Welcome to the West Essex Band Boosters (WEBB) organization!
WEBB is an active parent organization that provides support to all the West Essex High School Band Programs throughout the year. We work alongside Mr. Griffin and Mrs. Swanick to bring enriching and educational experiences to the students of the West Essex Concert Band, Indoor Percussion, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Knights, Symphonic Winds, and Winter Guard. The programs sponsored by WEBB include Sectional Coaches, Jazz Ensemble Workshops, Music In Our Schools Dinner, Concert Hospitality, Tournament of Bands Chapter X Championship Home Show, Senior Scholarships, and much, much more!
As a Band Parent and a member of WEBB, your most valuable contribution is your time and support. Attending meetings regularly, and supporting our children at concerts, competitions, football games, and other performances is imperative for a successful program. Our goal is to support our children and the music directors, and help raise funds to provide programs and activities that, along with those provided directly by the School, create a complete and inspiring music program experience.
WEBB Meetings are held on a monthly basis in the High School cafeteria (click here to see the Calendar tab for up-to-date meeting information). Our meetings typically last one hour and include engaging discussion on a range of topics including programs, fundraising, achievements, performances, and much more!
There are many opportunities throughout the school year to get involved, however, during the Fall season, many of WEBB’s efforts are directed towards the Marching Band’s Tournament of Bands Home Show (Chapter X Championships), held in October. The Home Show is our largest fundraiser of the year, so a successful Tournament will lead to a successful year for students of all of the West Essex High School Band Programs! We welcome all Band Parents to come out to support this event and enjoy a beautiful and musical Autumn day, all while helping to ensure a productive school year!
If you have any questions or concerns at all, please reach out to Mr. Griffin, any member of the WEBB Executive Board, or email us at email@example.com. Be sure to click here to check out our “Being a Band Parent” YouTube video, and explore additional links in our Parent Resources page for more helpful information.
We hope the above information was helpful, and we welcome you to the West Essex Band Boosters Family!
Some additional information for Parents of Marching Band Students:
Considering some of the unique demands upon students participating in the Marching Band during the Fall season, below are some helpful hints for new Marching Knights parents. And if your child still isn’t sure if Marching Band is right for them, click here to watch an inspiring student video!
“REMIND” Texting Group:
Both students and parents are encouraged to sign up for the REMIND texting group to receive up to the minute reminders and messages from Mr. Griffin. It is the BEST way to stay informed, especially when the kids are travelling to football games and competitions. Look out for communications from Mr. Griffin for when and how to sign up.
Getting Homework Done:
Believe it or not, they do manage to get their work done. Marching Band season can be exhaustive and sometimes your child will go to bed very late because of the work load and the demands of band, however, they all seem to get through it. The kids realize they need to be very organized and on top of their work because of the schedule. In most cases, it is a strengthening and maturing experience. Many of the kids in the band are honor students, so your child is not alone in their academic load. It is also reassuring to talk to other band parents about their experiences in this area.
Our Marching Band belongs to two organizations which hold competitions amongst their member high school marching bands. One is TOB (Tournament of Bands) and the other is US Bands. Our band competes against other bands which are in our group and are similar in size to us. There are 4 band group types in the organizations; Group 1 consists of smaller bands, and it goes up to Group 4, which is very large. We are typically in Groups 2 or 3 in TOB, based on our band’s size.
We primarily stay in northern New Jersey for competitions, however, competitions can go out of state, such as with the Atlantic Coast Championships for TOB in Hershey, PA (typically late October or November).
Our biggest fundraising event of the year is the TOB Chapter Competition held at West Essex. It is a lot of fun, takes weeks of planning, and we need many parent volunteers. It is also a wonderful time to meet and work with other band parents. See the Tournament of Bands section of our website for more information on this topic.
Definitely plan on attending all our competitions. We usually sell tickets in advance and WEBB makes a small profit from the sale. You will be notified when we have advance tickets. Tickets are also sold at the competitions. It is advisable to send your child with water and snacks for the bus ride. Most competitions have vendors and food stands, and your child should have free time to hit the concession stand, so always send them with some money too. Also, if you attend it is nice to send your child a candy gram or an air gram. It is a wonderful way to spend an autumn afternoon and many of the school campuses are great places to appreciate the fall colors! We usually sit together as a booster group and cheer loudly. It is great to give the kids organized support and show school spirit!! Please look for us in the stands and join us with cow bells and thunder sticks, and wear school colors, your show shirt or WE sweatshirts!
Dressing for the Weather:
As the weather gets colder many parents worry that their child will be exposed to the elements. They do practice and perform in all weather. It is advisable to invest in a long sleeved “under armour” type shirt and “under armour” pants in black to wear under their show shirts and uniforms. Most students wear gloves as part of the uniform, except the percussion section, but they don’t do much to warm the hands. Hand warmers are a good investment. The Boosters purchased a supply of these last season, so they should be available to all members if the weather gets cold. If they have to perform in the rain, the Marching Band is fortunate enough to have rain gear, which is very handy on a rainy day in the stands, though they don’t always wear the gear while performing, unless it is raining hard.
It is important for every member of the band to be present during all competitions. The band functions as a unit and if one person is out of the formation, it will negatively affect the show. As parents, it is hard for us to send our child to an outside, strenuous activity when they are not well, but if they are not seriously ill they should still be able to perform without any untoward effects. There have been many instances of students dragging themselves out on the field, performing and then leaving immediately to return home with their parents. Of course, as a parent, it is your call, but just know this is not uncharted territory. Also, our children are all invested in one another and the show, and most kids find the stamina to rise above not feeling well, at least for a short time.
Whom to Contact?
Any questions you have in connection with your child’s marching band experience can be directed to any of our Executive Board, or any other Booster parent. Everyone is happy to share advice and encourage you to embrace and enjoy the program, and lend support, if necessary. If you have any issues or problems, however, you should pose your questions directly to Mr. Griffin. It is not the role of the West Essex Band Booster Board or Booster organization to act as a liaison in such matters.