Band Camp

  • What is Band Camp?

    SHHS Band Camp is a series of mandatory rehearsals throughout the month of August that teaches the basics of marching band: how to march, setting drill and coordinates, learning show music, and gaining a strong rapport with fellow members in the band. Full band rehearsals are typically from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and are held at South Hills High School campus.

    Why is Band Camp Important?

    The week of Band Camp allows the students to concentrate on the marching band show without interruptions from normal routines at home. It ensures that students are at every rehearsal and have time to work with their section. It is a week of intense study of the music and learning the drill. It is a time of bonding, hard work, frustration, and fun! Your student will come home exhausted but also enthusiastic about being part of the South Hills High School Marching Band & Color Guard.

    As a member of the marching band, attendance and participation at Band Camp are mandatory.  Please plan all vacations/absences around band camp. Students are expected to attend every day.  It is imperative that you come to Band Camp every day prepared to handle the full eight hours of work.

    Summer Camp Advice

    • Come to camp ready to march and play in summer temperatures.
    • Get a good night sleep and eat a hearty breakfast each day
    • Students should always plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of camp to prepare themselves to be in place when camp begins. Remember:  If you arrive on time, you’re late.  If you arrive early, you’re on time
    • End times are not when students will be available for pick up. End time is when they are expected to finish practice. Time will then be required for the band director talk and for students to put equipment away. The earliest that students will be available for pick up is 15 minutes after the stated end time.
    • Maintain good behavior – Get in line, stay in step, and do whatever is asked of you. It will help get things done a lot faster. (There’s nothing worse than re-running a drill set over and over again because people aren't behaving correctly!)
    • Bring a Positive Attitude – The success of this entire ensemble, from students through Staff, will be based on the positive attitude that we bring every day to camp. We all want to have a positive experience, and we all want to reach a great level of success. That being said, the attitude that we bring each day will directly influence the success that we achieve throughout the season.

    Getting Ready for Band Camp

    How to Prepare Your Music

    • Practice your music over the summer before camp.
    • Come to band camp with your competition music memorized. You will be glad you did!
    • Take private lessons once a week. 

    What to Wear

    Since we are outside for a large portion of band camp, we strongly recommend the following:

    • Comfortable clothes (Wear shorts and light-colored clothing every day to band camp – no big explanation – it WILL be hot)
    • Sunglasses and a hat are optional but are good to have when we are outside to protect you from the sun.
    • Wear socks and tennis shoes.  NO SANDALS, FLIP-FLOPS

    What to Bring Each Day

    • Your music
    • All drill charts
    • Backpack to carry your supplies and music binder around the camp.
    • Equipment – instrument, drumsticks, flags, rifles, etc.
    • Sunscreen – (There will be PLENTY of time for you to achieve your award-winning tan…sitting out because of a sunburn is not acceptable.)
    • Insect repellent or bug spray
    • LARGE insulated container of water each day. NOT a bottle – a large container/jug/cooler! It is very important that you stay hydrated in the heat. You’ll get breaks during camp to replenish the fluid you will be losing. You must drink during these brief breaks.
    • Mechanical pencils (you will need them at every rehearsal.)
    • Small washcloth or hand towel to wipe down hands/face/cool down from activity
    • If needed: Knee or wrist brace, or other protective equipment 
    • Rescue inhaler or other emergency medicine prescribed to you

    *Due to the number of camp participants, please make sure all of your belongings are marked with your name.

    Band Camp Meals

    We will be taking a break each day at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. The students can either bring their meal to camp or have it delivered by a parent or family member. Students are NOT allowed to leave campus during this break.  Once students are on campus, they MUST remain on campus until dismissal.  Please make sure to stay away from unhealthy fast food during the break.


    • Expect to work really hard and to feel uncomfortable at times.
    • Expect to learn more in a week of Band camp than your last year of middle school. Expect the unexpected- just ask some of our returning band members to tell their “Band Camp” stories.
    • There is nothing to fear about the Band Camp experience. After it is over, you will look forward to returning next year. Our staff and leadership team work hard to provide a nurturing environment for first time members of the band. We look forward to a good camp and some fun.
    • Keep cool- physically and mentally – Keep hydrated and don’t overheat. Also, keep a calm mind. If you can't do something at first, keep trying and listen graciously to the advice you are given. It WILL eventually come. We are here to help.
    • Show Respect for the director, staff, leadership, and parents. They are there to help and your team members.