Marching Band Glossary

Auxiliary – see Guard.

Band camp – a week of intense daily Marching Band practice; Monday-Friday. SEND WATER w/ your students, and try to get them to slather on the sun screen.

Battery – Marching Band percussion section that carries drums and marches; is comprised of snare drums, bass drums, and quads (see Quads).

Bibbers – Marching Band pants; part of the standard uniform; provided by the band.

Boys’ bus – bus assigned as the boys’ “changing” area for Marching Band trips; kids don’t all follow this – many get into their uniforms out in the parking lot (uniforms go on over shorts and Tshirts).

Caption awards – various awards a marching band can win at competitions, such as  “Best Visual” and “Best Music.”

Chaperones – the wonderful parents who are willing to ride on a school bus all day with 75 high school kids; a lot of fun – a good way to meet other parents, be indirectly involved in your kid’s life, and watch the work, determination and heart of the Marching Band.

Class B – Bands are placed into classes by ISSMA according to the size of the school. Class A schools are the largest. North belongs to Class B, having 1071-1800 students in grades 9-12.

Color guard – see Guard.

Commons – open area in the school between the Auditorium, the Gym, and the Cafeteria.

District – first level of competition in the march to state championship (see State); Marching Band District takes place in early October and is almost always held at Columbus East High School; the next step after District is Regionals. District competitions were eliminated in 2013.

Drill – the steps and positions that make up the Marching Band show.

Drill book – the notebook or cards that holds each individual student’s drill for the Marching Band show.

Drum major(s) – Student conductor(s) who direct the marching band as it plays.

Drumline – the entire percussion section of the Marching Band; includes both the Pit and the Battery.

Flags – flags used by the Guard during a Marching Band show.

Gauntlets – wrist and lower-arm covering; part of Marching Band uniform.

Girls’ bus – bus assigned as the girls’ “changing” area for Marching Band trips; see “Boys’ bus”.

Guard – a group of students who add color and style to marching-band performances with flags and other props.

Instructor – personnel hired to help out with various sections of the band, as in clarinet instructor or drumline instructor.

ISSMA – Indiana State School Music Association; high school bands are grouped into 4 classes: A, B, C, or D based on the size of the sophomore – senior class of the previous year. BHSN is in Class B..

Listserv – an email distribution list comprised of all band parents who have email addresses.

Pep Band – band that plays for the basketball games; members vary.

Pit crew – parents and volunteers who help assemble the pit instruments, push them onto the field and set them up for competition, A.K.A. “Pit Parents.”

Pit – Marching Band percussion section that does not march (plays on the sidelines), comprised of instruments such as tympani, xylophones, gongs, etc.

Plumes – the feathered portion of the Marching Band hats (very fragile); provided by band.

Podium – see Tower.

Quads – set of 4 connected drums carried by member of the battery.

Regionals – the competition that determines which marching bands will compete in the state finals (see District and State)

Rifles – fake rifles the Guard using in a Marching Band show. (They’re heavy!)

Run-through – practicing the Marching Band show.

Sabers – fake swords the Guard using in a Marching Band show.

Section leader – band student who is in charge of a Marching Band instrument section; such as “alto sax section leader.”

Shako – Marching Band hat.

State – competition for state championship (see District and Regionals).

Student account – financial account that holds funds designated for the student; source of funds can be from fundraising, parent/student payments, or scholarships.

Tower – raised platform upon which conductors stand.

Trailer – the back half of a semi-trailer truck; holds Marching Band uniforms and large instruments.

Uniform day – Saturday in late August during which all the Marching Band kids are fitted with uniforms.

Uniforming – getting dressed before a competition (see boys’ bus and girls’ bus) and Uniform Day.

Winds – the non-percussion part of the band; any instrument that is played by blowing air.