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Monarch High School

Band Handbook 

Mission Statement: 

The goal of the Monarch High School Band Program is to provide students with an enjoyable musical experience while encouraging success through strong leaders and collaboration in a positive environment


About the program

We have over 180 students at MHS. The band program is comprised of 2 concert bands, 3 jazz bands, marching band, percussion ensemble, winter percussion and a winter guard. We employ 10 instructors and numerous clinicians to help the students with different aspects of their musicianship. The band program has a very active parent booster that aids with every facet of the program. MHS ensembles have a history of excellence.



Fundraising is a critical component of any instrumental music program. We could not provide our ensembles with everything they need to be successful on the budget provided by the school. The Monarch Band Boosters, with the help of students and parents, raise money to support the music program at MHS. This money provides instruments, instructors and clinicians, transportation, food, entry fees, uniforms, music, etc… To maintain revenue for our instrumental music program, it is critical for all students and parents to continue to participate in fundraising opportunities. Please feel free to contact any of the board members for more information. 


1. Respect 

2. RESPONSIBILITY (take responsibility for your actions, don’t make excuses or blame others) 

3. No food, drinks, or gum in the music room. 

4. Be on time (this means being in your seat, ready to play when the bell rings). 

5. Be prepared (have all your music, pencil, everything you need to play your instrument).

6. No cell phones in class unless I specifically ask you to take it out. 

7. Clean up after yourself. 



Band is a co-curricular class, so students are evaluated by participation during the school day and outside of class time. Band is a performance-based classes and grades are directly related to participation in rehearsals, performances, and competitions. Concert and rehearsal (outside the school day) attendance/participation are MANDATORY for ALL students. It is essential that all students attend concerts in order for us to provide a successful and balanced educational program. The only excusable reasons for missing a concert are (1) death in the family, (2) extreme illness, or (3) pre-planned family travel. There may be other exceptions for missing a rehearsal. 


Please note: lack of transportation to a concert, work schedule, or homework are never acceptable reasons to miss concerts or rehearsals. Think of each concert as a final exam in the performance ensemble. In the unlikely event that a student must miss a concert (for reasons other than those stated above), your parent(s) must notify the director in writing no more than two weeks into the school year. Any absence in this category will result in significant make-up work by the student at the director’s discretion.


Performance and concerts are issued two (2) separate grades.  (1) Participation Grade and (2) Performance Grades.  Any unexcused absence from a concert will result in the loss of concert participation points.  Students will have the opportunity to make up the performance grade within four (4) school days of the concert, per school policy.  If the work is not completed within four (4) days, the performance grade will also be entered as a 0% in the Summative Assessment category.  Students who need to make up the performance aspect of a concert will make up the concert by performing selections of their concert music for the department directors.  Excused absences will be offered full credit for the performance makeup grade; whereas, unexcused absences will be dropped one letter grade.


Report times, call times, and expectations will be given to students prior to each concert.  


Grading Scale


90-100 A 

80-89 B 

70-79 C 

60-69 D 

59- Lower F 

Students earn points toward their grade for the following:

Playing Tests 

Written assignments 

Concerts/ festivals/ competitions 

Attendance at rehearsals 


Daily participation 

Punctuality (be in your seat ready to play when the bell rings) 

Preparation (knowing the music, having all items for a good rehearsal) 

I do not give extra credit 

Items that students need for class:

Woodwinds: Cork grease, swab, and at least 2 playable reeds at all times. Please buy quality reeds. The cheapest reeds will generally not help you get your best sound. I do not sell reeds at the school, so please plan ahead. A copy of the music you play (do not share music with another player) and a pencil. Buy a copy of the book Foundations for Superior Performance:  Warm-ups and Technique for Band by Richard Williams and Jeff King. 


Brass: Valve oil, slide grease, A copy of the music you play (do not share music with another player) and a pencil.  Buy a copy of the book Foundations for Superior Performance:  Warm-ups and Technique for Band by Richard Williams and Jeff King. 


Percussion: 1 pair of CONCERT snare sticks size 2B or Vic Firth Generals (any other sticks must be approved by Mr. Stephen). Most other mallets are provided. Buy a copy of the book Fundamental Method for Mallets by Mitchell Peters.  You will probably have to order this book online or through a music store 

A copy of the music you play (do not share music with another player) and a pencil. 

Concert Attire:

Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band:    

Formal concert black is: White, button up, long sleeve shirt, black bow tie and black dress pants (no jeans) black dress shoes (no tennis shoes) and black socks.  Wind Ensemble-with the white shirt, you will also wear a black jacket.  Girls; your attire is all black, if you wear a dress/skirt it has to be floor length (no exceptions), you can also wear black dress pants (Leggings are not pants and are not appropriate to wear for performances).  Everyone needs to wear black dress shoes and black socks.  Students will be responsible for acquiring the proper concert black. Only students who are wearing the proper attire will be allowed to perform in the concert. If you are going to have a problem getting these clothes, please see Mr. Stephen as soon as possible to solve any potential conflicts. Please do not wait until the last minute to get your concert clothing. If I do not hear from anyone, I will assume everyone has the proper attire for performances. 

Jazz Band:    

Jazz 1 will need coat and tie.  Jazz 2 will need black, button up, long sleeve shirt and black dress pants (no jeans or leggings) black dress shoes (no tennis shoes), black socks and a tie.  Jazz 3 White, button up, long sleeve shirt and black dress pants (no jeans or leggings) black dress shoes (no tennis shoes) black socks and a tie.  


Percussion Ensemble:

If we are performing with just the percussion ensemble, we will wear all black (no jeans or leggings)  black dress shoes (no tennis shoes) and black socks.  If you are performing with one of the concert bands, refer to the concert attire for each ensemble


Discipline Problems: 

Any disruptive behavior that makes it difficult for others to learn or hinders the teacher’s ability to teach effectively is considered a discipline problem. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with immediately. 


First offense: Student receives a warning from the teacher 

Second offense: Student is pulled aside and talked to about their behavior and parents are called 

Third offense: A parent conference is requested (to set up consequences) and 

Fourth offense: Administrative intervention will be used 


Any major infraction of school policy will not be tolerated and the student will be sent immediately to Student Relations 


Any student using drugs or alcohol during band and orchestra events will be removed from the instrumental music program at MHS 


All school rules and policies are in affect during any band trips. 


Care of Instruments: 

Brass and woodwind students who own their own instruments should bring them to a music store to be checked out by a professional at least once a year. This will hopefully prevent any major repairs because little problems will be spotted early. Woodwind instruments are very vulnerable to having little problems becoming big ones because of all of the keys and pads. Woodwind instruments should be re-padded every other year (maybe more depending on how much you play). Brass players should give their instruments a bath once every 2 months (if you don’t know how to do this, ask Mr. Stephen or your section leader). 


School owned instruments: 

There is a $75 rental for students using a school owned instrument.  Percussionists are also expected to pay the $75 for using the school instruments/mallets. Woodwind instruments need to be in good playing condition when you check it back in. Students are responsible for repairing any damage to the instrument while it is checked out to them.