Introduction to Marching Band & Color Guard

SAMBA – Sunset Apollo Marching Band and Auxiliary Parents Club

  • A non-profit, 501c3 organization supporting the marching band, color guard, winter percussion/color guard activities, spring parades and all other band activities 
  • Coordinates activities and volunteers under the guidance of the band director 
  • Communicates essential information to parents
  • Coordinates operating funds for the above activities via collection of dues and fundraising
  • Open meetings are held every month on the first Monday at 7pm.

Registration Night

  • Not required if you register online and mail in a check, but it is a great time to talk to Mr. Hall, learn from other parents and buy SAMBA gear
  • Usually the first week of August before Band Camp

Freshman Band Camp 

Band Camp 

  • See ‘Summer Band Camp Basics
  • At the beginning of each season students may be asked to learn a new instrument. For example a trumpet player may be invited to play the mellophone for marching and the French horn for concerts. The appropriate instrument will be checked out to them as needed. 
  • Individual photos will be taken of the students in uniform during band camp. Students will be provided with a loaner uniform for the photo. Individual photos will be compiled into a group photo.  You can also request small groups for siblings or good friends. You have the opportunity to purchase the individual photo, small group photo and the group photo. Later, the group photo is available as a poster.
  • Students are encouraged to go to Apollo Preview Day(s) in the morning before band camp starts.

End of Band Camp – Family performance and picnic

  • On the last day of band camp, there will be a parent/guardian meeting (sometimes), family performance, and family picnic.  SAMBA provides food and drinks for everyone including parents/guardians and siblings
  • This is an excellent opportunity to meet other parents, Mr. Hall, the color guard instructor, and other instructors.
  • The performance will be a portion of the show that the students learned during camp.  The full show is about 8 minutes long and the remaining show will be learned in after-school rehearsals.  


  • There are usually a couple extra rehearsals between band camp and when school starts. Since teachers need to prepare for their classes a week before school starts, the practices are scheduled as they are available. These practices will be communicated via the Band app and email.
  • Regular Practices are usually Tuesday & Thursday 5pm-8:30pm but may change from year to year. Attendance at all of these rehearsals is very important. Not only does your child need the practice, but all the kids move around the field in relation to each other, and it’s difficult to practice when there are absences. 
  • Students will rehearse music and choreography for the field show
  • Band Section Leaders (students assigned by Mr. Hall over each section) and the Color Guard Captain may call for extra practices. Sometimes these happen right before the regular practices (ex 4:30-5pm) 
  • There may be an extra Saturday rehearsal sometime in September


  • Will get passed out before the first football game 
  • Parts of a marching band uniform:
    1. Show shirt: t-shirt that they get to keep
    2. Bibbers: pants with shoulder straps, adjustable length pant legs
    3. Jacket
    4. Shako (shake-oh): hat
    5. Plume: the feather on top of the hat. These are handed out before each performance and then collected at the end. They should never take a plume home.
    6. Gloves: fingers cut or uncut depending on instrument
    7. Gauntlets: covers wrist & lower arm
    8. black socks: students have to provide their own socks
    9. black marching shoes: purchased or borrowed through the band
  • Some band sections vary slightly in uniform and may not use all the items listed. 
  • A raincoat and a garment bag will also be provided to each band and color guard student
  • Parts of the Color guard uniform
    1. Show shirt: t-shirt that they get to keep
    2. Gloves
    3. tights
    4. outfit
    5. Shoes
  • All Band uniform components will be checked out to each student except for shoes which the student can purchase new or borrow used. If you purchase shoes, they will be given to the students before the first football game. You are welcome to use shoes from previous years that were purchased from SAMBA.
  • All Color guard uniform components will be checked out to each student except for gloves, which the student can purchase new or borrow used. If you purchase gloves, they will be given to the students before the first football game. You are welcome to use gloves from previous years that were purchased from SAMBA.

Football Games 

  • The band will perform at some Friday night home football games, but not all.
  • Call times for each home football game will be communicated to students and via the Band App.  Typically call time is 1.5-2 hours prior to kickoff.
  • Students will warm up, put on their uniform and then march into the stadium and perform in the stands during the first quarter and sometimes into the second quarter.
  • Students will then be led to the baseball field to warm up for the halftime performance
  • Parent volunteers will be needed to help students push the pit equipment onto and off of the field. Students and instructors are responsible for exact positioning and connection of electronics.
    • ‘Pit’ Definition – Larger percussion instruments and support equipment that remain stationary during the performance.  
    • ‘Pushing Pit’ Definition – Helping move the pit instruments to a practice area or on and off the field for a performance. If you push pit you still get to watch the performance
  • After the halftime performance, students will need help to get all equipment back to the band room and then they will be dismissed
  • Students can return to the football game if they want, but will need to pay the admission fee (or use the pre-purchased ASB sticker on the student ID card that grants free entry to most athletic events)
  • Parents who want to watch the game before or after halftime will need to pay admission. Parents who just come to push pit don’t have to pay.


