• 2018 – 2019 Shamokin Area High School Band

    Informational Handbook



    Welcome to the Shamokin Area High School Band.  As a member of this proud organization, much hard work and responsibility will be expected of you.  This handbook was created to familiarize you with the band policies. Through the following information, you will soon feel like one of the group and truly be a member of the Shamokin Area High School Band.

    Your decision to make a commitment to the SAHS Band is the first priority for success in all your efforts.  Though there will be times when the road to success will seem a bit rough, you must console yourself with the fact that the final goal is worth the effort.  Use this opportunity to the best of your ability. 

    Although the band has a busy schedule, it really is not burdensome.  We do demand Commitment, Self-Discipline, Respect and Pride from every member.  These four things are essential for the success of any organization that relies on teamwork and cooperation in working toward a common goal.

    We firmly believe each student should improve through regular practice. He or she must not only know right from wrong but must be able to stand for principles and develop a high sense of purpose toward which he or she is willing to work.  Responsibility is the focus behind any level of achievement within this program.  We intend to conduct ourselves in a manner that will facilitate the learning of all students.



    We, the members of the Shamokin Area High School Band, believing in the high ideals of unity through achieving worthwhile goals in musical performance and development of good character, do hereby establish these policies:

    • To promote high ideals of musicianship, self-pride, character, loyalty, responsibility, the pursuit of excellence, and discipline among its members.
    • To provide opportunity to share in unity and fellowship.
    • To perform and act to the best of our ability.


    Objectives of the Band Program

    • To teach music by its actual performance.
    • To develop performance skills on the various wind and percussion instruments.
    • To provide for the musical needs of the school and community.
    • To acquaint the students with music theory/history and how history and musical composition relate to students’ lives and musical experiences.
    • To provide all students with the opportunity for a worthy use of their time, a means for self-expression, and a healthy social experience.
    • To develop the ability to function as a responsible member of a group, enhance interaction, and develop esprit de corps.
    • To foster leadership skills within each student.




    There is something special about being a member of the band program.  The band has been recognized for its commitment to excellence and attention to detail that has set it apart from other bands.  The band program takes great pride in the success of its performances in the recent years.  The members of the organization have based these successes on an attitude of pride, discipline and hard work.  They have provided a rich heritage for the department.  These same qualities must be maintained.  It is in this spirit that the following guidelines have been established to aid in the successful guidance of the students through the High School Band program.

    Pride – Self-respect and respecting others, self-esteem, satisfaction in something well done, personal dignity and worth, a standard of excellence – Pride is something all SAHS band members must have – in themselves, their band, their school, their parents and their community.  Pride is not something given by the staff or parents; it is developed and grows within each member of the band.

    Pride is shown in many ways…by regular and punctual attendance, having all equipment and music at rehearsals and performances, having an enthusiastic and positive attitude, helping others to be better performers, volunteering for extra projects, keeping the band and storage rooms neat and clean, striving for the best rehearsal and performance possible, understanding the band is only as good as you make it, assisting the band parent organization with fundraising, and acting on the unique opportunities for leadership and service in this fine organization.

                The successful Band member is accountable for some basic expectations:

    • Respect for yourself and those around you.
    • Follow directions the first time they are given.
    • Dedicated effort to work hard at improving.
    • A commitment to excellence.



    As members of the Shamokin Area High School Band, students are charged with the responsibility of setting the standards of conduct and behavior for the entire student body of Shamokin Area High School. 

    • Band members are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times, especially under the public’s watchful eye.
    • They must show respect for the property, instruments, uniforms, and equipment of others.
    • Consideration and respect must be shown to adults and peers at all times.
    • Be responsible and dependable.
    • It is imperative that band members keep in mind that they represent their parents, school, and community.
    • Present a positive image.
    • Talking or other disruptions during rehearsals will not be tolerated.
    • Make every performance your personal best.
    • Any smoking or use of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited at all Music Department functions. Violations may result in the immediate expulsion of the student from the program and/or the loss of any awards, festival participation, future trips, etc.  The high school principal will be notified and apply any further disciplinary action required.



    Duties of the Band Member

    Be on time to all rehearsals and performances.  Early is on time – on time is late!

    When the director or staff member asks for your attention, all talking ceases.

    Come to the rehearsal with a good attitude and prepared to work.

    There should be no excessive playing (e.g., horsing around on the instrument), only good, solid playing.

    Make a real effort to improve on a daily basis and establish a good practice routine.

    At the end of the rehearsal, put all equipment and materials away and in their proper place.

    Maintain a strong academic standing in all course work.

    Be responsible for and assume responsibility for your actions.

    Have proper respect for yourself and those in authority.

    All students have the responsibility to help with equipment.


