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 and may not be able to get back to you immediately. We will be sure to return emails as soon as possible. If it is time sensitive, please put that in the subject.

Q: How do I know what is going on?

A: Booster communication is mostly through email and postings on our Facebook group. 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 pre-band camp and for the school year, as well as items and costs. If you have not received the packet, email Mr. Simon (he does get his email during the summer) at nsimon@pvlearners.net.

Through emails, our weekly newsletter, our Booster Facebook Page, and the regularly updated booster website, parents will receive information regarding performances and events, as well as fundraisers and meetings. 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 so check the calendar as dates/times do change.

Q: Why are some pages on the website password protected?

A: For the safety of our students and the privacy of our program some pages are not available to the public. At the beginning of the year you will get the password to access all the password protected pages on the website.  We ask that you not share the password outside of our booster group.

Q: What financial commitment is involved when my student is in band?

A: Exact amounts vary annually and by section. There are fees set by the school district that are paid to the bookstore. In addition there is a cost for attending Band Camp (also paid to the bookstore), and a student payment to the Band Boosters to cover additional costs for the program. Various Winter/Spring events may require additional costs. Special circumstances can be discussed with the Booster treasurer. We don’t ever want cost to be a reason that a student isn’t involved in band.

Q: What is the Band Booster student payment?

A: The student payment is the fair share amount that student’s family pay to cover a portion of the cost of the band program. This year the student payments will be about 35% of the total budget, with the remaining coming from fundraising. For 2018­-19 the band student payment will be $100 and will pay for the student’s warm weather uniform, some food and snacks during games and competitions, and uniform cleaning. The 2018-­19 color guard student payment will be $130 and will include the student’s warm weather uniform, some food and snacks during game and competitions, and a custom­-made uniform which coordinates with the theme of the show.

Q: My child is interested in jazz band, when is that offered?

A: Jazz band is by audition only. It meets during “zero hour” and is an elective course during concert season. Zero hour is scheduled from 6:30am until first period begins. Jazz band participants pay the district mandated class fee (for the 2017-2018 school year it was $10.00) and for performances are required to wear black trousers, black shirt, and black shoes. For some performances, students will be asked to wear a splash of color.

Q: My child is interested in Winter Guard or Winter Percussion, when is that offered?

A: Information meetings for Winter Percussion and Winter Guard are in the fall. If your student is interested in these programs, watch for information in the weekly newsletter or on the Facebook page. Both programs participate in sanctioned events and compete at several shows during the January – April season. These programs have student payments that vary by needs of the program to cover the cost of uniforms, instruction, props, transportation and competitions.

Q: Do I get in to football games free to watch the band?

A: Unfortunately, no. All PVUSD football games charge admission. Only those parent volunteers who help with pit/props in the marching show or who operate our concession stand receive complementary admission. You can purchase tickets at the gate for each home and away football game or you can purchase a season pass through the bookstore. Admission prices for away football games vary by venue.

Q: Can I go see the band perform at their competitions?

A: Absolutely! The competitions are open to the public and we encourage all parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, siblings, and friends to come watch the kids when they compete. The shows are amazing and it’s a great way to show the band your support. Admission prices for the shows vary depending on the location, but most are $10-$20 per person.

Q: How much is the admission fee for the concerts?

A: Concerts at SMHS are free. We do operate a snack bar incase you’d like to purchase treats or a cold drink.

Q: Does the band ever travel to other parts of Arizona or out of state?

A: Yes. In 2016, the band went to Hawaii to represent Arizona at the 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. If the band travels long distance, there may be additional expenses to be paid which will be announced to parents ahead of time. During marching season, you’re welcome to come support the band at any out of town performances. Students travel on school/district-sponsored vehicles. You are responsible for your own travel and expenses. For out of state travel, only chaperones are permitted to travel with the band.

Q: What is a tax credit donation?

A: Click HERE to learn more about the Arizona Educational Tax Credit program and how you can make your donation to the school today. The Arizona Education Tax Credit program is regulated by the state and is a credit for contributions made or fees paid to a public school.

Q: Why does the band do so much fundraising?

