Our Guidelines For Parents and Students
Guideline Quick Links
Practices & Games
Dates and times are scheduled by the Band Director.
Punctuality and attendance is very important.
Check with your child before making plans for any weekend from September through November.
Check www.smupa.com for up to date announcements, calendars, forms, newsletters.
Report times and dress for each performance will be posted on the web site the week of each event.
Reporting times and uniform procedures will be announced on a weekly basis.
Light snacks for away games are provided for the bus ride.
Make sure your child has his/her mouthpiece, instrument and all parts to the uniform.
The girls in the front usually wear their hair in a French braid. If you cannot French braid hair, there is always someone around who will do it. But please make sure you have bobby pins and a ponytail holder.
At away games the band parents usually sit on the home side of the field before the game so we can watch the unit perform (they perform 20 minutes before the start of the game), after they have performed we then go and sit on the visitors side.
Parents try to sit together and wear their GREEN.
The Steinert Marching Unit Parents Association (SMUPA) provides integral financial and logistical support to the Steinert Marching Unit. The ways in which SMUPA manages to accomplish this support are many and varied. Some of the many ways that SMUPA is involved includes, but is not limited to, the following activities.
Active membership is open to all parents/guardians of the members of the Steinert High School Marching Unit. Membership is renewed annually at the start of the new academic year. Only active members who have paid their dues will have voting privileges in any elections held during that year. Dues are $20 per year per student member, capped at $40 per family with payment due no later than the Thanksgiving Day Game. Honorary membership may be granted to former members of the Executive Board upon application to, and approval by the current Executive Board. You must be a member to be eligible to receive scholarships provided by SMUPA.
Attendance at monthly meetings is the best opportunity for members to obtain critical information regarding upcoming Unit activities affecting their children. The meeting also affords the member the opportunity to ask questions regarding activities and deadlines, as well as to participate in discussions about Association business. Members of the staff are always present at the General Membership meeting, and provide information to the members regarding upcoming events.
The SMUPA budget is generally quite large, usually around $36,000 per year. The proceeds from the various fundraising activities are used to financially support SMUPA and its many activities on behalf of the Marching Unit. Marching Unit members who participate in fundraising activities sell a certain dollar amount. Profits are equally divided between the student and the Marching Unit. Exceptions to this are the "Music in Motion" ad books and several other select fundraisers. The student receives credits, which can be accumulated and used to defray or totally pay the cost of any special band trips. In the past, these trips have included a trip every other year to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. On alternate years, the unit has traveled to New York City to attend a Broadway play, attended a Devils Game where they performed on the Concourse, and other venues.
All families are strongly encouraged to participate in as many fundraising activities as possible in order to both meet the annual budget and to provide sufficient credits for their student to participate in these special unit functions.
Band camp is a mandatory week long activity held at Steinert High School in the latter part of August. During this week the entire Unit practices the music and field movements in preparation for the upcoming marching season. Students are required to be present each day from approximately 9 am to approximately 4 pm with a break for lunch.
SMUPA parent volunteers provide considerable background support during band camp. Each year all of the band uniforms must be fitted and assigned to each member. Parent volunteers and the Uniform Committee assume the responsibility for completion of this task. Parents are also involved in coordinating some of the equipment necessary for use by the Unit when they perform. This has included preparation of flags, props, etc. for use by the Front.
Parent volunteers also assist in supporting the Unit by providing sufficient quantities of water coolers for student use throughout the heat of the day. Additionally, the parents assist the staff by providing support to the students as needed.
Finally, SMUPA provides a lunch on one of the days of band camp (usually Friday) at no cost to the student. Parent volunteers are very important on this day in order to feed approximately 200 students in only one hour. SMUPA has also been able to provide other snacks during band camp in past years.
Band Camp Tips:
- Wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothes and protection from the sun are critical.
- Sturdy comfortable shoes should be warn as most of the day is spent learning to march and perform the movements of the unit performance
- Sandals and flip-flops are not allowed.
- Hats are strongly encouraged as additional protection from the sun.
- Sunscreen is strongly recommended and should be used frequently during the day. Students are advised to use a strength that provides adequate protection based on their coloring and sensitivity to the sun.
- Hydration is very important and students are advised to take adequate fluids throughout the day. Cool water is always available to the students.
- Students are responsible for providing their own lunch Monday through Thursday. On Friday, lunch is provided. Students have the ability to order lunch in advance of band camp week.
Information packets and medical forms are sent home the first day of band camp. Please ensure all forms are returned in the Band Box by the first day of band camp.
Uniform Care Guidelines
Steinert Marching Unit Guide for Use and Care of Uniforms
Football Games/Music Festivals
The marching season generally consists of two basic activities: football games and music festivals. Marching Unit performances at home football games are during halftime. When Steinert is at an away game, the performance will be approximately 20 minutes prior to the start of the game.
It is no easy task to help 75+ students get ready to march out onto the field. The members of SMUPA play a critical role in the success of this undertaking both on and off the field. Away games often challenge the resources of the SMUPA parents. These challenges include, but are certainly not limited to, a caravan consisting of a fully loaded equipment truck and potentially four full size school buses. The challenges, however, for a home game are somewhat less.
