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Handbook
 
Band Spirit
 
Always realize that any decisions made are always made for the entire BAND and not always the individual.
  1. NEGATIVISM spreads. Those who don't know may believe what they hear.
  2. The Band (as viewed from past years) doesn't change as much as you do.
  3. The Band is an emotional group. Expect UPS and DOWNS!
  4. Everyone has feelings - even the staff. Let's make everyone feel at home and encourage all to succeed.
  5. ANYONE CAN BE A CRITIC - This takes no skill or background and bears NO responsibility.
  6. There is always room for improvement - constructive suggestions should be welcome.
  7. MORE DRIVE AND MORE CONSTRUCTIVE SPIRIT IN REHERSALS MEAN A BETTER PERFORMANCE.
In band we are a family, and in being so, all members inherit responsibilities to the group as well as to themselves. Pride is simply the natural outcome of each individual's respect for the group and his/her recognition of the vital role they perform within the band.
Attendance Policy

All students who register for band know that the band gives concerts, and they know that the great majority of those concerts occur outside the regular school day. Concerts are an important part of the band curriculum, and attendance at them is MANDATORY. Scheduled performance dates are given to the students well in advance of the actual concerts. Students are expected to adjust their work schedules and so forth in order to fulfill their concert requirements for this class (Work is NOT an acceptable excuse). Absence and tardiness mar the effectiveness for this class. Absences will be excused for:
  • Severe illness
  • Death in the family
  • Emergency situations that will be dealt with on an individual basis
In any case, a note MUST be presented in advance or immediately after the absence to the director. The director will judge the excuse acceptable or unacceptable.

If there is a schedule change, the student will have one week to notify the director of any conflicts. Otherwise, it is the student's responsibility to attend all events.

Unexcused absences will have a direct bearing on the student's grade and qualification for participation awards.

Specifically, the following will be used:
  1. Excessive unpreparedness (without instrument, music, etc.) will have a negative impact on the student's grade.
  2. Unexcused absence from a performance will reduce the grade by two letter grades for the nine weeks.
  3. Excused absence from a performance will require the student to play his/her part for the director or grade will be reduced by one letter grade.
Consistent behavior and/or attendance problems will be subject for review with possible denial of participation of a certain event. Marching band members not performing due to not knowing a routine, as well as behavior or attendance problems, are required to remain with the directors/advisor in the band stands or on the sideline benches in full uniform.

Unexcused absences from rehearsals can prohibit the student from participating in the next performance. By being a member of the band, you are making a commitment to the band, school, community, and your fellow students. The guidelines are in effect for all band members at any and all band functions. Students and parents should understand these procedures. If any problems arise that are damaging to the band, then these policies will be followed.
Grading Policy 
 
The grades that you earn in this class are dependent upon many things other than just how well you play your instrument. The class is listed on your report card as BAND; it is not listed as CLARINET or FLUTE or TRUMPET, and so on. Certainly how you play your particular instrument is important and will be a part of your band grade, but a band is much more than just a group of instruments sounding together. A band is a group of people working together toward a common goal of musical excellence. It is important that each student in this class understands, therefore, that he or she will be graded on all of the following aspects of band membership.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF ASSIGNED MUSIC

It is expected that each member of the band will perform his or her assigned part to the very best of their ability at all times. Students who are having difficulty performing their assigned parts are expected to take their instruments home regularly for the purpose of solving their individual problems. Students who cannot play their parts and who do not take their instruments home can expect a lowered grade at report card time. Playing tests will be administered as needed.

