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Band Acronyms Defined

Music Organizations

  • MSBA: Mid State Band Association (“A consortium of High School band organizations in and around the Dayton Ohio area.” It is the regional competition circuit we compete in and we host a MSBA marching band competition each fall)
  • BOA: Bands of America (“Bands of America is a governing body of high school marching bands competitions in the United States and the sponsor of the annual Grand National Championships.”)
  • DCI: Drum Corp International (Many of our alumni participate and compete in these highly skilled groups every summer)
  • OMEA: Ohio Music Education Association (The Ohio state-level affiliate of MENC: The National Association for Music Education. The OMEA hosts a professional development conference every year and gives band students the opportunity to participate in honor bands with other student musicians throughout the state of Ohio.)
  • MFA: Music For All "Music for All is one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music making. Music for All is unique in that it combines programming at a national level with arts education advocacy.
  • Midwest Clinic: "The Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference offers guests interested in music education an array of clinics and exhibits, as well as access to music and teaching icons.” The Wind Symphony has been honored to have been invited in the past.

Marching Classifications:

  • Bands of America BOA-  Mason competes in Class AAAA when at Bands of America events. Classification in Bands of America Championships is determined by school enrollment, grades 10-12. Each band declares its school’s 10-12 grade enrollment on the event application.
    • Class A: 600 students and fewer
    • Class AA: 601-1250
    • Class AAA: 1251-1750
    • Class AAAA: 1751 and above
  • Midstates MSBA- Mason competes in Class AAAAA when at Midstates Band Association events. Classification in MSBA events are determined by the number of winds, percussion and electronics performers. 
    • Class A: 1-29 playing members
    • Class AA: 30-44 playing members
    • Class AAA:  45-59  playing members
    • Class AAAA:  60-89  playing members
    • Class AAAAA:  90+ playing members. Class AAAAA was known as "Open Class" prior to the 2021 marching band season. 

BOA Related Topics:

  • GN: Grand Nationals (“Music for All’s Bands of America premiere national marching band event. Grand Nationals is an educational performance opportunity. Grand Nationals is also a spectacular music and pageantry event, one that band fans from across the nation and around the world travel to for the exciting and creative performances. Participating bands receive commentary from the most skilled judges and educators in the nation.” )
  • Grand Nats: A nickname for BOA Grand Nationals competition.
  • SR: Super Regionals (“Bands of America Super Regionals offer enhanced two-day regional events at world-class venues, second only to the Grand Nationals experience.”)  
  • Retreat:  When the Bands who have competed in finals (at a BOA competition) come onto the field in a ceremonial fashion.
  • Break Ranks: At the end of finals awards for a BOA competition, students are told to “break ranks.”  It is a time to meet and congratulate students from other bands.
  • LOS: Lucas Oil Stadium (Football Stadium in Indianapolis where Super Regional and Grand Nationals Marching Band Competitions take place.  Drum Corp World competitions also take place there every year.
  • Let's Play: Formally known as Wall to Wall Soccer or W2W (Indoor soccer complex the marching band uses later in the fall for rehearsals leading up to Grand Nationals.)
  • Bullseye: Staging, Rest, and meal location the marching band has used during Grand Nationals and the Indianapolis Super Regional the last couple of years.

Marching Terms

  • Dot: The starting position so to speak that a marcher is trying to earn meaning they will compete in the marching band show.
  • Dot partner/Shadow: A marcher who shares a dot and is learning the marching show and details on how to be a great marcher from an experienced marcher/leader.
  • Varsity Marching Band Members: Group that performs at competitions, and football performances
  • Junior Varsity Marching Band Members: Group performs in pregame at football games, all parades, some football halftime performances, and participates in a support role at performances including: prop logistics, field entrance/exit, mixer or electronics help, etc.
  • Co-Junior Varsity Marching Band Members: This means that we have not yet determined Varsity or Junior Varsity status for a particular dot.
  • Drill: movement that creates the shapes and creations on the field.
  • In Block: in a block formation ready to move (ie before football games this means in the bus circle lined up ready to move to the stadium)
  • Dot Book:  book containing locations on the field marchers march to in order to create the formations for the marching band show
  • Caption: different categories in which the marching band can win at a competition.  There are the following captions: Best Music, Best Visual, Best Auxillary, Best Percussion, Best General Effect.
  • Smart Music: A computer app students can practice and submit recording of music for marching band and/or concert band

