Freshman and New Band Student and Parent Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to make the transition from Junior High Band to the Nacogdoches High School Golden Dragon Band a little bit easier, and a little less scary.

The NHS Golden Dragon Band is a family, a hard-working family.


Uniform distribution occurs during the last week of July according to classification (Senior, Juniors, Sophomores, then Freshman), students will come to the NHS band hall and get fitted for their uniform. They will also be issued music, and a school instrument if they play a larger instrument or have to learn a new marching instrument, for example French Horn players must learn to play the baritone, oboe players can choose between a few instruments, etc.

At this time the students will also need to purchase their band gray t-shirt, white band shoes, a flip folder, a lyre for most instruments, and reeds for the woodwind instruments.

Cost varies, but these are approximate costs:

  • Gray band shirt - $15
  • White Band Shoes - $40
  • Flip-folder - $10
  • Extra pages for the flip folder - 25 cents per page
  • Lyres vary in price depending on instrument - $8 to $20

The students need to come to the uniform distribution day with approximately $75.00.

The Freshmen students should begin to learn their music as SOON as they receive it!

August Band Practice

(wear tennis shoes, comfortable clothes, a hat, and they might need a jacket when in the band hall, it stays cool, but it will be VERY HOT OUTSIDE!)

(the captains are in charge of having water out at the practice field and it is always available)

Days 1 - 3 of summer band are only for Freshmen students and their section leaders. They will meet in the band hall and begin to learn their music. It is very important that the students are at the band hall early and ready to begin on time, DO NOT BE LATE. Be sure to check the calendar for times.

These three days with the Freshmen and section leaders will give the new students a HUGE advantage when the entire band comes together for the first time since May. The Freshmen only days will allow a smaller group setting to begin their tenure in the award winning NHS Golden Dragon Band.

Full Band Rehearsals


DO NOT BE LATE, be early and ready to begin at 8:30am

Before school even begins, the students will perform for the teachers and administrators at the NISD convocation, for the parents at the NHS Band Boosters meeting, and for the community at the Meet the Dragons. So as you can see we start the year off with a busy schedule, and school hasn’t even started yet.

Other Fall Items

All-Region music will be passed out as soon as it is available. This is the music that your student will need to practice to determine what band and chair they will have for concert season. They must learn the 9th grade cuts for this audition. They may then also try out for the 9th grade All-Region band. They may also try out for the High School All-Region band, but they must learn more of the music.

Grades and Being in the Drill

Several factors are involved in the students being in the drills and their grades for band:

  • Students must pass off their music (memorized) to their section leaders. They will be given a calendar.
  • Section leaders will hold weekly sectionals and attendance is mandatory.
  • Students must attend all rehearsals; absences must be approved by Mr. Wells to be excused.
  • Students must have a good working knowledge of the marching fundamentals.
  • Grades also are based on participation in All-Region, Solo and Ensemble, concerts, contests, etc.

Football Games-have all supplies ready , shirt, shoes, white socks, music, horn, uniform

HOME GAMES: be at the band hall at the designated time, and have all supplies with you, shirt, shoes, socks, instrument, music, etc… The band will march into the stadium and march around the track and then get into the stands. The students that have passed off their music by the designated time/date will be able to take the 3rd quarter off. Drinks are provided by the boosters during 3rd quarter.

Once the game is over the students are dismissed by class. Seniors, Juniors, Sophomore, and then finally Freshmen. When they get back to the band hall they must put up all of their equipment. Do not expect your Freshmen to be the first ones out of the band hall after any game. They are usually one of the last ones. Freshmen boys are on load crew, and have to help get everything put up, Freshmen girls are on carpet crew and must make sure the carpets are all put away.

Please make sure your student gets picked up from the band hall after all games in a timely manner. There is a phone they can use to call, but a better plan is to already have a “pick up” plan. The directors are tired at the end of the night as well, and they are ready to go home too, please be waiting for your student at the end of a game either home or away!

AWAY GAMES: many times they will leave right after school and do not have time to leave school or go home. These game days are very fast paced. The students will meet in the band hall, role will be taken in the band hall and again when they get on the bus. And then there are some of the away games that the students may have time to go home first, but it is vital that they get back to the band hall on time, ready for role check. The students must ride the bus with the band to the games. The students may ride home with a parent if a note is given to Mr. Wells before game day. The student must check out with his or her bus chaperone and give the note to the chaperone after retrieving the note from Mr. Wells.

