South Shore Band Membership Information

Commitment, Consistency, Communication, and Working as a Group

Dues and Membership:

Membership in our Band is free; we charge no dues. What we do ask for is your commitment to consistent participation. We understand that all members can not be at every rehearsal and every performance, but consistency in attendance and good communication with us when you need to be absent is expected. According to our long established by-laws, in order to maintain "active" membership status you must attend at least 75% of rehearsals and 75% of performances. For a group who by definition is co-dependent upon one another that is not a lot to ask.

Member candidates under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at the initial rehearsal meeting to review all membership requirements, audition, expectations, and responsibilities of participation.

Our annual holiday concert is our largest single fund raising event of the season. While we enjoy a regular audience following, and we do some modest advertising for the concert, the fact is that most of our ticket sales are those sold by our individual members. Each member is given 5 tickets in October and asked to sell them for the December concert as a condition of participation in the band. Each ticket sells for $10.

Weekly Rehearsals:

Weekly rehearsals allow us to come together as a group and participate in the experience of working and playing together – with the goal of sufficiently mastering music that is both appealing to our targeted audience as well as challenging and interesting to us as musicians.

Rehearsal Hall doors open at 7:30 to set up the chairs, music, and equipment. At 8:15 members should be in their seats prepared to tune up and start the rehearsal.

It is understood that not everyone will enjoy every piece we play – but we strive for overall balance as best we can.

It is important to use rehearsal time to work on our collective presentation of the piece and that we progress week to week toward that end. Individual attention to specific challenges can be aided by the group rehearsal but may very well require that the individual member “wood shed” during the week in order to individually progress.

Individual attendance is recorded at every rehearsal. Frequent member absences create “set backs” in the overall group progress through (a) missing parts as the rest of the band rehearses, and (b) needing for that particular member to “catch up” on what they missed upon their return. Consistent member participation is essential for the overall progress of the Band. We ask that you let us know by phone call or email if you need to miss a weekly rehearsal so that we can adjust our rehearsal set up and planning accordingly.

Performing as a Band:

In order to survive as a community band we always need to have a fair mix of talent within the group. As a matter of policy and preference we welcome interested musicians of all playing skill levels to the band – as long as they have fundamental performance ability and are willing to work to musically “fit” within what we do (fundamental performance ability means: knowing the basics and able to read music, to be able to control your instrument for volume, intonation, rhythms, etc), to be able to follow the conductor, and to have the presence to play within the ensemble (play what you can, sit out parts that may be over your head, and blend within the overall concept of what we are working on such that we can all make progress as a band).

By definition, the music that we produce is our collective sound – as arranged and composed for band and as interpreted through our Music Director.

The role of the members is to play what is on their music, follow the Conductor’s instructions closely, and to perform within the context of the overall band.

We’ve got to work as a single unit; not 40+ individuals.

Scheduled Performances:

Virtually all performances are booked many, many months in advance giving everyone ample advance notice. New or updated activity schedules are handed out frequently at rehearsals and each member is asked to take it home to keep handy as a commitment reference. All updates are announced on Monday rehearsals and posted to our bulletin board for reference. In addition, our website at “Schedule of Events” contains a complete activity schedule as well.

Individual attendance is recorded at each performance.

From time to time members will need to miss an event due to a schedule conflict. We understand that. For the sake of the whole band, it requires everyone’s commitment and clear and early communication with us if a gig will be missed. With advance notice – we can often arrange alternate coverage and rebalance things in your absence. Without notice, we are left little option and our performance may well be negatively impacted.

Also, members playing a performance after having missed rehearsals is harmful to the Band overall. As a matter of policy – members must have attended 4 rehearsals before being able to join for a performance. This ensures that all performers know of the adjustments to cuts, holds, dynamics, tempo, and other “pencil markings” our Conductor has instructed as we prepared for the performance itself.

Performance timeliness:

Our activities schedules, detail information flyers about a gig, and our website each indicate both the required arrival time and the performance start time.

Also, for some out of town gigs we from time to time will plan to meet at a certain central location in order to carpool & caravan to where we are performing. We do this for the convenience and comfort of our members.

Be on time – or better yet – early.


With a large group of individuals like our band – communication is critical.

The leadership of the band tries to be as clear and specific as possible regarding the activities of the band (earliest possible event scheduling, polling the band for consensus on controversial or close dates, written schedules, website, bulletin board posting, announcements, etc.)

We try to adhere to a schedule of bi-monthly administrative meetings regarding band planning, etc. All members are invited to attend. We also provide verbal highlights of those meetings/decisions the following Monday at rehearsal.

Member communication to the band leadership is equally critical. We ask for your support and cooperation in keeping us well informed of your plans, needs, and/or conflicts.

Music Handling:

Our music library – collected over 60+ years - is a treasured asset that needs to be protected carefully.

Concert band music is to be put in each red band folder – one per part, for every part for which a folder has been established (we strongly suggest keeping it in alphabetical order). Concert music is stored in the marked cases.

Marching music in the march books is stored in the red metal box.

Members who wish to take the music home to practice should alert their Section Leader that they are doing so, and with the understanding that is must be available the following week (i.e. don’t leave it home). If you have music at home and you are going to miss a rehearsal or event – it is your responsibility to contact us and to arrange to get the music back to us.

It is suggested that member’s arrange for a take home copy if they regularly want to have a home copy to work on.


Our appearance in public is an important part of what we do.

We’ve recently tried to adjust our dress to make it both easier for band members to comfortably conform – yet still maintain an appropriate degree of “image”, “professionalism”, and “conformity” in appearance.

The detailed gig information flyers always contain specific information as to uniform dress for that particular event.

In general – members need to be prepared with their own black dress slacks, white dress shirt (long sleeve for formal concerts, short sleeve for warm weather parades/outdoor concerts), black bow tie (men), black socks, and black shoes. For formal concert performances, Ladies may elect to wear a black skirt. For parades and informal concerts, red South Shore Band windbreakers are provided by the band or available to be purchased if the member so elects. The band will supply each member with a black military style beret with the band name/logo attached. Members are responsible for maintaining the band owned jackets and berets and returning them promptly if they leave the band.

Due to the increased cost of uniform berets and increasing experiences with members losing them, the Band Committee agreed on 4/25/08 that our policy of issuing one uniform beret to each member will continue as is, however in the future, should the member lose it and we need to supply them with a 2nd one, we will ask for reimbursement to the band for $20 to cover this added expense.

Rehearsal Refreshment “Duty”:

Each Monday evening at rehearsal the Band provides refreshments of coffee (or iced tea during the summer), cakes or cookies, etc – for our member’s enjoyment during our mid-rehearsal break.

There is no charge – the band pays for this out of operating expense.

The “duty” of purchasing the refreshments (and supplies of cups, napkins, etc), setting up, and cleaning up afterwards – is done on a section to section rotational basis (usually for a 2 month period). Section Leaders are responsible for ensuring that their section’s duties are fulfilled properly.

Members periodically submit an expense voucher and receipts to the Treasurer for reimbursement of the purchased goods.

© 2003 South Shore Band. All Rights Reserved.