Q: Does high school band conflict with academics?

A: No - research shows that it ENHANCES academics! Students participating in band score higher on their SATs (Verbal: 20 points. Math: 25 points). MORE THAN 75% of Hempfield Band Students take Honors and AP Courses. 60-75% of band seniors graduate with honors. Band students often occupy the top seats with regards to class rank.


Q: To be in Concert Band, do I HAVE to be in the Marching Band?

A: Not at all! Concert Band and Marching Band are mutually exclusive - you can be in Concert Band and NOT in Marching Band. That being said, the overwhelming majority of students do BOTH in high school. :)

It's important to know that you MUST be in either Concert or Marching Band to participate in Jazz Ensemble. Or, you could just do all three!

Q: I am interested in taking part in other activities where there may be conflicts; can I still be in the band?

A: For sure! Band students also play football, softball, basketball, baseball, track, swimming, cross country, soccer, and volleyball! All coaches and advisors work together in order to come up with a schedule compromise that most benefits the student. If you want to participate but don't know if it will work me!

Q: What kind of music do we play in high school band?

A: Check out the Concert Band page and listen to the repertoire for second semester...AWESOME STUFF! :)

Q: Can I be in high school band AND orchestra? Choir?

A: ABSOLUTELY! Many of our best performers in Marching Band are string players who are march because it is such an awesome experience! It takes hard work to learn a second instrument, but If you are a string player who is interested in joining the marching band, email me!

With Concert Band, we have had many instances where we "share" me with your specific question and we can try to work something out!

As for Choir...not an issue at all! A large portion of our high school Concert AND Marching Band members also participate in our outstanding Choral program.

Q: I feel like I can barely play my instrument while sitting down…how in the world am I supposed to do that marching band stuff?

A: Great question! My response to this is always “you’ve gotta try it.” Our success rate with students who try is holding steady at 100%. By being brave and believing in yourself, you will achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. You’ll be amazed at what kind of person is inside of you!

Q: How will band work in my regular school schedule?

A: At HHS, you will have band every other day for an 80-minute block of time. Band counts as a scheduled elective; most students take band and a language as their electives in 9th grade. While schedule options are few for 9th grade musicians, the schedule opens up drastically as each student moves through their high school career (meaning that you’ll have PLENTY of opportunities to take digital media and photography classes…don’t worry!).

If you are being told that you CAN'T schedule me!

Q: I was planning on taking honors/AP classes and I’m afraid of the workload along with the marching band…what should I do?

A: Many of the students in the band program are enrolled in honors/advanced placement courses and have been since they began their academic careers. While moving on to high school can be a frightening experience due to increased academic pressures, the overwhelming majority of band students develop advanced organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and a drastic increase in academic discipline due to their experiences with our program.

Our band members are high achieving students who form a strong support structure both academically and emotionally. Think about it…what other group can you join where you’ve immediately made 120 other friends who have all “been there before” and are willing to share their experiences and lend a helping hand?

Q: I have a REALLY great question but I can’t seem to find it on this paper…what should I do?!?!?

A: The best question of all! Mr. Gumble would absolutely love to talk to you and your family about the high school band experience. Call Mr. Gumble at 717.898.5500 ext. 24-139 OR email at