    The Importance of Attitude

                The greatest single factor that will determine the success of any individual or organization is attitude.  The kind of person you are is an individual choice and how you feel about something is one of the few actual independent choices you have in life.  It takes intense dedication to reach goals.  Students should learn to discipline themselves to practice fundamentals daily.  The right attitude must be present along with sincerity, concentration, and dedication as the basic foundations.  Such an attitude makes an artistic performance inevitable and is the difference between a winning organization and a mediocre group.  The band can do so much for you.  Make the most of it in every rehearsal and performance.


    The Importance of Discipline

                Because of the nature of the organization, band discipline must be strict.  Band students and parents must believe in the ideals, principles, and philosophy of the organization.  Each member must always be aware of good behavior.  Any misconduct cast a bad light on the school, community and band.  Any member who discredits the organization by his or her conduct or actions in band or on a trip shall be subject to lost privileges within the program.  This may include the chance to go on the spring trip.  This decision will be at the director’s discretion.


    Students’ Responsibility to the Band

                As members of this organization, you have a great deal of responsibility.  These expectations coordinate with the privileges, rewards, and duties of the band program.


    • To Ourselves – You have primary responsibility of developing your own abilities. The benefits of a good instrument and private instruction can never be overestimated.  What you put into it is what you will get out of it.  The director is always available for your guidance and encouragement – just ask!
    • To the School – The school district provides us with the resources for rehearsals, performances, and equipment. The band booster organization also provides a support network, both financially and philosophically.  We have the responsibility to provide the best possible services to our community.
    • To Music – Music has always been a part of our culture. We must take what we have and use it for the betterment of that culture.  No one expects you to be virtuoso musicians, only to do the very best you can.  The great composer Gustav Mahler once said that only 10 percent of a piece of music is on the page.  If that is the case, we as musicians have the duty of creating and producing the other 90 percent.  The joy of music is not in everything that is apparent.  It must be discovered and created.
    • To Each Other – We must always do what is best for the welfare of the group. There can be no selfish acts solely for the benefit of the individual.  Respect each other.  If there are conflicts, find a way to resolve them.  Never insult another band member’s integrity.  The word “band” implies that we are banded together without divisions.



     Adherence to the following points will insure productive rehearsals:

    1. Proper individual warm-ups and tuning.
    2. Tardiness will not be tolerated.
    3. Do not leave before rehearsal is over unless granted prior permission.
    4. Play your assigned part.
    5. Turn OFF cell phones during rehearsals and performances.
    6. Each member will be assigned a folder for which he or she is responsible.
    7. Instruments should be repaired prior to, not during rehearsals. Students are expected to have their instruments in proper working conditions at all rehearsals and performances.
    8. Forgetting of instruments or music will not be tolerated.
    9. Be attentive; do not talk during music rehearsal, during instructions, or between selections, especially when the staff is speaking.
    10. Bring a pencil to all rehearsals. Mark all music properly. 
    11. Strive to play your best at all times - Remember that the way you rehearse is the way you perform.
    12. Play in tune.
    13. Use good posture.
    14. Strive for good tone and technique, perfection is the goal.
    15. No gum chewing is allowed in the band room.
    16. Drinking, smoking and drugs are strictly prohibited. All school district policies regarding such are enforced during any band activity.
    17. All school rules will be enforced.
    18. Do not damage school property or equipment.
    19. For rehearsals and performances, hair needs to out of the eyes.



    Band members are expected to wear full, correct uniforms at all public appearances. 

    • Stay in COMPLETE uniform unless otherwise instructed. When in public, the jacket must be completely zipped!
    • When the weather gets colder, only wear loose coats or hoodies over the uniform as well as the raincoat. When walking around or sitting in the stands the raincoat should be worn and not thrown under the seats.  Band coats, non-band coats or hoodies do not take the place of the raincoat.
    • All students are required to have a pair of blue jeans and sneakers with them at all football games in case of bad weather. No rips or holes in the blue jeans.      
    • DO NOT WEAR JEANS UNDER THE BAND PANTS. Sweats, thermal underwear, shorts may be worn.  Jeans can damage the pants.
    • Do not push up the sleeves of the jacket or pull on the collar.
    • The uniform and hat should be clean. Be careful of how you eat while in uniform.
    • Clean black shoes are to be worn with black crew NO ankle socks!
    • Jewelry must be very minimal while in uniform.
    • When wearing the hat, if your hair is long and touches the uniform collar, the hair must be put up into the hat.
    • All uniforms are stored in the music suite and should never be taken home except with director’s permission.
    • Each student is responsible for his/her uniforms. Uniforms will be placed in the garment bag when not worn.  Carry the bag-don’t drag it!
    • Students will change into the Band Trousers and Shoes before boarding the bus. Students will remain in uniform until they return home
    • The band trousers will always be zipped and up when worn. Do not unroll or unzip them on the bus or at games.
    • Chaperones will check uniforms in the garment bag to see that the trousers and jackets are hung properly before placing the uniforms back on the storage racks.
    • Please hang all garment bags partially unzipped to allow uniforms to air out.


