Everything you always wanted to know about band, but were afraid to ask.
AHSBBBC: Austin High School Bulldog Band Booster Club.
Alternate: An alternate is a student that marches at football games but does not march in competitions. Alternates assist the pit percussion with moving their equipment on and off the field.
Angels: The Austin High School Dance Team. The Angels are often referred to as “our secret weapon.”
Area: UIL and TMEA divide the State of Texas into areas and regions for music competition. There are 7 Areas in the state, each containing a number of Regions. Fort Bend ISD is in Region 13 which is in Area E. For a complete breakdown of Areas and Regions visit the UIL website
at www.uil.utexas.edu,click on Music then the Region/Area Alignment link.
Austin Activity Account: A school account set up to receive money for band trips, uniform parts, some fund raisers, music and other items purchased from the school or band. You will most likely, make payments for “stuff” to either the Austin Activity Account, or the AHSBBBC. You will make checks to AHSBBBC for anything purchased from the Booster Club.
Band Camp: Every year the SFA Marching Band has two mandatory band camps. The first camp (Mini Band Camp) is usually in late May and early June. The final summer band camp is determined by the school calendar and is usually the first few weeks of August.
Band Night: This event occurs one evening in October where all of the Fort Bend Independent School District High School and Middle School bands preview each schools marching show. It serves as an adjudicated performance in preparation for UIL.
BOA: Bands of America. An organization that conducts music events for high school band students. BOA’s mission is to create and provide “positively life-changing” experiences for students, teachers, parents and communities. For more information on BOA and a schedule of
their events, visit their web site at www.musicforall.org/
Concert Season: The band year is divided into two seasons. Marching Season, which is from the June mini camp until the last football game or marching competition in November, and Concert Season, which starts in November with the TMEA individual contests and goes through the end of the school year.
During Concert Season, each of the high school bands; Honors, Symphonic, and Concert, perform and participate in UIL competitions
Conference: High schools and charter schools participating in UIL are divided into conferences for the school year according to the following enrollment numbers. Austin High School is a 5A conference school.
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 = Enrollment:
- 5A 1,910 and up
- 4A 900-1909
- 3A 345-899
- 2A 180-344
- A 179 and below
Coordinate Sheets or Drill Card: Pages of instructions telling the marchers where on the field to start and where on the field to march for the entire show. You will hear Mr. Winson or the students referring to the number of pages they learned at practice. Each coordinate sheet is a “page.”
Drum Line: The marching drummers; snares, tenors, and marching bass drums.
Drum Majors: The student leaders of the marching show. These students conduct the bands performance on the field
FBISD: Fort Bend Independent School District. Visit their web site at www.fortbend.k12.tx.us.
Football Games: We all have been in the great state of Texas long enough to know what football is, but here are a few things you should know about the Marching Band and football.
- Games played against other Fort Bend schools are played at Mercer Stadium or Hall Stadium.
- Check the schedule to see if Austin is home or visitor. The home team sits on the south side and the visiting team sits on the north. FBISD bands play the half time show facing their school (not the home stands)
- You can buy discounted tickets at the school on the Thursday and Friday prior to the game or at the gate (last year they were $5).
- On a Thursday or Friday game night, students will not be allowed to leave the campus between school and the time the bus leaves for the stadium.Students will practice, eat dinner, dress in uniform, and board the buses. If purchased, Tailgate Dinners will be served by the Booster Club. If not, parents will need to bring or pack dinner for their student.
- On a Saturday game, expect to have your student at the school about four hours before game time. Mr. Winson will post details each week before the game. Mr. Winson’s memo will also be published on the band web site, www.austinbulldogband.org. For Saturday games, a meal will be served by the Tailgate Committee.
- After returning to the school, students must return their uniform to the uniform crew before going home. PLEASE PLAN ON PICKING UP YOUR STUDENT IN A TIMELY MANNER. We do not want students hanging out at the school late waiting for a ride. Don’t expect them to call from the band hall; there is only one phone. If your student will call you on a cell phone or a friend’s cell phone, have them call as soon as the busses are leaving to return to the school so that you can arrive at the school before the busses. Usually the busses arrive back to the school by 10:30 from a 7:30 game. Better yet, come to the game! Sit behind the band and introduce yourself to other band parents.
