A student’s success in any extracurricular activity depends on parental involvement. This is especially true with a band program. In order to understand what is going on with the Topper Band as well as to access other useful information about travel, uniforms, schedules, and student’s accounts, please take some time to read through the information on this page and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Everything you need to know about the 2023-24 SHHS Band Program
We have tried to cover everything you need to know about the SHHS Topper Band program… and more. There’s lots of good information here, but please feel free to ask questions. Remember, we were all freshman parents once – some of us more than once – and there is always something new to learn.
- Band Camp – $125. This fee pays for Band Camp: reserves your spot in show, music, additional instruction, etc.
- Fair Share Obligation – $325 competitive band. Used to fund travel to football games, marching competitions, concert festivals, etc. Second child (and third, fourth, etc.) are $162.50 each.
- Other typical expenses:
- Uniform – $120 – 200. Actual price will depend on purchase of new uniform or used uniform.
- Guard Uniform – $75 (band pays the balance)
- Shoes – $35.00 (guard and band)
- Garment Bag – $15.00 (optional, but highly recommended)
- Poncho (clear) – $6.00 (required)
- Instrumental rental – $50 year
- Flip folder/lyre – $10-$15
- Stick Fee $75– (percussion only)
Marching Band Camps (REQUIRED)
Band Camp is where we begin to put the fall marching band show together… musically and visually. See the 2019 Band Camp page for specific information about this year’s summer rehearsal schedule and Band Camp dates. Attendance at these rehearsals and camps is REQUIRED if your student is going to be in the marching band in the fall.
Typical summer/fall schedule:
- Color Guard camp
- one week in mid July
- Drumline camp
- one week in mid July
- Freshman/mini camp
- one week in mid July
- Full Band Camp
- two weeks in late July
- After school rehearsals
- each week during marching season, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 – 5:30 pm
- Football games
- we perform at all home games and most away games – exact schedule determined once football schedule is formally announced and will be posted on the calendar here on this website.
- Competitions (Saturdays)
- traditionally we compete in at least three competitions throughout October and into the first week of November.
- in late October we host the Hilltopper Invitational.
- JC Christmas parade
- typically the first weekend in December
- Winter Concert – December
- Concert Festival Concert – March
- Concert Festival – Late March (TBA)
- Spring Concert – May
All other performances are determined at the beginning of the year and announced through email, posts on the website, and are made available on the full calendar.
East Tennessee School Band & Orchestra Association (ETSBOA) Junior/Senior Clinic auditions are in early January, the clinic is first weekend of February (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Students will be auditioning for two 9 – 10th grade bands. The top scoring students will qualify for the All State 9 – 10th grade band that will be held in Memphis during the month of April.
Other Items of Interest
We travel to most away football games and to at least 3 marching competitions each year. Each student is responsible for the fall fair share obligation (we receive no money for travel from SHHS). The cost has been $200 the past few years, typically split between four equal monthly installments.
We also pay for travel for the symphonic band and wind ensemble to travel to a concert festival in Knoxville each spring as well as travel for students selected to participate in the All East and All State clinics.
Chaperone training includes bus training, which is done by Johnson City Transit, and is typically scheduled for late afternoon on the Friday of band camp. Annual bus training is required for any adult who will be riding on a Johnson City school bus. Only band students and bus-trained adults are allowed to ride school buses to and from band events.
Additional information specific to band chaperoning is also provided by the chair of the chaperone committee at the same time. Bus training is not required for charter buses, but the same pool of chaperones are typically used. Chaperones for major trips are selected based upon their experience and proven chaperone abilities. Chaperones must be parents, grandparents, or guardians of current band students, or otherwise approved by the band booster board.
