•   Band Handbook

    Table of Contents

    Lessons . 2

    Instructional Materials . 2

    Rules of Conduct 2

    Performing Groups . 3

    Requirements of Participation . 3

    Rehearsal Expectations . 4

    Rehearsal Etiquette . 4

    Extra Rehearsals . 4

    Performances . 5

    Concert Attire . 6

    Music . 6

    Use of Practice Rooms . 7

    Hall Pass Privileges . 7

    Grading Policy . 7

    Other Academic Grades . 7

    Supplies and Equipment 9

    Private Instruction . 9

    Section Leaders . 9

    Fees . 9

    Fund Raising . 9

    Conclusion . 10



    Every student will be scheduled for a group lesson.  The content of the lessons will include assigned materials from designated methods and texts supplied by the district and the student.  Proper playing or singing techniques, sight reading, musical style, solo literature, and the creative experiences music can offer will be included during the course of instruction.  The lesson schedule will be posted in the music rooms.

      Chorus lessons will be scheduled on a rotating basis.  This type of schedule requires students to miss a class or free period once a six-day cycle.  A class or free period will be missed no more than once every five weeks.  It is expected that students will make up all missed assignments.

      Band lessons are held once a six-day cycle per student.  Each student is required to sign up for an available lesson slot.  Each student is expected to rotate the missed classes through their schedule if they do not have any free periods.  It is expected that students will make up all missed assignments. A student may miss one band lesson per quarter without penalty. 

    In order to attend a lesson each student must get a lesson pass from their director.  The student must then give this pass to the teacher of the class that they will miss at least 24 – hours in advance of the lesson.  The student is also requested to return any pass that has been denied to the director.  Teachers may deny the lesson pass for the following reasons:  class average less than 75; full period test.

    Practice Requirements


      Each student is expected to practice a minimum of forty five minutes per day, six days a week.  A practice record may be used to help track the student’s progress.


    Instructional Materials

    Each student is required to bring their own materials to each lesson and rehearsal.


    Band – Required Materials

    Foundations for Superior Performance

    Essential Elements 2000

    Band Resource Guide

    NYSSMA solo (3rd and 4th quarters)

    Chorus  - Required Materials

    Chorus workbooks

    Sight singing books

    Chorus folder

    NYSSMA solo (3rd and 4th quarters)


    Rules of Conduct

    Please read the following rules and realize that they should NEVER be broken!

      1.  Each student must conduct him or herself in a manner which is at all  

    times complimentary to the organization.

      2. Respect for all school equipment and facilities is mandatory.

      3. Chewing gum is not allowed during any ensemble function.

      4. Students must be on time for rehearsal.

      5. Un-excused absences from a rehearsal or performance will result in a

      grade point reduction.


      If there are any questions regarding any department policy, make arrangements to discuss the problem with the director.  Failure to observe the rules of conduct will constitute grounds for dismissal from the program.


    Performing Groups

    Performing groups are a vital and necessary part of any music program, however, they should not be considered the only aspect of musical study.  General growth in musical knowledge and ability is far more important.  Performing groups are an outgrowth of this increased knowledge.  In order to supply the most inclusive musical experiences through ensemble participation, the following groups will be scheduled:


      1.  Concert Band or Wind Ensemble - required

      2.  Mixed Choir or Women’s Choir – required

      3.  Percussion Ensemble – voluntary

      4.  Jazz Ensemble – by audition

      5.  Jazz Lab – voluntary

      6.  Madrigals – by audition

      7.  Barbershop Groups – by audition


    Requirements of Participation

    It is expected that students will demonstrate the following:


      1.  Good technical control of his or her instrument/voice.

      2.  Adequate knowledge of that instrument and its intonation tendencies.

      3.  Adequate knowledge of Major keys and basic knowledge of

      relative minor.

      4.  Good knowledge of materials covered in the intermediate and

      advanced methods.

      5.  Ability to work with others.

      6.  Desire for a high level of musical achievement.

      7.  Reasonable knowledge of musical vocabulary, symbols, and styles.

      8.  Adequate knowledge of playing/singing position, posture, embouchure.

      9.  Ability to play/sing a solo upon request.

      10.  Wind Ensemble and Mixed Choir members are expected to

      participate in All-County auditions, NYSSMA solo festival, and

      travel to outside festivals. 


