New Member FAQ

New to Shadow Mountain Band? You’ve come to the right place. Scroll down and find the answer to your questions about our band program. If your question isn’t answered here, just send us an email at info@smhsbandboosters.com

Please note we are all volunteers and like many of you, your Booster Board members have full time jobs & may not be able to get back to you immediately but we will be sure to return emails as soon as possible.

How do I know what is going on?

Booster communication is nearly all via email. We’ll send home a Directory Form during Band Camp to be completed and returned with your contact information. If your student was in the 8th grade band at Shea Middle School, you should have received a band packet, in the mail from Mr. Simon before school let out, which includes the schedules for band camp and for the school year as well as fees. If you’ve not received the packet, email Mr. Simon (he does get his email through the summer) at nsimon.pvlearners.net. On facebook? We have a closed group you can request to join – Shadow Mountain High School Band Boosters.

Through emails, facebook, and the regularly updated Booster Website, we’ll alert parents of all details regarding performances and events as well as fundraisers. If you do not have access to email, please call Mr. Simon and let him know.

The Booster Website will typically have call times at which band members are required to report to the band room, performance times and locations, directions and other details.  Minutes from our meetings are also posted, and you can find forms in the Links menu on the right side of the home page.

Mr. Simon maintains the band calendar on the Band web site which gives dates and drives the calender here on the Booster Website, so you can always check there as well.

What sort of financial commitment is involved when my student is in band?

Exact fee amounts vary annually and by section. Brass and woodwind students have some different expenses than those in percussion or color guard. Some fees are paid to Band Boosters for things such as band camp, special instruction and the required band shoes, gloves, t-shirts and shorts (hot weather uniform) while other fees are paid to the school bookstore.

Jazz band is a zero hour elective course that meets during concert season from 6:30am until first period begins. Students interested in this ensemble audition to join. Jazz band participants pay the class fee of $35.00 and are required to wear black trousers, black shirt and a color tie during performances.

Winter Drum line and Winter Guard have fees that vary by year and needs of the program to cover the cost of uniforms, instruction, props, transportation and competitions.

Note there are admission fees to all football games and competitions. Concerts at SMHS are free.

A copy of the financial obligations were mailed in a packet to all current and incoming band students.

In your packet from Mr. Simon, the fees were broken into smaller amounts over time with due dates, (new high school parents be aware there are other fees and expenses to starting high school). We also offer online payment via credit or debit card through our online Charms software.

Note that bookstore fees must be paid directly to the bookstore.

Instructions for our online payments using credit/debit cards can be found here. While our payments are run through PayPal, you do not need to have a PayPal account to use this service. There is a fee equal to 4% of your payment for paying online to cover the cost Boosters is charged by PayPal. A warning box pops up to alert you of this, and there is a printable receipt available at the end.

If the band travels long distance, there may be additional fees to be paid which will be announced to parents ahead of time. Other expenses, especially during marching season (July to mid-November) include: meals on days the band performs and admission to football games and competitions.

Tax Credit – What is tax credit? Certain extracurricular fees at Arizona schools are eligible for parents to apply towards their Arizona state income tax. The benefit is that parents who pay under tax credit funds will receive a letter from the school as a receipt and can deduct the eligible amount paid, dollar for dollar up to the legal limit, from their Arizona State taxes for that year or reduce the amount of taxes already owed by that amount. It is important to remember that not all fees are eligible and there are limits: single persons can deduct up to $200.00 in a tax year, married couples $400.00. Read the Tax Credit form for detailed information (see link to Tax Credit form below).

The tax credit is for all Arizona residents, not just parents of school-aged students, so if grandparents or neighbors want to donate funds to your student’s band account and take advantage of the credit toward their taxes, they can complete a tax credit form, send it in with their check and deduct it from their taxes or reduce tax owed as long as it’s for an allowed cost. Please be sure they specify that their donation is to go to the band on the form they complete.

Tax credit forms are available here. They are also here on the official band site, are included in all concert programs, or you can email us at info@smhsbandboosters.com to request one. Upon completion, have your student turn it in to the SMHS Bookstore.

Checks for tax credit donations must be made out to Shadow Mountain High School only.

Checks made out to Band Boosters cannot be accepted for tax credit as these are not processed through the bookstore.

To help defray costs, Band Boosters hosts several fund raisers throughout the year. It is announced with each fundraiser whether the profits will be deposited into the general Boosters account or into the personal Booster accounts of students who particpate in the fundraiser.

Shea students who expect to attend SMHS and plan to enroll in band can also earn credit to be used once they start in the Shadow Mountain band program, though funds can only be used for the student’s Booster account with the Shadow Mountain band program; funds cannot be moved to another club or activity at SMHS nor can it be transferred to another school.

Earned credit in personal accounts can be carried over from one year to the next and gifted to a younger band student, in the case of seniors. We encourage eighth grade students to participate in these fund raisers so they may already have a credit in their account on entering Shadow Mountain in the ninth grade.

What if I can’t pay these fees?