Marching uniforms are not supplied by the school and it is the responsibility of the band student to purchase the uniform. In April we have a uniform fitting for students that want to purchase a new uniform. We also have a spring uniform sale where students that are currently in the band will sell their used uniform at a discounted price. The idea is that once you purchase a uniform you will be able to sell it in years to come (at a lesser price) so that at the end of the four years of band you will have only spent around $75 for the use of the uniforms. The band does have a small stash of uniforms that we loan to students that cannot afford a new or used uniform. This is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Color guard uniforms are ordered once the color guard has been selected (auditions are in April). Once a uniform is selected, students will be measured and uniforms will be purchased. A deposit (usually half of the total amount) is due before the end of the school year to secure the uniform. The color guard uniforms are custom designed for us and take several weeks to make.
Rehearsal schedule (REQUIRED)
Students will have an assigned period or band for both semesters. In the fall the students will be assigned to one of the following: woodwind, color guard, brass, or percussion class. They do not meet at the same time.
Full band rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 5:30 pm. These are NOT optional rehearsals. Students receive physical education (PE) credit for the time spent at band rehearsal after school. Please make all after school appointments (dentist, doctor, etc.) on Mondays and Wednesdays.
We will also rehearse after school on Fridays of home football games – we eat dinner in the cafeteria and will not have time to go home. Once the fall marching season is over, the after school rehearsal times will switch to concert band rehearsals due to the fact the we do not meet as a full band during the day (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-4:30 pm)
In the spring the students will be assigned to a concert band class during the day. After school sectionals may be assigned on a weekly basis. Ample time to arrange schedule will be given for these sectionals.
We generally have 2 or 3 fundraisers per year. The money raised by each student goes into the General Fund and is used to offset the financial obligations of every student in the band. Usually the largest fundraiser is the fall fruit/cheese and sausage sale. We also provide additional fundraisers in the fall and spring to help offset individual students’ fair share travel obligation and to help finance large trips.
Another fundraiser we use is the Kroger Community Rewards program. This is an excellent way for all students to raise funds to offset the overall expense of the current or future large trips the band will be taking. These are optional, but all students are encouraged to participate.
Student Accounts – Charms
Each student has their own account to keep track of the funds that come in/out of the band program. All monies are deposited into the gray box outside the director’s office (directors do not handle money). The account is accessed on-line and is generally updated weekly. Barbara Holmes is our Charms administrator.
Historically the band takes a large trip every other year to participate in a large, nationally televised event. Events that we have participated in recently include: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York City) (2000), Honolulu Holiday Parade (2002), Tournament of Roses Parade (2009), Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade (2010), the Hollywood Christmas Parade (2004 & 2012) , the Magnificent Mile Parade in Chicago (2014), The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade (2017), and Orlando, FL (2019 & 2022). The band will travel to Ireland in March of 2024 to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.
The two year cushion gives the students ample time to raise the funds for the trip through multiple payments and fundraising opportunities.
It is the expectation that the students sign up for both semesters of band (fall/spring). However, there are incidences where this may be a problem in upper class students (juniors & seniors). These are considered on a case-by-case basis and worked out with the student, parent, and counselor. It is not the practice of the SHHS band to let students take one only semester of band per year on a consistent basis.
The administration is aware of the conflicts that may arise between band and upper level classes (AP, dual enrollment, etc.) and are making changes to accommodate student’s (and parent’s) wishes to be in band and take these classes.
On a side note, we graduate over 30 band students each year; nearly all of those attend four year schools each year. Past Topper Band graduates have attended various top-rated schools including: Julliard, Va Tech, Kentucky, Florida State, Tenn Tech, UTC, Clemson, Furman, GaTech, North Carolina State, Syracuse University, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Auburn, Alabama, MTSU, ETSU and of course, UT.
Band kids DO graduate and go to college!
We have a very active and productive booster organization that is the largest support organization at SHHS. It is a wonderful group of parents that love their kids and want them to succeed. We could not function as an organization without their help and support. We have many committees that need parent volunteers.
The first official meeting of the SHHS Band Boosters is the Friday night of band camp each year. Here you will be able to receive info about needed help and sign up for committees. It is truly a family effort to make the SHHS Topper Band program run.