Instrumentalist Uniform Parts:

  • Bibs: uniform overall pants
  • Gauntlet: the  cuff placed at the bottom of the uniform shirt sleeves
  • Shako: Hat worn during marching band.
  • Plume:  Feather adornment worn on the shako with the marching band uniform.
  • Apollo: Headwear with a lightweight structure that supports a reinforced, flexible fabric wrap that can shift shape, size, or color from show to show, year after year

Marching Sections & Instruments

  • Brass: sousaphone,  baritone, trombone, mellophone, trumpet
  • WW - Woodwind: bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet, flute
  • Instrumentalist: Anyone who plays an instrument of any kind and is not in the Auxiliary/Color Guard
  • Auxiliary: also known as the guard/color guard
  • Color Guard: section who adds to the performance thru the use of flags, rifles and other props.
  • Drum Majors: students who conduct the marching band
  • Battery: the percussion section that carries/marches with drums
  • Percussion Ensemble: entire percussion section (both PIT and the Battery)
  • Percussion:  any striking instrument, not only drums
  • Front Ensemble: those who play stationary percussion instruments (typically in the front of the field) Includes some percussion instruments (xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, syntesizer, and other instruments not practical to march.
  • Pit: see definition for Front Ensemble
  • Marimba: percussion instrument, large version of a xylophone
  • Mellophone: a marching french horn
  • Sousaphone:  marching version of the tuba

Concert Band Related

  • CRCBF: Cincinnati Regional Concert Band Festival (We are honored to have this opportunity to partner with Music For All to bring this unique concert festival experience to the Southwest Ohio region. The CRCBF is modeled after the Music for All National Festival to include: a supportive educational environment, a performance experience that provides freedom of literature choice in a concert setting that celebrates each ensemble, and educationally/ artistically enlightening clinic sessions)

High School Ensembles

  • WS- Wind Symphony
  • SB- Symphonic Band
  • CW- Concert Winds
  • CWH- Concert White
  • CG- Concert Green
  • CS- Concert Silver
  • JB- Jazz Band

Mason Buildings

  • MECC- Mason Early Childhood Center
  • ME- Mason Elementary
  • MI- Mason Intermediate
  • MMS - Mason Middle School
  • HS- High School

Winter Guard

  • MEPA: (The Mid East Performance Association) “Ohio’s premier winter performance venue for winter guard, indoor percussion, and marching wind ensembles throughout Ohio and surrounding areas. With more than 100 member and guest units competing each weekend between the months of January and March, MEPA will have an impact on more than 2,000 performers and 8,000 spectators.”
  • WGI: (Winter Guard International) “The world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and winds competitions.  As a non-profit youth organization, WGI also serves as the governing body for the indoor color guard, percussion, and winds activities. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Even with over 45 years of history, the sport continues to evolve and grow. There were more than 40,000 participants at the regional level, and more than 12,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships this past April.”
  • Competitive Winter Guard is a non-curricular activity that is funded through student fees.  Members are selected by audition and compete in both the Mid East Performance Association and Winter Guard International Competitions. The Competitive Winter Guard creates stunning visual effects through movement and equipment choreography. Color Guard members develop leadership and teamwork skills through their work together in this exciting and dynamic activity!
  • Winter Guard Performance welcomes all 8th-11th grade students no matter what skills they currently have.  New students will learn the fundamentals and seasoned students will sharpen their skills so they are equipped to audition for MHS Color Guard for marching band season next year.


Boosters Related Topics

  • Executive Committee/Board:  The elected officers of the Mason Band Boosters
  • Band Boosters:  ALL parents/guardians of students in the MCS Band Program grades 6-12
  • Pit Crew: Parents who help move percussion equipment on and off the field for competitions as well as help build and maintain props needed for competitions.
  • Band Aid: Parent volunteers who care for students during rehearsals and trips, dispense medications, and provide First Aid to band members as needed.  To be qualified you need to have attended chaperone/band aid training and have a completed background check. Band Aids must also have completed their safe schools training and be CPR certified.
  • Smug Mug: Website where band pictures taken by our photo crew are uploaded throughout the year.  Contact the photo committee for the password.
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