The students will sign up for buses. Seniors first, then Juniors, Sophomores, and finally Freshmen may sign up. This bus will be the bus they stay on for the rest of marching season. Sometimes the bus role changes, depending on the venue. The students load the buses by seniority, the students depart form the bus by seniority.

The student may bring snack with them. On the longer bus rides, the boosters will provide a meal, usually pizza. Remind your student to pick up after themselves. The buses must be cleaned when the students return to NHS.

Once the buses return to NHS, the students will not immediately depart from the buses. The load crew will be first, they will unload the instrument truck. It is each student’s responsibility to put up his or her own equipment and supplies. The Seniors will get off the bus first, then Juniors, Sophomores, and finally the Freshmen. DO NOT BE UPSET at your FRESHMAN student, because he or she will be one of the last ones to come out of the band hall after an away game. Boys especially will be one of the last ones since they will be on load crew.

Please have a plan with your student to pick them up in a timely manner afar an away game. Sometimes it will be after midnight before we get back to NHS and everyone is tired and ready to go home. Please do not make Mr. Wells wait for you to pick up your child, they have had an EXTREMELY long day and are ready to go home to go to sleep!

Other Hints and Helpful Suggestions:

Marching season is very busy and very long. EVERY Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday the students have after school practice. DO NOT schedule appointments for those days. Wednesdays are normally not used for after school practice. Sometimes called sectionals may be on Wednesdays, but that is up to each section and the section leaders.

Once school starts it is VITAL that you constantly remind your student to practice his or her music, do their homework and practice their All-Region music. The students will definitely be tired at times, but we all do best with a little encouragement.

The students must remain eligible to participate in the Friday night games, All-Region, concerts, contests, etc… This means that they must be passing all of their classes.

Parent Responsibilities and Opportunities to get Involved

  • Get your student to and from practices /games/concerts/contest on time.
  • Remind your student to practice his or her music
  • Ask if they have passed off their music
  • Encourage your student
  • Be involved with your students band experience
  • Keep tabs on your students grades, call or email their teachers, and make sure you know how they are doing in class. Remember, they must be passing all classes to participate.

Volunteer to Chaperone

  • Bus trips- advantages, you get to know many more of the band students, get into the games for free, know exactly what time your student gets back, save on gas money, don’t have to drive home late!
  • Duties: help check role, supervise the kids our kids need very little supervision, they are great kids), help the student with their uniforms, pass out the food, make sure everything is off the bus when we get home.
  • We take 5-6 buses to each away trip, we need 4-5 chaperones per bus, so we need 30 or more people to help with the bus trips. You DO NOT have to be on the same bus as your child unless you just want to be.


  • Every concession stand at the stadium is run by the Band Boosters. One stand is run by Freshmen parents, one by Sophomore Parents, and the third is run by Junior Parents. It takes 7-8 workers for each home game per stand. It really is a fun time, and you will get to know many parents you may have never met before.
  • JV games are on Thursday night. We only open one stand on Thursday nights. We have many senior parents that work these games, but we are always in need of workers. 4-5 workers will usually be enough for a JV game night.
  • In the spring we have one stand open for the soccer games. There are usually two soccer games a week. It is much slower and we usually only need 3-4 workers per game.

Annual BBQ Dinner

This event continues to grow and grow. Each year we produce thousands of dinners in a very short amount of time. This is a HUGE undertaking, but a lot of fun and fellowship too. We need 50 or more workers to have it go smoothly. Sign up to help! We need some workers who can help during the day for 3 or 4 days, and the rest of the work is done after school or work.

Icing Down the Drinks

We need someone who will be willing to ice down and transport the coolers full of drinks Thursday night or Friday morning for each Friday night , and for the 2 parades. The drinks would need to be iced and brought to the band hall.

Annual Gold Card Sales

Help your student sell his or her Gold Cards. This event has been going on for nearly 20 years. The community is willing to buy them. We also need someone who can go to McMichael and Mike Moses everyday during the Gold Card event to take money and issue more cards to the Junior High students.

Be involved. Be seen by your child. Be an active member of the NHS Band Boosters Organization. You will meet great people, and make some great new friends. It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the incredible NHS Golden Dragon Band.