Band Handbook



Madison Bison Band


2023 – 2024

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 2023-2024 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. Email is the best way to contact us. Planning period is 9:10-10:04.


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 1, 2023.


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

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. 


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.**All band students will have required (graded) after school events throughout the year. These are an extension of the classroom curriculum and include, but are not limited to, Region Help sessions, Solo/Ensemble practice and contest, beginner band rehearsals, Pre-UIL, UIL, performances and other practices assigned by the directors. Dates for the events are listed on the calendar, exact start/times will be announced closer to the date. 


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. 15 clear page protectors
  4.                 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)

  1.                 Brass Instruments:  valve oil, slide grease
  2.                 Woodwind Reed Instruments:  # 3 Vandoren Reeds. 

 ( 3 available at all times)

  1. Percussion:  Simple Steps to Successful Beginning Percussion

(by Kennan Wylie)

Honor / Symphonic Band

  1.                 Pencil
  2.                 Black 1” 3-ring binder
  3.       15 clear page protectors
  4.                 Brass Instruments:  valve oil, slide grease
  5.                 Woodwind Reed Instruments:  # 3 Vandoren Reeds. 

  (Have 3 available at all times)



Music Vendors: (instruments and equipment)

N-Tune Music and Sound  —  221 Grape St. (677-2471)

Tuesday-Friday 10-6PM and Saturday 12-5PM Closed Sunday-Monday


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, Symphonic, Honor Bands – “Sunday Best” 

(No jeans, Crocs, flip flops, shorts will be worn)

Boys:  Nice dress slacks, button down shirt, and nice dress shoes.  A suit and tie is always impressive.                                                                       

Girls:  Pants, blouse, skirt, dresses and nice dress shoes are acceptable. 


3 grades are taken for concerts that include concert etiquette, stage deportment and performance. Attire and punctuality are part of these grades. Plan now to have appropriate clothes for these events. 


Casual Performances & Band PhotosOn 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. All Band students (6th, 7th and 8th Grade) will be required to purchase a band shirt. The (charcoal grey) design will be used again this year. Older band students who own this shirt do not have to re-purchase one as long as it still fits and is free from damage. 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 no later than 2 minutes after the    

           bell. Watch the timer.

  1. Bring all supplies to class every day.
  2. Receive permission before talking or leaving your seat.
  3. Going to the restroom during class is for emergencies only.
  4. Take care of your equipment.
  5. Follow instructions.
  6. NEVER play on another student’s instrument.  Including percussion!
  7. Be courteous to others.
  8. Learn your music.
  9. Attend band functions.
  10. There will be no gum, candy, drinks in the band hall.  No exceptions.
  11. 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:   Grades can consist of but are not limited to:

  1. Class participation
  2. Playing tests
  3. Performance attendance
  4. Practice Sheets
  5. Equipment Check (reeds, oils, music, pencils, instrument)
  6.       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. 


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.

*Spring Fun Event(s) to be announced upon approval: 

At the end of this year all eligible Bison Band Students will have the opportunity to attend the Spring Fun Event. This has become a tradition for the Madison Bison Band, and we look forward to going again this year. 


Students are invited to attend the Spring Fun Event based on meeting the following criteria: 

  1. Attend all required performances throughout the school year.

          This includes your commitment to Region, Solo/Ensemble, etc.

  1. Report card grades passing (70 or above) for all subjects during the 4th and     

           5th six weeks.

  1. No “U” in citizenship the entire school year.
  2. No referrals to the office for the entire school year.
  3. No assignments to ISS or DAEP for the entire school year.


Band Website:  is our band website that we encourage you to check frequently. We will post weekly announcements, performance information, calendar, printable practice charts and more. This is the most up to date information for the band program.

Follow us    at Madison Bison Band