FAQs

1. Why does a student audition?

Student’s who enroll in band, audition so that they can be placed in a band class with students at their skill level and be assigned the appropriate part for marching band.

2. How many bands are there and how does placement in a band affect a student’s schedule?

There are three bands, beginning with the most advanced:  Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band.  Which ensemble you are placed in determines which class period will be your band class.

3. Does a student have to come to summer band practice?

A student who is interested in marching for the Fall show should make every effort to come to summer practice.  In August, the band begins learning music and drill to the Marching Show.  A student who shows up the first day of school without having been to summer practice will be approximately 2 months behind the other students.

4. What happens if the student’s family will be out of town or there is some other reason the student cannot attend summer band practice?

The directors need to know if the student intends to stay in band, but cannot be at practice for some reason.  Writing for the show’s drill begins early.  It is a complicated geometrical problem, and it is not so easy to add and subtract students without changing the look of the show.  Please e-mail or call the directors if the student cannot attend any or all days of summer practice.

5. What is the difference between a having a spot and being an alternate?

Spots are designated for performers participating in the marching show.  There are a limited number of spots written for in the marching show.  Alternates will travel to all football games and competitions, but will not perform in the show.  They will be assigned to helping with front ensemble, helping set up equipment, or other behind the scenes aspects of the performance.

6. How is a student assigned to a spot or to be an alternate?

During summer band camp, the director’s will evaluate each student.  Spots will be assigned to student’s that play their music and march at a basic proficiency level.  Spots are not finalized until the beginning of competition season (October).  Someone who is an alternate can move over to an assigned spot and vice versa.  This will be based on playing proficiency, marching proficiency and/or attendance.

7. What does “ineligible” mean?

When six-week progress reports come out, students with one or more failing grades cannot participate in extracurricular activities such as band events or contests at least until the student has brought the grade up (including all classes) for the three-week grading period.

8. Does “ineligibility” include Pre-AP, AP, IB and Con-Current classes?

Yes and No.  Based on the language in TEA & UIL Side by Side, advanced courses are eligible for exemption as noted in section 33.081 of the Texas Education Code.  Bryan High School requires that all Pre-Ap classes maintain a grade of 65 or above to meet the exemption.  All AP, IB, and Con-Current are exempted from no pass no play requirements; therefore, no minimum grade is needed in order to maintain eligibility for these classes.

9. What should a student wear for marching practice?

Summer and Fall practices take place during the hottest time of the year.  Most practices are on the hot concrete parking lot, where temperatures may reach above 100 degrees.  Students should be attired in shorts (no long pants), practice shirt (purchased at registration), socks and tennis shoes.  Sunscreen and hats are strongly advised.

10. What should a student bring for marching practice?

Each student should have his or her own half-gallon or larger water jug (purchased at registration), marked with the student’s name and filled with water each day.  Students should also have his/her instrument in working condition and coordinate charts w/lanyard.

11. What is the fair share fee supposed to cover?

The fair share covers costs beyond what the district budget can cover including drill for the marching show, drinks throughout the year, food at contests, and uniform cleaning.  Families whose financial situations make payment difficult should contact the band directors.

12. What else will a student need to purchase?

All members must purchase 3 shirts (show shirt, performance shirt, and practice shirt).  The performance shirt will be worn under the uniform bib pants and at any other performances in which students are not wearing the full uniform. The show shirt will be worn at pep rallies and other designated performances.  Practice shirts will be worn at all outside rehearsals.

Students must also purchase performance shorts to be worn under the bib pants and at any other performances in which students are not wearing the full uniform.  Students are also encouraged to purchase two pairs of long black socks to wear with the uniform.

Students, except those in percussion, will also also need to purchase at least two pairs of black gloves each year.  New students, or those who have outgrown last year’s shoes, must purchase black marching shoes.  Other items needed are a flip folder (w/extra pages), lyre, and a Foundations for Superior Performance bookAll of the above items can be purchased during registration before band camp begins.

13. What other optional items can students and parents purchase?

The BHS Band Boosters sells clothing and other spirit items to promote the band and school.  Please see the website merchandise page (coming soon) for other available merchandise.

14. How much is the rental fee for school-owned instruments?

Students who play french horn, tuba, baritone/euphonium, oboe, bassoon, percussion and other school-owned instruments pay a fee of $50 to the school for the maintenance of those instruments.

15. Can we purchase our own instrument?

Many students own their own instruments and directors can advise students and parents about brand names and where to purchase them.  Some wind players purchase a second higher quality instrument for concert season and save the instrument they first learned on for marching season.

16. If a student plays an instrument not used in marching band, what should he or she play during marching season?

Marching programs usually do not include bassoons and oboes.  Students who play these instruments during concert season should discuss the possibilities with the directors and his/her private lesson instructor.  Some students have opted to participate in color guard or percussion during marching season, while others have switched to similar instruments for the Fall.

17. Should students take private lessons?

Private lessons are not required, but are highly recommended.  The school district contracts with several instructors, who are mostly college or high school music teachers.

