Band Handbook





Ambassadors in Blue






Harry Hooker

DHS Principal









Forward and Philosophy of the Band Program                                  3

Band Objective                                                                                   3

Band Membership                                                                               4

Band Calendar of Events                                                                   4-5

Band Camp                                                                                         5

Performance Ensembles                                                                      6

Grading Policies                                                                                  7

Absences and Tardies                                                                         7-8

Expenses                                                                                             8

Fundraising & Spring Trip                                                                  9

Classroom Rules                                                                                 9-10

Travel Conduct, Stadium Rules & Uniform                                       10-11

Rehearsal Schedule, Inspection & Conclusion                                   12

Signature and Information Pages                                                       13








          The purpose of this handbook is to provide valuable information about the DeRidder High School Band program.  To achieve and maintain the high standards of excellence desired by the band, members should familiarize themselves with the regulations, procedures, and traditions of the band.  It is a desire that many of the questions that students and parents have about the operation of the band program will be answered in this handbook. All band members and parents should read this handbook carefully in order to avoid any conflicts with band policies.




          It is the philosophy of the band program to work toward providing a well-rounded, balanced program of music education for all interested students who demonstrate the desire and proper attitude to be members of the band.  Each student must be willing to share the responsibility of establishing and maintaining high standards of excellence.  Further, each student must show respect for authority and cooperation with his/her fellow band members.

          Discipline must be strict.  It is vital to the success of the band that both the student and parent be willing to accept the ideals, principles, and rules of the organization.




          The DHS Band forms an integral part of student life and is recognized as a co-curricular activity.  It is the single largest student group on campus and its members form an active, cosmopolitan group.  The primary objectives are:

1.  Educational:  To develop interested and well-trained musicians skilled in the basic fundamentals of instrumental ensemble skills.

2. Cultural:  To encourage development of musical appreciation and understanding.

3. Citizenship:  To develop a set of basic values in the areas of responsibility, service and pride in the school and community.

4. Recreational:  To provide students with an opportunity for worthy use of leisure time, emotional outlet and appropriate social experience.



          Membership is open to all interested students on a voluntary basis.  New students are admitted upon the recommendation of the previous band director and the completion of a short audition for placement. 

          Membership in band is a privilege, with this privilege comes responsibility - our character counts.  All members understand that in addition to our playing standards, we also have behavior and attendance standards.  Any infractions to school rules will be dealt with on an individual basis by the directors and school administration –serious infractions may result in dismissal from the band program.

      DHS Band Calendar of Events

July 16–19                  Band Camp (see schedule/summer newsletter)
August 14                   Students report to school
August 19                   Band Booster Meeting 6:00 pm- Gym/Cafeteria
September 2                Labor Day (No School)
September 3                Band Booster Meeting 6:00pm - Band hall
September 6                DHS vs. South Beauregard – Away
September 13             DHS vs. Washington-Marion – Home
September 20             DHS vs. Jennings - Away
September 27              DHS vs. Green Oaks – Home (Homecoming)
September 28              District Honor Band Auditions - Barbe HS
September 30              Band Booster Meeting –Monday
October 1                    Fair Day Parade
October 3                    DHS vs Iowa  - Home – THURSDAY (8th Graders join)
October 4                    Fair Day Holiday - No School
October 5                    Pickering Marching Festival
October 10                  DHS vs. Bolton – Away - THURSDAY
October 12                  Second Round All State (Pineville HS)
October 18                  DHS vs. Leesville – Home
October 19                  DeRidder Marching Festival
October 21                  Band Booster Meeting 6:00pm
October 25                  DHS vs Peabody – Away
October 26                  McNeese Marching Festival
November 1                DHS vs. Tioga – Home
November 2                Sulphur Marching Festival
November 8                DHS vs. Cecilia – Away
November 11             Veterans Day Holiday
November 25-29         Thanksgiving Holiday
December 7                 DeRidder Christmas Parade
December 10               Jazz Band at Wooten - Marching awards
January 6                     Staff Development - No students
January 16-18              District Jazz Honor Band
January 20                   Martin Luther King (No School)
January 24-25              District V Honor Band
February TBA             Parish Honor Band
February 21-25            Disney Trip
February 24-25            Mardi Gras Holiday
March TBA                 District Festival -  TBA-1 or 2 day event
March TBA                 District Solo and Ensemble – DHS
March 30                     Band Booster meeting - Elect Officers
April 10-17                  Spring/Easter Break
April TBA                   Guard work out for Try – out
April TBA                   Guard try out
May 1                          DeRidder Solo and Ensemble Invitational
May 4                          Spring Concert & Awards (senior final)
May 5                          Scholar's Banquet
May TBA                    Drum Major & Officer Workouts
May 8                         Last Day for Seniors
May TBA                    Guard and Percussion rehearsal
May 15                        Graduation (playing final)
May 21                        Last Day for Students
May 22                        Last Day for Teachers


