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HANDBOOK 2008-09


     Welcome!  90% of students participating in a performing musical ensemble throughout high school graduate from college! Nationwide, band students also have a higher GPA.  Band also offers intrinsic rewards, teaches group cooperation, instills a positive sense of self-worth and is an invaluable preparation for life.  Instrumental Music education provides opportunities for all of that while students are learning to play an instrument!

     Band probably requires more time outside the school day from more students than any other school activity.  Band members are also the students who are most often the high achievers, learn how to manage time, found on the school Academic and Citizenship Honor Rolls, and who grow into well-adjusted young adults.  It is also true that few, if any, other activities are more richly rewarding in terms of good fellowship, healthful recreation, and the satisfaction which can come only from a job well done.

      This handbook is for Shadowlawn Band members and their parents with the hope of giving information regarding the various phases, activities, policies, and regulations of the instrumental music program.  All band members and parents are urged to read the entire handbook carefully at the beginning of each school year.  The ultimate goal of the following policies, guidelines, and rules are to help create a successful young musician, and thus, a great band program.  This 2007-08 Handbook precedes information in all previous editions.



Dr. Carol King-Chipman

Director of Bands


     Band Fees are necessary to financially support our band program.  For the past few years, including this one, Shelby County Schools has not provided band programs with any funding!  The Shadowlawn Middle School (SMS) Band Booster annual budget is funded in great part by band fees.  (Band fees do not completely cover items outside of the annual budget. i.e.: band trips) Our Band Booster Organization also holds fundraisers and sponsors a school dance.  Fees are as follows and are due by the first SMS Band Booster Meeting in September (make checks payable to the Shadowlawn Band Boosters).  ALL BAND FEES MUST BE PAID IN FULL BEFORE A STUDENT IS ELLIGIBLE TO CHECK OUT AN INSTRUMENT, A UNIFORM AND TAKE BAND TRIPS.  All SMS Band students are expected to participate in the Fall Fund Raiser or donate the requested funds in lieu of fund raiser participation. Donations or fund -raiser participation is required for Honor Band students. .  Non-itemized band fees (see below) go to fund the SMS Band Program through the SMS Band Boosters.  An itemized budget is available at the Band Booster Meetings.  *Please see the director if you need assistance with the fees.


Sixth Grade:  $130.00 This includes your method book, performance shirt and West TN Solo & Ensemble fee and CD Accompaniment; All-West TN Band audition fee, All-West TN Band Clinic Fee + Hotel costs, Fall & Spring Concert fees plus numerous additional items.  Percussion fees are $138.00 and include the above plus two method books. 


Seventh & Eighth Grade:  $130.00 This includes your performance shirt, all contest fees, All-West TN Band audition fee, All-West TN Band Clinic Fee + Hotel costs, West TN Solo & Ensemble fee and CD Accompaniment, Fall & Spring Concert fees plus numerous additional items.  If students want to participate in more than one event at the Solo & Ensemble Festival, they may pay the additional fee at a later date


Communication between the director and parents is vital to the success of our program. Most information is sent through e-mail.  Please regularly check  Parents, e-mail Dr. Chipman at: or to receive Band information.  Performance / rehearsal / practice record calendars are regularly sent a minimum of one month in advance.  Performance Dates are also sent home in September.  


Sixth Grade: Time for Band  This book is included in the Band fee


The following 7th & 8th Grade books may be purchased at Amro or Bartlett Music Academy

Seventh Grade:  Technic Today, Bk. 1, by Ployhar 

              Time for Rhythm by David Ryan


Eighth Grade:  Technic Today, Bk. 2, by Ployhar

                           Time for Rhythm by David Ryan


*7th& 8th Grade Percussionists need to purchase both the bells/mallets and drum versions of the Technic Today books.  Purchase only the bells/mallets book of Time for Rhythm .