TONE QUALITY AND INTONATION

It is expected that every student will, at all times, strive to produce the best tone that he or she can possibly make on the instrument. All of the following numbered components of good tone and intonation will be considered when assessing a student's progress in these areas.
  1. Instrument Condition - Each student will keep his/her instrument in the best possible playing condition. All woodwinds must swab their instruments after every rehearsal. (Time will be allotted for this procedure.) Brass instruments will be cleaned and rinsed out regularly. All slides and valves will work freely at all times. Mouthpieces that become chipped or otherwise damaged will be replaced, as it is impossible to produce a fine tone with a damaged mouthpiece. Instruments that are not functioning properly are to be taken immediately to a qualified repairman. When you don't have an instrument due to repair, present a note to the director stating that fact!
  2. Reeds - All players of reed instruments must have with them at least two reeds, both in excellent playing condition. "I need a new reed" is not an acceptable excuse for poor tone quality.
  3. Embouchure - When the director suggests some adjustments of his/her mouth position, in order to improve tone quality or intonation, it is expected that the student will work daily to make that change.
  4. Posture - Every published expert on wind instrument performance agrees that excellent posture is absolutely essential to fine performance. The required posture will be demonstrated and discussed in class and will be required at all rehearsals and concerts.
  5. Intonation - Of the many different components of band performance, perhaps none is more critically important than intonation. It is expected that all members will become acutely aware of this and will, several times every week, step up to the tuner and check their pitch. Students who have special weakness in this area will be expected to work on their own with assistance from the director.
Marching Band Grading Policies
 
Points
  1. Twenty (20) points will be earned for complete participation in each regular marching band rehearsal. The amount of points earned will be less if you do not have your instrument; do not participate in planned activities; do not have necessary equipment, music/pencil/charts, or are not prepared or arrive late to rehearsal.
  2. Sixty (6o) points will be earned for complete participation at each marching band performance. The amount of points earned will be substantially less for tardiness, lack of proper uniform, discipline problems, etc.
  3. Zero (0) points will be earned during any given rehearsal if you are found to be off task (i.e. discipline problem, chewing gum socializing during class, tardiness, or for an unexcused absence. Please do not schedule doctor's appointments during rehearsal times. The marching band schedule is presented in April of the previous season. Please plan around this.
  4. UNEXCUSED PERFORMANCE ABSENCES will have the student's grade lowered regardless of points earned. Students being excused from a performance through the proper procedures, as listed in the attendance section, must make a tape/CD of the music from the missed performance for the director within ONE week of the missed performance in order to receive their performance points.
  5. MISCELLANEOUS POINTS will be assigned and earned throughout each grading period (i.e. individual performance, etc.)
  6. Grading Scale
    A 90 - 100% C 70 - 79% F 00 - 59%
    B 80 - 89% D 60 - 69%  
Grading System for Concert/Symphonic Bands
 
 DAILY GRADE 1 point  -  On time to class/ready to begin rehearsal at 10:03 a.m.
1 point  -  Prepared for class: Folder, pencil, good reeds/instrument in good working order
3 points  -  Class participation
5 points  -  Total

If you DO NOT have your instrument (unless it is being repaired and you have a note), you will receive 0 POINTS for the day.

If you are chewing gum, you will receive 0 POINTS for the day.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE GRADE Individual performances will be worth a possible 10 points each.

PERFORMANCE GRADE
10 points  -  On time for report time (warm up or departure)
10 points  -  Proper concert attire
40 points  -  Participation
60 points  -  Total

FINAL GRADE EQUALS:

50% Daily
    +
25% Individual Performance Grade
    +
25%Concert Performance Grade
Citizenship
 
 In a band, citizenship is just as important as musicianship!! In a successful band, everyone must work together from a common set of standards which are not only understood, but they are also adhered to by one and all. Listed below are the day to day citizenship expectations for students in this class. Students who cannot conform to these standards will be hampering the band, and will have their grade lowered.

Students will be in the band room when the tardy bell rings. They will immediately get ready to rehearse. Individual warm-up activity will consist of exercises, scales, and so forth, played at a moderate volume level. All instruments must be warmed up before effective tuning can be done. All warm-up activity stops when the director steps up to the podium.

During the times when the director is working with the band, NO TALKING WILL BE TOLERATED! Talking disturbs the director and the students seated near the talker. This destroys their concentration and therefore, impedes group progress. Short breaks will be given between numbers being rehearsed. Talking at these times may occur provided the students get back to work immediately after the break.

ALWAYS have a pencil, not a pen, at rehearsals. When the director signals for a rehearsal stop, it is because they have a suggestion that they feel might improve the group's performance. At these times, all students are to stop playing immediately, are to listen attentively to the suggestions, and mark when necessary with the pencil. Disciplinary action will be issued when one does not have a useable pencil.

Keep the band room area clean and neat. Store all equipment where it belongs. This includes music folders. Percussion players must put equipment away NEATLY at the end of each rehearsal.