  • Typically take place every Saturday in October.  These are all day events that require many parent volunteers
  • Homecoming is usually also on a Saturday in October. This means band and color guard students will not be able to attend homecoming.
  • Friday evening (after half-time if there is a performance) – 1st rental truck is loaded with all of the camp equipment (Parent led). Some portions of this are physically demanding. Please respect your physical limits.
    • ‘Camp’ Definition – Home base for SAMBA for the competition day.  Includes several tents and canopies set up in a designated area of a parking lot. Includes covered areas for meal set up, student uniform/instrument/ equipment storage, student seating, volunteer seating (bring your own chair), rental truck parking.
  • Friday evening or Saturday morning – 2nd rental truck loaded with percussion equipment (Student led). Some portions of this are physically demanding. Please respect your physical limits.
  • Parent volunteers are needed to pick up the rental trucks and drive them to and from the competitions 
  • Each section typically has a ‘Section Breakfast’ the morning of the competition.  This is hosted by a family and occurs quite early in the morning. Details about when and where this will occur is communicated to and by students (likely a section leader).  This is a great bonding opportunity for the students.  The breakfast will end in time for students to get to the school for call time.  Carpooling is usually arranged by the students, otherwise parents will need to transport their students to the breakfast and then to the school with everything they need for competition day.
  • Student call time for competition day will be communicated to the students at rehearsal and also via the Band app/email.  Chaperone and volunteer call times will be communicated via the Band app/email. 
  • Parent volunteers are needed early in the morning to set up camp and in the evening to tear it down.  This involves unloading the truck, putting up the tents and canopies, and preparing all of the areas for student arrival. In the evening everything comes down and goes back on the truck. Some portions of this are physically demanding. Please respect your physical limits.
  • There is an admission fee at competitions to access the viewing areas for the performances.  SAMBA will have a limited number of wristbands for chaperones and some volunteers.  These are distributed at the discretion of the SAMBA president. Chaperones are the only volunteers guaranteed to get a free wristband.
  • Chaperones ride the bus to and from the competition with the students and spend the entire day with them. Chaperones will be given admission wristbands and meals.
  • The band will perform two times on competition day, once for ‘Preliminaries’ and once for ‘Finals’.  The band receives a score for each performance, and the score for Preliminaries determines the performance order for Finals.  We will not know the Finals performance time until Prelims are complete and scores published. This means we won’t know exactly when we need volunteers for dinner or pushing pit until early afternoon.
  • Awards are given after each round of performances and all scores have been tabulated.  A few student leaders will be on the field for awards, the other students will be in the stands watching and cheering.
  • Schedule for a typical competition day (general order, may vary depending on exact performance times)
  • Schedule for a typical competition day (general order, may vary depending on exact performance times)
    • Student Section Breakfasts
    • Volunteers Set up camp at competition site (volunteers needed)
    • Student arrive at the school
    • Rehearsal at Sunset (depending on the location/time of the competition)
    • Load 2nd truck with Percussion equipment (volunteer driver needed)
    • Students transported by bus to competition
    • Students get in uniform for Prelim performance
    • Students warm up and perform Prelims (volunteer need- push pit)
    • Lunch for students and chaperones provided by SAMBA (volunteer need- servers). There is usually enough food for other volunteers to eat as well
    • Students  go to the stadium to watch other bands and the Prelims award ceremony
    • Student down time
    • Students get in uniform for Finals 
    • Students warm up and perform Finals (volunteer need- push pit)
    • Dinner  for students and chaperones provided by SAMBA (volunteer need- servers). There is usually enough food for other volunteers to eat as well
    • Watch other bands and finals awards ceremony
    • Students transported by bus to Sunset
    • Assigned students unload trucks at sunset (volunteer need- truck unload)

Sunset Classic

  • The Sunset Classic is a marching band competition hosted by Sunset and held at the school.  This is an important fundraiser for SAMBA and requires a tremendous amount of planning and effort.  We will need all families to volunteer leading up to and/or on the day of the event.  Volunteer shifts will be communicated in the weeks leading up to the event.
  • Our marching band will perform twice that day, but just as an exhibition.  The hosting band is not eligible for awards and does not receive scores for the performance.
  • Planning meetings usually start in January. Please attend a planning meeting to better understand where your help is needed!

Getting Set Up to Volunteer

  • Beaverton School District requires that all volunteers be background checked and registered in their system. This can take several weeks (even if you have volunteered at other schools)
  • Please visit our volunteer page for more information


  • Northwest Association for Performing Arts (NWAPA) is the organization that coordinates the marching band competitions

Communications from SAMBA

  • BAND App & Website: This will be our primary communication tool this year.  Please ensure at least one parent or guardian joins so that you can receive important notices. Email [email protected] to get an invite to join our band.
  • Email Newsletter & Announcements: You will be added to our email group once you register or you can email [email protected] to be added at any time.

Financials and Fundraisers

  • The Beaverton School District pays for Mr. Hall’s salary and some basics needed for the band classes.  All other expenses for running the band and color guard programs are paid for through SAMBA. The necessary funds come from registration fees and fundraising.
  • Our annual expenses for 2022 were approximately $82,000. Our annual expenses for 2023 are expected to be approximately $86,000.
  • Roughly a third of the budget comes from registration fees. The other two thirds comes from fundraising coordinated by the parents and guardians through SAMBA.
  • Expenses include (roughly in order of greatest cost)
    • Instructors (Percussion, Visual, Color Guard)
    • Show Design, Music rights, Scores, Choreography
    • Truck Rentals for competitions
    • Color Guard Equipment and Flags
    • Color Guard Uniforms
    • Competition Meals
    • Uniform care and acquisition
  • Please contact [email protected] if you have questions about the budget or would like to volunteer to help.