2018-19 Marching Band Parent Meeting Recap

Meeting Notes - From The SBBA President

Thank you to all who attended the Parent Meeting on July 24th.  Mr. Esserwein presented some important information, and your SBBA Board Members described volunteer needs for the various departments. 

Here are the most important items:

  • Marching Band has no “bench”.
    • This means every student should be at every rehearsal and every performance.  Please try to avoid scheduling doctors’ appointments, vacations, etc. during band activities.  If you have any issues, please email directors@sprayberryband.com.  If a student misses a Thursday rehearsal, he or she may not be able to perform at a game or competition.  This is not a punishment; it is for the safety of all the students.
  • Academics are the number one priority. 
    • If grades start to become an issue, please make the directors aware.  Many options are available:  study hall in afternoons in the band room, peer tutoring, mandatory tutoring provided by the school, and more! 
  • Weekly rehearsal schedule:
    • Mondays:  4:00 – 6:30 pm in the stadium or parking lot
    • Tuesdays:  4:30 – 7:30 pm in the parking lot
    • Thursdays:  4:30 – 7:30 pm in the parking lot
    • There is time to get a quick snack beforehand, but students should not go home before rehearsal. 
  • Students are typically ready for pick-up 15-20 minutes after rehearsals end.  We have chaperones to stay until every student has been picked up.  Please be considerate. 
  • All events are listed in the TWIB (This Week In Band – email newsletter) and on the website [INCLUDE LINK HERE] – please use this calendar to make your plans!

Parent Volunteers:

Cobb County requires an annual background check for anyone working with the students.  If you would like to help out the band in any way, please print and fill out the consent form. The background check is performed at no cost to you, and fingerprinting is not required.  Please fill out the center section of the form – the position should be “Band Parent Volunteer.”  For privacy, please put your completed form in an envelope marked “Background Check Form,” and place it in the Black Box in the band room.  You may also give it directly to SBBA President Gretchen Douglas, Chaperone Chair Tammy Fulmer, or one of the directors.

We need your help in all areas. Here are some examples:

Uniform washer – take 4-6 uniforms home, wash using detergent provided by SBBA, and hang to dry.  This is done every 2 weeks during marching season.  Contact uniforms@sprayberryband.com.

Round-up Chaperone – make sure all students are picked up from a rehearsal, game or competition.  Contact chaperones@sprayberryband.com.

Hospitality Team – serve water and lemonade to our band students and visiting band students during the 3rd quarter at home games.  Serve dinner to students and staff before away games.  Contact hospitality@sprayberryband.com

Middle School Outreach – attend band concerts at our feeder schools (Daniell, McCleskey, and Simpson) and promote the Sprayberry band program.  If you have a student in a middle school band program, you’ll already be there anyway!  Contact middleschools@sprayberryband.com

We have many more opportunities!  Please contact President@sprayberryband.com or any of our board members for more information on how you can help.


2018 Winter Workshop Success

On the weekend of February 2nd-3rd we held our annual Winter Concert Workshop. This is a weekend-long workshop dedicated solely to our concert program. We hired fifteen professional musicians, conductors and educators to spend a weekend with our students. The value of learning directly from industry professionals was a rewarding and long-lasting experience for our young musicians.  In addition to having masterclasses on each individual instrument, the kids also worked with guest conductors on their Large Group Performance Evaluation programs. 

Special thanks to: 

Guest Conductors: 

Gary Gribble, Casey Eubanks, Corey Newton


Andrew Cummings, Michael Terry, Marja Kerney, Candace Keach, Erika Dieges, John Reams, Jay Wilson, Jay Hanselman, Jordyn Mader, Gil Estes, Jonathan Thomas and Austin Baxley 

Grand Champions!

Congratulations to the Sprayberry Band of Gold for their outstanding performance this evening at the Super Bowl of Sound in Carrollton, Georgia. The band had a good first full performance of IMMORTAL REIGN and earned the following awards:

Straight Superior Ratings in all Captions

Second Place in AAAA Colorguard

Second Place in AAAA Drum Major

1st Place in Class AAAA Percussion

2nd Highest Score of the day in both Percussion and Guard.

Class AAAA Champion (10th time out of the last 11 competitions we have earned Class Champion)

Awards for High Visual Performance, High Music Performance and High General Effect Scores among all competing bands.

