2014 Marching Pioneers Member Handbook

UW-Platteville Marching Pioneers

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General Policies

Regular rehearsals and performances are all required. Any exceptions must be cleared with the directors. Members should be on time for all band functions.


Students will be permitted to have two absences during the semester. If possible, please let the drum majors and staff know if you are going to be absent. These are to be used at your own discretion for illness, appointments, studying for exams, field trips, etc. Any student who is absent more than 2 times will be dismissed from the organization. Regularly scheduled class conflicts (labs, etc.) will not be counted. Extenuating circumstances will be considered by the directors.

Missing performances are not excused absences!


Two tardies will be counted as one absence. A tardy is defined as being more than five minutes late. Class conflicts will not count toward tardies.

General Rules

  1. You are responsible for having the required music at all rehearsals and performances. Keep it in your folders.
  2. You are responsible for any damage or loss of school uniforms, music, instruments, or color guard equipment. Be very careful with all equipment when at the practice field, stadium or on road trips.
  3. Never assume a rehearsal or performance is cancelled because of inclement weather.
  4. Sit with your assigned section in the stands during games.
  5. No one is to leave your seats during the game with the exception of restroom purposes or unless the director gives you permission. Please let the staff know if you must leave. We will provide you with popcorn and discounted soda after halftime.
  6. Everybody cheer together at games.
  7. Alcohol consumption during or prior to rehearsals or performances is prohibited.
  8. No smoking in uniform.
  9. Students are not excused from football games until after the band is dismissed. Any exceptions must be cleared with the director.
  10. Any University regulations or laws not otherwise contained above shall be enforced.
  11. You are fully responsible for all information contained in this handbook.

Uniforms and Equipment

  1. Uniforms will be dry cleaned at the end of the season. Your $100.00 fee includes this cleaning. Please do your best to keep them as clean as possible during the year.
  2. Any unusual wear or tear in the uniform will be repaired at the expense of the person to whom that uniform is assigned.
  3. Wind and percussion members must provide their own lyres, black shoes and black socks; color guard members must provide black shoes and black tights (will be ordered at camp.) Rangerettes must provide white shoes and white socks as assigned by captains. Uniforms must be turned in at the end of marching season. Failure to do so will result in fines and possible holding of grades.
  4. University-owned instruments and equipment are issued through the music office. Cost of unusual wear or damage to school-owned instruments or equipment is the responsibility of the student. Marching instruments and equipment should be checked in at the end of marching season.

Verbal Commands

All verbal commands should be given in a strict and consistent tempo. The purpose is to get everyone's attention, warn them of the command to follow, and to establish the tempo.

In-Place Fundamentals

Attention "Band - Ten - Hut" (crunch from percussion on count one; band says "rock")
Horns Up "Band - Horns - Up" (band says "hup")
Dress Center "Dress - Center - Dress"
Horns Down "Band - Horns - Down", "Band - Ready - Front"
Parade Rest "Band - Parade - Rest"
Mark Time "Mark Time Mark"
Halt "Ready - Halt"

Position of Attention

The heels are together, toes at a 45 degree angle, instrument held with both hands in front of the body, parallel to and 12 away from the body. The elbows should be at a 90 degree angle (in most cases). The height of your instrument will be set according to your height; however, most people can use the check point of the mouthpiece being in line with your eyes (flutes, clarinets, saxes, mellophones, trumpets, and trombones). Baritones should hold horn on the right side of the body with the hands in playing position. Sousaphones should keep the right hand on the valves and the left hand on the tubing on the left side of the horn; saxes should keep their arm parallel to the ground. Your eyes should be forward, head slightly up, with no moving or talking. The shoulders should be back and the knees slightly flexed.

Motion Commands

Mark Time (MT) Marching in place
High Mark Time In place marching where the feet are brought to knee level. Toes are pointed down.
Low Mark Time Toes come together on the first two beats. Feet alternate in place marching where the heel is lifted and the toe barely clears the ground.
Glide Step This is a 22 1/2" step most easily taught by taking a normal walking step, except shifting of the weight should be very smooth and gradual. The heel touches the ground first then roll toward the toe. Do not bounce and keep the upper body steady with shoulders square.
Backward March This step is the exact reverse of the glide step except the ball of the foot hits the ground only.
Adjusted Step Size This is determined by the distance in a float. To divide the distance between the beginning and ending points using the number of counts given with equally sized steps.
Lateral Marching (Slides) Defined as facing your lower body from the hips down in one direction and turning the shoulders and head left or right.
Drag Turns The turn is spread evenly over a given number of counts while marking time.
Crossover Flanks or Pivot Turns These turns are executed in one count using the ball of the foot.


Block Band Every band member in their permanently assigned position. Used for attendance, warm-up, cover drill, and parades.
Interval Space between individuals or forms beside each other
Inboard Toward the 50 yard line
Outboard Away from the 50 yard line
Cover Check vertical alignment
Dress/Guide Check horizontal alignment
Front Group in lateral alignment
Sagging The closing of intervals
Fanning The opening up of intervals
Drifting Gradually shifting left or right during any movement
Oblique Movement which is not perpendicular to the original line of movement
Adjusted Step Movement in any direction using adjusted step size; the form changes and all arrive simultaneously
Follow the Leader Follow path of the person in front maintaining the correct distance
Pass Through Units passing or setting up in between each other
Transition An organized drill converting from one formation to another
Set A formation used to begin or end a particular drill; also used for concert


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