    Rehearsal Expectations

    Rehearsal is a class.  This is the only lab experience scheduled on a regular basis, therefore it is imperative that individual attitudes reflect strong commitment.  In addition to the school rules, the following regulations are in effect during all rehearsals:

      1.  Warm up properly

      2.  Have all necessary equipment for rehearsal.  Members must have:

      a.  instrument (in playing condition)

      b.  mutes (Brasses)

      c.  four playable reeds (Woodwinds)

      d.  stick bag with appropriate mallets and sticks (percussion)

      e.  complete folder

      f.  pencil

      g.  sight reading book and workbook (Choir members)

      h.  assignment and lesson books (band members)

      3.  A student is considered late if he or she is not seated and ready at the

      start of rehearsal.  Lates are handled according to district policy.

      4. Instruments will be stored in assigned areas in the band room at all

      times.  This will help insure adequate supervision over all equipment.

      5.  Folders are to be stored ONLY in folder cabinets to prevent loss or


      6.  Each band member is required to demonstrate memorized Major scales

      whenever called upon by the director.

      7.  Each choir member is required to sight read whenever called upon by

      the director.

      8.  It is expected that all students will have respect for the rehearsal room,

      practice rooms, music offices, and equipment.  Anyone caught

      defacing or misusing school property will be subject to strong

      disciplinary action.


    Rehearsal Etiquette

    1.  When the conductor is on the podium or addressing the ensemble,

    there is NO talking.

      2.  There is no talking between or during musical selections, unless it pertains

    to the music.

      3.  Students will strive to maintain correct playing/singing position, for

      it demonstrates respect and is fundamental to good sound.


    Extra Rehearsals

    A regular class period, although adequate for rehearsal of one or two selections, does not allow for the pacing or staging of a complete performance.  It therefore becomes necessary to periodically provide a longer span of time.  If additional time is required, students will be notified well in advance.  All concert dress rehearsals are marked on the Music Department calendar, and are mandatory.

    Public Appearances


      Attendance at all performances is REQUIRED .


      An excused absence, other than illness, from a performance must be arranged with the director at least three weeks prior to the performance.  An un-excused absence will result in a grade point reduction for that quarter.  No student will be excused early from a performance without prior arrangement with the director.


      Rules of conduct and rehearsal etiquette are in effect during any public appearance. All students are expected to watch the entire performance.  When you attend a public performance, always conduct yourself in such a manner as to bring credit to yourself, your family, your school, and community.  Remember, it only takes one individual to bring discredit to an entire organization.  Inappropriate behavior will result in loss of a proportionate number of grade points and privileges commensurate with the nature of the offense.  In all cases of breach of conduct, travel privileges will be revoked.

      In addition to dates given in the Music Department Calendar, all information regarding rehearsals and public appearances will be posted on the rehearsal room bulletin board well in advance of the performance date.  It is the responsibility of each member to check to board daily.




      Pops Concert (October) - required

      Winter Concert (December) - required

      Exchange Program (date will be announced) - required

      Mid-Winter Concert (February or March) - required

    All-County Auditions (January - required for Mixed Choir members and freshman Wind Ensemble members)

      Festival of Winds and Festival of Choirs (March) - required

      NYSSMA Major Ensembles Competition (May) - required

      Spring Concert (May or June) - required

      Memorial Day Concert - required (band only)

    NYSSMA Solo Festival (April/May) - required for Wind Ensemble and Mixed Choir, voluntary for Concert Band and Women’s Choir.  

