Frequently Asked Questions for New Members
Q: How do I join?
Here at UC Davis, the academic calendar runs from mid-late September through mid June. How you join depends on what time of the year it is. We accept our largest number of new members the week preceding the start of each academic year. At that time, we host our Fall Retreat, where new members come to campus, stay in the dorms, and we go over all the basics of music, marching and participation. At retreat, you will meet your section, make new friends, and learn a lot about being in the Aggie Band. If you would like to attend Fall Retreat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org the summer preceding your attendance (July 1st through August 31st). Our Assistant Manager will then send you a retreat application. To secure your spot at retreat, you have to fill out the form on our Join The Band page. Overall, we recommend attending retreat, as it is the fastest, easiest and most comprehensive way to become part of the Aggie Band.
However, if you are unable to attend retreat, do not worry. We accept new members throughout the year! New members who join after each retreat are referred to as Stales. For our stales, we have condensed the information new members attending retreat receive into two short sessions with the Officer Council. To become a Stale, you have to attend one Prospective Member Information Session and a New Member Orientation, and are given the option of attending a Trial Rehearsal with the Band-uh. All three of these steps must be completed within one week. See below for dates and times.
Q: I have a busy fall quarter schedule, and I'm worried about getting used to the college experience. I'm thinking about waiting to join the Band-uh! until I'm settled in. What should I do?
Join now! Retreat is the best time to join the Band-uh!, because our time is 100% dedicated to acclimating freshmen to what we are all about. By coming to retreat, you will start your freshmen year with 250 more friends than any of your dorm buddies have. It is possible to join after retreat, but highly recommended that you attend retreat if you want to become a member. Retreat ends before school starts, so you can focus on your studies if need be, and if you find you don't have the time to participate in the program for fall quarter, there is absolutely no pressure for you to stick around... and if later on you find you do have the time for band, we'll always welcome you back. If possible, sign up and join at retreat!
Q: What is retreat?
Retreat is 3-days of band craziness, hard work, and getting to know each other. The program revolves around the freshmen and getting them acclimated to how things are run. We teach you how to march, introduce you to our huge folder of songs, and get to know each and every one of you. It is a really fun way to meet people and get used to campus. We stay in the dorms, eat at the Dining Commons, and roam around campus having a blast. It's a really fun time of the year, and you won't regret joining!
Q: When is retreat?
Retreat is the week preceding the start of the Academic School Year, so between September 12-14, 2016.
Q: Where and when should I show up on the first day of retreat?
If you are all registered for retreat, you should plan to arrive at the parking lot in front o the Activities and Recreation center, which is located at the intersection of Orchard Lane and La Rue road in Davis. Arrival time is scheduled for 8am.
Q: Can I stay in the room that I have already been assigned to fill for fall quarter of this year?
No, we cannot have people stay in their normal rooms. We all stay in one big Segundo building together, and you will room with your upperbandsman. We suggest you have us store your living stuff somewhere for the week or have your parents bring it up on your move in day, and only bring what you need for retreat.
Q: What is an upperbandsman?
An upperbandsman is kind of like a mentor or 'big brother/sister' figure. They are a member of our organization who has been in the band for at least a year. Each freshman is paired with an upperbandsman at retreat; this is the person who you will share your dorm room with and who will be there to satisfy all your needs and answer all your questions. They know the ropes, and will help you get acquainted with them too.
Q: What about moving my stuff into the dorms after retreat?
If you have one of us store your stuff for you, we will help you move all of it into your dorm room on/after move-in day, and we will take care of you until then. We all have houses and apartments and places for people to stay so that you will not be left stranded. If your parents want to help you move in, they can come up separately on your move-in day and help you get your stuff into your dorm room. If you do want to have your parents drive up, we can house you after retreat as well, so that you don't have to go back home just to turn around and return to Davis. Either way works for us, and we will help in whatever way possible in every step along the way.
Q: What if I don't like the band?
Well, chances are that simply will not happen. However, in the event that it does, you can drop out at any point. You have no obligation to our program and we will not tar and feather you if you aren't feeling the Band-uh! vibe. We still recommend attending retreat, because you really don't have much to lose. It's a really fun time for everybody, and you are under no obligation by attending retreat whatsoever. Worst case scenario: you meet a bunch of people, but don't really feel the band is for you; you got a week away from your parents, you got comfortable with the campus, and you made a bunch of new friends. Not too bad of a deal.
Q: What if my high school band didn't march? I've never marched before!
Most high school marching bands glide step, and we high step, so everyone starts out learning something new at retreat. During retreat, we will teach you everything you need to know, how to march, how the whistle commands work, what to do at gigs--by the time you leave retreat, you will be ready to be an active member of our band and attend any gig that you like!
Q: I can't attend retreat for ___ reason. Can I still join the band?
Of course! Plenty of people join the band after retreat. We have an entirely different process for new members during the school year. You would have to attend a condensed version of retreat to cover all the basics and be able to actively participate. On the schedule following, you are required to attend one Prospective Member Information Session and one New Member Orientation, which we recocmend to be completed within on week long period. Between the two you are invited to a trial rehearsal to test the experience. At the end of the two sessions, you will be up to speed and ready to participate in any event or gig we schedule.
Q: I'm really going to need to study a lot. What if I don't have time for the band?
We only ask that you come to 50% of the gigs. That's hardly anything! Many of us who are active members have over 80% attendance, and plenty of us have over 100%. Luckily for those people, the theorems of Mathematics do not necessarily apply in the Aggie Band-uh!. Once you get used to college life and balancing your schedule, you will find it is easy to make time for band. And the best part is, not a single gig is mandatory! If you ever need to skip out on ANY gig ALL year to study or work, you can, no questions asked. We even let people send in excuses for when they have class or work conflicts, so that the gigs missed for those reasons don't even hurt your attendance! All of us find plenty of time to study; after all, our education is the reason why we are here.