So you are thinking about joining the award-winning
Collingswood Panther Marching Band…?

The information below is basic information to start you on your journey toward being part of one of the most successful
and most respected groups in the Collingswood School District – The Collingswood Panther Marching Band!

First off, please look through this site (especially the calendar and handbook pages) for more information.  Please feel
free to contact the Director, Mr. Lerch, at anytime if you have questions or concerns about joining the Marching Band!  
His email is

About us…

The Collingswood Panther Marching Band is an extra-curricular activity that is made up of students in grades 7 through
12 at our school.  The group averages about 50 members, comprised of students attending our High School, Middle
School, Oaklyn School or CCTS.  The band starts working for the upcoming season in the late spring, and performs at
local parades, competitions, and all varsity football games.  These performances are in Collingswood, at other South
Jersey high schools, and locations such as Annapolis, MD and Hershey, PA!

Who can join the Collingswood Panther Marching Band?


To be in the WIND or PERCUSSION sections you should have some experience with music, such as school band,
orchestra, piano, or private lessons.  But it isn't necessary.  We can teach anyone that wants to learn and is willing to
put in the time.  You should, however, be enrolled in a band class at CHS, CMS, Oaklyn, Woodlynne, or CCTS.

To be in the COLOR GUARD:

fact, most guard students have no prior training whatsoever.  Some have a little dance background, and many come to
our program from the orchestra, choirs, theater, or other school programs.

What instruments make up the sections of the Collingswood Panther Marching Band?

The WIND SECTION is a group of performers who play:

piccolo*, flute, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax*, baritone sax*
trumpet, mellophone* (marching French horn), trombone, baritone*, tuba*

* Collingswood High School will loan you this instrument for the season.  Other instruments you must own.

This section works in much the same way that a concert band wind section does.  All wind players in the marching band
learn to march and play their music from memory.  We have a 100% success rate with this!

The PERCUSSION SECTION is made up of two sub groups - PIT and BATTERY:

The PIT is a group of performers who play:

marimba, xylophone, vibes, bells, chimes, timpani, auxiliary, concert bass drums, gong, drum set, and PIANO.

This section focuses strictly on learning to play.  This group does not march on the field, but performs on the front
sideline of the field during shows.

The BATTERY is a group of performers who play:

snare drum, tenor drums, bass drum, and hand cymbals

This portion of the band is referred to as the "drum line", but make no mistake, to be in this section you must read
music and be ready to be a great musician.  You also must be able to learn to march and play all music from memory.

The COLOR GUARD is a group of performers who:

Perform using flags, rifles, sabers, props, and dance to bring the music to life!  This group is the visual highlight of the
Band to many of our spectators!

WHY JOIN the Collingswood Panther Marching Band?

Each year over 97% of those student who are eligible RETURN TO PERFORM ANOTHER YEAR!  Each year The
Collingswood Panther Marching Band welcomes about 12 to 20 new members into the program!  

Why do students return year after year?  Here is what they had to say....

"I love all of the friends I've made."

"I knew more people going into my first day of school through the summer camp with the Band than I ever knew I could."

"I'm in 8th grade, and I have friends that are juniors and seniors!"

"I wish I had joined sooner than my junior year, because it was so much fun!"

"Knowing that all of the hard work pays off matters to me."

"It is an experience you can not get anywhere else in high school."

"Getting to play in front of thousands of people each week is a rush!"

"Lifelong long friends."

"You develop a discipline and drive that helps in all of your other classes in High School."

"The chance to get to know people from every grade level is a blast.  I made friends from every grade and every group
at Collingswood."

"Coming to band from Oaklyn gave me a lot of friends that already went to Colls."

"Who doesn't like to travel all over, make people cheer, and have fun with your best friends."

"The feeling of accomplishment that comes from teamwork, hard work, and a need to aspire to a higher is an
irreplaceable feeling!"

"As a 7th grader, I got to play next to students from the Symphonic Band before my friends.  I think it gave me an edge."

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

I'm already a CHS Student and I didn't join the Marching Band my first year.  Can I join now?

Absolutely!!  Each year we have new members from all six grades.  There is never a bad time to join the Collingswood
Panther Marching Band!!

Do you have to be in a band class to be in the Marching Band?

Yes, for musicians, unless it is academically impossible. No, for guard members.

Do you practice after school every day, or every night?

NO WAY!! The Marching Band does have weekly, 2-hour summer practices, but people still take summer vacations,
etc.  These rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 PM.

We have a mandatory band camp in August, and the week before school starts, rehearsals become very important.  
When school starts and you need more time for school work, we only practice TWO SCHOOL NIGHTS PER WEEK!  
These rehearsals are on Tuesdays and Thursdays and run from 6 to 8:30 PM.  Students are dismissed around 8:45
these nights.

Are there auditions for the Collingswood Panther Marching Band?

No.  We take everyone that wants to be a part of the program!

Are there ways to support my child through your booster group?

The Collingswood Band Boosters, Inc. are our lifeline!  Without the dedicated volunteers who give us their time and
talent, our band would not be what it is today!

There are literally hundreds of ways to help. You can sew flags, build or transport equipment, chaperone a trip or
concert, bake something, donate supplies for camp, speak with your business about a donation or sponsorship, usher
guests at a band competition, etc. etc. etc. THE LIST IS ENDLESS!! It is through the work of our parents that we safely
and successfully get through each year.  

I’m worried about grades and Marching Band.  How do the current kids deal with the band and study schedule?

First, we only practice two school nights a week during the months of September and October.  Second, knowing the
schedule ahead of time allows students (with parental assistance) to plan their study time -- a valuable skill in high
school and beyond. Third, most students budget their time better in the fall. Statistically, most students’ grades are
better during the 1st marking period (marching band season) than the other 3.  Many of our members are in the top
10% of their classes in G.P.A.

The Marching Band offers a wonderful experience; does it cost me any money?

This coming season, each student will be responsible for fees for band camp, shoes and gloves, and the Collingswood
"student activity fee".  Guard members may have other expenses (tights, etc.) This may seem like a lot of money; but
considering the experience and benefits for their children, most families find it a bargain.   There are fundraising
opportunities and confidential assistance programs available to every student.


My child wants to switch to another instrument. Is that allowed?

We generally encourage students to work toward achievement on one instrument but switching is, in rare cases, the
right answer.  The best thing to do is to contact Mr. Lerch at the high school and discuss the options. If there is going
to be a switch, let’s get started soon!

Can my child participate in Marching Band and a SPORT or CLUB?

They can if you feel they can handle it.  All groups at Colls have strict attendance policies.  In the past it has been our
experience that a vast majority of students can handle an additional activity and Marching Band.  Clubs and sports that
meet after school and some "outside of school" activities are possible.  Again, the attendance policy for Band Camp
(August) and during the school year, is 100% accountability, so if you are concerned, contact Mr. Lerch.

Want more information?  Want to let us know you’re interested?
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