Amherst Bands Summer Newsletter

Welcome to all New and Returning Band Boosters

Amherst Band Boosters

The Amherst Band Boosters’ charter exists to support the Amherst Schools’ Band Program. We financially support many of the band’s activities. Examples include senior night, music purchases, music scholarships, student awards, and much more. In addition, we support the band program by donating time as volunteers, committee members, fundraisers, and chaperones.


The Booster organization is open to all parents, grandparents, family and friends, and there is no membership fee to join! You are already a band booster just by having a child in the band…and you don’t even need a child in the band to be a member! The only requirement is helping support the program and goals. We hope you will consider being a part of the success of the program.

Band Booster Meetings

Are scheduled on the 4th Tuesday of every month (excluding December) and are located in the Steele Band room and begin at 6:30pm. We are still looking for a few positions for the executive committee. Vice President and Recording Secretary are still available.

Please reach out to pam.vandersommen@gmail.com if you are interested in taking one of those positions.

Letter from the President

As we approach summer and the first band camp after the pandemic we would like to say welcome to the new families and thank you to the families who supported us this past year. It wasn’t a typical year and we wanted to say thank you to everyone who made it a success!

We need your help to make this program successful for the band students. The Amherst Marching Comets are an award winning program and in order to keep it that way and make this transition year seamless for the students, we really need your help!


I have listed the committees that need our focus right now and I would love to have a talk with you about what you are interested in. A lot of it seems overwhelming, but I assure you it isn’t and honestly the more people we can get involved, the less of a burden it becomes on all all of us. Our senior parents are ready to make things as easy as possible so you are set up for success. No one will be alone in this!


Thanks much! Looking forward to an amazing season!


Pam Vandersommen

2021-22 President, Band Boosters


Executive Positions Needed

Vice President

Recording Secretary


Committee's needing members

Band Camp Volunteer Organizer

Band Camp Celebration (former Lockin)

Uniforms

Senior Night Organizer

2021 Summer Car Washes

All marching band members are asked to attend at least one car wash. The money raised will help fund the Band Camp Celebration on August 6th. If you cannot attend your assigned car wash, come to another one. Attendance will be taken and band members not attending at least one car wash are asked to help with cleanup duty for lunch or dinner during band camp week.


All Car Washes are located at Tuffy Muffler on the corner of Cleveland and 58. Please visit them with all your car upkeep needs for their support of the Amherst Marching Comets.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Amy Rakar at (440) 670-6493 or amyrakar@gmail.com.

New Member Orientation

Wednesday, July 14th from 2:30-4pm :

We will have NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION just before our first music rehearsal. Our new members are asked to attend during this time. At this meeting, we will discuss procedures of the band, tips on how to survive band camp, and the general rules and expectations of holding membership in the band. If for some reason you cannot make the event, we ask that you contact Mr. Barbaro ASAP. SOPHOMORES are also invited (but not mandatory) to attend and participate as well since this summer's camp will be a new experience for you compared to the COVID protocol band camp we had last year.


The meeting will begin at 2:30pm and we will then have a Pizza Party, sponsored by the band boosters, between orientation and our first music rehearsal of the season that begins at 5pm.

Summer Uniform Fittings

Wednesday, July 14th between 1pm-4pm - Seniors and Juniors

Wednesday, July 21st between 1pm-4pm - Freshman and Sophomores


Obviously, since it has been 2 years since anyone has worn a uniform, we need to have a proper fitting for uniforms. (Guard has been fitted already) This will then give us time to make adjustments, hemming of pants, and other important things before our picture day in August. We have scheduled these fittings to be just before our Wednesday music rehearsals. Seniors and Juniors will be fitted on the first Wednesday and Freshman and Sophomores will be fitted the second Wednesday. Students can come in on their own between the times listed above to be fitted. Please communicate if you are unable to make your designated uniform fitting time.

Band Camp Treats

Sunday, July 25th to Friday, July 30th:

Because our kids LOVE your Sweet Treats, we ask that the members bring a dessert ONCE to share during band camp. This helps keep our cost down and gives the kids a variety of things to choose from when they satisfy their sweet tooth (teeth). Please follow the schedule below. Treats should be brought to the music lobby the morning they are needed for that meal.

