Community House Middle School Band

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Band Handbook

Congratulations on your decision to become a member of the Community House Middle School band program. As a member, you will learn to play a musical instrument, meet new friends, participate in fun activities and develop a greater appreciation of the arts.


To be a successful band member you must make the commitment to always strive to do your best. It is important to conduct yourself with the best possible behavior, have pride, and respect others and their property. As a band member, you represent yourself, the organization and the entire school. Only band members that demonstrate qualities of good character will represent Community House Middle School. The pleasure of performing good music for an appreciative audience is matched only by the personal satisfaction of playing for one's own enjoyment.


Band letters and calendars will be provided on a regular basis. It has been my experience that much of the information given to students never makes it home. It is with this in mind that I urge each parent to sign up on the email list. Please make the email address that of a parent. This should assure that the letters and calendar of events reach parents on a timely basis.  I also encourage you to visit this website often where you can find important information, and print your own calendars.

If you ever need to reach me you can call CHMS at (980) 343-0689. You can also email me directly at the following address:  [email protected]


Practice/Private Lessons:


Practice is an integral part of learning how to play a musical instrument. Students should practice at least 20 minutes a day outside of band class and this is considered homework. Students excel quickly when they establish a practice routine early. You may have to start with 10 minutes a day and gradually work up to 20 minutes. Practicing daily develops tone, technique and endurance. You will progress much slower if you skip days then try to make up time by practicing longer.  Students that play large instruments may need to practice in the band room before or after school.  It is with this in mind that I make the band room available in the mornings at 8:15am and after school till 5:00pm on most days.


It is not a requirement for students to take private lessons. However, private instruction and practice make a tremendous improvement in a student's playing ability. See me, or contact one of the recommended private instructors listed to the right if you are interested in private instruction.


Rehearsal and Performance Attendance Policies:


(during, before and/or after school)

To have a truly successful program it is imperative that every band member attend and participate in ALL the scheduled rehearsals and performances of their respective class. Each student will be given band calendars to help facilitate scheduling concerns. Please make every effort to not schedule appointments or out of town trips that conflict with rehearsals or performances. Performances and rehearsals are considered grades and cannot be made up. Prior notice must be given in writing if you have an emergency and an absence is unavoidable. It is also important to know that if you are absent from school due to illness county guidelines state that you may NOT participate in after school activities. AN ABSENCE FROM ANY PERFORMANCE OR REHEARSAL WILL DIRECTLY AFFECT A STUDENT'S GRADE!


Dress Code:


It is the responsibility of each student to dress appropriately while representing the school. The band will wear the Band Polo shirts during informal events such as pep assemblies and Jazz Band events. This will be worn during formal events such as concerts for 6th Grade Band. For 7th and 8th Grade Bands concert black and white for all concerts will be required.  Please review the following concert attire information.


Acceptable formal concert attire: (black & white)


***Girls dress black or dark colored slacks, white dress blouse or shirt, and black dress shoes with black socks. It is also recommended that girls wear closed toe shoes.


***No spaghetti straps, dresses or skirts allowed.  You may wear a tie or bow tie if you like. Jackets or vests are not required.


***Boys dress black or dark colored slacks, white dress shirt with collar and black dress shoes with black socks. Boys must wear a tie or bow tie.  Jackets are not required.


***Students dressed inappropriately will not perform


Policies and Expectations:


* Students will show respect at all times toward the director, parents, chaperones, school officials and other students. They will also be respectful of school property, and the property of others. Disruptive, irresponsible or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.


* Gum, candy, food or drinks are NOT allowed in the music suite, on busses, during rehearsals or performances without director permission.


* Plan to ride the bus when it is provided for scheduled activities.  Prior arrangements MUST be made IN WRITING if a parent plans to transport a student to or from an activity where bus transportation is provided. This policy assures the safety and accountability of all students.


* Always be on time!  Every effort will be made to start and end rehearsals or performances on time. If a rehearsal is scheduled to end at 4:00pm you should plan to pick up your child at that time. You are always welcome at any rehearsal or performance. The ending times for some performances are more difficult to estimate. Let's work together on this issue.


* For sanitary and liability reasons, students should only play their own instrument.