Gum or food is not acceptable during any band rehearsal or performance.
Music
 
All music issued to you becomes your responsibility. Lost or ruined music must be paid for before it is replaced.

Folders of music will be kept neat and clean and stored in the proper, designated places.

Do not fold, spindle, mutilate, or mark music with ink.
Challenges
 
Once concert season begins, challenges may be available to better your position in the sections. A challenge sign up sheet will be posted. Day and time will be agreed upon by students and director. If challenging to a higher part, you must challenge from the music from the higher part. Music will be selected from the folder or sight reading material. Missed (unexcused) challenge forfeits chair. Time limits will be set by the director. 
Band Council
 
The duties of band council have been determined by the band director. These duties are subject to revision or deletion at the director's discretion.
Duties: Assist in organizing activities in conjunction with the director; hold meetings as necessary; make necessary phone calls; responsible for set up of band banquet and concerts; set an example of positive leadership for all; assist Boosters in planning Band Camp activities; take daily attendance during band rehearsal as well as performances; dealing with any issue involving money with the band.

  1. NOMINATIONS FOR BAND COUNCIL
    1. Interested Students must prepare a written paper three paragraphs in length stating the following:
      ~All activities, achievements, and honors.
      ~Why he/she feels qualified.
      ~What he/she would like to accomplish for the band.
    2. Elimination's are possible by the director and/or staff based upon eligibility requirements.
    3. The director may make appointments at his discretion.
  2. ELIGIBILITY - Any band council member must:
    1. Be a senior. (This may be waved)
    2. Have been a playing member of the band for the previous three years.
    3. Have demonstrated responsibility and good citizenship.
Squad Leaders
  1. SELECTION: Appointed by the director on the basis of musical ability and leadership qualities. Usually a senior, unless no qualified senior is available in the section at that time.
  2. DUTIES
    1. See that the section has proper equipment and music.
    2. See that the section can perform properly.
    3. Serve as student instructor for the section.
    4. Call and direct sectional rehearsals as requested by the director.
    5. Supervise tuning of the section.
    6. Set a good example for other band members.
    7. Take attendance at each rehearsal and performance and report absences to Secretary.
    8. Report all infractions of the rules to the Director.
Travel Guidelines
  1. Students must be seated at all times.
  2. Keep all parts of your body inside the bus at all times.
  3. School rules apply to all band functions.
  4. Voice volume level on bus should be at a courteous level.
  5. Playing of instruments, including drumming of sticks, is not permitted at any time.
  6. You will need to close the bus windows when approaching and leaving the destination for safety reasons.
  7. Ride your Assigned bus at all times to and from events.
  8. All members must ride busses to and from all scheduled events unless excused by the director. If a special situation arises and the director approves, the following must be done:
    1. Present a note from the parents, in advance, to the director/advisor.
    2. Be transported by parents only. The parents must personally check with the director/advisor before leaving.
    3. Be responsible for returning your uniform or any equipment you have to the school.
  9. CD/MP3 players will be permitted if approved by the bus driver/chaperone/director/advisor. It must not disturb others and head phones must be worn. You will be responsible for these items.
At The Game
  1. You are responsible for your equipment. This includes instruments, raincoats, flags, poms and anything else you take on the bus and to the field. Any lost or damaged equipment will be replaced and paid for by you.
  2. Do not allow anyone to play your instrument, even other band members.
  3. Sit in assigned sections (by instrument or group).
  4. DO NOT play your instrument in the stands unless the director approves.
  5. NO FOOD or DRINK IN THE STANDS. Third quarter is generally your free period. You can eat, use the rest rooms, etc., during this quarter. You must be back in your seat when the clock hits 01:00 in the third quarter. Any violation of this policy will result in the third quarter privilege being revoked.
  6. Third quarter privilege may be lost at the discretion of the director for any violation or insubordination. If you have third quarter privilege revoked you are not permitted to leave the stands or have refreshments.
  7. If it is necessary for you to leave the stands during the game, check with a director.
  8. ONLY BAND MEMBERS ARE TO SIT IN THE SECTION RESERVED FOR THE BAND!
Uniforms
  1. MARCHING BAND UNIFORM consists of jacket, trousers, shako, marching shoes, gloves, white socks, braids (if issued), raincoat, and garment bag. NOTE: "full" uniform consists of all of the above.
  2. SUMMER UNIFORM consists of t-shirt, shorts, marching shoes, and white socks.
  3. CONCERT & JAZZ UNIFORM consists of the following:
    BOYS:  Black pants, white long-sleeved shirt, black shoes, black socks, and black bow tie.
    GIRLS: Black ankle length skirt, white long-sleeved blouse, black shoes, and black nylons.
  4. WOLVERETTES UNIFORM
  5. FLAG UNIFORM consists of jacket, skirt, white boots, gloves, dance nylons, briefs, raincoat, and garment bag.
  6. Dangling earrings or jewelry is NOT permitted.
Student Responsibility for Uniforms
 
