“Things I Wish I Knew as a New Marching Band Parent”

Being a new marching band parent brings up lots of questions and sometimes, in our busy lives, we miss emails or don’t get all the information that goes out to help explain how things work with Marching Band. One of our awesome band parents, Patty Eggers, put together this list of tips and advice.


  • Students should ALWAYS bring their BAND BAG to band events. (Freshman students normally receive their bag on the day of the first football game. It will have their name embroidered on it and it is theirs to keep. They will use it each year that they are in band.)
  • The band bag should ALWAYS have their STADIUM JACKET (black and white raincoat), LYRE and FLIP FOLDER with music, EXTRA REEDS, STICKS or OIL. Bring WATER and non-messy SNACKS like pretzels, crackers, cheese sticks, apples, raisins, granola bars, etc. Snacks NOT allowed: no Cheetos, no Doritos, no pudding/yogurt, nothing with ketchup, no chocolate, no soda, no hot chocolate, no energy drinks, etc. (Stained uniforms have to be cleaned before the next event and this causes extra work for the Uniform volunteers.)
  • The band bag is a handy place to keep the student’s phone, warm hats, gloves, scarves or blankets for cold events, money for concessions, or anything else your student would want for the day/night. (They can leave wallet/purse and keys in their locker at school or bring with them in their band bag.)
  • Before band students march to CBAC for a football game, they MUST place their zipped up BAND BAG in the hallway for the Raven Roadies (Band Dads) to put in a truck or trailer to be brought to CBAC. If you leave your band bag in the band room or near your locker, it will NOT be brought to the football game. After the band plays pre-game, students will exit the field and pick up their band bag to carry to the bleachers. Hats without plumes and uniform jackets are to be stored in the band bag while in the bleachers so that they don’t get lost or stepped on and they stay clean. When the show is over, students will carry their band bag from the bleachers to be put back into the truck/trailer to be brought back to school.
  • When attending a parade or band festival by bus, students bring their band bags onto and off of the bus.



  • Every band student should arrive at school for an event (game, festival or parade) wearing their SHOW SHIRT, tall black marching SOCKS and black marching SHOES. (They can wear different shoes to school, but they must bring the marching shoes with them for each event. We have a limited number of shoes to rent out so you may not get the right size if you have to rent a pair. They must have their shoes if they are to march.)
  • You can leave your band shoes in your locker so you don’t forget to bring them to school, but I would suggest washing your show shirt and your socks each time! Each of these items can be RENTED (see costs below) if your student FORGETS to bring them to an event.
  • Uniforms belong to the school and the student is responsible for taking care of the band uniform. If the student stains the uniform or gets it dirty, it will be dry-cleaned at the student’s expense. The band pays for cleaning all uniforms at the end of the year.
  • We take great pride in our new uniforms and the team works hard to maintain them so they look great at each performance. Should a student LOSE or DAMAGE any part of their uniform, they are responsible for incurring the costs associated to replace the lost/damaged article.
  • UNIFORM COSTS: jacket – $185, capes – $35/pair, pants – $80, hat – $50, gauntlets – $45/pair, rain/stadium jacket – $100, shoes – $30 to purchase or $2 to rent, gloves – $2.50, socks – $2, show shirt – $10 to purchase/$2 to rent.
  • PLUMES: Since our hats are new this year, the plumes are very hard to insert into and remove from the uniform hat. Students ARE NOT allowed to insert or remove the plume in their hat. If they break the plastic holder on the hat while inserting or removing a plume, they will have to buy a new hat. (See cost above.) All plumes are to be removed by Band Parent Volunteers.



  • ONW Football games are always held at CBAC (College Blvd. Activity Center), which is located one block west of Olathe Northwest High School. Enter on S. Valley Rd. and PARK your vehicle on the WEST side of the field, as the Home team sits on the west side and the Visitors sit on the east side.
  • Unless you purchased an Activity Pass from school, bring cash to buy a ticket for the game and concessions. Check with the ticket booth if you are active duty military or a veteran for a discount.
  • Students march from school to CBAC for the games. Feel free to park at school and walk over with the band or park at CBAC and watch them arrive. They normally march over about 45 minutes before game time. The parking lot at CBAC is a mess after the game, but it’s not like the Royals or Chiefs.
  • Most Band Parents sit in the bleachers next to the band. You are welcome to sit where you like.
  • At the Homecoming Football game, the Band will play music while standing on the field (“park and bark” or “stand and blow”) during the Homecoming program at half-time and they will play their Marching Field Show AFTER the football game is over. This will be a later night than others.
  • The last home game of the year is always our GLOW SHOW. The students will use packing tape to apply glow sticks, small flashlights and battery operated strings of light to their uniforms and instruments in the 4th quarter of the football game. When the game is over, the stadium lights are turned out and the students perform their Field Show while they “Glow in the Dark!” Please BUY YOUR GLOW STICKS NOW! If you wait until the end of October to buy glow sticks, they may be sold out or be very hard to find. Battery operated strings of Halloween or Christmas lights are fun to use as well and can be easily seen from the bleachers.



  • Band Festivals are normally all day affairs. (Neewollah is in Independence, KS and Owasso is in OK). We leave by bus (school or charter) early in the morning and sometimes do not arrive back home until after midnight. You will have to plan accordingly for drop-off and pick-up, remembering that they have to check their uniform back in at school before they can leave for home. Send snacks and water in their band bags. Lunch and dinner may be provided, so be sure to read Mr. Davis’ detailed emails about each festival so you know what is provided by the band and what is expected to be taken care of by the student.



  • You will receive information all year long from the Band Director, Mr. Davis, as well as the Band Booster President. These emails will be long, but they are full of very important information and are worth reading to the end. Email is the main way the ONW Band communicates with Band Parents.



  • Band Parent volunteers are here to help. If you or your student ever have a question or your student needs something while at an event (football game, parade, band festival), please ask.
  • You can get involved! We can always use volunteers to help check uniforms in after games and festivals, chaperone trips or help load/unload equipment with the Raven Roadies. Please email volunteers@ravenbands.org if you would like to volunteer and we can find a place for you to help our Raven Pride Band!



  • All band members have an opportunity to earn an Olathe Northwest Band Letter. The letters are earned by participation in certain events, auditioning for Honor Bands, taking music lessons, etc. Mr. Davis will provide the information at a later date. The Band Letters are awarded at the ONW Band Banquet in the Spring.



  • Before-school 7am band practice normally starts the first full week of school, does not occur on Thursday when it is a block day and they will end after our last event of the season. Check emails from Mr. Davis for exact dates each year.
  • Please drop your student off or have them arrive at school by 6:45-ish each morning that they have 7am band practice. They are required to be on the field, in their spot at 7am, or they will receive a tardy. Students need time to put away their backpack, put their instrument together and walk to the field.

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