Band Info and FAQ
Welcome to the Pride of the Irish
On this page you can find information on how to become a part of this dynamic and wonderful group of musicians.
8th Grade night information. 8th grade night is one basketball game a year to which we invite potential students of Cathedral to come and experience the Cathedral High School Pride of the Irish. This is a great opportunity to be apart, play along and ask questions of students that are currently going to Cathedral and participating in the band program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why be in band? Band is not only one of the top musical organizations at Cathedral, but it is also a great way to make a lot of friends very quickly. Participation in the band and guard makes you part of a very powerful spirit organization on our campus. It also provides you the opportunity for leadership development and personal growth, makes a positive impact on your GPA, and motivates you to always do your best. You will play a wide variety of music, have travel opportunities, and prepare yourself for future college band participation. Your musical skills will improve, and you will have fun both in creating music and in the social aspects of making/performing that music with others.
Does it cost anything to be in band? Yes, there are fees required to take part in band which cover special clothing, funding for enrichment trips and special opportunities.
How many members are in the Pride of the Irish Marching Band? Cathedral usually has anywhere between 110 and 130 band and guard members during the fall marching season.
If I am in Concert Band am I also in Pep Band? Yes, being a part of the Pride of the Irish means you are a part of it all, Marching, Concert and Pep Band.
I play [instrument] and really want to be in the jazz band. Do I just sign up? In order to be a member of the Cathedral jazz band, you have to audition. The audition is one-on-one between you and the jazz band director and usually involves playing an excerpt from a jazz piece, along with some scales.
I heard that the band gets to travel all over. Is this true and where are we going?!? Every other year, the Pride of the Irish marching band goes on a "major trip" where they play in festivals, parades, or at big other events. The location varies and is usually released the year before the trip so that students and their families can begin saving. The band puts on fund raisers and has other offerings for families to participate in to raise money. In the past, the band has traveled to Hawaii, California, Florida, Toronto, and Ireland, along with "mini-trips" to Chicago, Louisville, and Cincinnati.
I really want to do theatre or sports but I'm afraid I won't have time. Yes, you will! A significant percentage of the band (over 80%) participates in theatre and sports, with many having lead roles or being team captains. We've had football players march with the band at halftime in their full pads, cheerleaders perform in their cheerleader uniforms, and much more ----so it's definitely manageable (and you won't feel overwhelmed).
Does band rehearse before or after school? We do not rehearse after school because most of our students are involved in sports, theater, activities, clubs, etc. that meet after school. We do rehearse before school for the first three weeks of the school year (the first day of school until the Friday before Labor Day) starting at 7:30 am. We need this "extra" half hour per day to make sure our show is in good shape for the fall season. However, after Labor Day, we only rehearse during first period (regular school arrival time).
Where is band camp? Band camp is at Anderson University for one week during the summer. Band members and staff stay in the dorms at the university and eat at the dining hall. It's an intense week of music and marching, but you'll have plenty of free to time to spend with friends and make new ones. It's a whole lot of fun!
Do I have to audition to be in band? No. Any student that plays a band instrument is welcome to sign up for the “Pride of the Irish.” We will also talk with student beginners who wish to start an instrument. If you are a beginner, see Mrs. McCullough before the end of May to set up a practice/learning plan for the summer.
Do students have to take private music lessons to be in band? No, but private lessons can help you play much better. Students who wish to advance more quickly on their instruments will certainly benefit from private lessons. (Contact Mrs. McCullough, Butler University, or Paige’s Music for lists of private music teachers in the Indianapolis area.) We have students at all levels of musicianship in our band. Some are All-State players; some are content to sit last chair. Everyone advances at his/her own pace. There are opportunities for students to participate in All-State and collegiate honor bands (even as a freshman), opportunities to learn a second instrument, and opportunities to play in many different venues.
