Band Handbook


Madison Bison Band
2020 – 2021

Dear Madison Band Parents and Students

Welcome to the Madison Bison Band! It is great to have you as part of our award-winning organization! Enclosed is the Madison Bison Band Handbook. In our Handbook, you will find very important information concerning the Madison Bison Band schedule for the 2020-2021 school year. This handbook will help to inform parents and students of the basic structure of our program, and give a clear list of the band student’s responsibilities throughout the school year. Understanding the contents of this handbook is vital to the success of our organization. Please keep this packet of information and refer to it as needed throughout the school year. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our handbook information.

Our contact information is:
(325) 692-5661 ext. 7217
(325) 692-5661 ext. 7290

Please read the contents of this packet carefully. Please complete page 10 and return to Mrs. McGrew or Mrs. Reece by Friday, September 4, 2020.

Thank you for allowing us the wonderful opportunity to teach the greatest students in town…………Madison Band Students!


Paula McGrew
Jennifer Reece
Director of Bands
Madison Middle School

Covid-19 Information:
We are committed to keeping our students safe in the band setting. In addition to implementing a hand sanitizing station in the band hall, we are also providing special masks, designed to protect students while playing their instruments, and masks for the bell of the instruments. Studies have shown this extra level of masking will provide a safer environment in the band hall and will cut down on air-borne particles. We will also provide 3-6 feet of distance between students during rehearsals and will divide our larger classes so that we may practice proper social distancing. All chairs and stands will be sanitized before each class. Please know that we take these precautions very seriously and will do everything we can to keep our students safe.
With that said, our band calendar for the upcoming school year will look much different this year. All performances for the Fall semester have been cancelled. We are still waiting for further decisions for the Spring semester and will keep you updated as we receive information. Even though our Fall performances have been cancelled, we will still maintain a very high level of expectations for our students and are committed to teaching our students. Thank you so much for allowing us to teach the greatest students in town…..Madison Band Students!

Remind App:
Remind is a communication platform that helps every student succeed. Whether you are in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between, Remind makes it easy to stay connected to your school community. This year, the district has pre-loaded parents contact information into the Remind group for band. If you would like to add additional people to receive the messages, please follow the directions below. Parents are encouraged to join your student’s band class.

Text @k9gg97873h to 81010

· Communicate in real time—on any device
· Keeps personal contact information private
· Translates messages into more than 85 languages
· Shares files, photos, and content from your favorite sites

Bison Bands:
The Bison Band is divided into three different performing groups: Beginner Band, Symphonic Band, and Honors Band. Band placement is at the discretion of the band staff. The staff carefully considers the placement of each student. Students are placed in the group which best fits their individual educational needs.

Beginner Band – The beginner band consists of all students who are new to instrumental music. Classes are divided by instrument and begin with the very basics of music. There is absolutely no experience necessary to be a member of the beginning band. The beginning band will perform in a minimum of two concerts a year, but does not compete in contests.

Symphonic Band – The Symphonic Band consists of students who have had at least one year of band experience and have demonstrated an intermediate level of proficiency on their instrument. This group will participate in a minimum of three performances a year, and will compete in UIL (University Interscholastic League) band evaluation in the spring semester. Students in this group also have the option of participation in the All Region Band auditions and in the Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Honor Band – The Honor Band consists of students who have had at least one year of band experience and have shown an advanced level of proficiency on their instrument. The Honor Band will perform in a minimum of three performances a year and will compete in UIL (University Interscholastic League) evaluation in the spring semester. Students in this band are required to audition for the All-Region Band and strongly encouraged to participate in the Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Equipment Needs:
Beginner Band
1. Pencil
2. Black 1” 3-ring binder
3. Required Method Book: Accent on Achievement (purchase one
appropriate for your instrument: flute, clarinet, alto sax, french horn,
trumpet/cornet, trombone, b.c. baritone, tuba)
4. Brass Instruments: valve oil, slide grease
5. Woodwind Reed Instruments: # 3 Vandoren Reeds. ( 3 available at all
6. Percussion: Simple Steps to Successful Beginning Percussion (by Kennan

Honor / Symphonic Band
1. Pencil
2. Music Folder with all music provided.
3. Brass Instruments: valve oil, slide grease
4. Woodwind Reed Instruments: # 3 Vandoren Reeds. (Have three available at all times)

Music Vendors: (instruments and equipment)
N-Tune Music and Sound — 221 Grape St. (677-2471)

We ask that you use tremendous caution if you choose to purchase instruments at pawn shops or online sites like Ebay or Amazon. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding an instrument you have found before you make a purchase.

Performances are extensions of the classroom. All performances are mandatory and will count as three test grades. Students and parents will be notified of all performances well in advance (please see attached calendar). If a student becomes ill or there is a death in the family, the director must be notified before the program and the student will have the opportunity to make up a grade for the performance.