 7th and 8th Grade Percussion Students will need the following:

One Pair of Vic Firth SD 1 Snare Drum Sticks

One Pair of Vic Firth Timpani Mallets (general, not staccato)

One Pair of Vic Firth or Musser Xylophone Mallets (hard)

One Pair of Vic Firth or Musser Xylophone Yarn Mallets (soft)

One stick case for storage


These items will be needed for each Band Class.  Label each stick or mallet with your initials. Please have these by the second week of school.   7th & 8th Grade Percussion students will be required to bring a bell kit to class if he/she hasn’t learned the assignments (snare, mallets, etc.).  Percussion students must have either a keyboard or bell kit for at home practice.




1.       Shelby County School & SMS procedures  must be followed by band members at all band-related functions.  All students are given a copy of SMS Band Procedures.  A copy is also available in the body of this document.  The director will review these with students.  The procedure page must be parent / student signed & returned.


2.       Rehearsals-Each band member should be ready to play (and appropriately dressed) at the time designated by the director.  Members should bring instruments, all music (including books), a pencil, and any other items, i.e.:  flags, etc.  Band members are required to attend all rehearsals, including those after school when they are involved in that ensemble i.e.:  Marching Band and or Honor Band.  Remember: POSITIVE AND PRODUCTIVE REHEARSALS RESULT IN GREAT PERFORMANCES!


1.       Performances-  All band members are IMPORTANT to the success of our program.  Thus, attendance is vital to all performances.  The Fall and Spring Concerts are required performances for all band members.  All Marching Band and Honor Band performances (including the above mentioned concerts, and all competitions, festivals, and exhibitions) are required for those students participating in these ensembles.  Excuses, no matter how good they are, will not produce a fine band.  They are to be given only for the gravest of reasons.  The concert / performance experience is unique and is impossible to duplicate. Members are to be dressed appropriately, attentive, punctual, and orderly at all activities. 


The 08-09 green polo-type shirt with full-length khaki pants (or dress code appropriate skirt for girls) is concert attire when the band uniform is not worn.  The shirt must be tucked in the pants or skirt.  Do not wear any additional clothing under the green polo-type shirt.  A belt is required if belt loops are attached. Jeans, shorts, skorts, athletic clothing or shoes, t-shirts, or Capri length pants will not be worn in concert.


2.       Performance attendance: Requests for absence from a performance should be presented by the band parent (in writing or in person) and in advance.  The director shall approve the absence only in the gravest of circumstances, i.e.:  personal illness (doctor’s note required), death or illness in the immediate family, or an event that had produced a severe hardship on the student or immediate family (approval at the director’s discretion). An unexcused absence will result in a grade reduction of 30%.


3.       Instruments are to be properly cleaned, oiled, and in good playing condition at the BEGINNING of each rehearsal and performance.  Please take care of routine maintenance BEFORE class/rehearsal begins.  Any repairs should be taken care of immediately.  Please bring a broken instrument to the director before taking it to the shop.  I may be able to save you $$. 


4.       *NOTE: If a student’s instrument needs repair, the student needs to bring a signed note form her/his parents stating the situation for each class the instrument is being repaired.  If a woodwind or brass player needs to be excused from performing in class (dental, sore throat, etc.,) the same procedure applies.  These situations should occur rarely if at all.  The student is still expected to bring all materials (including instrument) to class.


5.       Parent signed / student completed Practice Record Assignments are due on Wednesday each week from each band student and count as 10% of the nine-week grade.  Daily practice at home is a band student’s homework and should be a minimum of two and one half-hours per week. Choose a time period that does not interfere with any other work activity, so that you may focus on your instrument and music.  Always practice for results and accuracy.  Remember: it’s not the length of time you practice, it is what you get accomplished in that time period that produces results.


6.       SCS Band Instruments - Our band program has a limited number of band instruments, mostly larger instruments, for student use. One completed and parent signed "Instrument Check Out Form" per instrument is required prior to the instrument being taken home. Once the student checks out the instrument, the student is COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE for repairs and if the instrument is lost, stolen or damaged.   A $35.00 repair fee (or a signed repair receipt from a music store) is required when the instrument is returned.


7.        NOTE TO PARENTS certain band instruments are not allowed on school buses, i.e.: tubas and baritones.  Students who play the tuba and baritone will be issued one instrument to keep at home for daily practice during the school year.  These students will need to use the "at home instrument” for the WTSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival and concerts.


