Common Q&A

  • What is the time commitment involved for band?
    As in every band, the major time involved is homework: Practicing daily at home!

    Is fundraising mandatory?
    No, fundraising is not mandatory.  It will help offset the cost of your Fundraising Commitment and/or Fair Share fees.  If you fund raise enough you will not have to pay anything out of pocket for fair share.  See our Fundraising page for some of the fundraising opportunities that can reduce your band fees.

    Can I be in a magnet program (or academy) and band?
    YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  The majority of our marching band members are also in the Medical, JROTC, Environmental magnets or Culinary, Engineering or Criminal Justice academy programs.

    I am in an academy and also need to take a PE or HOPE class.  How can I be in band when I only have two electives per semester?
    You DO NOT have to take PE or HOPE in 9th grade!  Anyone who tells you that your 9th grader MUST take those classes in 9th grade is WRONG!  It is also against Florida Department of Education policy to force a 9th grade student to do so!  PE, Health and HOPE may be taken any time before graduation.  The Florida Virtual School ( offers 95 online courses from PE to Chinese and from History to AP Calculus.  Most of the band students use FLVS to reduce the amount of homework during the school year and to give them time to take electives that are important to them.

    Can I participate in sports and in band?
    Yes.  Many of our band members are on various team sports.  It is very important that you read the calendar and address any conflicts well in advance.

    What co-curricular activities are offered?
    Students can participate after school in the Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band (May through August), Winter Guard (late November through mid-April) and Winter Percussion (late November through mid-April).  There are Fair Share fees associated with participation in these co-curricular activities.

    *****MARCHING BAND Q AND A*****

    What is SOJ? SOJ refers to Spirit of Jupiter which is our marching band.

    When are practices for marching band?  Mon/Wed from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m and some Sat 9am to 6 pm.

    What happens if I cannot be at a practice?
    If you are absent from school and it is an excused absence, you will be excused from band practice.  Other than that, you must submit your absence request in writing.  There will be no excused absences for performances.

    What are band camps?
    There are 3 band camps 9am to 6 pm.  They are Mon- Fri in June, July and August. All SOJ members (including Color Guard) need to attend.  All camps are mandatory.  See our Calendar page for specific dates.

    How do I prepare for band camp?
    Get outside and enjoy the heat between now and the first camp.  THIS WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.  Pace yourself and be careful not to overheat.  Also, start walking or jogging to get yourself in better cardiovascular shape.  Drink plenty of water every night before camp.  Eating healthy and knowing good nutrition habits are a huge tool to success.  You need to take care of your body so that we can all be strong.  There are practice materials on our Practice Materials page with warm-ups for woodwind, brass and percussion.

    How do I stay informed?
    Band families are kept up to date first and foremost by email using Charms Office Assistant.  .  See our Communication/Email page for information on how to access and update your Charms account and read archived emails.

    How do I stay informed of important dates?
    Our online Band Calendar is kept up to date with band rehearsals, performances, deadlines, and other important events and associated details.

    Why is Marching Band so expensive?
    The band program is very expensive to operate.  The funds we receive from the school district do not come close to covering expenses, so we are essentially self-funded.  With costs for equipment, instruments, repairs, travel, uniforms, instructors and much more, it is very important that all members of band pay their band fees in full and on time.

    What is Fair Share?
    The band budget is fairly distributed among all band students so that all of the band’s financial obligations can be met. Student band fees are calculated by dividing the overall band budget by the number of expected students in each program.

    How can I pay my fair share?
    Band fees can be paid outright or raised through the many fundraising opportunities that we offer.  It’s up to each band member to decide how much of his/her band fees will be paid out of pocket and how much can be fund raised. You can pay online through school cash or write a check to JHS Band and drop it in the fair share box in the band room next to the tuba room.

    Look for more information on our Band Fees and Forms pages.

    Do I need a different instrument to march?
    Double reed players, pianists, guitar players and bass clarinetists will need to play a secondary instrument (like tenor saxophone or auxiliary percussion), or march in the color guard.  Talk to Mr. Ross about what you’d like to play!

    What items do I need for band camp?
    You will need to wear an all-white t-shirt, green shorts, socks, and cross-trainer sneakers (not high-tops or skating shoes), and a light-colored hat.  Also, you MUST bring at least a gallon of water.  Sunscreen must be worn and healthy snacks are important as well.  See the Uniforms page for more information on what to wear for Band Camps and rehearsals.

    How long is marching season?
    Marching season begins with rehearsals in May and ends after the FMBC Championships in November (the weekend before Thanksgiving).

    How do I get into Spirit of Jupiter?
    Just sign up!  Don’t worry, we understand that if you are new you will know very little about marching at the beginning!  You will be taught everything you need to know.

    Do I need to be able to play an instrument to be in Color Guard?
    No, but you must be enrolled in the Color Guard class (1st period). If you like to dance, need a hobby or would like to get in shape, color guard is perfect for you!

    Is there a class for Color Guard?
    Yes!  All Color Guard members must be in the guard class.  It is a Fine Arts HONORS credit.

    What is the cost to be in the Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band?
    The Fair Share cost varies based on the number of students participating in the band and the show design for that year.  See our Fair Share page for more information.

    My child is not a great student and good organizer of time.  How will he/she balance homework and marching band in the fall?
    Your student’s section leader and other students in the leadership council can help share strategies to organize his/her time and manage responsibilities.  Our New Student Liaison (a parent volunteer) will also help any student that is having problem juggling band and classes.

    Can I have a job and be in marching band?
    Yes.  But, it is imperative that you communicate your band commitment dates and times with your employer so that you do not miss a band rehearsal or performance.  A part-time job is not an excused reason to miss a rehearsal, performance or event.

    The BEST way to learn about the band program is to get involved!

    • Check out our Volunteer Opportunities page and sign up to work at a band activity.
    • Attend our monthly Band Parent Meetings to help plan future events.
    • Sign up to chair or assist with a fundraiser or other band activity.  Available positions are listed on our Volunteer Opportunities page

    Get to know your student’s friends and their parents and make new friends yourself!