      Graduation (June) – required for brass players

      Hudson Valley Women’s Choir Festival (March)  – W.C. only - required


    Concert Attire


      Concert Band Males

      white dress shirt

      black slacks (no jeans)

      black tie

    black suit jacket (optional)

    black shoes and socks


      Wind Ensemble and Mixed Choir Males

      white dress shirt

      black slacks (no jeans)

      black bow tie (can be purchased at any tuxedo rental store)

      black suit jacket

      black shoes and socks


      Wind Ensemble, Mixed Choir Females , Concert Band Females

      black dress or shirt (with sleeves) & skirt (knee-length or longer)

      black shoes and pantyhose


      Women’s Choir

      school issued choir robes (dress appropriately underneath)

      dress shoes


      Concert attire should be neat and clean in order to present the best possible appearance.  If any item listed above cannot be obtained, you must notify your director at least one month prior to the performance so appropriate arrangements can be made.  Directors reserve the right to prohibit any inappropriately dressed ensemble member from participating in the performance.



      Music will be supplied by the school for all performing groups. If music is lost, it will be replaced by the student to whom it is issued.

      Music must be present at all rehearsals.  Once a student receives a folder of music, it becomes his or her responsibility for replacement in case of damage or loss.  If the folder is shared, the responsibility for it is also shared.  Band Music should not be taken from the rehearsal room.  Practice copies can be obtained from the band librarian.

      Music which is the property of the Wallkill Central School District may not be used by any other organization, group, or individual.

      All instrumentalists must provide their own performance and judges copy for NYSSMA evaluation festivals.  An accompanists copy for all-state students and all vocal music will be provided by the school.

    Use of Practice Rooms


      Students are encouraged to use the practice rooms whenever a director is present in the department.  The following regulations for practice room use are always in effect:


      1.  No more than two people per room, unless permission is given.

      2.  Rooms are to be used for practice.  A student who wishes to study may

      do so as long as the majority of the time is spent practicing.  If a

      student wishes to practice in a room being used by someone who is

      studying, they have the right to ask the person who is studying to

      give up the room.

      3.  Practice rooms are to be kept clean, and are not to be used for 

      personal storage.

      4.  Food is not allowed in the practice rooms.

    Pass Privileges


      Students are welcome to come out of study halls or lunch to practice.  You must have a practice pass (issued by a director) or a National Honor Society pass to come to the Music Department.  Passes are only issued before homeroom.  Once a pass is issued, you are expected to report from class directly to the band or chorus room for the entire period.  Passes to the bathroom or lockers will be issued during a time when there is no lesson instruction.  At no time will a student interrupt a lesson for these privileges.  It is expected that you will respect the rights of students who are present in a lesson, and that you will conduct yourself in a manner that will preserve a learning atmosphere.

      Pass privileges may be suspended by directors at any time.


    Grading Policy


      Grades are determined based on the following percentages:

      Large ensemble participation: 25%

      Individual assessment: 25%

      Lesson attendance: 30%

      Concert/Dress Rehearsal attendance: 20%


      Students are expected to be present and prepared for all rehearsals, lessons, dress rehearsals and performances.  Some additional points may be accumulated through private study or by participating in groups that meet outside the school day.


    Other Academic Grades


      Students are encouraged to achieve the highest possible grades in all their courses.  They must maintain a 75 average in their academic courses to be released for lessons, and a cumulative average of 70 to participate in the spring competition trip. Success in all areas will generate pride and accomplishment, as well as insuring cooperation from academic teachers when classes must be missed for music activities. 


    The following awards are given to recognize various aspects of student participation, achievement, and commitment:


      1.  All-County Band and Choir participants receive a certificate.

      2.  Area All-State participants receive a certificate.

      3.  All-State participants receive a certificate.

      4.  All-Eastern participants receive a certificate.

      5.  Principal’s Award - the person accumulating the highest average over the course of the year will
     receive a certificate.  Seniors receiving this award will have their name placed on the plaque
    outside the Guidance office.

      6.  Academic Award - presented to students who have high averages and

      who participated in additional ensembles and/or events.  These students

      will receive a certificate.

      7.  Service and Citizenship Awards - presented to students who have

      served their community or their ensemble in an extra capacity

      (librarians, officers, etc...)  These students will receive a certificate.


      Senior Awards (Presented at the Senior Banquet):


      1.  Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - presented to a senior who has

      participated in Jazz Band, and who has demonstrated outstanding

      ability in the field of Jazz.  The student will receive a desk trophy,

      certificate, and cash award.