And for the second straight competition, the BOG earns the GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP AWARD.

Congratulations to all the staff, parents and especially students for their hard work so far this year. This was a very good lineup of bands, and to earn all of these awards speaks volumes for us about what these kids can do.

We are excited to continue to improve, and hope to see all of our family and friends at future shows!


 Leadership and the Grand Championship Trophy! 

Leadership and the Grand Championship Trophy! 

All about "SI"


Dear Band Family,

As October approaches it's time for our community to come together to help produce one of the most recognized and longest running marching band competitions in the Southeast. The Southern Invitational is entering it's 34th year and we're excited to host another great event on the Sprayberry campus. Each year our boosters, students, family, friends and alumni come together to play their part in running the event. Volunteerism is at the heart of why "SI" is so successful year after year. Below is a message from our organizers on how you can get involved. 

From our organizers...


SI this…SI that…everyone is talking about SI!!!...wondering what SI is?

SI is our abbreviation for:

Southern Invitational Music Festival

The Sprayberry High School Band Program hosts the Southern Invitational Music Festival, a marching band competition, every year. This year is our 34th year and it takes place at our Sprayberry HS campus on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  This is an all-day event where we host over 18 local and neighboring state bands on campus that day, plus about 250 volunteers that accompany them, and over 2,000 spectators. Volunteers drive the success of this prestigious music festival and there are countless ways for YOU to help.


SI requires an amazing number of volunteers to run efficiently.  There are 5 shifts available that day and you may choose to work as many as you are able. There are several areas to choose from: early morning set-up, concessions, equipment, first aid, picking up donations from local restaurants for Hospitality, parking, seating, and more. Sign up NOW to get your pick of volunteer jobs. Email questions to:  chaperones@sprayberryband.com.
CLICK HERE to sign up


Help us help you: promote your business and purchase an advertisement in the SI program. Or perhaps reach out to local businesses and ask for their support by purchasing an advertisement in our SI program. All ads are due on September 22nd. Email questions to: ads@southerninvitational.com

CLICK HERE for an order form


Our SI Hospitality volunteers provide meals, snacks & drinks for all of the band directors and staff of the visiting bands, as well as our BOG student and BOG parent volunteers. Approximately 300-400 people will visit the hospitality areas throughout the day. 
We ask that each band family donate your choice of $10, three 12-packs of canned sodas, three cases of bottle water, dessert to serve 24, or a dish to serve 24. (Our menu is All-American theme, so ANYTHING GOES!!) Please help us achieve 100% participation. A great menu is planned for the students and we need everyone's support! Please return forms and money by Thursday, October 5th.  If you have a relationship with a local restaurant that would like to contribute, please mark it on the form! Contact Gretchen Douglas with any questions at 770-265-0416

CLICK HERE for the donation form  


We always need to borrow a few items on the day of SI. Please review the list and let us know if you have anything that we can use by signing up.  Email questions to: chaperones@sprayberryband.com.

CLICK HERE to sign up

Thanks you! 

Welcome Back!

Good Afternoon!

As we approach the beginning of the school year, we would like to welcome each of you to the Sprayberry High School Band Program. We are extremely excited for the upcoming year and are looking forward to the growth of our students as musicians and as people.

To our Marching Band Students...congratulations on an outstanding first two weeks of rehearsals. It is hard to believe how much we were able to accomplish in such a short time, but we now have a strong foundation on which we can build a wonderful show that will be enjoyed by so many people. As school starts, keep your drive and desire to be successful, and remember that the end product will be a reflection of the hard work we put in everyday. Keep striving to be at least 1% better every day, and you will be amazed at what we can accomplish by October.

To our Marching Band Families...thank you so much for all of your assistance in running such smooth camps. We appreciate everyone who came out and chaperoned, or fit students in uniforms, or helped with equipment, or served food, or did anything else to keep us moving forward. We can't thank you enough for giving your time to help our students, and we hope to see you back with us as we move through the season.

As we begin school, please make sure that your students are registered for a band class during both the fall and spring semester. We want to make sure that all of our students have the opportunity to grow and develop across the entire school year. If there is an issue with your student's schedule, please let us know at directors@sprayberryband.com and we will do everything in our power to help try and get the issue resolved.