* For obvious safety reasons, inappropriate language, running or horseplay type behavior will not be tolerated in the music suite or while representing the Community House Middle School Band.



Grades are based on class participation, performance tests (both playing and written), music preparation, performance objectives, notebook, special projects, rehearsal and performance attendance, and following the policies and procedures of the class. Students are required to bring their instrument, music, and a pencil to class every day. Failure to do so will result in a loss of participation points. Refer to your syllabus for specific requirements. All students enrolled in band are expected to participate and perform in all the required activities of their class. Band is a "cocurricular" course which means that attendance at any required activity before, during, or after school is part of a student's grade.



Normal Discipline Policy:

1. a student reminder

2. timeout from the activity and deduction in participation points

3. a parent conference, note home, telephone call, etc.

4. exclusion from band performance or activity

5. discipline referral, detention, removal from activity or class

* Severe discipline issues will result in a direct administrative referral



Instruments left at home:


If a student forgets to bring their instrument to class they will lose participation points. It is important to remember that Band is a performance and participation class and when a student is unable to play because they left their instrument at home they are not fully participating in class.



Instruments in need of repair:


Instruments need to be kept in good working condition. A student will NOT be penalized if their instrument needs repair. When a student comes to class without an instrument because it is being repaired they will be given an alternative assignment. Please remember that the only way for me to distinguish the difference between an instrument left at home and one in the repair shop is if I receive a note, email or phone call from a parent. This policy prevents a student that left their instrument at home from saying "it's in the repair shop."


Often the problem with an instrument is minor. You might want to see me before you take the instrument to the repair shop.  If the instrument needs to go to the repair shop, it is generally a good idea to take it back to where it was rented or purchased. Always ask for a loaner. This will ensure the student does not fall behind. Some music stores service our school on a weekly basis.  Arrangements can be made for one of them to pick up the instrument and return it the following week. They usually have loaners available but you will need to ask before they come out.


Instrument Storage:


Community House Middle School Band Room has several instrument storage rooms.  The Band Room is locked whenever I am not present, and it is monitored at all other times by the school alarm system. The Band Room is unlocked every morning by 8:15 am for students to put instruments and music for the day.  It is also available after school so students can retrieve their instruments and music for home practice.  The Band Room is for instruments and music ONLY.  Any other items left here will be considered lost and turned into the front office.


The Band Room is our home.  Please treat it as such, showing respect for its contents, and caring for it appropriately.  If you see trash on the floor, pick it up.  Keep it nice so we can enjoy it for many years to come.


Band Requirements


In order to begin to learn how to play an instrument you must acquire a certain amount of equipment and supplies. Obtaining the following list of items is the responsibility of each student and/or parent. I strongly suggest that Beginning Band students rent an instrument rather than buy during their first year of playing. Most music stores will rent on a rent-to-own basis. I highly recommend that you avoid purchasing your first instrument via the Internet or from local stores that sell flutes and groceries under the same roof. Unless you have a great deal of instrument knowledge and the ability to play I would be weary of pawnshops.  I do recommend doing business with a store that specializes in school band instruments.  Based on instrument choice, I would be glad to recommend a brand name of a reliable maker so your child and your pocket book do not become frustrated with constant repairs.  CHMS Band has a limited number of instruments available that are issued to students free of charge.


6th Grade Band Requirements:


* (1) 1-inch Binder and (50) clear plastic sheet protectors

* instrument and supplies (supplies are specific to each instrument such as reeds, valve oil etc.)

* book: "Band Expressions Book One" Note: Each book is instrument specific.

* all black concert shoes and black socks

* Band Polo (provided by BRAVO Boosters club) & black or khaki pants.


7th Grade Band Requirements:


* (1) 1-inch Binder and (50) clear plastic sheet protectors

* instrument and supplies (supplies are specific to each instrument such as reeds, valve oil etc.)

* book: “Foundations for Superior Performance"  Note: Each book is instrument specific.

* all black concert shoes and black socks

* white long sleeved shirt with collar & black pants



8th Grade Band Requirements:


* (1) 1-inch Binder and (50) clear plastic sheet protectors

* instrument and supplies (supplies are specific to each instrument such as reeds, valve oil etc.)