Sunday - Amherst Band Boosters will supply

Monday - Sophomores

Tuesday - Juniors

Wednesday - Seniors

Thursday - Freshmen

Friday - Amherst Band Boosters will supply

Band Lock-in

Friday, August 6th:

Our Band LOCK-IN is on Friday, August 6th. THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANGE THIS YEAR AS THE LOCKIN WILL CONCLUDE around 10pm. In the past, we used to bring sleeping materials and celebrate with an all-nighter. Because of COVID protocols and still being unsure of how much we will return to normal, a celebration has been planned for the last day of BAND CAMP instead of the sleepover. Once rehearsal ends that day, the lock-in will begin and fun activities will be available for the band members. Dinner will be served and is provided by the Band Boosters.

Big picture

FAQs for Parents/Guardians:

How do I stay up-to-date with band information at home?
Our website at marchingcomets.com is updated with all relevant information right on the home page. Additionally, there is an informational group on Facebook that is managed by our staff. This is a public site and should not require a facebook account to visit. ‘Like’ us at Amherst Marching Comets – Amherst Bands. You may also ask your child to INVITE you to sign up for for our Amherst Bands Google Classroom. We post MOST of our communication now with our students through this APPLICATION.


What is FINAL FORMS and is this something we need to do?

The school is again requiring that ALL parents of athletes/activity members use FinalForms. Please register at – https://amherst-oh.finalforms.com -- and electronically complete ALL forms! This is not new and most of you may have already experienced this APP.


When the portal opens for the season, make sure to register and check for the forms pertaining to the organization you are joining. Please complete this process by the first summer practice session. The final deadline will be July 25th as that is when we start our full band rehearsals with band camp. We will also discuss this process at New Member Orientation.

FAQs for Students:

What are summer sectionals? When do they meet and are they required?

Over the summer, section leaders may schedule student-led music rehearsals. This is a great opportunity for all members to begin learning new music and to get to know each other prior to the start of band camp. These student-led rehearsals are not required but highly recommended if asked. It is important that students are familiar with the music before the start of band camp on July 25th.


What happens if I have to miss a rehearsal?

If you are ill during any rehearsal, have your parents contact Mr. Barbaro immediately. All other conflicts need to be put in writing and submitted to Mr. Barbaro via email. It is hard to keep track of everyone's requests. Putting them in writing establishes a binder where notes are kept to keep track of agreed upon absences.


How do I get my sheet music?
Music should be downloaded from your google classroom page. There is a lot of music to be printed and we have found that it is easier for everyone to have it there digitally for your use. You may print out your parts and/or use a digital device to read your music. Either way, it is your responsibility to have all the music printed for the first rehearsal. If you loose a piece of music, you may then download it at your convenience. Do not wait until the day before our first rehearsal to begin printing the music. There is just too much to do in one setting. Pregame and Halftime music is the priority for the first few weeks of practice.

Change in Fall Schedule

We applied for our fall competitions. I wanted you to note of a change in the schedule. We were originally planned to compete at the Avon Lake show on October 2nd. The advantage of being our next door neighbors was too much to ignore and I based our entire competition schedule off that weekend. When the final schedule came out last week as registrations opened June 1st, there was a schedule change and the Avon Lake show got bumped from the 2nd of October to the 9th. Originally, I vowed to take us to another show on the same weekend to keep the schedule the same. Unfortunately after some digging, the closest show on October 2nd is 3 hours away forcing us to move our scheduled competition weekend from the 2nd to the 9th and stay with the Avon Lake show.

So in closing, we WILL NOT be going out on October 2nd as planned and that show date has been moved to Saturday, October 9th. Please let us know if this change has caused a conflict in your schedule. This is the first time in my 30 years of teaching that I changed a schedule once published but feel it is in the best interest of all involved. This change was communicated to the kids in May through our google classroom page.

Disney Trip News

Our veteran Bus Company and Orlando Hotel were glad I reached out to them and are currently working up contracts for 2022. The Disney Audition Application is in and awaiting approval! They are being very strict this year because everyone is planning a trip in 2022. Fortunately, we had footage of our fall show to send in as they said they are not accepting ANY audition material older than this fall to be considered which means many bands will not get the opportunity to march even if they want to go next spring. We will let you know the results as soon as we do. They did warn that there is a huge delay in reviewing audition applications due to limited work force. Stay tuned!

Christopher A. Barbaro

Click here to go to my official Amherst Teacher page which includes links to other high school information. You can also check out our Facebook and Website by clicking the links above and below.