8.       Quality Instruments-ALL STUDENTS MUST HAVE THEIR NAME ON THEIR INSTRUMENT CASES!  It is recommended that the best possible instrument be purchased or rented.  This will help prevent learner frustration, prevent technical problems, and allow a young student to produce a superior sound.  PLEASE consult the band director before buying a new or used instrument.  Never purchase an instrument from a department store!  These are toys disguised as instruments.  These products are not repairable and will only waste your money.


11.   Quality mouthpieces and ligatures- Mouthpieces and ligatures can make a great difference in proper tone production.  PLEASE consult the band director before buying a new mouthpiece or ligature.  Please see mouthpiece / ligature requirements below:

            Clarinet: Bonade Inverted Ligature and a Hite or Vandoreen B45 mouthpiece

            Saxophone:  Rovner Ligature and a Hite or Vandoreen A45 mouthpiece 

                                   AND a “Nerf” type soft sponge ball for a mute in the bell of the 


            Trumpets: Size 5C mouthpiece. 

            French Horn:  Size / quality comparable to a Farakas Mouthpiece

             Baritone / Trombone need:  Size 6 1/2 AL mouthpiece

             Tuba:  Size 18 or 24 mouthpiece

**The director reserves the right to ask a student to change mouthpieces or ligatures.


12.   Quality Equipment- All woodwind reed students should have four good playing reeds with them at all rehearsals and performances. Beginning Clarinet & saxophone students should use a Vandoreen brand reed size # 2 1/2.  Do not purchase Rico Reeds. These students will graduate to a size #3 Vandoreen reed by the end of their beginning year.  Double reed students should start on a medium-soft reed & graduate to a medium reed by the end of their beginning year. Percussionists should always throw away broken or warped sticks.  Proper technique is impossible when using damaged equipment. 


13.   Private Lessons- One thirty minute lesson per week is recommended for all students in our program.  Especially in our scheduling situation, this will greatly enhance learning.  See the band director for private instructor information.


14.   Music is the responsibility of the student.  All students are issued an individual copy of each piece currently being rehearsed.  The cost is $1.00 per page to replace lost music.  When music is not in use, it is to be kept with the student.  Only keep music in your case if there is a place for it.


15.   Uniforms- Uniforms will only be issued upon full payment of Band fees. Each Marching Band member (includes hat) and or Honor Band member will be issued a complete uniform (with hanger and bag).  The uniform will be taken home and needs to be dry cleaned after each use.  The complete uniform will be worn for all Marching Band and Honor Band performances excluding school concerts.  All students will stay in complete uniform following each performance until the director indicates other wise.  Each member is expected to return the uniform in the condition it was issued (with allowance for normal wear) and is financially responsible for any repairs or replacement.  Parents will be sent home care instruction for the uniform at the time it is issued.  Please return the uniform by the deadline issued on the band calendar.  Grades will be held if uniforms are turned in late.


16.   THE BAND ROOM is for BAND MEMBERS ONLY!  Students not enrolled in the band program are not allowed in the band room at any time (unless the director grants SPECIAL permission in advance).  EATING, DRINKING, & GUM ARE NOT ALLOWED AND WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.   Consistent violation of this will result in grade reduction, and possibly effect award eligibility.   Personal items, including books, book bags, shoes, etc., are not to be left in the band room during the school day or over night.  The band room is not a locker.  Items left in the band room will be taken at the end of the day.  Members may pay a fine to claim the items (at the discretion of the director). 


17.   Riding in buses: All Shelby County School rules and consequences apply on field trips, as in the classroom.  We are representing our school, parents, and our band program on performance trips.  Trips are a privilege ... not a right, and are part of the culminating reward of hard work.  YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDE IS EXPECTED AT ALL TIMES!  Students will ride the bus designated by the director. When taking a trip, students will load in the order designated by the director.  All band members will ride the bus to the performance.  Students may ride home with someone else, providing that they present the director a signed not from their parents, explaining whom they will be riding home with.  Parents:  ALWAYS check out students with the director immediately prior to leaving once the performance is complete.  Roll will be called just before departure with everyone seated and quiet.  Just before the destination is reached, everyone will remain quiet as the director and bus driver discuss final directions.  No one will leave his/her seat until permission is given.  Students shall remain seated at all times.