Band camp is mandatory for all members of the “Ambassadors In Blue” and will run for a brief 4 days.  Students must bring their own lunch, and Dinner will be provided. 

July 16 – 8:00am to 8:00pm

July 17 – 8:00am to 8:00pm

July 18 – 8:00am to 8:00pm

July 19 – 8:00am to 8:00pm

A rough schedule for each day will be as follows:

8:00am-8:30am           Full band meeting
8:30am-11:00am         Marching Practice (Basics and Drill)
11:00am-12:00pm       Lunch (Bring your own)
12:00pm-2:00pm         Sectionals
2:00pm-2:30pm           Break
2:30pm-4:00pm           Full Band Rehearsal
4:00pm-5:00pm           Dinner
5:00pm-6:00pm           Activity
6:00pm-8:00pm           Marching Rehearsal (Music and Drill)



Marching Band – This is the primary musical ensemble in the fall and is a requirement for all groups at DeRidder High School.  The marching band performs at football games, pep rallies, and various parades.  The band also travels and performs in 3-4 festivals/competitions each year and at occasional functions throughout the DeRidder community.  In addition to regular class time, the marching band rehearses outside on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.  Weekly sectionals may be required.   Participation in Concert/Symphonic Band (Advanced Band Class) is required for the entire academic year from every member of the Marching Band.

Concert/Symphonic Band – This ensemble meets year-round and is the primary performance vehicle in the spring.  All wind and percussion students are required to participate.  This ensemble meets first hour every day.  Sectionals may be required in the spring.  This ensemble performs 2-3 concerts each year.  The symphonic and concert bands will also perform at the District V Large Ensemble Festival as well as up to one out-of-state festival per year (pending on invitations received).  Initial chair placements are based on District V Honor Band audition results, and further chair placements occur via playing tests and challenges.  Each student is encouraged to prepare a solo in the spring.  Participation in the DeRidder High School Solo and Ensemble Festival is highly recommended. Mandatory daily bell work begins promptly upon the ringing of the tardy bell at which point every student should be in their chair with all necessary supplies to rehearse.

 Jazz Band – This ensemble represents the finest musicians in the band program and is open to students interested in pursuing additional musical opportunities on top of their responsibilities as part of the Marching and Concert/Symphonic Bands.  Jazz Band meets as a class sixth hour every day.  The band performs at numerous events throughout the local area.

Color Guard (Applied Music A) -- This component of the marching band is open to any student at DeRidder High School by audition.  This group meets first hour every day during the fall semester.  Instrumentalists who are members of the Color Guard are required to register and participate in Symphonic/Concert Band (Advanced Band).  The guard will rehearse Tuesday and Thursday mornings with the marching band and once a week after school as determined by the instructor (Tuesday from 3:30-6:30pm).

Winter Guard – This ensemble meets after school 2 times a week from November to April  (3:30-6:30pm) and is purely Extracurricular.  Participation in Winter Guard is by audition only and open to any student at Deridder High School.  Attendance at all rehearsals is mandatory, and absence may result in removal from the ensemble.