Uniforms will be issued before and collected after each event. All uniforms will be kept at school. Failure to return your uniform after a performance could result in not marching in the next event.

A uniform deposit is required before the uniform is first issued, the amount to be determined by the current cost of cleaning, the director and the Booster Uniform Chairperson.

Charges for damaged or lost uniform articles will be paid for by the student.

Uniforms are to be taken off after each performance and properly stored and turned in. Misuse or neglect of any part of the uniform will not be tolerated. Soil must be reported promptly.

IMPORTANT: Respect for the uniform and the organization it represents dictates that UNIFORMS MUST BE WORN COMPLETELY AND PROPERLY IN PUBLIC - That is, hat on, sippers zipped, etc. No hanging earrings will be worn by men or women. Miscellaneous items such as gloves and raincoats are at the discretion of the director. The same respect must be shown to the concert and jazz uniforms so that the uniform always reflects the pride we have in the West Geauga Bands.

If, in the director's opinion, the band member does not meet proper uniform requirements, he/she will be denied the right to participate in the performance, and such denial will be considered an unexcused absence.

NEVER WEAR COATS, JEANS OR OTHER OUTER GARMENTS UNDER YOUR UNIFORM. ITEMS SUCH AS THERMAL UNDERWEAR ARE SUGGESTED DURING COLD WEATHER. 
Marching Band Participation Awards
 
AWARDS

Year One:    Certificate to purchase marching band jacket, marching band patch, first year participation patch, and numerals.

Year Two:    Letter and second year participation patch.

Year Three:  Pin and third year participation patch.

Year Four:   Senior pin and fourth year participation patch.

Senior pin will be awarded to all seniors no matter how many years of marching band have been completed.
Any band member who successfully completes four years in the West Geauga Marching Band, in addition to Concert/Symphonic band, and is approved by the directors, will receive graduation cords for this activity.

REQUIREMENTS
  1. Students who complete the entire marching band season with a passing grade will qualify for the above listed awards. Unexcused absences from rehearsals and/or performances (as specified in the attendance policy) will cause a student's grade to be lowered and could result in a failing grade, and also disqualifying him/her for the award.
  2. Auxiliary members not enrolled in the band must meet the attendance requirements as an instrumentalist in order to qualify for the above listed awards. These requirements are specified in the attendance section of the handbook.
  3. Marching band awards will be presented at the fall banquet.
  4. Special considerations will be handled by the band director and points award chairman.
Point System for Band Boosters Sponsored Fund Raisers
 
 AWARDS Stripe for jacket sleeve.

REQUIREMENTS 20 accumulative points for each stripe.

PROCEDURE
  1. One-half (1/2) point for every one-half hour worked at a band booster sponsored fund raiser.
  2. One (1) point for the first $50.00 of sale and one (1) point for each additional $25.00 sold in band booster sponsored fund raisers.
  3. For fund raisers, sign up for one shift only until all interested members have had a chance to sign up, then fill up the spaces.
  4. Sign in, in person, upon arrival and sign out upon departure.
  5. A signed receipt may be obtained from the adult supervisor in charge of the fund raiser showing the student's name, date, activity, and hours worked. This is the way you can verify your points earned.
  6. Parents cannot earn points for the children and band members cannot earn points for other band members.
  7. Freshman point tabulation will begin the spring of the 8th grade year.
  8. All matters pertaining to points must be forwarded to the points chairperson for tabulatio0n immediately after the fund raiser, or through the director.
  9. The director will approve those activities for which points will be given.
  10. Points may accumulate year to year to obtain the required total.
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