   No food or drink is allowed on the buses unless otherwise indicated.  All members are responsible for the disposal of trash in the event eating occurs on longer trips.  Keep the buses clean and cause no damage.  Students may bring CD players or other electronic gadgets (when approved) on longer trips.

    Students are expected to load and unload all of their equipment and are responsible for it during the trip.  All percussionists will help load and unload percussion equipment.

    While on the bus, students will speak in a normal speaking voice at all times.  Noise will be kept at a minimum.  Singing, shouting, shouting from the windows is forbidden.  Place no portion of the body outside the window at any time.

    PDA (Public displays of affection) will not be tolerated at any time during a band event.

    Do not play any instrument on the bus.  Do not drum on seats, hats, or any non-percussion item.  Sticks and mallets will be stored in stick cases during transport.


Negative comments about other bands are forbidden.  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

    Misconduct in any of the above mentioned forms (including pushing, shoving, fighting) can result in the student(s) being banned from further trips and possible disciplinary referrals.  It is the duty of the chaperones to report any misconduct on the bus or elsewhere when students are participating in a band performance / function / event.


18. CHAPERONES:  The band makes no trips unless accompanied by chaperones. Because the band director cannot be in a position to supervise at all times and locations, the success of the program relies heavily on the presence of good chaperones.

    Chaperones should be active and assume responsibility.  They should not hesitate to stop any practices, which seem questionable, out of place, or definitely wrong.  The following are examples of activities that will not be tolerated:

            -Rowdiness                                           -Anything that might reflect negatively on the 

            - PDA - keep your hands to yourself        positive reputation of our band program

           -Exchanging buses                                -Leaving bus or assembly area without

             –Wearing uniform improperly                  permission


            -Untidy appearance


19.  CLASS MEETINGS: All Band Classes meet three days per week during the school day. ALL after school rehearsals are 2:15-4:00 Mon., Tues., & Thurs.  Wed. & Fri. rehearsals are only when there is no other option.  Marching Band is in the Fall Semester after school. Marching Band rehearsals are required for Marching Band members.   Honor Band rehearsals usually begin the 2nd week of Jan. and are Mon., Tues. and Thurs. after school.  These rehearsals are required for Honor Band members.  All-West practice begins in September and is Mon. and Wed. after school.  This is only for students auditioning for the All-West TN Band.  Solo & Ensemble practice is on an as needed basis after school beginning 2nd semester. 

     If a student is well enough to be attend school, the student is expected to stay for after school rehearsal.  The director recognizes that transportation can be a challenge, (calendars are issued well in advance to assist transportation needs) however, that is no excuse for missing rehearsals.  Please check with neighbors and band friends for transportation needs.  THANK YOU PARENTS!


20.       THE BAND BOOSTER ORGANIZATION:  The Band Booster Organization is organized to financially support the band program and to promote the activities of the band.   SMS Band does not receive an operating budget from Shelby County Schools. The SMS Band program could not exist or function properly without parental support.  Parents and interested friends are urged to attend meetings, events, performances, and to lend their support.  Meetings are quarterly and will be announced via the band calendar and e-mails.  The Band Booster organization sponsors two band fund raisers during the school year.  Fall Semester: Band students sell fundraiser items.  Spring Semester:  Shadowlawn school-wide dance.


21.       PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS The Band program is designed to be inclusive to the middle school student. FOR ALL BAND STUDENTS the minimum (outside of class) performance requirements are Fall (December) and Spring (May) Concerts and participation in the West TN Solo & Ensemble Festival.  All-West TN Band auditions are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!  Participation in Marching Band and the Honor Band is expected & STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!


22.       West TN Solo & Ensemble Festival is a regional event, held locally, where students perform solos and or ensembles for a judge.  The students are not competing but are rated according to a standard.  Earning a score of III or above at this Festival is one of the criteria for earning all Band Awards. THIS EVENT DOES NOT TAKE ALL DAY…USUALLY ABOUT AN HOUR.  SMS Band will be assigned a block time for our performances.  Once the performance is complete, the student may leave. All 6th graders will perform a solo.  7th & 8th graders will perform have a choice of a solo, ensemble or both. The cost is $7.00 per event, (judges’ fees) and is included in your SMS Band fees.  7th & 8th Grade students performing in more than one event may pay the additional fee at a later time.  (See the website for more info.)