A: The student payments cover about 35% of the expenses that the boosters pay to support the band. Through fundraising and sponsorships we are able to ensure that we can support all the programs of the SMHS band department and keep the student payments low.

Q: What if I can’t pay these fees or payments?

A: If your student is on free or reduced lunch, speak with bookstore staff about waiving the participation fee and class fees. If you have difficulty with the other payments, please discuss this with the booster treasurer. We can work out a plan. We never want cost to be a reason for a student to not participate in band.

Q: Do I have to pay for the marching uniforms?

A: The summer t­-shirts and shorts are included in the student payment and the students keep these items. Shoes and (if required) gloves will need to be purchased by the students and will also be theirs to keep. 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.

Q: How much time is required?

A: Participating in marching band or any other band program is a commitment. As a student enrolled in marching band, there are two required evening rehearsals during the week, as well as additional rehearsals before marching competitions, typically on Saturday mornings. Evening rehearsals are scheduled from 6-9pm. During football season the marching band performs at all home games and select away games. The marching band competition season runs from August through November and most Saturdays in September and October are filled with competition programs.

In the past, the band has also participated in the Veteran’s Day parade, the Fiesta Bowl parade, as well as other Shadow Mountain programs such as homecoming.

There are no night rehearsals after winter break unless your student is involved in Winter Percussion or Winter Guard.

Attendance at rehearsals, performances, and competitions are required and a part of your student’s band grade.

Q: I’d like to volunteer. How can I, as a parent, participate?

A: We’re glad you asked! It truly does take a village to keep the band running smoothly. The booster organization is run by volunteers and all of our fundraising and support of the band requires the help of parents. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact the volunteer coordinator or attend a booster meeting to find out how to get involved. Volunteers are always needed to help prepare and distribute water to the band; 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; chair events; organize dine outs; provide support at festivals or auditions; take tickets; help with picture day; and so much more.

We understand that not everyone can volunteer their time. If you’d prefer to help out by making a financial contribution or in-kind donation, those are always welcome, too. Donations of bottled water and approved snacks are always welcome!

If you have a unique skill such as sewing, social media management, graphic design, or other way you can help, please talk with a board member.

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.

Q: Why do the Band Boosters need all this money?

A: During the year, the band boosters pay for competition registrations, band and guard props, and travel costs to competitions. In addition, the band boosters pay for marching band music, additional instructors, and instrument maintenance.

Mr. Simon would like to grow our band program. The band boosters are continually raising funds with the goal 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, such as purchasing special equipment and providing extra music instruction. We have also established a small scholarship program for band seniors.

Q: In what events does the band participate?

A: The Shadow Mountain Marching Matadors perform at all varsity football games unless otherwise announced. The band also competes six to eight times during marching season (typically on Saturdays). The band also participates in events such as pep rallies and community events with the elementary and middle schools that feed into Shadow Mountain, as well as Homecoming. The band also marches in parades, such as the annual Veteran’s Day parade and the nationally-televised Fiesta Bowl parade, as the band’s schedule allows.

The Concert Band, Winter Percussion, Winter Guard, and Jazz Band also compete. 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 their season.

For students who wish to participate, they may audition for regional and state honor bands. Contact Mr. Simon for more information regarding these auditions.

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

A: No. Before any band event (competition, away football game, parade, etc) all band members meet in the band room at Call Time. The Call Time is determined by Mr. Simon to ensure that students are ready and equipment is loaded for an on-time arrival at the event. Students will be transported by bus to and from the event. All band members must wait until Mr. Simon dismisses everyone before leaving SMHS. Band members are responsible for loading and unloading the equipment truck as well as putting their uniform and instrument away before leaving. If you must drive your child to an event or pick your child up early, you will need to coordinate that with Mr. Simon ahead of time.

Q: Does my child need money when they go to events?

A: While we try to provide for meals and snacks, sometimes that is not possible. If students will be required to buy their own meal, a note will be sent to the parents. Students can bring money to buy concessions but they can only eat approved foods and drink water while in full uniform.

Q: What if I have more questions?

Contact any of our board members or come to a booster meeting. If you don’t mind posting your question in public, feel free to use the Band Booster Facebook Page to ask your question. 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 kids who help them fit in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *