CONCERT BAND -  Is elective and selective.  It provides an instrumental music experience for the serious woodwind, brass and percussion players in the area of instrumental music.  Advanced technique and above average musicianship are our goals through preparation of concert and contest repertoire.  Areas taught during the course are contemporary and standard band literature, cultural fork literature, pop literature, and music theory.  Participation in all performances is part of the course and required for continued membership.  Band members are encouraged to participate in the District 10 Solo and Ensemble contest.  (Marching Band is not a part of this course, however, participation in this co-curricular activity is encouraged.)


This handbook contains the policies that will govern the operation of the instrumental music department in grades 9-12.  These policies will be strictly and fairly enforced.  There must be a common understanding among parents, students, and teachers that if a student is to be a part of the music program, he/she must abide by the policies set forth in this handbook.  The music program is voluntary; however once you volunteer, it then becomes obligatory.  Playing a musical instrument is one activity that requires no age limit. It is something you can use and enjoy throughout your lifetime - long after your school days have ended.  Please read this handbook carefully and save it for future reference. 

In order to establish and maintain the high standards of excellence of our groups, it is of utmost importance that students coming into these organizations acquaint themselves with the regulations, procedures, and traditions.  We believe that this booklet will help you in many ways.  Whenever a question arises, this resource is available to you. 


Lexington High School Instrumental Music Department Grading Policy

Final six week grades will be based on

  • Daily participation/cooperation - You will earn grades each week directly relating to your performance in the classroom. The grades are based on your attitude and participation for each day of rehearsal
  • Performance progress - You will be evaluated by the directors and yourself on improvement and will be given grades throughout the six weeks on your ability to perform the literature being worked on in class.
  • Written tests - You will be given a self-evaluation form at certain times during the grading period. You will also be graded on history/theory exams.
  • Performance attendance
  • Weekly practice reports

***Very Important-Read Carefully***

An organization is only as good as its individual members.  This is true of every musical ensemble.  EVERY member is important to our group.  The ensemble never functions as well without every person. When you assume the responsibility of being a member of our organization, you must agree to be present for all activities, such as concerts and contests.  You may be excused under certain circumstances from these activities BY PERMISSION OF THE DIRECTOR if a note from your parents is presented to the director at least two weeks prior to the performance.  Sudden illness, emergencies, and a death in the family will be excused if a note stating the reason is submitted upon the student’s return to the first rehearsal following the performance.

Excuses that are not listed will result in lost performance credit for the six week grading period. This policy is in force to protect those students that do take their participation in our group seriously. It is in no way meant to punish anyone. Our concerts are considered our major exams and it is important that all attend. Other members of your band are relying on you! It is your responsibility to attend each concert. You are given ample notice to adjust your work and social schedules accordingly.

You will be graded on your concert performance. Points are taken off for goofing around and being a poor audience - it is our expectation that you will not allow this to happen.

            Missed performances will require makeup work in the form of:

  • A paper on a historical period or composer to be decided on by you and the director. The paper must include a typed bibliography, must be double spaced, and must be at least five pages in length. You must have at least four different resources and be able to supply them upon demand. Plagerism is against the law and can be checked electronically. Doing your own work is important.
  • Attend a professional musical production and write a one page paper giving your insights on the performance. The program and/or ticket must be attached to your paper.
  • Make a recording of concert selections and/or technical exercises we are working on in class to be determined by yourself and the director. The recording must be on a cassette with your name clearly printed on the front. The recording must be unaccompanied. The recording will be evaluated for the following: correct notes, phrasing, intonation, and rhythm.
  • Music manuscript assignment (see director for details)
  • Terms research worksheet

Please keep in mind that an “attempt” at making up participation grades does not constitute receiving all of the credit possible with the make-up assignment. Assignments will be evaluated on their completeness, neatness, grammar, thoroughness, and overall quality. You may not do extra assignments because of grades lost in class due to gum chewing, tardies, and the like. In addition you will not be eligible for field trips planned if you are a no show at the concert. If you do not care to participate in both class and performances, change your schedule now to avoid problems later in the year.


