Band Basics

How can band parents stay in the loop?

Band Notes are emails issued by the Directors to the students and parents. These will keep you up to date on rehearsal times, call times, etc. If for any reason, you can’t find your weekly Band Notes, you can read them on the Charms website.

Schedules for our many events are maintained on our Westwood Warrior Band Calendar as well as our web page. Follow us on Facebook for updates and photos and videos from our events.

 

How do band students earn letter jackets?

Band Letter Jacket: may be purchased at the end of the academic year by any sophomore band or guard member who has completed two years of continuous service to the band and who is scheduled to CONTINUE in band.  Band students may buy a jacket at the end of their freshmen year if they have met the following requirements:

 1.            Participate in both the UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest and the Texas Music Educators Region Band Competition.

– And –

  1. Received a First Division on a Class 1 solo OR made and participated in the TMEA Region 26 All-Region Band.

 

    LETTERS are awarded by RRISD at no cost to qualified students but the cost of the jacket is paid for by the student.

I’ve heard that band is very time consuming for students, is that true?

Yes, students do spend a lot of time in rehearsal. Summer band usually starts the first week of August, though some instruments will have sectionals or summer camps earlier in the summer. The first football game of the season is usually the first week of school, so the band needs to have a half time show and stand tunes ready BEFORE the first week of school. Students need to have time to rehearse the show, adjust to playing their instrument in ‘marching style’ rather than ‘concert style’ and to have time to come together as a band. But think about it this way, your student spends a LOT of time with other band students and a LOT of time at the school. So before the first day of classes, your student has already made 300 friends and has become very familiar with the layout of the school – or at least the band hall, cafeteria, rehearsal fields, restrooms, choir rooms, practice rooms.

Students receive a fine arts credit AND PE waiver for marching band. Colleges LOVE to see band listed on student transcripts – it shows dedication and commitment– and there are MANY chances to excel at a personal level (region/area band and orchestra, solo and ensemble) and to show leadership (officers, section leaders, uniform crew, loading crue, librarians, drum majors) in band. Students not only learn how to play their instrument, and how to perform in front of an audience, but they learn responsibility, time management, leadership skills, team building. Band teaches students to look out for others, and to do their fair share, and gives them a sense of camaraderie and community.

Rehearsal times ‘normalize’ during the school year. UIL mandates that for any given extracurricular activity, students are limited to no more than eight (8) hours of practice and rehearsal outside the school day per school week per activity. Our band directors are adamant about this rule. Study time is often given during band classes so students can stay current on homework.

What is “No Pass. No Play.”?

The Texas Education Agency defines band as a performing art. As such, concerts and marching performances are considered an extension of class time. Attendance at rehearsals and performances is required and is a part of the band grade.

A student will be suspended from participating in any extracurricular activity (marching band activities, pep rallies, parades, UIL solo and ensemble, and other competitions) after a six week grading period in which a student receives a grade below a 70. The student will remain eligible and responsible for band and technique class requirements including sectionals and performances.

Interim progress reports are issued in the middle of each six week period to students who are borderline or failing a class. Students can ‘regain’ eligibility at this time if he/she is passing.

What is a call time?

Call time is the time that the students must be ready (dressed in uniform, full water bottle, instrument, sitting in cafeteria) to meet prior to loading the buses.

What is a pass-off?

A Pass-Off is a test. Students are sometimes required to play (pass off) music for a grade or seating assignment. The directors or section leaders may provide feedback on any deficiencies.

What is the Westwood Alma Mater?

On the edge of the west horizon,
And reared against the sky,
Is the home of the Westwood Warriors,
Protected by our pride;
Onward, Upward, ever forward
To the end we’ll ever fight;
With our hearts, hands and minds
Pledged to Westwood High, our light;
For the home of the Westwood Warriors
Will ever shine so bright;
Hail to our Alma Mater,
All Hail to Orange and White.

Who do I contact if I have questions about…

All parents have a Band Buddy who will be able to answer questions. A Band Buddy is a parent of an upperclassman who has experienced at least 1 year of marching band. This person will be your go-to person for section-specific questions or if you just need someone to talk to. Your band student will also have a Big Sister or Big Brother who will help them navigate band.

If you have a question for a specific person (eg, Spirit Wear sales, Uniforms), please click here for a list of Band Booster contacts. There is a list of people who have volunteered to take on those tasks.

Fees

Is it expensive to be a part of the Westwood Warrior Band?

Band fees and expenses at Westwood are at or below the costs of participating in band at any other RRISD high school and our fee schedule is considerably LOWER than fees at other non-RRISD high schools in the area. And comparing fees for other Westwood activities (like football, cheerleading, SunDancers, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball) our fee schedule is still much lower than most of these other WHS organizations. Our fees have increased over the past couple of years, but most of these increases reflect higher costs for transportation, supplies, and equipment, and the district-required GameDayMeal plan.

What is included in the General Expense Fee?

General Expenses ‑ these defray the cost of non-budgeted operational expenses which include:

· Musical arrangement for the field show

· Drill design for the field show

· Guest clinicians

· Master class teachers

· Color Guard supplies

· Marching show sets and props

· Summer Band field technical instruction

· Marching competition transportation and food

· Uniform cleaning (a must in the heat of August and September)

Fundraising

How do the Band Boosters raise money?