          The purpose of grading is to provide parents and students with the most accurate picture possible of the student’s work. The grading process is an integral part of instruction. All activities that relate to the student’s performance are considered when arriving at the grade the student earns every nine weeks. The grading procedure is as follows:

  • Class/Rehearsal participation (100 points per week) – The student must have his/her instrument, all materials necessary for class and a positive attitude  The first hour class will start at upon the ringing of the tardy bell, and Before school rehearsal will begin promptly at 7:00am.  Any student who is late will have points deducted from the 100 points possible per week.  The students will also be marked as tardy on the attendance sheets for parent verification. 
  • Playing or written tests (100-300 points) – In order to ensure students are successful in learning the various things that they will perform, playing tests will periodically be required to gauge student success.
  • Performances (300 points) - If the student is tardy for a performance or is not in proper uniform, points from the 300 possible will be deducted. Absence from any performance is a major infraction.
  • Make-up Work for Excused Absences – while absences are to be avoided at all costs since they have an effect not only on the grade of the student but also the success of the full band, certain absences may be excused.If an absence is excused (see absence policy below), the student will have the opportunity to make up the missed points through make-up work assigned by one of the Directors.

The nine-week grade is arrived at by adding all points earned and dividing the total points earned by the total number of points possible and assigning the appropriate letter grade to the percentage arrived at after the division.   

       DeRidder High School Senior Graduation will be the band’s playing test for their "final exam" grade.   


 Participation in the DeRidder High School Band requires a unique commitment of energy and time.  Because of limited rehearsal time, absences and tardies must be avoided.  Attendance will be taken at all regularly scheduled band functions, rehearsals, and performances.  Excuses for absences and tardiness will be considered on an individual basis.  You must present a written notice to the director of bands at least 24 hours prior to the rehearsal.  In emergencies or other unavoidable situations, PLEASE notify the director of bands by phone (463-2522 ext. 10210). 

 All events are absolutely mandatory.  Other activities must not conflict with previously scheduled band commitments. The directors strive hard to avoid any schedule conflicts.  DO NOT create your own!!!  

 Absence from a performance is the most serious offense possible.  Absence from both performance and rehearsal affects everyone in the organization. Therefore, absence from a performance for any reason other than emergencies or serious illness can result in the forfeiture of your position in this organization as well as failure for that grading period.

 Every member of this organization is expected to conduct himself or herself in a mature and professional manner.  We have made every effort to provide a quality musical experience with a minimum time commitment.  


All students enrolled in their Senior year of band will be eligible to receive a band letterman’s jacket. Jackets will be ordered in early Fall of their Senior year and presented in the Fall of the Senior year. Additionally, any student who is selected into the LMEA All-State Band or Orchestra will receive their letterman jacket in the Spring of the same school year. The band boosters pay $50.00 towards the cost of the jacket and letter only. Students are responsible for all other items and customization which is due at the time of ordering.  Students are only eligible for one school letterman jacket.  (You must be in good financial standing to order a jacket.)



Band fees and other expenses will begin to be collected during band camp.  You may write a single check for all expenses (fees, shoes, shirt, etc.) if you desire.  All fees are due by November 1st.  Please help us help you by taking care of this as soon as possible.  If you need to make special arrangements to pay your fees, please speak to a director privately.  We would be happy to discuss a payment plan if necessary.  Please do not consider waiting until the end of the year because we must pay our expenses in the beginning of the year. If a student is removed from band he/she will be responsible for all expenses.  Band fees must be paid before ordering a Letterman jacket. 

 BAND FEE - The band fee this year will be $120.  This fee will cover your shirts, all entry and participation fees, and other miscellaneous costs.  ***FUNDRAISING PROFITS MAYBE APPLIED TOWARDS BAND FEES***.                

  • ADDITIONAL PERCUSSION FEE ($60) –All percussion
  • GUARD FEE – ($400)  All Members
  • INSTRUMENT RENTAL ($50) – Students using school horns
  • This fee covers the chemical cleaning of your instrument after use.  You are responsible to return the instrument in the same condition that it was issued – you assume responsibility for any damage outside of normal wear!!!  You are also responsible to provide your own mouthpiece and supplies (reeds, valve oil, slide grease, flip folder, lyre, etc.)
  • BAND SHOES ($30.00) Band shoes are ordered during band camp.