     Members of musical performing groups are required to observe the following rehearsal rules:

1.  Each rehearsal bring your:

                          A. Instrument/Sticks

                                B. Music

                                C. Reeds (at least 3 good ones)

                                D. Oil

                                E. A PENCIL!!!!!!!!!!


2.  When you arrive at the rehearsal room:

A.  Do not eat or chew gum

B.  You must be in the room by the late bell and in your seat by ONE minute after the late bell.

C.  Restroom passes will be given for emergencies only. The restrooms are to be used between class changes. No passes will be given  during the final five minutes of a class period

D.  Books, purses, and instrument cases should be kept outside the rehearsal area in the places provided.

E.  Warm Up on scales, long tones, rudiments, or lip slurs

F.  Put your music in order - check the board


3.  When the conductor steps on the podium all playing and talking ceases!                 

  1. Remain seated until the bell rings. When rehearsal ends place your instrument and music where

      they belong. Enter and exit through the double doors only. The music office is not a pass



 4.  Play only your instrument.


            It is expected that students will have their instrument for class at each rehearsal.  If it should become necessary for the instrument to be repaired please bring a note from home to class notifying the teacher of it with the date you expect to pick it up.  Students who forget their instrument, will have their six weeks grade lowered by one letter each time they accumulate three missed rehearsals. 


            Seating is determined at the beginning of the year by the previous years seating and by audition.  Daily playing checks provide the opportunity for moving up or down in the section.  Challenges are also available for the chance to move up; however, no challenges are allowed two weeks prior to a major performance.

            The seating in large sections has a definite pattern which is set by the director for the proper balance of parts.  Throughout the year, some students will be given the opportunity to switch to an alternate instrument; thus allowing the students to play an important role in the total ensemble sound which is not always possible in a large section.





Instrument Identification:   All instruments must have the owner’s name in plain view printed on top of the case. Many instruments have been mistakenly taken by other people when no identification was on the case. Self-adhesive labels are available in the music office at no cost to you! Instruments are to be placed in their cases and the cases closed while in the storage room.  Instruments not in cases are to be returned to their storage area after use. 


Instrument Storage Room:  This room is for the storage of instruments only!  Students are not to loiter in the storage room and are to only touch and move their own instrument! Cubbies & shelves are to contain your instrument and accessories only. You will be assigned a music shelf for your folder.


Music and Folders:  Since what music we have must last a long time, please show respect and care for all music that is issued to you.  Music may be taken out of the folder to be practiced at home; however, it must be returned in time for rehearsal.  If you have the music and become sick or unable to come to school the next day, it is your responsibility to have a friend or relative bring it to school.  Failure to have the music at school not only hurts your partner, the fact that the part is not being played also affects the balance of the ensemble.  For those reasons and more, if music is frequently left at home, it will affect your grade. Students who forget their music six times in a six weeks will have their six weeks grade lowered one letter.  Folders left out after rehearsal will be held until a fee of $1.00 is donated to the music fund. Lost music will be paid for by the student(s) responsible.  The current replacement cost per sheet of music is $1.00. 

Care of Equipment:   It is every musician’s responsibility to show the utmost care for all music equipment, instruments, music, folders, etc.  No student shall use in any way the stereo, office computers, VCR, DVD, TV, electronic equipment, lights, or piano unless given permission by or under the supervision, of the music staff. Stay away from the percussion instruments unless you are a percussionist. Feet are to be on the floor and not on chairs or stands. The music room, practice rooms, and instrument storage are not to be used for personal storage or waste materials. Equipment not placed in its appropriate location after being used will be confiscated. Students may retrieve their equipment after donating $1 to the music fund.         

Percussion:  All equipment will be placed neatly in the cabinet or in its appropriate place at the end of rehearsal.  Timpani heads are to be loosened after rehearsal.  An inventory of all equipment will be taken periodically with the section being financially responsible for any that is lost or damaged.


Care of Instruments: Your instrument, either personal or school owned, is a fragile, complicated device much like a fine watch. Students are responsible for daily care and maintenance of their instruments. - i.e. brass slides and woodwind corks well greased, bows loosened after rehearsal and rosined regularly, swabbing the instrument if it requires it, and placing reeds in a reed guard. Woodwind players should always have three good reeds, string players should have rosin, and brass players should have valve or slide oil. 

Mouthpiece:  Your mouthpiece is to be cleaned at least once a week using either a woodwind or brass mouthpiece brush.  This is done in lukewarm tap water and on brasses brushing from the backbore forward while woodwind mouthpieces should be brushed both ways.  Never use a towel to dry a woodwind mouthpiece since it dulls the rails and tip. Instead, blow the excess water from the inside and towel dry the outside. Since most of the sound quality comes from the mouthpiece, it is recommended that you have a good one. Should you need or want to replace your current mouthpiece, check with your director for a suitable replacement.