Most of the money raised by WABB comes from the operation of the food concession stands during football season. The concession stands at Peters Stadium (near Round Rock High School) and Kelly Reeves Stadium (on Parmer Lane) are co-ordinated by BCOB (Band Concession Operating Board) but staffed by parents from the ‘home’ team’s band. The boosters also operate concessions at middle school home games, freshman home games, and junior varsity home games, all of which are played at the Warrior Bowl at Westwood High School. The operation of these stands requires the full participation by all band parents. Each band family is expected to work at least ONE concession shift per season. Round Rock ISD also hosts playoff football games at its two stadiums. Concessions at these games are jointly shared by all Round Rock band booster clubs.

 

We also rely on:

  • Parent memberships & Donations
  • Corporate Sponsorships
  • Several fundraising activities including our Spring Mulch Sale!

Game Days

What Are Game Day Meals?

Game Day meals are meals provided to the students prior to a football game. The final bell rings at 4:10 and the students must be ready at Call Time (usually 5:00 or 5:30). That means they have 50 minutes or so to eat, change into their uniforms, fill up their water bottle, grab their instrument, and be ready to meet (Call Time) prior to loading the buses. Purchasing Game Day meals ensures that your student has a meal before the football game and alleviates your needing to bring a meal up to the school. With buses returning to school around 11:00 pm, Game Days become very long.

What Does My Child Need To Bring On Game Days?

On Game Days, students need to bring the following:

  • marching shoes
  • black crew socks
  • compression shorts
  • orange shorts
  • show shirt

Many students wear their show shirt to school.

Where do I buy Football Season Tickets?

If you are new to the band program, you can buy season football tickets at Kelly Reeves Stadium when they go on sale to the general public. Look on the RRISD website (http://roundrockisd.org/departments/athletics__physical_education) for more information on ticket sales. You will be able to buy home game tickets (including those home games played at Dragon Stadium).

If you do not want to buy season football tickets, you may purchase home game tickets at either the school during lunch periods (or at the Athletic Offices before or after lunch). Tickets may also be purchased at the home stadium at the time of the game.

If you are a returning season ticket holder, you will be contacted by the RRISD Athletic Department sometime in July to let you know when you can renew your season tickets.

Away game tickets can be purchased at the away stadium.

Where do I sit at the Football games?

Here is where your Band Spirit Wear will come in handy. Most band parents sit near the band and the best way to identify band parents is by their band t-shirts. This is a great way to make new friends!

Marching Basics

What are Game Day Meals?

The time between the end of the school day and call time is SHORT. To ensure that students have time to eat before the game, the booster club offers GameDayMeals as a service. We contract with various restaurants to provide a quick complete student friendly meal. These are served in the cafetorium. These meals may be purchased at registration for $7 per meal. A typical GameDayMeal is a sub-type sandwich or pasta dish or pizza, plus a side, dessert and drink. Vegetarian options are available. We are NOT able to accommodate all food allergies at this time, so parents can chose to “Opt Out” of the Game Day Meal plan, with documentation to the directors.  Parents MUST provide a meal for their students if they have opted out of the meal plan.

What are marching auditions? Aren’t all students in the marching band?

The marching band consists of 2 groups: Varsity and Junior Varsity. Marching auditions determine which students are on Varsity and which are on JV. All students march at the football games.

Just like a sports team with a fixed number of players in a game, the marching drills are designed with a fixed instrumentation and number of spots on the field. These spots are called varsity spots. Westwood is unique in that it ‘trains’ additional students to march parts of the show. These spots are called junior varsity. If a spot opens up in the show due to injury or academic ineligibility, the varsity spots can easily be filled by junior varsity members who have been working on the music and drill all season. Auditions for the varsity spots are held in early August and are based on marching and playing tests and ‘pass offs.’

Varsity students march during competitions. JV students attend all competitions to support their fellow band members and to watch other school’s marching shows. This is a great opportunity for the JV team to learn about marching and see what other schools are doing. Junior varsity students are often needed to help with sideline crew, pit crew, and to perform with props and electronic equipment. Even though junior varsity students may not perform on the field during competitions, all students perform during the half time shows at football games and in the stands.

Summer Band

What can I expect during summer band?

Summer Band camp starts the first week of August. Attendance is mandatory.  Some sections (color guard, drum line, front line percussion) also hold weeklong camps in mid July. Some sections may also hold sectionals throughout the summer to get a jump on the show music.

Camp schedules may vary from day to day, but count on them being day long, with a break for lunch. Students are encouraged to stay on campus and bring a lunch from home but they are allowed leave campus to eat. Students are asked to dress for the weather (HOT! It is Texas after all) and wear comfortable tennis shoes. A hat and sunglasses are suggested. Sunscreen is a VERY good idea. Students are required to bring a FULL water jug to practice each day. Brief water breaks are held often. If the weather becomes too hot, students head indoors for sectionals or to work on music performance.

Uniforms

What are the parts of the marching uniform?
Why are there two shirts?

One of the shirts is the Show Shirt. That shirt is worn under the band uniform.

The second shirt (a rehearsal shirt) is for practices when the Band Directors want everyone to look the same without wearing the Show Shirt. For example, these will be used on a Friday morning when the students are practicing at the Warrior Bowl (the football stadium at Westwood where the JV play). That way the rehearsal shirt gets sweaty and the Show Shirt can be worn later in the day.