Founded in 1989, the Wildcat Band Boosters are a group of current and former parents, plus other friends of the band, dedicated to supporting the instrumental music program at Norwich Free Academy (NFA). Booster support helps NFA deliver a top-quality music program that produces great musicians while teaching students the kinds of life and leadership lessons critical to future success. Marching band students set challenging goals and work hard with their band-mates to achieve them, dedicating hundreds of hours to honing their skills during the marching band season. Of course, they have great fun along the way, and build close and lasting friendships with musicians from across New England. The NFA Wildcat Marching Band builds students of character and integrity; the Wildcat Band Boosters are proud to support this activity.
Boosters support the band in a variety of ways. First, the boosters provide logistics support, helping out with many of the routine tasks that are part of putting and keeping the band on the field. Some examples include:
- Chaperones. Boosters act as chaperones for competitions and other events, traveling with the band and helping the staff supervise the students. Chaperones make sure band members get to where they need to be when they need to be there.
- Pit Crew. Named for “the pit,” which refers to the battery or front percussion ensemble, the pit crew helps to move the band’s instruments and equipment from point A to B, and then back again. This includes everything from the marimbas, xylophones and other large percussion instruments that comprise the front ensemble, to the feather plumes that adorn the shakos.
- Uniforms. The boosters help to make sure the band looks good when it takes the field by issuing and maintaining the uniforms.
The boosters also provide financial support, covering some of the costs associated with fielding a competitive marching band. For example, booster support helps defray costs associated with travel and transportation, instructional staff, and developing the field show–like drill writing and color guard choreography. Boosters also help with major expenses, like new instruments or uniforms. Fundraising is an important booster activity, and the boosters hold several fundraisers throughout the school year. Our largest fundraiser is the NFA Fall Classic, NFA’s home show and competition. Held in early October, the Classic draws marching bands from across New England.
The NFA Wildcat Marching Band competes in a competitive circuit sponsored by USBands, a division of Youth Education in the Arts. Boasting a membership of over 700 bands, USBands sponsors over 150 festival opportunities annually, and provides member bands the chance to participate in several state, regional or national events. USBands provides well known and respected adjudicators from across the world of marching arts to evaluate bands at events sponsored or hosted by USBands. Adjudicators provide feedback on design, programming, execution and performance, which helps band directors ensure their students realize their potential.
The Wildcat Band Boosters, Inc. are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.