23.       Marching Band is an, auditioned fall performing ensemble for all SMS Band students. The Marching Band will perform at The Bartlett Christmas Parade and another holiday parade TBA.  Participation in Marching Band is expected of Band students.  Auditions: Marching Percussion, Flag Corp and Field Commander auditions are in September.  Brass and woodwind marching auditions start when marching band rehearsals begin after school.  To be selected for the Marching Band all students should be prepared to exhibit, over the course of several rehearsals, the discipline and ability to march in correct formation using proper marching fundamentals.  All Marching Band brass, woodwind, & percussion students will perform all parade music from memory in mid-October.  Flag members and the Field Commander will correctly perform the marching music on their respective instruments.


24.        Each Marching Band (except flags) and Honor Band member must own a pair of SOLID WHITE LACE-UP shoes.  These may be vinyl or leather.  NO CLOTH SHOES.  Check local department stores or area music stores.  Students are responsible for polishing their shoes (at home) before each performance.  All Marching Band members (except percussion and flags) music own a pair of solid white gloves (clarinets cut the tips of glove fingers off).  The Band Boosters will sell these after an after school rehearsal prior to the first parade.  Flags need to purchase special shoes and gloves.  The Flag Mom or Flag Instructor and director will make these arrangements.


25.       Honor Band is the ensemble that performs in the West TN School Band & Orchestra Concert Festival, a national music festival during the last weekend of April and on the Spring Concert. The Honor Band three days per week after school beginning in late January.   Honor Band music is competition level music and requires an extra level of commitment from students. This ensemble is open, by audition, to all 2nd year + students, and sixth grade students who have a minimum of year band experience or who are advanced students taking private lessons. Students will have from the beginning of the school year until the end of the first week in January to complete the following scale requirements.  Audition requirements are as follows:


Honor Band auditions:

1.  Students need to be consistently well prepared for each class, assignments, tests and regularly follow procedures well…. including consistently completing Practice Record Assignments.  They need to exhibit significant progress in all areas of performing (i.e.: technical, intonation, posture, articulation, timbre).  No Ns or Us in any class’ conduct, ISS or OSS. Auditioning for the All-West TN Band is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for potential Honor Band students.


2.  Sixth (minimum one-year experience) and Seventh grade band students will perform eight major scales and a chromatic scale (one octave Concert Bb ascending and descending) from memory using the following rhythm:











Ascending: half note, followed by quarter notes until the octave half note

Descending: half note, followed by quarter notes until the concluding original half note

**ALL Band students are given scale sheets with appropriate rhythms the first week of school.



3.  Eighth grade band students will perform all twelve major scales and a chromatic (one octave Concert Bb ascending and descending) from memory using the following rhythm:










Ascending: quarter note, followed by eighth notes until the octave quarter note

Descending: quarter note, followed by eighth notes until the concluding original quarter note.

**ALL Band students are given scale sheets with appropriate rhythms the first week of school.


The scales may be performed one at a time and the student will be asked to identify (from memory) the key signature of each scale performed. The students will be given in class time (one scale day per month during the Fall Semester 7 & 8 grades and class days following the Dec. Concert) to perform scale requirements. ALL eligible students are encouraged to audition!





Welcome!   I am pleased you are in the Shadowlawn Band program!  The following is a guideline of grading procedures for this school year.  Please read, sign and return the form on the following page.  By following the classroom procedures listed below, students and parents can be assured of a positive learning environment.  Please read carefully the SMS Band Handbook concerning fees ($130.00), Fund Raisers, Honor Band & Marching Band requirements, and additional procedures. 



