On this page you will find all kinds of good information for you as a parent or guardian of a prospective or current high school band member.   





  • If your student wants to or will be playing in any of the in-class instructed bands, namely the Concert or Jazz Bands or Ensembles, most of your time and effort will involve ensuring they practice at home, as well as attending usually three to four formal concerts during the school year, held outside of regular school hours.  While most concerts are held in our beautiful high school auditorium, some concerts and performances are held elsewhere in the community.  Your student will be advised well in advance about these concerts, so you can plan appropriately to attend and ensure they get there. 

  • Jazz and Concert bands require an instrument (though the school is fortunate to have percussion, as well as other large instruments to sign out), and an outfit for concerts.  Attire (not provided) is normally black slacks/pants and a blouse/shirt or conservative skirt/dress, all conforming with school dress code.  Music and in-class instruction are provided. 


  • If your student is interested being a member of the Marching Band, your time and efforts are an important part in helping them do well.  Students must attend a two week long summer Band Camp, held at the high school in the month of August, prior to the "official" school year, usually beginning at 8 a.m and ending at 8 p.m, Monday through Friday, as well as summer mini camps in June and July. Once the school year begins, and for the FALL SEMESTER ONLY, practices normally run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 PM to 9 PM.  Most Fridays require your students attendance at our high school football games, both home and away. Most Saturdays require either practice or competition attendance, again both at Central Dauphin High School, or away.  While students are bussed to and from football games and competitions, you are required to ensure they get to the high school before and picked up after these events and practices. 

  • Marching Band members are provided a uniform, that is fitted usually towards the end of summer Band Camp.  However, the following items are required to be purchased, with current prices shown - all items (also known as wearables) are available (except for black crew socks) via the "Shop" section of this website or by logging into the Charms website. 

  • Required Marching Band items are:​​

    • Marching Shoes - Dinkles brand - black

    • Dri-Fit Black under shirt

    • Tour T-shirt - a t-shirt designed for the current year's performance or "tour" 

    • Ram Band Logo Polo Shirt 

    • Uniform Bag 

    • Dot Holder 

    • Black Socks - crew length or higher

    • Gloves (white in color, FOR WIND PLAYERS ONLY) 

    • Gloves (tan in color, FOR COLOR GUARD ONLY) 



  • Any band that meets after regular school hours are easily accessible to Dauphin County Technical School students. These include Marching Band, Indoor units, and Pit Orchestra.


  • We encourage students to participate in multiple school activities, though conflicts can occur. For instance, your student can arrange his or her schedule to accommodate more than one music program. Many students participate in some combination of  band, choir and orchestra. Be sure to work with your guidance counselor to ensure proper scheduling of the music programs in which your student would like to participate.  For other activities, including sports, please contact our Directors, Mr. Carraher and Mr. Bitner, to work through various activity participation issues.



Also known as Charms Office Assistant, is a website that aids Central Dauphin High School music teachers and the CD Band Boosters in organizing student contact information, managing volunteers, tracking student finances and working with trips, fees, fundraisers, form collection, and lots more.  If your child is joining any band, you'll need to register.  We have provided a seperate section for CHARMS to explain what you'll need to know to access your student's account, and further navigate that website, as well as an icon in the header portion of this website for quick access.





The Central Dauphin Band Boosters Association is comprised of people just like you - parents, other family and friends of the Ram Bands - who understand the critical needs high school bands have so that they can succeed.  Whether it's supplementing the ever diminishing school district budget for our bands and music department through fundraising and garnering sponsorships, or volunteering a few hours to help move equipment, tidy up uniforms, or lots of other opportunities, be an active part of your student's life, play your part. It's easy and fun.  


Volunteering is a terrific way to get involved in your student's activities at Central Dauphin High School, and the CD Bands Program provides LOTS of opportunities for you.  Once you have completed your registration in CHARMS, you will begin to receive emails about different volunteering opportunities.  Joining Band Boosters will provide the full spectrum of opportunities, ensuring your support. 


HOWEVER, as most of you are aware, the Central Dauphin School District, in compliance with Pennsylvania State Law, requires that ALL adults who have consistent contact with students MUST have obtained a Volunteer Badge from the CDSD Department of Safety and Security.  Please click on the button below to be redirected to our Volunteer page and find out all you need to know to help out!