 Aside from the band fee, which addresses operational expenses of the band, students are not held accountable for any other portion of the budget (unlike other programs throughout the state).  Each year the band sells Dragon Cards (a local discount card sold for $10 each). THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS FUNDRAISER IS TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT.  SIXTY PERCENT of each dragon card sold goes into the student’s individual account.  These fundraising opportunities are made available to help defray the cost of band fees and the spring trip.  Each year several students raise most if not all of the cost of the trip through fundraisers.  In fact, many students exceed the cost of the trip and are issued checks for spending money prior to the trip.  Even a small amount of work on each fundraiser can drastically reduce the financial burden of the trip.  Please take advantage of these opportunities.  Please be aware that all band fundraisers must be approved by the directors and school administration. 

*** Any money raised in the current year may not be transferred to the next fiscal year, unless the following year is a trip year. In this case it may be used to offset the costs of said trip upon receipt of all Band Fees for the same student.  All excess monies will be transferred to the band account***  


 The 2019-2020 band trip will be to Disney World. Students may use excess dragon card profit from the 2018-2019 school year in addition to the 2019-2020 year to help defray the cost of the trip. The trip cannot be paid for in any part before the band fee is completely paid off.
Classroom Rules

           A band will perform in the exact manner in which it practices!  Class rules are very important for the smooth daily operation of the band program at DHS. The rules established for the band are based on common sense and are meant to be very clear with definite penalties for students who choose not to observe any one of them.

1.   Students are to be considered tardy upon the ringing of the tardy bell during regular class, and at promptly 7:00am for before school rehearsals f they are not in their seat/spot with everything they need for class.  - instrument, reeds if necessary, folder and pencil.

2.    When the conductor steps on the podium all students will cease talking immediately. The conductor is ready to begin class.

3.    If a student has a question he/she will raise his/her hand and wait to for the conductor to recognize the student.

4.    There is to be absolutely no candy, gum, drink or any other eating material allowed in the music building at any time, unless otherwise stated by the directors.

5.    Students should refrain from writing on or otherwise defacing any school board property including music stands, walls or any other surfaces.  Making notes on music in pencil is acceptable.  There are to be no personal notations of any kind written on music.

6.    At the end of class the conductor releases the class, not the bell.

7.    Students will respect other students and DHS band equipment.  Students found in other student’s instrument cases will be referred to the administration immediately.  Students will also be responsible for the care and upkeep of the instrument issued.  All instrument cases are to be stored in the proper cubby holes or designated shelving area. Book bags will also be placed in a designated area.

8.    There are to be no students who are not involved in a music class allowed in the music building unless they are to see a specific teacher.

  Self-Discipline and Self-Evaluation are two key ingredients to Self-Improvement.

 Look at a disciplined band and you’ll see a successful band.

Look at a successful band and you’ll see a disciplined band.

When maturity and intelligence are combined to develop a desire to achieve, nothing can stand in the way of your success!


 All students must have a waiver on file in the DeRidder High School office in order to travel with the Ambassadors in Blue.  This waiver must be signed and notarized.


  1. Bus assignments are permanent – you may not switch busses once we have left DeRidder.
  2. Stay seated at all times while the bus is in motion.
  3. Keep arms, hands, and feet inside the bus at all times.
  4. DO NOT shout – inside the bus or outside.
  5. No food or drink on the bus without the permission of the director.
  6. Music may be listened to with headphones only – You are responsible for the safety of your equipment.
  7. Upon arrival at destination, stay seated and await instructions.
  8. No one is dismissed following a trip until the busses are spotless – pick up your trash and do not leave personal items on the bus.
  9. Be respectful and courteous to the driver and chaperones!  The chaperones are in charge in the absence of the director.
  10. Boys and Girls will ride separate busses to any destination, unless the director states otherwise.


