Frequently Asked Questions

Northville High School Band

Pep Band is a student-led volunteer group that plays at away football games, and is often requested for basketball games. Anyone is invited to join. Rides are usually arranged by carpool, and admission is usually free with an instrument in hand.

Events are posted on the calendar. The full calendar will also be posted under Downloads when published.  You will need to log in to download the document.

Note that due to circumstances beyond our control the calendar will change from time to time.  Be sure to sign up for Fanouts for information about changes as well as checking the calendar for updates.

Rarely, but occasionally, conflicts may arise. If this happens we will notify you by fanout, so please enroll for that. We will also update this website, and submit to the school website, but understand we cannot directly change anything. We must go through channels, and have no control over the time line for changes.

Further, sectionals are arranged by student leadership. Those will be added as needed.

As indicated in the Band Handbook and on the band calendar, MSBOA events are not scheduled by us, they are at the District XII (western Wayne and Washtenaw County) or at the State level. We are usually notified one to two weeks in advance and let the students know as soon as we know.

Review the Band Handbook, and Procedural Directions handout. ALL events on the schedule are required and part of your grade. Communication is key. If there is a conflict, turn in a note to Mrs. Ray-Hepp dated, and signed by a parent with the reason for the absence. Please schedule work, and appointments outside of rehearsal schedule.

Absolutely! We work very well with all the coaches. We have always had cheerleaders, pompon girls, even varsity football players in the band.

First of all, we want to make it clear that band is NOT, never has been, and hopefully never will be a "pay to participate" event. No one is turned away. It is considered co-curricular, which by definition means that students earn credit and therefore grades for their participation in the program, AND much of what we are required to do for the program, the school, the district and the community extends beyond the school day, and even the school year.

Our district goes to great lengths to support us financially as much as they can, but running this high level, our excellent program has needs that stretch beyond the constraints of district support. We keep our fees as low as we possibly can without compromising quality. A few years ago, the district decided to do what every other district around us has been doing for decades -- charge a band camp fee to cover marching band costs incurred before the school year starts. Keep in mind that we have 2 games before school even starts this year.  In comparison to our $100, Novi students pay over $500, and Plymouth pays $1500 per year. We keep this cost low with minimal staff, not competing, by having band camp "at home," and by allowing students to make arrangements for meals on their own. Again, no one is turned away. If a family has financial challenges, please communicate with me privately, and we will work something out, whether it is making payments, reducing the fee, providing equipment, etc. Students with unpaid fees will be contacted with request to pay.

We have gone to great lengths to keep student cost down and to cover the items that are required, much like textbooks in other classes. At the same time, in conferences with Mr. Rumbell and I, the Music Boosters, Mr. Koski, Mr. Zopf, our district financial director, and Mrs. Gallagher, our superintendent we determined that students should pay for things that they keep, and those that pose sanitary risk to share. By this direction, we have collectively decided students should pay for their own shoes, shirts, reeds, mouthpieces. Freshmen will receive one new lyre, folder, and pages to contain their marching music, a marching uniform, including gloves, and a garment bag and sturdy hanger. If at any time they need to be replaced because they have been lost, broken, etc. students/families will be responsible for the costs. We know the best equipment for our needs and for uniformity and get volume discounts, so we are happy to order them for you, keeping costs lower.

Over the years, we know that it is impossible to get all of our kids through concessions at football games, but we want them to eat, so we will provide pizza and pop for them after each home game half-time. To protect their health and keep them hydrated, they also get water at pre-game, and at parades. It also includes dry cleaning of the uniforms.

All bands fundraise. This is just a fact. Band, and music in general, can be expensive. There are ALWAYS unforeseen expenses that are above what we have carefully budgeted for. While some schools do several band fundraisers, we do only two for the entire year.

  1. Half-time show merchandise to support marching band
  2. Raffle to support the entire music department, including symphonic and jazz band

In schools, we can't put "rainy day" savings in the budget. We are given what is expected to cover what we need and no more. This makes perfect sense, and it works in most other departments. Our circumstances are different. Instruments are mechanical objects that need repair, and those costs vary substantially from year to year. One year we needed a new podium, this year we are having trouble with our sound system and may need to replace it. We stretched the 10 year lifetime of our marching band uniforms to over 20 years, and needed to replace them a few years ago, but our band keeps growing (a happy problem!!!) and we will soon need even more uniforms! We need more color guard uniforms, more flags, poles, rifles, etc. We have baritone saxophones that are older than I am, and kids are sharing instruments that are being played up to six hours a day. As our program grows (again -- happy problems!!) we find we need more color guard costumes, more flags, more drum sticks, etc. Those expenses that are related to marching band are covered by the Half-Time Show merchandise. These include the posters that advertise our show, and really our program  to the community, photographs and accessories, and Half-Time show shirts.

Everything else we need from paying for awards, and varsity letters, and more tuxedos, and a new set of tympani, and a new tuba and new melody percussion and Music Theory materials and wonderful music for the spring concert that meld instrumental and choir -- all those things that are beneficial to the entire music department -- are covered by the raffle. The raffle is fun because the sellers also win prizes! Also, it is great to have a fundraiser that doesn't involve selling cheese, wrapping paper, cookie dough, or returning sticky bottles and cans. We are VERY LUCKY to have this because the school has decided that only one organization can have a raffle. Several others would like to have the opportunity, so If we don't keep this, we are not likely to get it back. As such, we need as many people as possible to help with this very successful fundraiser, both by selling, and to help on the back end in organizing. In comparison to our two fundraisers (plus a couple of dine-to-donate restaurant events) other local bands do many, many more.

We have the largest choir program in the state, one of the largest marching bands, and one of the best jazz programs (and the longest continually running one) -- in the STATE. Not only are they big, but they are all excellent! Please help us to keep these programs running at the highest possible level. We need your time, talents and treasures to make lifelong memories for your kids. While math, English, world languages, science, and social studies keep your kids' brains fed, the arts grow their hearts and minds, and nurture the creativity that is needed in society, and in all professions.

Thank you for your kindness and support and for making Northville an excellent place to live, play and work.

Contact Mrs. Ray-Hepp if you have any other questions.