A Message from Mr. Poremba

Hello Band Families -

Over the past few weeks there has been much discussion over the Pay to Participate fee for the band members. I would like our families to know that first and foremost - the band directors, the band program and Music Mentors do not dictate the fees for participation. These fees are imposed by the district for extra curricular activities across the board. I understand the frustration of our kids and their parents about the amount of performances and experiences that the band will have this season. One thing that we keep reminding the kids of and the parents should remember as well is that we weren't even sure if we would have any of what we are doing right now with marching band. It was a "wait and see" summer and a slow start but we are doing what we set out to do and that has always been to have a 2020 season for the Fighting Cardinal Marching Band. The excitement of the kids during our first rehearsal together and their excitement at our first performance at last week's football game was something that no one can take away.

We are very proud of our band members and how they have adapted to this season - proof that our kids are amazing and resilient. Our upperclassmen are committed to keeping up the tradition of excellence in the band and our new marchers have learned what it means to MARCH PROUD. We thank our parents for their passion and support of their children in our band program.

Our senior band members will be recognized at the football game on Friday October 2. We will have more information on our Senior Night coming soon as we just received word that the date was confirmed. There will also be additional tickets available for our seniors for the game.

We will also be adding a rehearsal after school for the band on THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24 from 2:45 - 4:45pm.

I am also including a message from Mr. Crowe, our MHS principal regarding pay to participate that went out through Infinite Campus to all parents. Thank you again for your support of our program and your band members and all the best to your families.

Steve Poremba, Band Director
Mentor High School

Mr. Crowe's Message

Dear FCMB Families,

I wanted to take a moment to provide an overview of our district’s pay-to participate fee as there have been many questions regarding the need and amount due to the shortened marching band season.

Pay-to-participate was instituted in 2005 and was intended to cover a portion of all the major extracurriculars in the district, so that parents and the district both share in the cost of having these important activities. At this time, a set rate of $200 was established with discounts for additional family members involved. Specifically, the biggest expense for the marching band this year would be the stipends for the directors/coaches which is approximately $24,000. Having spoken with our Chief Financial Officer Dan WIlson and Superintendent Bill Porter, there are additional costs each year to insure the band trailer, and band in general. This year the district is experiencing additional costs due to COVID. For example, there is a cost to renting chairs for the end zone this year, this allows all students the opportunity to participate in each home game and be spaced appropriately. Additionally, this year there are extra cleaning protocols and the extra hiring of custodians to clean the stadium and facilities. Some of these costs would be hard to measure as far as actual marching band usage, while others are much easier to calculate (like the stipends). The set fee of $200 for each marching band member or athlete, since its original Board adoption, has not changed even though we could try to itemize these. However, if we did, marching band, football, and hockey would undoubtedly cost much more than tennis, golf, or some of the other activities provided by Mentor Schools. The Board set the same consistent pay-to-participate fee for all. In a typical year, uniforms, use of buses, gas, and drivers are part of the pay to participate fee, even though we recognize that these are not factors this year; they are factors in other years. For years when the band has more performances in a season than usual, we certainly would not charge more.

The majority of our extracurricular seasons have been reduced from their typical season with marching band being the most impacted. I understand this year is a difficult year for our students and especially our seniors. There are so many experiences that will be missed and my heart breaks for the group. This year, like all other years, we are asking families to share in the payments for the experiences we are able to offer, even if the experiences are not as full as we all wish they could be.

Working with Mr. Cassella, Athletic Director, we will be able to provide our senior FCMB students 4 tickets to each home football game for their family and loved ones to attend. Due to seating limitations our underclassmen, grades 9-11, will continue to only receive 2 tickets per home game. I am optimistic we will have additional home playoff games the marching band will be able to perform at this season as well.


Jason Crowe