1.  Be seated in assigned place (2 minutes after entering the class room) and 

      Be prepared for class: daily at home practice, instrument, music, pencils

2.  Raise you hand and be recognized before speaking.

3.  Respect others:  Keep hands to yourself; no teasing or inappropriate language

4.  NO gum, food or drink in the classroom (Lowers daily conduct grade to an N)

5.  Listen:  Follow directions the first time.

    *If a student chooses to earn an “N” or “U” daily conduct grade three times in a Nine week period the result will be a report card conduct grade of an “N” or a “U


A = 100-93          D = 75-70

B = 92-86            F = 69 and below

C = 85-76

10% = Practice Record Assignments (Weekly Practice Record Assignments are due on 

                                                                    Wednesday each week.)

 30% = Tests / Performances 

 60% = In Class Participation (Instrument, Music, Pencil + great effort)


** Dec. & May Concerts, Solo & Ensemble, and Marching Band and Honor Band performances (if the student is involved in those ensembles) are required.  A doctor’s note is required for performance absence due to an illness.  Please see the SMS Band Handbook.

 **All Band students are expected to maintain an “S” or above in report card conduct grade in ALL CLASSES in order to be eligible for band field trips.  An N or U report card conduct grade will result in lost field trip privileges or require chaperoning by the parent; Director’s discretion.


Positive Learning Environments will help ensure:

1.  Student achievement and learning

2.  A positive learning environment

3.  Participation in Band Class field trips

4.  A GREAT Band Program

5.  Keeps Dr. C. Happy : )


26.       HONORS AND AWARDS: The SMS Band Boosters sponsor an annual Awards Banquet open to all band members and their families. .   ALL ATTENDING SMS BAND STUDENTS ARE RECOGNIZED FOR ACHIEVEMENTS.   The following are a list of awards of which all SMS Band members may qualify and the criterion that should be met.  An unlimited number of students may qualify for each award.   Band members are expected to have no unexcused rehearsal or performance absences in order to be eligible for awards.  The band director will have the final decision whether or not to present any of these awards to any student.  Participation in the Awards Banquet by the Band student (or paying adult representative – the director must be notified in writing one week in advance) is expected in order for students to receive awards**Please see the director if purchasing a ticket is a hardship on your family.


The Band Spirit Award: The Band Spirit Award is presented to the band members in each grade who, throughout the year, consistently exhibit the following:

-ALWAYS prepared for class, assignments, tests & follows classroom procedures

-Cooperative, positive, polite attitude; accepts constructive criticism well

-Willing to go “above & beyond” for the group to excel

-A real team member: thinks of others first

-Participates in Marching Band and or Honor Band (Sixth Grade beginners Excluded)

-Participates in Solo & Ensemble Festival (earns a “III” or above)

-Maintains a B or above average in Band

-S or above in report card conduct


The Most Improved Musician Award: The Most Improved Musician Award is presented to the band members in each class who, throughout the year, consistently exhibit the following:

- ALWAYS prepared for class, assignments, tests & follows classroom procedures

-Aggressive efforts to improve performance level throughout the school year

-Participation in Marching Band and or Honor Band (beginning students excluded)

-Participates in the West TN Solo & Ensemble Festival (earns a “III” or above)

-Obvious improvement in attitude and cooperation

-Overcomes obstacles to improve

-S or above in report card conduct


The Most Outstanding Musician Award: The Most Outstanding Musician Award is the highest award an SMS Band member can earn.  It is presented to the band members in each grade who, throughout the year, consistently exhibit the following and or meet the following criteria:

- ALWAYS prepared for class, assignments, tests & follows classroom procedures

-Consistent, exceptional, outstanding performance on his/her respective instrument

-Learning the music and auditioning for the All-West TN Jr. High Band audition  

 (Beginning students excluded)

-Participates in the West TN Solo & Ensemble Festival (earns a “II” or above)

-Participates in the Marching Band and the Honor Band (beginning students 


-Performs four memorized scales (beginning band students only)

-Maintains a B or above average

-S or above in report card conduct


Marching Band members who have no unexcused rehearsal absences and participate in all performances will be recognized for their service and dedication.


Honor Band members who have no unexcused rehearsal absences and participate in all performances will be recognized for their service and dedication.


Special Recognition is awarded to student leaders and students earning placement in the All-West TN Junior High Bands.


Parent Recognition – Special acknowledgements for service to the SMS Band.

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It is for the use of the Shadowlawn Middle School Band and Boosters.