Terms to help you Play Your Part


The Central Dauphin Band Boosters Association is an organization of parents, alumni, and friends who support music education at Central Dauphin High School.  The Band Boosters generally meet the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm in the Band Room at Central Dauphin High School.  Whether transporting, outfitting, feeding or raising money to purchase new uniforms or instruments, the Band Boosters are dedicated to the support and advancement of all bands at CDHS.  As a band booster or parent of a band student, you have the unique opportunity to help promote a band program with a proud legacy in our area.  Found out more by clicking on the link in the top menu marked "Be a Booster".


Also called “color guard”, “silks” or “flags”, our Band Front uses flags and other equipment, along with dance and other vigorous movements to provide much of the visual beauty and interest of our Marching Band performances.


There is a LOCK BOX located in the Band Room of Central Dauphin High School that Band Director Mr. Carraher, and others, refer to as "the box".  The Band Room is situated on the west side of the high school.  The Band Room is marked with a number "33" on the outside of the school building.


Also known as Charms Office Assistant, is an online website used by CDHS music teachers and the CD Band Boosters to organize student contact information, manage volunteers, track student finances and work with trips, fees, fundraisers, form collection, and lots more.  You will need to properly register your student (and yourself) on the site. You can access the "Charms Information" page on this website using the main menu, then clicking on the drop down menu under "For Parents".


An acronym for the Keystone Indoor Drill Association. It is one of the competitive circuits in which our Indoor Units compete.


Refers to both the student musicians who perform in the front ensemble of the Marching Band, namely the stationary percussion section, as well as those members of a symphonic band that perform in school auditorium at musical shows, situated in front of the stage area.


Or Student Account, is an account maintained by the Band Boosters Association on the Charms Website. Throughout the year, the Boosters Association provides fundraising opportunities to help band students’ families defray certain band-related costs.  When you or your student participates in one of those fundraisers, a percentage of funds raised (typically 30%-70%) will be put into the student account.  While all funds raised through these efforts are the property of the Band Boosters, a portion of the profit earned (sometimes 30% and upwards to 70%) from certain fundraisers will be earmarked for, and put into the Student Account.  Students may spend Student Account funds only in connection with music activities approved by the Band Boosters, including, but not limited to band trips, lessons, equipment, banquet, uniforms and musical enrichment activities. Student Account balances are carried over from year to year.


An acronym for Tournament Indoor Association.  TIA is one of the competitive circuits in which our indoor units compete.


An acronym for Tournament of Bands. TOB is the competitive circuit in which the Central Dauphin Marching Band competes.


Clothing and gear worn by Ram Band members, as well as fun stuff for you and other band supporters who want to promote the spirit and camaraderie of the Central Dauphin Ram Bands.  From required items for the Marching Band, like gloves, shoes, and tour shirts, to fun items for everyone like sweatshirts and hats, all items are available by clicking on the "Shop" menu item shown at the top of this website page.


The Central Dauphin High School Band Program currently offers eleven different bands in which students can participate.  Click on the link listed in the menu above marked "About the Bands" for a full run down of what is offered, and what the general requirements are for each.



 Please know that NO ONE is eliminated from participating in the Band Program because they can not otherwise afford and/or obtain special equipment, clothing or an instrument, or are dealing with other issues that may seemingly preclude them from participating in any of our bands.  


Our band director will guide you and you student thoughtfully and CONFIDENTIALLY - you or your student can contact our band director, Mr. Matthew Carraher, via email at mcarraher@cdschools.org 


While there is plenty more information for you on this website - and we strongly encourage you to look around - we hope the information provided on this page helps you get a good start, and better acclimates you as a band parent.  Year after year, our experience has shown students are successful when their parents are involved.  Here are our top ten ways to show your support and play a critical part:

  1. Attend performances

  2. Be an active Band Booster member and seek out ways to help  

  3. Attend meetings 

  4. Get involved with all the band programs, not just the band in which your student participates 

  5. Enthusiastically support your student and your bands

  6. Encourage practice at home

  7. Provide private lessons when possible

  8. Ask your student to play for you

  9. Take advantage of the opportunities for development the band experience offers

  10. Encourage your student's involvement in helping out with fundraising, show band newcomers the ropes, and play your part


There are a number of other acronyms, definitions and plenty more information for you to become familiar with and for you to know.  Please ask a Band Booster, or email Mr. Carraher or Mr. Bitner directly to help clarify anything that is unfamiliar to you.  For a complete listing of band definitions, as well as other excellent information that will help you, please download the Central Dauphin Ram Band Parent Handbook by clicking the button below.


  • cdschools.parentlink.net

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