Band Boosters does have a limited hardship program for any student who would be in financial hardship from the purchase of these items or band fees. Parents need to discuss this option with Mr. Simon prior to pre-camp; only our director may approve a hardship. Hardships can be defrayed by students participating in fund raisers, where they are required to pay no money, such as our annual Letter Writing Campaign. Any student on hardship is expected to participate in fundraising as this is how these funds are raised. We do have some students who have not had to pay fees in cash because of the size of their credits from fundraising.

Do I have to pay for the marching uniforms?

While uniform t-shirts and shorts, shoes and gloves are purchased by each student at the start of marching season, the Marching Matadors full uniforms are owned by the school and are used over multiple years. Students do not pay for these uniforms unless they are lost while in the student’s possession.

The uniforms are dry cleaned as the band’s schedule permits.

How much time is invested?

Time is also a commitment. Students have significant rehearsal time on Monday and Thursday evenings as well as additional rehearsals before marching competitions, typically on Saturday mornings. There are no Monday/Thursday night rehearsals after winter break. Rehearsals, performances and competitions are required and a part of your students band grade.

It is an expectation for parents and/or families to contribute their time. Volunteers are always needed to help prepare and distribute water to the band, work the sales table, sell popcorn & assist with props during football games and competitions; size, dismantle and assemble uniforms for dry cleaning; help move percussion equipment onto and from the field during performances, distribute food or assist at concessions and direct visitors during events. It takes a village to make it all happen for  this amazing group of students!

If you cannot attend band events, donations of bottled water or snacks are greatly appreciated. Some parents who can’t make it to events help by sewing uniforms from home when they need altering or contacting local businesses to obtain corporate donations, grants, or basket raffle prizes.

Information about volunteering needs can be found on our Boosters’ Website on our Home Page (you can also use the Categories on our Home Page to find specific information about our current fundraisers and announcements).

Also, to help with expenses, we ask Boosters (our band parents) to donate two cases of bottle water each season. With the Arizona heat, our students go through a lot of water. There may be times when we also send out email requests for snacks, etc.

Why do the Band Boosters need all this money?

During the year, Boosters supplements the cost of snacks and meals; Boosters pays for any props, additional equipment trucks, musical equipment and instruction that the district does not provide for, and we supplement the cost of items required for band such as shoes, gloves and transportation. If possible, we defray travel expenses for chaperons when the band travels long distances. Boosters also fund raise to help with student hardship to ensure anyone who wishes to participate in the program is able to do so.

In accordance with the goal of Mr. Simon, our Director of Bands, to grow our band program, Band Boosters are working towards having larger fund raisers, in the hopes that our parents will have to pay less out of their own pockets, and we’ll be able to do more for the Shadow Mountain bands, in terms of purchasing special equipment and extra instruction. We have also established a small scholarship program for band seniors; we assist in promoting our band program to the community, middle and elementary schools and maintain a hardship assistance program.

In what events does the band participate?

The Shadow Mountain Marching Matadors perform at all varsity football games unless otherwise announced (see the Calendar on the band’s official web site). The band also competes six to eight times during marching season (typically on Saturdays) and has additional events such as pep rallies and community events with the elementary and middle schools that feed into Shadow Mountain, as well as Homecoming and additional parades such as the Fiesta Bowl as the band’s schedule allows. Yes this is a busy schedule & lots of so much fun to participate in and watch all of the students hard work come to fruition.

The Concert, Winter Percussion, Winter Guard and Jazz Bands also compete. During our 2018 concert season.Concert and Jazz festivals are usually on a weekday and do involve time away from school. In addition, they perform at the Paradise Valley Festival of Arts, Shadow Showcase (SMHS orientation for incoming freshmen) and, typically, at two formal evening concerts at Shadow Mountain. The Winter Percussion and Winter Color Guard perform at competitions on Saturdays during the season.

For students who wish to, there are also regional and state honors bands our students may audition for. Contact Mr. Simon for more information regarding these organizations.

Do I have to drive my son/daughter to all these events? 

No. Before any band event (competition, away football game, parade, etc) all band members meet in the band room at Call Time (will be announced ahead of time to the students as well as via email and on this website). They will be transported, by bus, to the event AND back to SMHS. All band members must wait until Mr. Simon dismisses everyone before leaving SMHS. Band members are expected to unload the equipment truck, put their uniform and instrument away before leaving.

There are times when we advise parents to make sure their students have cash on them to purchase food at concessions if it’s going to be a long day.

What if I have more questions?

Check our Booster Board page to contact any of our board members. We’re happy to answer any questions, and we have all been new to high school and the band program before. We know the transition to high school and the band experience can be overwhelming, but it is also rewarding. Freshman and students new to SMHS band transition into an established, supportive community where they make friends with upper-classmen who help them assimilate.

Volunteering as a Booster is also a great way to become acquainted with other band parents and to learn about the program. Come to our monthly Booster meetings; exact dates and times are always posted ahead of time on the Website, in our upcoming events on the sidebar and in our email signature and are also included in the calendar on the band’s official web site. We’ve all been new; we know what it’s like.

Email us with any questions at info@smhsbandboosters.com

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