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Band Together

O’Fallon Township High School, IL

600 S Smiley St, O'Fallon, IL, USA
O’Fallon Township High School District 203
Director: Melissa Gustafson-Hinds
Category: Parent-Booster Engagement Program
Award: Silver, 2019

Project Description

The “Band Together” project was established 4 years ago within the O’Fallon Panther Band Boosters. In evaluating our communication process of getting members more engagement in our activities and events, we designed a personal way to get information. Each of our musical/performance sections within our program has a parent led, very similar to a section leader. This parent is usually a parent of an upper classman who is very invested and positive about the program. This parent communicates to their section parents/grandparents about upcoming events, fundraisers, and specifics about things that pertain to that section.

There are so many ways nowadays to communicate through email and social media that we believe the personal connections with people is the true way to develop relationships (and band is all about relationships). Thus, Band Together provides a personal contact for parent/grandparents to reach out if they have questions or need additional guidance.

I am very thankful for the extra effort of all of the “Band Together” leads who disseminate informational messages weekly, spreading the word on all things O’Fallon Township High School Band. In addition, they share about all of the positive things happening in the program.

Target Audience

As stated above, our parent/grandparent membership is the target audience for this project. The O’Fallon Township High School Band Program has many things going at all times in regard to rehearsal, events, and performance. The “Band Together” program ensures that everyone, despite internet usage, will get information about the band and will have a method of communication at all times, specific section to section. Increased communication has also increased our participation fundraising events and attendance at performances. In addition, it has enhanced a more welcoming atmosphere to our booster organization overall.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

The “Band Together” program has been established for the past four years. Each “Band Together” lead sends our weekly messages and makes personal calls as needed. Some Band Together leads have had social gatherings to build relationships and developed facebook sites for their sections. The creativity of communication has been amazing! In addition, the OTHS Directors receive less calls about details of events which allows them to do more planning on the music side of things instead of the management side.

Total volunteers who participated


On average, how many hours did each of volunteers contribute


Did the volunteers receive anything in exchange for their time/service?

No perks

Estimate of overall financial value/cost savings of the volunteers’ work

Cost in savings is time for the directors to continue planning to make the band program great. Less time fielding emails about logistics.

General duties of the volunteers

It is a “Band Together” lead’s responsibility to message his/her section weekly about the schedule for that week and about any upcoming events. The message needs to be positive in nature and open for further communication. The “Band Together” lead makes the message specific to his/her section. For example, the flutes should be wearing their section shirts at rehearsal this upcoming Wednesday. “Band Together” provides a personal way to communicating to make sure no “family” is left behind..everyone gets the information!

Overall budget


Specific Budget Breakdown

With $100.00 and several donations, we provide the freshman parents with an O they can display in the stands at marching band events and we provide a potluck dinner as a meet and greet for new and returning families the first Friday of band camp.

New or recurring project?


How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

Several of our executive board officers are “Band Together” leads, thus the efforts of “Band Together” are continuously being evaluated and discussed. The “Band Together” leads also have a communication system so the core of the information sent out is in unison and they can discuss any difficulties they may have and how to improve the system through creativity and positivity.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

When the program started, we had the Band Booster Secretary overseeing the communication of all “Band Together” leads. Currently, our Band Booster President presides over this communication system. Our Booster President one of the most involved members of our program, thus she can be proactive in what communication the band needs, instead of being reactive. “Band Together” will constantly grow in effectiveness over time. Much of this depends on selecting the appropriate band parent to lead the communication in a positive, engaging manner.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

This project is worthwhile. From the director side, it has saved me hours of time in communication with parents/grandparents on the logistics of the program. I still take it upon myself to communicate with parents when they have questions, however, I have not had to send out an email or make a phone call about arrival, departure times, luggage/food suggestions, etc. in years! I am able to concentrate on band specifically to make our program as great as it deserves!!

Supporting Materials

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