18. How often do students take breaks during marching practice?

Band directors take frequent breaks during hot practices.  The BHS Band Program acknowledges the importance of health concerns associated with the heat/sun.  A drum major is assigned to keep track of the frequency and length of the water breaks in order to reinforce the importance of these health concerns.

19. How can parents find out information if the students do not tell them?

Students have often had a long day before they see their parents each evening, so they might forget to tell parents key information.  Parents should sign up to receive band e-mails through charms and check the website for announcements and calendar updates.  Also, you can sign up to receive SMS text messages through twitter.

20. What does UIL mean?

The University Interscholastic League began at the University of Texas.  UIL rules govern Texas intrastate competitions in music, athletic and scholastic competitions in the state.

21. When and how should I get my sons/daughters uniform fitted and cleaned?

The uniform committee fits the  pants for each student  during registration day before summer band begins.  It is necessary throughout the course of a marching season to have the uniforms cleaned.  Students are responsible for cleaning his/her own uniform throughout the course of the semester.

22. What are the different parts of the uniform?
  • Jacket – self explanatory
  • Bibbers – the overall style pants that are worn under the jacket
  • Gloves – black gloves to be worn when playing the instruments
  • Shoes – black shoes that are specifically designed for marching
  • Socks – must be black and be calf high in length
  • Shako – band hat
  • Plume – tall blue feathery adornment that is attached to the shakos just before performances
  • Performance Blacks – the band shirt and shorts has a print of the BHS Band’s logo.  It is worn under the bibbers and jacket.
23. What kind of uniform do students wear during concert season?

Men are expected to wear a tuxedo and ladies are expected to wear a dress. The concert attire uniform is provided by the district with the exception of a few items.  Men are expected to purchase a tux shirt (cuff links and studs optional) and tux shoes. Women are expected to purchase black flat shoes (no heels or sandals).

24. What are the main parts of a marching band?

The marching band consists of the brass, woodwinds, drumline, and color guard.

25. What is the drumline?

The drumline is made up of the marching percussion instruments (snare, quad, and bass), and the front ensemble (marimba, vibraphone, bells, timpani and auxilary percussion instruments).  The marching percussion is more commonly referred to as the battery and the front ensemble is more commonly referred to as the pit, however, both sections make up the drumline.

26. What is Winter Guard?

Winter Guard refers to the competition season for the Color Guard that follows the marching season. These contests are held indoors and separate routines for groups as well as individuals are learned and performed.

27. What is VIP?

VIP stands for Viking Indoor Percussion.  Indoor Percussion refers to the competition season for the percussion that follows the marching season. These contests are held indoors and separate routines for groups as well as individuals are learned and performed.

28. How often does the band travel out of state?

The full band trips occur every year, but out-of-state travel is typically scheduled every 2 years due to the cost.

29. How many hours a week does the band practice?

UIL rules allow for a maximum of eight hours per calendar week of marching practice outside of the school day, plus warm-ups prior to games and contests.  When school begins, most rehearsal weeks are 7 hours not including warm-ups prior to games and contests.

30. What if it rains at a football game?

A poncho is one of the items necessary at all football games.  The band is expected to attend the game even if it is raining. The district safety regulations are in effect so if there is lightning detected the game will be delayed, paused, rescheduled, or called complete.  Rehearsals and competitions will follow the same procedure.  Unless there is severe weather in the area, all band members are expected to be in attendance at all rehearsals and performances.

31. What if the football team makes playoffs?

If the football team makes the playoffs the band is expected to play at the games. This usually includes a game during Thanksgiving break so you need to plan accordingly. The schedule for these games will be different from the regular season so watch for directions to come from the band directors.

32. What are Marching Contests?

Besides football games, the fall is all about the marching competitions for the band. These competitions are held on Saturdays in October.  They are comprised of UIL and other marching competitions.  Most competitions have a preliminary contest, they announce winners, and then have a finals competition for those bands that qualify.  After the final awards are announced the band will reload the buses and return to the school. Once again we recommend that you wait for a phone call from your student telling you that they have been released before you go to the school to pick them up or watch for a message on Twitter.

33. Can students succeed in advanced classes and march in the band at the same time?

Yes.  Plenty of band students enroll in advanced classes and succeed.  Band students are constantly being a awarded as top graduates in their respective classes.  That does not mean it is easy, but band seems to help the students learn discipline and time management.

34. Why should families join the Bryan Band Boosters?

The Band Boosters supports the band financially by covering expenses not paid for by the school or school district.  The organization also facilitates communications among the directors, students, and parents, and provides a physical presence to help cheer for the band and assist the students in numerous ways.  Families who participate find fun and friendships with other parents and students within the band program.

35. How can I keep up with my student’s financial account?

We use Charms as a data management tool for the band. You can log onto Charms (charmsoffice.com) at any time to see the most current status of your student’s financial account.  The parent/student login is bryanhsband and the password is the student’s school ID #.