Band Handbook


Madison Bison Band
2021 – 2022



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 2021-2022 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 11 and return to Mrs. McGrew or Mrs. Reece by Friday, September 3, 2021.


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


Please see below for our COVID information this school year.


*We have instrument bell masks (excluding flute) and playing masks available that students may use when we play.

*Chairs and stands will be sanitized between classes

*Hand sanitizer is available


Covid-19 Information:

2021-22 Health and Safety Protocols Updated August 10, 2021 **This is updated on the AISD website frequently.


DISTRICT PRIORITIES As we begin preparations for the 2021-22 school year, the Abilene ISD recognizes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires us to continue to collaborate with local, regional, state and national health experts. As we have learned since March 2020, we are in an evolving health situation that requires that we partner in good faith to put the best interests of the students, faculty and staff of the AISD at the center of every decision. We have confirmed that the best educational experience for our students is in-person instruction and, therefore, our goal is to return fully to face-to-face instruction and work towards providing our students with the most normal school experiences that we can in the safest and healthiest ways possible. Remote instruction will not be an option for students at AISD during the 2021-2022 school year. 


Throughout this document, you will learn about the guidelines that will be in place when students and staff arrive on campuses for the first day of school (August 19, 2021). As with any document during this pandemic, this guide will be adjusted to fit the changing health situation in our community, state and country. The primary priority each day is the health and safety of the students and staff in the AISD, and that priority is the driving force behind the guidelines put in place to keep our campuses as safe as possible during the 2021-22 school year. 


SECTION I: School Health Guidelines As we return to campuses for the 2021-22 school year with a clear indication that COVID continues to be a health risk, we are challenged with the task of providing our students the best educational experiences while ensuring that they occur in a safe and healthy environment. That will be accomplished by providing multiple layers of protocols that have been shown to mitigate the spread of COVID. The availability of the COVID vaccine, the state-wide restriction on the use of masks, and the inability to effectively provide remote instruction are the major considerations in the adjustment of these health and safety protocols from those that were in place for the 2020-21 school year. In this section we will discuss the health guidelines that will remain in place in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID in our campuses. 


Masks/Face Coverings 

The use of face coverings/masks that cover the nose and mouth is strongly recommended for all staff and students. Face coverings/masks protect not only the wearer, but also significantly reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. While opinions vary, personal choice about mask wearing is always to be respected by staff, students, parents, and visitors. 2 Abilene ISD will continue to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees and students. Campus clinics will have facial coverings / masks and other PPE items available for any employee or student upon request. 


Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends the wearing of facial coverings / masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons when indoors and in confined spaces. Additionally, Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order 38 effective as of July 29, 2021, states that no governmental entity including public school districts may mandate the wearing of face coverings / masks. 


Student Health All parents are responsible for ensuring that a daily self-screening of each student occurs prior to going to school or boarding school transportation. Self-screening includes parents checking their child’s temperature and identifying the presence of symptoms of COVID-19 prior to leaving home for school. Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following: feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting. Parents will be asked to submit a written attestation affirming that they will comply with this requirement. Any child with a fever at or above 100.0 (as established by the Texas Department of State Health Services) or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not report to campus. To the extent possible, students should practice appropriate social distancing, as well as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (i.e. cough/sneeze into arm, cover mouth with tissue, etc.). Students will be trained in self-sanitization techniques and, where applicable, participate in scheduled hand washing times throughout the day. Where hand washing is not feasible, students will utilize hand sanitizer as needed. Students will be taught and encouraged to clean and sanitize their own workstations after each class. When time permits, custodial staff will sanitize workstations between classes. Students are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle for use throughout the day and expected to take water bottles home to be cleaned on a regular basis. 


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.


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)

  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.                 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, Symphonic, Honor Bands – “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 PerformancesOn 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 will be required to purchase a band shirt. The 2020 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 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


  1. 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.       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.


*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.

  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 RAC for the entire school year.



Band Website:  is our band website that we encourage you to check frequently. We will post weekly announcements and performance information.

















Signature Page



My signature indicates that I have read this packet and understand the information. We have put the concert dates on our calendar. If we have any questions or concerns, we will contact Mrs. McGrew or Mrs. Reece. Return this page to a band director no later than Friday, September 3rd.


____  We are aware of the band website with all information.



____ 7th and 8th Grade Honor and Symphonic Band Students must 

          purchase a band shirt. Forms will be sent home soon.






Student Print Name:  ____________________________________



Student Signature:  ______________________________________



Parent or Guardian Signature:  _____________________________