Do students receive a grade and credit for being in the band? Yes. Most band students progress along the following path: The first two semesters students receive a grade and credit at the college-preparatory level. The third and fourth semesters are at the academic level. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth semesters are at the honors level for the grade. Some students choose not to do the honors level because of increased requirements in playing skills and performance requirements, but most do choose to challenge themselves at the higher level during their junior and senior years.
If a student starts band as a junior, are they at the honors level? No --- that student would start at the college prep level for his/her first two semesters, and could advance to academic level during the senior year.
How often does the band travel and are students required to travel? During a student’s four years in the band, he/she will have the opportunity to take two “mini-trips” and two “major” trips.
The “mini-trips” are “semi-required.” (i.e., all students are expected to go, unless excused by a parent for another Cathedral event, or previously-scheduled family event). These “mini-trips” are usually a performance at a college game, with an overnight stay and other events over a weekend in the fall. There is a cost involved, but we try to keep it as low as possible (last trip was about $220.00 per student) so all can go.
The “major” trips are not required, but are simply an opportunity for our students to perform in other venues outside the Cathedral area. In 2012, the band performed twice in Hawaii and we will be performing in Disneyworld in 2014. To fund these trips, opportunities for fund raising are available and parents and students alike are encouraged (but not required) to work. Band trips are a big part of a student’s time at Cathedral and we want to make them as memorable as possible.
Past trips have been to Ireland (twice – 2000 and 2008), Disneyland, Disneyworld (2010), California (2006), Toronto (1998), on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (2004), and Hawaii (2002 and 2012).
Parents are encouraged to sign up as chaperones for the trip (will have duties to help with students) at the student rate, or as “shadow tour” participants (no duties, but slightly higher cost).
Does the band compete? Yes – a bit. We like competition because it challenges us to be the best we can be. We will go to three contests in the fall of 2013.
Does the band play at all football games? We perform at all Cathedral home football games. This year we will play at four home football games. The band will also play at any HOME sectional/regional/semi-state/state games throughout the football playoff season. However, if we do play at those games, it will be as a pep band only (no uniforms) and we will not march --- just play in the stands and/or on the sidelines.
Does the band play at all basketball games? We play at 3 boys’ games and 3 girls’ games and at the Boys' City Basketball Final. The dates of these games will be announced before Labor Day --- generally we play one game in December and the rest in January and February.
When are rehearsals? Band is a class, and, as such, rehearses during a class period. (first period). For three weeks ONLY, at the beginning of the year, we ask all band members to come at 7:30 am (1/2 hour before school starts) to get in a little extra practice to make sure our show is set and ready to go. We do NOT rehearse all summer – we do NOT rehearse in the evenings --- we do NOT rehearse on Saturdays (except before one or two of the contests). That three weeks of before school practice gives us just enough extra “oomph” after band camp to make sure we are set to do our best at all performances. After Labor Day weekend, and for the rest of the year, band only meets during first period.
How many bands are there? Do students participate in every band? Cathedral is a college prep school, and, as such, prepares students for the rigors of college in ALL areas. When a Cathedral band student goes to college, he or she will be prepared to play in ANY marching, concert, or pep band because ALL students are in ALL bands. We rehearse (during first period) different music for the different bands. During football season, we rehearse as a marching band. During MOST of the year, we rehearse as a concert band. During late fall and early winter, we rehearse once or twice a week as a pep band. But all band students do it all! All students also perform at solo and ensemble contest during second semester.
We also have a jazz band which rehearses before school, starting in mid-October. Students who choose to be in jazz band can sign up for that band as a separate class credit. Note – you must be in the full concert/marching band in order to be in the jazz band.
What clothing is required of band members? Most clothing will be supplied to the students. The cost is covered in their band fee. This includes: band camp t-shirt, pep band shirt, band sweatshirt, and band marching shoes. The band uniform is supplied by the school. Concert band students will have access to a long concert black gown (girls), and a tux jacket and pants (boys). Boys need to purchase (either on their own or through the band) a tux shirt, bow tie, and cumberbund. Parents are welcome to purchase additional t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. for themselves or other family members.