Every time the Marching Unit travels by bus, the students are accompanied by the professional staff as well as members of the SMUPA Executive Board. The SMUPA chaperones assist the professional staff on each bus by checking to see that all students are present upon departure; by providing refreshments to the students during the trip; and by supporting the students additional needs as required.
Away Game Refreshments
When the Marching Unit travels, refreshments are provided to the students during the bus trip. This generally consists of items such as chips, pretzels, cookies (no nuts or peanut butter). It is very important that any food provided not be of the type to soil the uniforms of the students.
Each year a group of interested members form a team that provides logistical support for all aspects of the field show. Each member of the Field Crew has a specific role and is responsible for the setup of his/her particular area of the field. When the Marching Unit travels the Field Crew prepares the equipment, loads it on the equipment truck, and upon arrival at the destination makes the equipment available for the Unit members. At the end of each show, the Field Crew members are also responsible for removing the flags, poms, etc. from the field. All Marching Unit equipment is carefully secured, packaged, and loaded on the equipment truck in preparation for transport back to Steinert. Upon arrival at Steinert, the Field Crew also is responsible for unloading and securing the equipment in the school in preparation for the next performance.
The responsibility of the Field Crew when the Marching Unit is home is basically the same as for away games, however the Unit members generally carry some of the equipment to and from the field.
Participation in the Field Crew is open to all members of the organization interested in attending all of the football games and other performances throughout the Fall.
Music in Motion
Each year in mid to late October, SMUPA hosts a show entitled "Music in Motion". Marching Units from both Mercer and other counties in New Jersey are invited to participate in a performance of their field shows. In past years, there have been up to ten units at the festival and occasionally a college band. These performances, although adjudicated, are not competitive in nature. This is an opportunity for the public to view marching units in their "purest form".
All of the planning, coordination and execution of the activities for "Music in Motion" are completed by the Steinert Marching Unit parents. This begins with the formation of numerous committees under the direction of the show chairperson(s). These committees can include but are not limited to Food and Beverage, Program Book, 50-50 Sales, Set and Cleanup, Parking and Ticket Sales.
On the day of the festival, the parents begin setting up the field and surrounding areas to accommodate the arrival of approximately 4000 spectators and the unit members from each of the participating schools. Throughout the actual event, the parents continue to work to provide various types of assistance to the attendees and performing groups. When the field has emptied and the bands have gone home, the parents disassemble all that was set up that morning. If there is one event during the school year that is most reliant on the efforts of, and numbers of parents, "Music in Motion" is that event. Each SMU family is required to volunteer 3 hours during Music in Motion, a truly rewarding event!
On the Saturday afternoon of the Steinert High School Play, a pasta dinner is held for the Steinert community as well as the residents of Hamilton. Over the years, it has become a gathering place for those who then attend the play as well as people interested in a low key and inexpensive night out.
Usually held in February, the dinner is sponsored and coordinated by SMUPA. The servers are usually members of the Marching Unit. Many of the students participating in the Pasta Dinner also are members of the cast, crew, or pit orchestra for the show.
Participation in the Pasta Dinner is open to all members. The role of members includes setting up the cafeteria, preparing the food and cleaning up.
Memorial Day Parade
The Steinert Marching Unit is one of the participants in the parade(s) that take place in Hamilton. This is the time for parents to come out and see the Steinert Marching Unit in its final performance the school year. All students must march in the parade(s) in order to attend the annual band banquet held in June.
While this parade marks the end of the unit season for the students, it is also the final time the Field Crew comes together to support the students so that they can perform. The responsibilities of the Field Crew are comparable to those during the football season.
Those who attend will see a group of parents marching behind the unit. These are the members of the Executive Board and Officers and members of the Field Crew. While they don't march as well as the unit does, they too deserve a round of applause when they march by.
The culmination of the year for the Marching Unit is the Annual Awards Banquet, more commonly known as the Band Banquet. This is a special evening where the members (and their parents/guardians!) have an evening for dinner and dancing to celebrate the memories of the past year's events. The experience of the Marching Unit, for both students and their parents, includes the development of friendships.
Marching Unit members who marched in the Memorial Day Parade(s) attend the banquet. SMUPA pays for marching unit members cost of the banquet, parents/guardians are responsible for the cost of their attendance.
A special part of the Banquet is the recognition of the graduating seniors, the announcement of the Drum Majors and section leaders for the upcoming Marching Unit season and the presentation of awards to each member of the Marching Unit. Graduating seniors can be eligible for monetary a gift as they prepare for their future education and these are awarded at the Banquet. Membership must be renewed annually at the start of the new school year to be eligible to receive monetary gifts provided by SMUPA.
The members of SMUPA, in addition to providing the finances for the senior gifts, also assist with the planning and preparation for the Banquet
SMUPA.COM Web Site
Our web site is a great source of information. Everything you need to know about SMUPA and the unit is available at our web site including up to date performance and practice dates and times, fundraiser information, the unit’s history, bilaws, budget, our newsletter and a lot more!