* book: “Foundations for Superior Performance”  Note: Each book is instrument specific.

* all black concert shoes and black socks

* white long sleeved shirt with collar & black pants



Jazz Band Requirements:


* (1) 1-inch Binder and (50) clear plastic sheet protectors

* instrument and supplies (supplies are specific to each instrument such as reeds, valve oil etc.)

* book “Band Expressions for Jazz”  Note:  Each book is instrument specific.

* Band Polo (provided by BRAVO Boosters club) & black or khaki pants.

Issued Items:


Students are responsible for issued items. This may include but not limited to: instrument, supplies, uniform, music, flip folder, music folder etc. Replacement or repair fees will be assessed if items are damaged or not returned.



Music Store Information:


A note about music stores. We have included a list of music stores that rent and sell new and used instruments, equipment, and supplies. We are not endorsing any particular music store however; we can only tell you that most of our students have done business with each of the following stores. Call and shop around for the best deal. A word of caution though, avoid doing business with a store that is not music specific just because they're close. You should also know that you will probably only visit a particular store once or twice a year and that the larger stores often carry a greater selection and newer instruments. Remember, your child will be playing the instrument every day so it may be worth the drive. Also most music stores will require that you have a major credit card in order to rent an instrument. The first two stores service our school on a weekly basis so if you need anything just call them and they will deliver it to the school.


The following questions should prove helpful when looking for a music store.

1. How long have you been in business?

2. Do you offer lessons?

3. Do you rent and sell both new and used instruments?

4. Are you a satellite store for a larger store?

5. What is your repair policy and do you offer a loaner instrument?

6. Do you repair at this facility or do you send instruments out?

7. Do you offer different rental prices for new and used instruments?

8. Will you be sending a representative regularly to Kennedy Middle School?

9. What instrument brands and models do you offer and what country are those instruments made?

10. Will you apply the paid rental toward a purchase if I choose to buy at a later date?


I encourage all parents to get involved in their child's musical exploration. Many of you probably played an instrument when you were in school. If so, you know that the time spent in band was one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It can be equally rewarding for your child. All it takes is commitment and a love for music.

Interested in Private Lessons?

It is important for you as a serious middle school musician to study privately with a teacher. Receiving private instruction helps you to become a better all-around musician and increases your chances of having successful auditions for all-district and all-state.  The following private study teachers are available should you choose to take lessons. Please remember that you can also visit your local music store for lessons as well.

If interested, please have your parents contact the instructor of your choice to set lessons up.
Emily Higgins - Flute -
(704) 341-0000

Jennifer Dior - Flute - [email protected]

Connie Beach - Flute -
Elizabeth Dockery - Oboe -
(704) 564-6397

Brenda Casciani - Oboe/Bassoon - [email protected]


Adam Mouser - Oboe -

(704) 301-4168
Steven Dockery - Clarinet -
(704) 564-6397

Mark Pesker - Clarinet -
(704) 341-0000

Mark Catoe - Clarinet -
(704) 341-0000

Debbie Loomer - Clarinet - [email protected]

Allan Rosenfeld - Clarinet - [email protected]

John Sadak - Clarinet - [email protected]
Steven Dockery - Saxophone -
(704) 564-6397

Rich Graham - Saxophone -
(704) 541-1798

Mark Catoe - Saxophone - [email protected]
Keenan Harmon - Trumpet / Brass - [email protected]

Erin Ellenburg - Trumpet -

Gordon Hann - Trumpet -
(704) 341-0000

Marcus Davis - Trumpet / Brass - [email protected]
John Howell - French Horn -
(704) 541-1798

Michael Holmes - Horn / Brass - [email protected]

Christopher Griffin - French Horn - [email protected]
Karen Dobbs - All Brass -
(704) 846-5486 or (704) 577-0600

Rich Haley - Low Brass -
(704) 341-0000

Brent Ballard - Trombone - [email protected]

Geoff Whitehead - Tuba - [email protected]
Mark Dorsett - Percussion -
(704) 542-7273

Scott Christian - Percussion -
(704) 523-8019

Kevin White - Percussion -
(704) 341-0000 or (704) 995-7664

Chad Gibson - Percussion -
(704) 541-1798

Chris Bryan - Percussion -