Concert Attire
It is important for band students at any level to look professional as they perform. Therefore, we require the following attire at all concerts (unless otherwise instructed)

Beginner Band – “Sunday Best” (No jeans or flip flops will be worn)
Boys: Slacks, nice shirt and dress shoes.
Girls: Pants, skirt or dresses and nice shoes.
Standardized dress is acceptable. (Pants and polo shirt)

Symphonic/Honor Band – “Sunday Best” (No jeans or flip flops will be worn)
Boys: Nice dress slacks, button down shirt, and nice dress shoes. A suit and tie is always impressive.
Girls: Pants, skirt or dresses and nice dress shoes. Standardized dress is acceptable. (Pants and polo shirt)

Casual Performances – On some occasions, we will wear band shirts and jeans. These performances will include recruiting concerts and concerts in our gym. Our band shirts will be available to purchase. We ask all Symphonic and Honor Band students to purchase a shirt. It is optional for our Beginner Bands. Parents are also encouraged to buy a band shirt! Order forms will be distributed during band classes. *Parents are strongly encouraged to use discretion when helping your students choose concert attire. It is very important that we always look our best when we are performing!

Rules of the Class
1. Be in the room by the tardy bell.
2. Be in your seat with all materials uncased 30 seconds after the bell.
3. Bring all supplies to class every day.
4. Receive permission before talking or leaving your seat.
5. Going to the restroom during class is for emergencies only.
6. Take care of your equipment.
7. Follow instructions.
8. NEVER play on another student’s instrument. Including percussion!
9. Be courteous to others.
10. Learn your music.
11. Attend band functions.
12. There will be no gum, candy, drinks in the band hall. There are no
13. Work hard and have a great time!

All Bison Band Students will be required to practice a minimum of 120 minutes a week (2 hours). Practice sheets will be sent home with students on a weekly basis. The practice sheets are designed to monitor the amount of time students practice each week and the material practiced. In order for the students to receive full credit, the sheets are to be signed by the parents at the end of the week and returned to band class on the first day of the school week. There will be a 10 point deduction for each day late, and will be accepted up to three days late. The practice sheets are based on the honor system; please be honest when filling them out. It is very evident when a student has not practiced on a consistent basis. The only way to become proficient on an instrument is to practice.

Grades can consist of but are not limited to:
1. Class participation
2. Playing tests
3. Performance attendance
4. Practice Sheets
5. All concerts will count as three test grades. (attendance/performance, equipment, concert/etiquette)

Computing Averages:
Grades 6-8: Grading period averages shall be determined by averaging grades in two categories for each course in TEAMS grade book. A minimum of two (2) graded assignments in each category per grading period must be recorded.
Categories and Percentages:
70% Classwork (practice cards/quizzes/classwork/homework)
30% Assessments (tests/essays/presentations/projects/research)

Late Work:
An assignment is considered late if it is turned in after the due date due to student choice and not absence. Late assignments will receive a maximum penalty of thirty (30) points on a 100-point scale and will be accepted up to three (3) days late. However, work submitted within three (3) days and that earns a passing score will earn a minimum score of 70. A zero will be recorded for work not turned in within three days of the due date. Extenuating circumstances will be individually addressed by the teacher. **You can always attend a virtual Zoom class and turn work into the Google Classroom if you are out sick.

Make-Up Work:
Students shall be expected to make up assignments and tests after returning from an absence. Students shall receive a zero for any assignment or test not made up within the allotted time. The District shall not impose a grade penalty for make-up work submitted on time after an unexcused absence or an absence due to suspension.

Private Lessons:
Private lessons are available to students wishing to study privately with one of our AISD approved instructors. Students can find the most up to date list at Private lessons may be taken during the student’s band period, before or after school at Madison, or another site depending on arrangements made with individual teachers. All private lesson teachers are approved through the district.

*Pending Approval
Six Flags Trip:
At the end of this year all eligible 7th and 8th grade Bison Band Students will have the opportunity to go on our annual Six Flags trip. This has become a tradition for the Madison Bison Band, and we look forward to going again this year.

Students are invited to go on the trip based on meeting the following criteria:

1. Attend all required performances throughout the school year.
This includes your commitment to Region, Solo/Ensemble, etc.
2. Report card grades passing (70 or above) for all subjects during the 4th and
5th six weeks.
3. No “U” in citizenship the entire school year.
4. No referrals to the office for the entire school year.
5. No assignments to ISS or RAC for the entire school year.

Bison Band Calendar 2020-2021
*Due to COVID, many of our normal performances/activities have been cancelled. Below is a rough sketch of the year so far. TBD (to be determined) is marked on all activities as we must wait to see if they will occur closer to time.

Nov. TBD Region Band Auditions TBD Honor Band
*must have played off music for directors to audition

Feb. TBD 7th & 8th grade Solo Contest Craig MS 7th & 8th grade

March TBD Pre-UIL Contest Cooper HS Honor Band

March 2-3 UIL Contest Cooper H.S. Honor Band

April TBD Six Flags Trip Meet at Band Hall 7th & 8th Bands

May TBD Beginner Band Practice #1 Madison Band Hall 6th gr. Beginner Band
3:45-4:45 p.m.

May TBD Beginner Band Practice #2 Madison Band Hall 6th gr Beginner Band
3:45-4:45 p.m.

May TBD Bison Band Final Concert HSU Behren’s Chapel 6th, 7th, 8th Bands
7:30 p.m.