Great Valley HS Marching Band

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Q: What is Marching Band? 

    A: It is an awesome group of fun and diverse students who enjoy learning about making music and performing! This group is an extra-curricular activity - similar to a fall sport.  All practices and events are outside of the school day.  It is not a class and grades are not given.  The time commitment and expectation of attendance is like that of a varsity sport.  


    Q: Who is involved in Marching Band?

    A: The GVHS Marching Band is comprised of student musicians and color guard members in grades 9-12.  Students are NOT required to have prior musical or performing experience to join. Many students come to marching band because they are looking for a positive experience and/or have a friend in marching band.  The only requirement for participation is a positive, team-first attitude. Due to the nature of this activity, the success of the group depends on each member equally-- no one student is more or less important than another!  All achieve success together as equal parts of one whole.


    Q: What does the Marching Band do? 

    A: The Marching Band represents the pride of Great Valley High School at varsity football games, parades, and adjudicated festivals.  The band learns a field show, parade songs, stand tunes, and a whole lot more. There are trips, food, away games, food, Cavalcade competitions, food, lots of laughs, and food.


    Q: What is Band Camp? 

    A: Band Camp is a two week long set of rehearsals that prepares the group for the Fall Season (very similar to fall sports teams reporting early for practices/camps).  Although we will for sure have a lots of fun, this is the time in which the group solidifies fundamentals of marching and performing-- the productivity of Band Camp sets the pace and momentum of the entire competitive season.  Because the Marching Patriots will learn a TON of material during these two weeks, attendance is absolutely mandatory.


    Q: Does high school band conflict with academics?

    A: No - research shows that it ENHANCES academics! Students participating in band typically score higher on SAT and maintain a higher GPA. The average GPA of the GVHS band is over 3.70, and a large percentage of the members participate in Honors and Advanced Placement classes.  Many students report that their grades are actually better during the marching band season.


    Q: I don't always have transportation to or from school. Can I still be in band?

    A: Yes! The support system around the band is great and many families carpool in order to help each other out.  If you need a ride, just ask.  There are plenty of people in our community who would be happy to help get you there.


    Q: When does the Marching Band practice/perform?

    A: Because everyone plays a vital role, attendance at all rehearsals and performances is essential. The band maintains an active rehearsal schedule through the beginning of November, and summer rehearsals are where the group lays the groundwork for greatness! The calendar can be found on the navigation bar to the left.

    Beginning with Band Camp in August, rehearsal attendance is mandatory to ensure the band is ready for a successful season. Attendance at all performances is essential to the success of the group. If you know of a conflict that already exists for Fall 2021, please inform Mr. Cohen immediately to see if a solution can be worked out. 

    Once school starts, the Marching Band will meet outside of the school day, usually on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Football games are usually on Friday nights.  In addition, the band will participate in five or six Cavalcade competitions on Saturdays.


    Q: I am interested in taking part in other activities where there may be conflicts; can I still be in the band?

    A: For sure! Band students also play sports, are members of other clubs, and get the full Great Valley High School experience! Mr. Siwa is willing to work with coaches and advisors in order to come up with a schedule compromise that most benefits the student. If you want to participate but don't know if it will work out...email me!


    Q: I was planning on taking honors/AP classes and I’m afraid of the workload along with the marching band…what should I do?

    A: Many of the students in the band program are enrolled in honors/Advanced Placement courses and have been since they began their academic careers. While moving on to high school can be a frightening experience due to increased academic pressures, the overwhelming majority of band students develop advanced organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and a drastic increase in academic discipline due to their experiences with our program. Our band members are high achieving students who form a strong support structure both academically and emotionally. Band members help each other out with everything, not just music!


    Q: I have a different question but I can’t seem to find it here…what should I do?!?!?

    A: The best question of all! Mr. Siwa would absolutely love to talk to you and your family about the high school band experience. Call Mr. Siwa at 610-889-1900 ext. 22223

    OR email at asiwa@gvsd.org