website.