      2.  John Phillip Sousa Award - presented to a senior who has 

    demonstrated overall outstanding musical ability and commitment.

    The student will receive a desk trophy, certificate, and cash award.

      3.  School Music Medal  - presented to the most outstanding student

      participating in both band and chorus.  The student will receive a

      wall plaque, certificate, and cash award.

      4.  National School Choral Award - presented to the most outstanding

      student in the vocal music program.  The student will receive a

      desk trophy, certificate, and cash award.

      5.  Semper Fidelis Award - presented by the United States Marine Corps to an   outstanding senior bandsman who has shown leadership over their high school career.  The student will receive a certificate and cash award.

    6.  American Legion Award - presented to a senior who will be continuing

      in music after graduation.  The student will receive a cash award.

      7.  S.O.M.E. Award  - presented to a senior who will be continuing in music

      after graduation.  The student will receive a cash award.

      8.  Madrigal Award - presented to a senior who has participated in the Madrigal Choir for
    four years.  The student will receive a wall plaque and cash award.

      9.  Barbershop Award - presented to seniors who have shown dedication and   
    leadership in their barbershop quartets.  These students will receive a certificate and cash award.

      10.  Ariens Music Medal - presented to students who have shown dramatic

      improvement over four years.  These students will receive wall plaques.

    11.  Festival of Music Scholarship – presented to graduating senior(s) from the music department, who has demonstrated dedication and excellence in music and may be going on to further their music studies in the future.


    Supplies and Equipment


      Reeds, valve oil, and other general small supplies may be available in the band office as a convenience to the students. A price list and purchase policy will be posted.  This privilege will be revoked if abused.  Percussionists are required to own their own stick, mallets, and bag for storage.  These supplies can be obtained from the band director  at a discount.  Purchase of all supplies can also be made at any reputable music store. 


    Private Instruction


      Private instruction is recognized as a desirable means for additional progress and is therefore enthusiastically encouraged.  Names of competent teachers will be made available upon request.  In each quarter that a student takes weekly private lessons, that student will receive five points added to their quarterly grade. 


    Section Leaders


      Section leaders are selected by the director.  The duties of the section leader are to see that his or her section functions properly, correct parts are played/sung, and are being played/sung musically.  It is expected that section leaders will hold regular sectional rehearsals.




      School equipment, uniforms, school owned instruments, cases, accessories, and music are furnished free of charge by the Board of Education based on need and availability.  Every student accepting any of the above mentioned items is held responsible for keeping them in good condition at all times.

      A Student Loan Agreement must be filled out and signed by a parent each time an instrument is issued.  Any damage or loss resulting while in the student’s possession will be paid for by the student.  This agreement is automatically in force when the student accepts any item.  When a debt is due, the school Fund Raising Policy on obligation will be enforced.


    Fund Raising


      In order to supplement the Music Department budgetary needs and provide money for travel and competitions, it is necessary to do some fund raising.  All fund raising by students for the purpose of travel will be applied directly to their account through the Band or Chorus.  Individual accounts may not be held over from year to year.

    Any student who leaves the Music Department forfeits any monies that remain in the Band or Chorus account.

      Group fund raisers such as the Pops Concert may be used to defray travel costs, provide enrichment activities, or to purchase equipment or supplies not provided through the regular budget process.  A letter explaining travel plans will be sent each fall after Board of Education has approved the trip.




      It is our wish that this outline will aid all of us in having a successful school year.  These guidelines outline a method of operation which we feel gives us the edge on solid rapport and excellent musical growth.







    Dawn M. Becker      Alan Jachimiak       Ashley Michlewski





      I have read and understand the rules, regulations, and procedures in this course outline.  As a member of the Wallkill High School Music Department, I accept the responsibilities which have been explained there in.



    Student Signature__________________________________________



      I have read and understand the rules, regulations, and procedures in this course outline.  I am now aware of the responsibility my son or daughter has accepted as a member of a Wallkill High School Music Ensemble. 



    Parent Signature___________________________________________




    I would like more information about our parent organization S.O.M.E. (Supporters of Music Education) ______ yes  ______ no



    Please sign this pledge and return it to your child’s director.