    Concert Dress


    A white button-down dress shirt short or long sleeve, Black dress pants, Black dress socks and Black dress shoes



    Black Concert Gown, Sheer black or flesh tone hose, Black shoes – No flip-flops or sandals!


    Bus Trips

    Students are expected to ride on the bus to and from all performances.  If a parent wishes to take a student home from a performance, they must provide a written note beforehand to the director and must escort the student from the event.  Only a parent can take a student home.

    • Keep the bus clean.
    • Students must ride the bus they are assigned. No one will be permitted to change buses during the season.
    • Students are responsible for their own equipment and uniform.
    • Help load and unload the equipment truck. Each student is responsible for loading and unloading his/her individual instrument, uniform, and equipment.
    • Public display of affection is not permitted by all.
    • Stay seated until instructed to disembark.
    • No loud yelling, whistling, or unseemly behavior.
    • Be respectful of the bus driver and chaperones.
    • No profane language, no alcoholic beverages, no smoking.
    • Disembark by the front door only, unless in an emergency.
    • All school rules apply and will be enforced
    • Do not stick your heads or hands out the windows or yelling out the bus windows.




    Conduct in Stands

    • Remain seated in your section and leave only with permission. Return quickly.
    • No exiting the stands for food or drinks, except for the third quarter.
    • Do not have friends or parents get you food or drinks during the first half. It is     not fair to the other members.
    • Play only your own instrument.
    • Check carefully before leaving the bleachers that you have all of your belongings.
    • Listen to directions and follow instructions.
    • Be alert and ready to play at a moment’s notice.
    • Only performing members, staff, chaperones and other designated persons may sit and/or travel with the band.

    Remember that we represent our school and community, present and carry yourself with pride!  Your image and reputation is influenced by your behavior in public. 


    Daily Instrument Care



    • Swab instrument after use
    • Wipe keys and body with a soft cloth after use
    • Remove reeds from mouthpiece/instrument and store in an appropriate case
    • Store instrument in case and place in the proper location


    • Drain instrument of condensation after use
    • Remove mouthpiece and store in a proper location
    • Wipe instrument down to remove body acid from instrument finish
    • Store instrument in case and place in the proper location


    • Store all instruments and mallets in proper location
    • Cover all large instruments with proper covers


    Cleaning Instructions



    • Swab the instrument thoroughly
    • Disinfect mouthpieces with mouthpiece cleaner
    • Lubricate keys using appropriate key oil and applicator
    • Wipe excess oil
    • Use cotton swab cleaner to clean excess grease and dirt between keys
    • Wipe instrument free of fingerprints and dust.


    Valved Brass

    • Label valves with a post-it on the pearl marking the valve. Number front to back 1 through 3. 
    • Pressing valves down, remove each valve (Rotary valves, i.e. horns should skip this step)
    • Remove slides
    • Using liquid dishwashing detergent and water along with a flexible brush, clean the lead pipe, bell section and other tubing. Rinse all parts and the main body and wipe dry.  Blow water out of slides and tubing.  Repeat process on all slides.
    • Apply a thin layer of slide grease to tuning slides and replace into instrument
    • Oil valves properly and replace into instrument. Rotate valves in casing before aligning to coat inner casing with oil also.
    • Wipe instrument free of fingerprints.



    • Bell section
    • Remove slides
    • Using liquid dishwashing detergent and water along with a flexible brush, clean the bell section and other tubing. Rinse all parts and the main body and wipe dry.  Blow water out of slides and tubing.  Repeat process on all slides.
    • Apply a thin layer of slide grease to tuning slides and replace into instrument
    • Wipe instrument free of fingerprints.
    • Slide Section
    • Separate inner and outer slide sections
    • Using liquid dishwashing detergent and water along with a flexible brush, clean the bell section and other tubing. Rinse all parts and the main body and wipe dry.  Blow water out of slides and tubing.  Repeat process on all slides.
    • Apply slide grease or cream…see additional directions
      • Proper Slide Grease application
        • Apply ample grease to outside of the inner slide
        • Insert one slide and rotate to lubricate the interior of the outer slide.
        • Remove and wipe away excess
        • Repeat with other slide
      • Proper Slide Cream application
        • Apply ample amount of cream to exterior of inner slides
        • Insert one slide and rotate to lubricate the interior of the outer slide.
        • Repeat with other slide
        • Wipe excess cream off of interior slide
        • Use a spray bottle to put a mist of water on the inner slide
      • Wipe instrument free of fingerprints.