  1. Following our march into the stadium, remain at attention in front of your seat until the drum major puts you at ease.  You may then remove hats and gloves.
  2. Visitors are not allowed in the band seating area nor may anything be brought to a student during the course of a game.
  3. Be attentive and alert at all times.  We will play a lot.  You horn and flip-folder should be ready at all times.
  4. Do not play without permission.
  5. Do not leave after half-time until a director dismisses you.
  6. Third-quarter break is a privilege that can be revoked.  Be in your seat with your horn and folder ready to play before the third quarter ends. 
  7. Water will be provided in the stands – do not bring other drinks or food into the set.
  8. We will not leave until all trash is picked up in our area.
  9. Conduct yourself with class at all times . . . in the stands, at the concession stand, in the restroom, etc.  You represent not only yourself, but also your band, your school, your city, and your parents.



Marching Uniform:  Our uniform is the most identifiable aspect of our band and should be treated with respect and worn with pride.  You will be fitted and issued a uniform at the beginning of the school year.  All uniforms will remain in the band hall.  We will hem and clean the uniforms for you.  You are not dismissed after a game until you return your uniform is hung properly in its garment bag. Uniforms must be hung neatly and will be checked before you can leave.  Failure to hang the uniform properly and check it in will result in the loss of points from your performance grade.

  1. Wear band t-shirt under your uniform– you will not be allowed to remove your jacket otherwise.
  2. No jewelry may be worn while in uniform.
  3. Do not remove any part of the uniform or un-zip the uniform without permission from the directors.

 Colorguard Uniform: 

Black Jazz Pants/or wind suit
Guard Uniform Top
Black Guard Shoes 
Black Socks


(typical week) 
Monday & Wednesday 7:45 (Regular first hour band)
            Tuesday and Thursday– 7:00 a.m. – 8:44 a.m. (Regular first hour band)
            Friday – Outside (Football Field) – 7:45 a.m. -- (One run-through)       
            Drumline – Weekly rehearsal every Monday 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Guard - Weekly rehearsal every Tuesday 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

All students must report for inspection before every game.  Do not lose points by being late!  This is our opportunity to make a final check as well as give any last minute instructions.  Pay special attention to the following guidelines.

  1. You must be in bib pants with hat and jacket in hand – this means zipped!
  2. Shoes must be clean– you may want to polish them weekly.
  3. Shoes and gloves must be clearly marked with your name.
  4. Please have all music in your flip-folder and your instrument.
  5. Reed players must have at least 3 additional reeds.


           Musical success consists of three ingredients:  Parents, students and teacher – all working together.  The success of the instrumental music program is in large part dependent upon each student doing his/her particular task well. If one or two parts of the team fall behind the progress of the group will suffer.

          We have attempted to provide a clear and comprehensive picture of the band program at DeRidder High School.  The band program has grown a proud tradition of enrichment for the lives of its members. Participation in the school band is a unique experience that should be taken advantage of.  Parents are urged to support their child in this endeavor.

          We are ready and willing to meet with parents to discuss the band program. Please feel free to call us for consultation.  Our office hours are at 2:10 PM and the phone number is 463-2522 Ext. 10210.



Aaron Theall                  Evan T McAleer                       Daphne Richardson



DeRidder High School Band


This handbook has been designed to provide you with the rules and requirements for participation in the DeRidder High School Band.  Its purpose is to give parents and students a clear and concise understanding of the workings of our band department and to provide a guide which covers most aspects of the function and requirements of participation. 

We, the undersigned:

  1. Have read and thoroughly understand and agree to comply with the contents of this handbook.
  2. Understand that this document must be returned within one week of receiving this handbook.
  3. Understand that any infractions will be dealt with on an individual basis by the directors and school administration – serious infractions may result in dismissal from the band program.
  4. Agree to do my personal best and follow the conditions outlined in this handbook.
  5. Acknowledge that the personal information below is accurate to ensure efficient communication.


 ***Please fill out this form so that we can keep an accurate file for our records.***

 STUDENT NAME: _____________________________________

ADDRESS:  __________________________________

City: __________________________ Zip:__________

Parent Phone: _____________________________

Student Phone: _____________________________

Other Emergency #(s): ______________________



_________________________________                  ___________________________________

Student’s signature                           Date                  Parent/Guardian Signature                   Date