“Season Showcase”

2023 Student Recruitment, Engagement, and Retention Award Recipient

Pride of Princeton Marching Band

Princeton High School
Cincinnati, Ohio


Starting in 2020, the Pride of Princeton Marching Band began performing the Season Showcase as part of their event calendar. We perform the showcase on a Friday evening at our football stadium on a night when the football team is playing elsewhere. The Showcase contains a performance of the band’s halftime show from that season, a second show with music voted upon by the senior class, and a formal recognition of the graduating seniors from the marching band. The event is capped off with a fireworks display.


The primary objective was to give the graduating seniors in marching band an event to honor them that was all their own. Rather than trying to fit senior recognition in a compressed time frame, either before or during a football game, the Season Showcase is an event solely for the band.

We also seek to invite families and community members to a performance at the stadium that highlights the band’s accomplishments, the seniors’ contribution to marching band, their favorite music from the past 4 years, and the support of their families.

Another objective was to provide a celebration of the seniors that would be an example to underclassmen as something to strive for and keep them in the program until 12th grade. Taking part in and witnessing the celebration provides our underclassmen with the opportunity to see what immense payoff there will be when they become seniors themselves.

Lastly, we use the event for recruitment with our 8th grade band members, inviting them to the event, and showing a video recording of the event in class.

Target Audience

The target audience of the event is current members of the Pride of Princeton Marching Band and their families/various home support systems.

They are the focus because they work extremely hard for months, and this event celebrates that hard work. In its role of community and school spirit, often the successes of the band are overlooked or shared with other organizations. The Season Showcase is all about the band and its many accomplishments.


The event begins preliminary planning in April with a Music Booster budgeting request and solicitation for volunteers. The event is communicated in April with the rest of the event calendar for the upcoming season.

When schools begins the following year, I poll the seniors to select what music they want the band to play at the showcase, with one song being selected from each halftime show during their 4 years of band. The seniors also indicated which family members will be accompanying during their recognition.

In September, I have planning meet with administration to verify their attendance at the event. I also meet with the Music Boosters and Fireworks company to finalize logistics and all required paperwork/permits.

The event typically takes place in mid-late October, with advertising on social media and district website occurring in the weeks leading up to the event.

Overview of Planning and Execution

As the head director, I conceived the event in its first year, did the planning and rehearsing of the band’s contribution to the event. I have a staff of 4 assistant directors, who were responsible for collecting senior bio information, family names, and assisting with rehearsing the band in the weeks leading up to the Showcase. Tom Benjamin, Princeton Music Booster President, handled communication and collaboration between band staff and the music boosters. He also communicated and scheduled meetings with the fireworks company, and coordinated the fireworks show the night of the event.

Tish Jones (Princeton City Schools Media Specialist) and Tricia Roddy (Princeton City Schools Director of Communication) handled advertising for the event, including social media posts and communication on the Princeton Website and district email.

Jon Fricke (Princeton City Schools Business Manager) and Tod Kutil (Director of Grounds/Maintenance) handled the logistics regarding securing the site and assigning workers to manage traffic and facilities.

Tools and Resources

  • The Princeton Music boosters fundraised to pay and organize the firework display
  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) was used for communicating and advertising about the event
  • Google Education Suite (Classroom, Forms, Sheets, Docs) was used for collecting senior music selection votes, collecting senior bio information, databasing the marching band library, and communicating directly with the band during the season.
  • I used Canva to design a graphic for advertising, both digitally and with hard copy posters hung around the communtiy.

Marketing and Promotion

I solicited district employees, Trish Roddy and Tish Jones, to assist with marketing and promotion of the event in the weeks leading up to it. The event was advertised in weekly bulletins that were sent to both students and families served by Princeton City Schools.

I regularly communicated with band members and families during the season via an email distribution group, Google Classroom, Facebook, Instagram, and Remind texting groups.

I also advertised the event on a Pride of Princeton Marching Band Alumni Group.

Through these various marketing and promotional initiatives, we garnered a large audience for the event, consisting of family members, friends, community leaders, government officials, administrators, teachers, and alumni of the band program. The event generated very positive PR for the district, and all parties involved were very appreciative of and love the event.


The fireworks display cost $2,000 in total and was furnished by Rossi Fireworks.


The biggest obstacle was transitioning from our previous senior recognition traditions into this new format. Parents and seniors were worried that they would not be recognized with the same grandeur and attention as in previous years. To combat this, we kept the fireworks display a secret from everyone in the band, families included, so when they went off at the end of the show, only about 6 people knew ahead of time. At the end night of the first Showcase, nearly every person I spoke with that evening had the same thought “You HAVE to do this again!”

Success/Effectiveness Measurement

Since the first Season Showcase, we have seen a steady growth in the marching band program every year

2019- 153 in band total

2020- 166 in band total

2021- 167 in band total

2022- 183 in band total

Given the steady growth in recent years, I would suggest that the event was successful in recruiting and retaining students.

Community Impact

Music Department- our band program has grown steadily since the Showcase was implemented. We have seen an increase in retention systemically of our band program (grades 6-12)

School/District- Positive PR, as the event was viewed both in person and live via social media. It is also a unique event in our community, as very few, if any, schools do as much to honor their marching band seniors as we do

Community- Princeton City Schools services 6 communities in Greater Cincinnati, all of which were represented at the event through their students.

Advice for others?

Think big- don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Everything we do is for the kids, and recognizing the hard work the students put into your program deserves recognition. Change it up- even if you’ve done things a certain way for many years, or inherited traditions from previous directors.

Supporting Materials

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