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

Please feel free to print the  2023-24 Band Parent Handbook_v1 to learn all about being a parent and Booster for our wonderful Marching Matadors.

Please note:  The Band Booster Board 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 here on the website and on our Facebook Page, and in our private Facebook Group. Ms. Morgan may also set up a group on the BAND smartphone app. 

Through emails, our weekly newsletter, our Facebook Page, the Booster Facebook Group, 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 Ms. Morgan and let her know.

The Booster website has a direct link to Ms. Morgan’s calendar which lists the call times at which band members are required to report to the band room, performance times and locations, directions and other details.  

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.  The Band Booster student payment is made to the Band Boosters to cover additional costs for the program. Various Winter/Spring events may have separate 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 (not to be confused with the fees) is the fair share amount that each student’s family pays to cover a portion of the cost of the band program. This year the student payments will be about 13% of the total budget, with the remaining coming from fundraising. For the current year student payment amount please see the Student Payment page. For marching band students, the student payment covers the cost of the student’s warm weather uniform, some food and snacks during games and competitions, and uniform cleaning. For guard students the student payment helps to pay for 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: Contact Ms. Morgan if your student is interested in Jazz Band. 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 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: 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.  Parent Volunteers are needed to help with pit/props, water, and meals/snacks during a competition.  These volunteers receive complementary admission to the competitions.

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

A: Concerts at SMHS are free. 

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 13% 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 school administration 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 warm weather uniform is included as part of the student payment and the student will keep these items. 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. Shoes and gloves (if required) will need to be purchased by the students and will also be theirs to keep.

The Marching Matador 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.

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 concessions, 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, instrument maintenance, and much more.

Ms. Morgan 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 a number of 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 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. 

For students who wish to participate, they may audition for regional and state honor bands. Contact Ms. Morgan 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 Ms.Morgan 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 Ms. Morgan 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 Ms. Morgan 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, information will be sent to the parents. Students can bring money to buy concessions but they can only have approved foods and 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 Group 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.

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