    Shamokin Area High School is equipped with a band room large enough for all rehearsals.  Instruments should be placed on the proper shelves in an orderly manner.   Every instrument belongs in its case.  Don’t touch what is not yours!  The music office is a busy terminal of activity.  Students should not be in the director’s office at any time, unless a staff member is present or given instruction or permission.  The practice rooms are for practice, not for the improvement of social skills.  Do not use the hallway for practice.  Keep the band room neat and clean at all times.  Throw away all trash; the floor is not a garbage can!


    Participation Requirements/Attendance

    This course has the same objectives as any other course, with the added dimension of the performance of music. 

    • The success of our band depends upon the attendance of each member at every rehearsal and performance.
    • Band members are expected to attend all evening rehearsals, all performances, as well as, first period band rehearsals with instruments and music. It is unrealistic to use the excuse “I know my music.”  Everyone should know his or her music.  Band is not an individual effort, but a group effort to achieve a goal. 
    • Attendance will be taken at all rehearsals and performances.
    • You are expected to make the proper adjustments in your schedule to participate in this organization. Because we are a band and not an assembly of soloists, we must rehearse as a band!  Everyone is important!  Together we succeed; divided we fail.  It is with this in mind that parents and students should view attendance at any band function as essential. 
    • Special rehearsals may be scheduled prior to concerts or important performances. The director will notify students of all special rehearsals and all performances in advance, except in rare situations.  Students are expected to notify their parents. 
    • Working at a job will not be considered a legitimate reason for missing rehearsals or performances. You have been given a schedule, so please make copies for your employer.  Most employers will work with you when they are informed of your participation in the band!


    We have an outstanding band!  It is important to the group that every member is present 100% of the time to make this a positive and rewarding experience.  It is my personal belief that if you join band you should do it because you want to – therefore, no reasons should be made for missing.  In the case of an emergency, the director must be contacted and a legal absence must be established.  Illness is, of course, excused.  Any other emergency situation must be discussed with the director.  Conflicts with regard to definition of the term “legal absence” will be resolved in consultation with the music director.  Members with unexcused absences from rehearsals and performances will be subject to a drop in grade, the loss of student eligibility for all awards, future trips, and eventually suspension/expulsion from the program.  Your grade depends on your attendance and initiative during rehearsals and lessons, balanced by performances, attitude and individual preparation.



    The Senior High Band grades are based on the following:

    The student demonstrates effort and overall improvement on their individual instruments, actively participates in rehearsals, demonstrates good posture; follow the established rules, behavior and attitude. 


    The student will attend all rehearsals and performances unless excused by sickness or prior notification and/or permission of the director. 

    5 possible points for each rehearsal

    25 possible points for each parade, football game & community performance

    100 possible points for each concert


    The student will attend all scheduled lessons unless excused by sickness or prior notification and/or permission of the director. Each student is required to attend at least 5 out of 9 lessons each marking period.  Each lesson is worth 20 possible points.

    100 possible points


    Playing/Performance Deportment

    100 possible points


    Behavior Deportment

    100 possible points


    The student will complete the required marking period writing assignment.

                      15 possible points


    The student will complete the required marking period written test/quiz. 

                      50-100 possible points


    Requesting an Excused Absence

                This process involves submitting an ABSENCE FORM for each absence containing information on your intended absence along with parent signature and must be given to the director. The forms will be located in the front of the band room.  Each absent must be in writing.  It is your responsibility to inform the director of any possible absences.  Therefore, it is essential to the success of the band that ALL members are present for EVERY rehearsal. When a member is late or absent, the band is negatively affected. Spacing, lines and intervals are compromised due to the void in the visual form. The absence of sound creates a void as well, making it difficult for a section to balance and blend musically. Consequently, every individual is highly valued and is an irreplaceable member of the team. Some conflicts are unavoidable. Members are asked to submit an Absence Form in the event of such a situation. With careful planning and effective communication, most if not all, conflicts can be remedied in advance.


    Personal Achievements

    The members of the Shamokin Area High School Band should strive for personal fulfillment in the field of music. All members are urged to audition for the various Honor groups offered.

    Competition Band

    Small Ensembles

    District Band

    Region Band

    All-State Band

    University Honor Bands


    Fund Raising

           Successful music programs are expensive to operate.  Uniforms must be bought and maintained.  Instruments repaired and replaced.  Trips, meals, equipment, and buses must be funded.  As a result, fund raising is an essential task to be taken seriously by all members.  We need everyone to participate to achieve our financial goals.