Because we have so many events occurring in our program, it is very important that you stay connected to the various methods of communication we offer. Please visit our website as often as you can, and make sure you are enrolled in "This Week In Band" (TWIB). This is a weekly newsletter that is emailed on Sundays that will give you information about the events that are upcoming. We will update every area of our program when necessary in the TWIB, so please sign up at here to start receiving these weekly updates!

Also, we will be using Remind101 to send texts about important information. If you would like to sign up to receive these texts from the band directors, please use the following information to register:

Text the following codes (as they are appropriate to your student) to 81010.

·    Symphonic I (3rd Period - Mastery Band) - @bogsym1
·    Symphonic II (2nd Period - Advanced Band) - @bogsym2
·    Concert Band (1st Period - Intermediate Band) - @bogcb
·    Percussion – (4th Period - Percussion Techniques) - @bogperc1
·    Marching Band - @bogmb
·    Colorguard - @bogcg
·    Jazz Band - @bogjazz

We will not spam your texts with this service! We will only send information that is important and that will help you plan for upcoming events!

In addition, please be sure to follow our Facebook Page at Sprayberry High School Band (Official). We will update this page as well with important information!

Jazz Band

If you are interested in Jazz Band, we have some exciting news for you! This year, Sprayberry High School will be having Academic Opportunity (AO) twice a week for 45 minutes each session. This is a time during the school day for students to work with teachers in areas they are either interested in or need assistance in. They will occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays between first and second period.

We have decided to offer Jazz Band as a "class" during this AO time. Essentially, students who are interested will sign up on Monday and Tuesday in homeroom and will placed in the Jazz AO with Mr. Esserwein. We will then be able to study and perform jazz for two 45 minutes sessions each week. This will allow us to start jazz earlier and to have more chances to perform.

If you are interested, please sign up when offered the opportunity during homeroom next week. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Esserwein at shsbanddirector@gmail.com.


Thank you for being a part of the Sprayberry Band Family. We are very excited for the new year and can't wait to see all of our Concert Only students starting on Monday. Have a GREAT weekend!


Mr. Esserwein and Mr. Ellis

Drum Majors attend Spirit Camp

Congratulations to 2017 Drum Majors Ansley, Ty, Juan and Katie on a great week of learning at Spirit Camp 2017! The drum majors spent the week on the beautiful campus of Huntingdon College at the annual band leadership camp. Spirit Camp was founded in 1979 as a fundraiser for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. The camp was one of the first of it's kind to offer high school students an opportunity learn the leadership tools to be effective leaders in their marching bands. The camp has always had a direct connection to the Sprayberry Band as the camp was founded by Freddy and Lynda Martin. Director Emeritus Dan Martin was an integral part of the camp at the beginning and continues to teach today. Both Mr. Esserwein and Mr. Ellis served on the drum major staff of Spirit Camp. Mr. Ellis is currently co-caption head of the drum major caption of the camp.  

Congratulations to Juan Jimenez for earning a most improved drum major award and to Katie Schoeffner for making finals in the conducting competition!

Thanks for making us proud!

We have a new "TWIB"

Hello everyone,

We have a new "This Week In Band" email client! As you may already know, TWIB is our weekly email newsletter for all band activities for the week. Each issue is sent every Sunday evening and will contain very important information for students and parents regarding band rehearsals, performances, fundraisers and band booster news. The new client will give us an opportunity to create custom emails in a much easier format along with giving students and parents more email options. 

There will also be occasional emails related to booster activities and announcements. 

The first of the new "TWIB" was sent out this week. If you did not receive the new and updated newsletter try checking your SPAM folders, promotional tabs, or email filters. If not, simply try signing up from the website

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, scroll to the bottom of the email and unsubscribe. 

TWIB is intended for Sprayberry Band students, parents, and families. 

-T. Ellis

New Website Launch!

BOG Family we are proud to announce a new website! We decided this Winter to move sprayberryband.com to a new web host which will provide us with more tools to keep our community more informed on all the amazing things the BOG is doing throughout the year. 

The site can now be easily updated by multiple administrators at once which will give directors and boosters and chance to keep the programs up-to-date. There is also a robust media and social media component that extends far beyond sprayberryband.com. 

Stay tuned for more features to be introduced over the Summer and Fall!