Woodwind Instruments:     Swab these instruments out after every use to pull the condensation away from pads and tone holes.  Corks should be greased after every other use.  Pivot points on key mechanisms should receive one drop of key oil once a month.  All of these supplies can be purchased in kit form called “instrument care kits” from the local music stores.  The exteriors can be cleaned with a soft, clean cloth.  Areas should be cleaned under key mechanisms using Q-tips.


Reeds:                                   The music department will have the following reeds for sale:

                                               Clarinet - Vandoren #2.5 or 3  Alto Sax - Vandoren #2.5 or 3

                                               Bass Clarinet - Rico #2.5         Tenor Sax - Rico #2.5

                                               Bari Sax - Rico #2.5


Reeds are delicate pieces of equipment which require great care to keep playing properly.  A reed can go bad at any time, so it is required that all players carry at least three working reeds at all times.  The reeds will last a long time if kept in a little plastic device called a reedguard.  The small cost of this accessory is offset by the savings in reeds.  See your director for more information. Oboe and Bassoon reeds should be of medium strength and the director will help you adjust them for best performance.


Brass Instruments:   Brass instruments need all moisture blown out after every use and the exterior cleaned with a soft, clean cloth.  Each valve should receive a drop of oil every other use or as needed.  The same is true of each slide on a trombone.

     Every month the instrument slides, valves, and caps should be taken off and the entire instrument soaked in warm water.  All interior tubing at this time should be cleaned out with the use of a flexible tubing brush.  The slides then should be reassembled using tuning slide grease to lubricate them for easy adjustment.  Valves and caps should be delicately cleaned, lubricated, and re installed.  All the above supplies can be purchased through the local music dealers. 

Percussion:  Percussionist should see the director concerning cleaning and adjustment.  It is the percussion section’s responsibility to keep all equipment operating properly and report any faulty equipment immediately.   Percussionist are required to have their own pair of concert snare sticks at every rehearsal and performance.

Repairs:  Students are urged not to work on their own instruments.  For minor problems such as stuck mouthpiece, loose keys or pads, or questions as to the nature of a repair first contact the music director.  If he is unable to make repairs, it is recommended that it be taken to a qualified professional repairman. If the instrument will be more than three days in repair, it is the student’s responsibility to have a suitable loaner instrument during the time his/hers is being repaired.  Students should keep their mouthpiece, reeds, etc., from the instrument being repaired to use with the loaner.


     The uniform for concert band, orchestra, & symphonic band will be a white dress shirt or blouse and black trousers/slacks or skirt with black shoes and appropriate stockings. A vest will be provided for each student and black ties for each guy. Jazz band will wear the same uniform as the bands & orchestra minus the vest & black tie and with a purple bow tie and cumberband supplied by the music department.




     Solo and ensemble contest is held on a Saturday in February.  This is at a host school within our music district.  Participation is voluntary; however, extra credit will be given to those who compete!  Students are encouraged to participate.




Students are placed in jazz band based on instrumentation, attitude, and ability as determined by the jazz band director.  Private lessons are strongly encouraged.  Students will be expected to attend all rehearsals, sectionals, and performances as indicated by the director.  Auditions and interviews are conducted at the end of each school year. Students may express their desire to participate at any time to the director and consideration will be given to the student’s current ability, and any additional instruction the student should receive prior to admittance.


            Periodically throughout the school year students will have the opportunity to perform and visit various destinations.  These will help to act as culminating experiences to the learning that has taken place in the classroom.  Students are expected to follow all school rules.  Violations of school policy will result in the same disciplinary reprimands as if the student were sitting in school.  In addition, the student can look forward to the loss of future travel opportunities.

            When a large group of students travel together, it is necessary to have a set of standardized rules to help the trip run smoothly, safely, and enjoyably.  Remember when you travel with the Lexington Music Program you represent not only yourself, but your group, school, and the community.  Listed below are a few key guidelines explaining what is expected:


                        1.  You will be told when to board the busses.

                        2.  Never leave a bus until told to do so by your director

                        3.  Only go in the building or area where you have been told to.

                        4.  Leave areas where we have eaten cleaner than we found them.

                        5.  Treat the chaperons with the utmost respect!!!

                        6.  As each place we visit is unique, listen carefully for specific instructions.


     The second Monday of every month at 7:30 PM in the instrumental music rehearsal room at the high school, the parents of students just like yours meet to find ways to assist the directors in providing the very best musical opportunities possible for their students. We invite you, and hope you will take the opportunity to join us to enhance the educational experiences available to your student. 



Fund raising is done to purchase items for YOU. They are optional; however, it is a benefit to you to participate. You are responsible for all money due, and we ask you to be prompt when it is time to turn it in.