- Football games are a lot of fun for the band and their parents.
Fundraisers: The big fund raiser for the band is the fall Rock-A-Thon, held in August. There will be smaller fundraisers during the year.
Grades: Participation in the Marching Band is subject to having passing grades. Mr. Winson will make sure that the students are aware what is required. If the minimum requirements are not met, students will not be allowed to participate in marching band activities including UIL
competitions, BOA events, and at football games. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to any of the Directors. They will work very hard to help students with any problems in this area.
Hall Stadium: Hall Stadium is located on Hwy. 6 South on the Hightower HS complex.
Illnesses: Absences will be excused from school as described in the AHS student handbook. Do not schedule doctor appointments during any rehearsal or performances. Students who miss any rehearsals are in jeopardy of losing their drill spot.
Loading Crew: Members of the band responsible for loading and unloading all of the pit percussion and large instruments onto and off of the truck that are used whenever the band has to travel.
Marching Season: The band year is divided into two seasons. Marching Season, which is from the June mini camp until the last football game or marching competition in November, and Concert Season, which starts in November with the TMEA individual contests and goes through the end of the school year.
Mercer Stadium: Mercer football stadium located on Lexington Avenue, next to the FBISD administration building and just east of First Colony Mall and the AMC theaters.
Pit: The Pit is part of the marching show and is made up of the keyboard and auxiliary percussion instruments and the electronic sound system. The Pit is usually stationary and is usually front and center on the marching field.
Region: TMEA and UIL divides the State of Texas into areas and regions for music competition. There are 7 Areas, each containing a number of Regions. Fort Bend ISD is in Region 13 with 23 other school districts. For a complete breakdown of Areas and Regions visit the UIL website at www.uil.utexas.edu, click on Music then the Region/Area Alignment link.
Rock-A-Thon: An Austin High School Bulldog Band and Angels Dance Team fundraising event where the students spend 12 hours in a rocking chair. Prior to the event, each student obtains pledges in the form of dollars per hours rocked. The goal of every student is to raise a minimum of $250. Prizes are awarded for different levels of pledges obtained. The students check in at the High School at 7 PM on Friday and are “locked-in” until 6 AM on Saturday morning. The Booster Club sponsors events through out the night to entertain the students. Games are played, videos are watched, snacks are eaten, and the Directors even conduct a midnight parking lot practice.
Section: All the band members that play the same or like instruments. For example, the trumpet section, saxophone section, clarinet section etc.
Section Leaders: Student leaders for each instrument section of the marching band. The Section Leaders help the marchers perfect their marching style, warm up for performances and are responsible for relaying special instructions from the directors to the marchers.
Senior Burn-Out: A traditional ritual ceremony honoring the Seniors conducted at the last marching band practice of the year where the Seniors march past the on-looking underclassmen and re-count the last four years of their band experience.
Senior to Senior BBQ: After the June Mini Camp, the Seniors that have just graduated and the new Seniors for coming year get together to eat, reminisce and talk about the traditions that are passed on from one class to the next.
Show Shirt: These are solid black T-shirts with the logo of the band and the name of the current year’s marching program on the back. Students wear them under their uniform on game days. Many parents also buy their own Show Shirt to wear to the games.
Spirit Items: Each student and family may purchase at the beginning of the year various band items such as T-shirts, yard signs, window decals, backpacks, stadium seats, etc.
Tailgate Dinners: The Booster Club organizes meals for band members on days the band goes directly from school to practice to a football game. Each band member pays for his/her own meals. Meals are purchased at the beginning of the Marching Season, for the entire season.
They are not sold separately. Meals are also served during out-of-town trips, such as BOA competitions.
UIL: University Interscholastic League. UIL organizes and supervises contests for public schools. Pursuant to the Texas Education Code the University Interscholastic League is a part of The University of Texas at Austin. The League is composed of the Texas public school districts
and charter schools that apply and are accepted for enrollment as members of the League. UIL governs all aspects of the Bulldog marching program from student eligibility, to the number of hours it can practice. For more than you ever wanted to know about UIL, visit their web site at www.uil.utexas.edu.
- Marching Practice: shorts, gym shoes, hats, large water jug (with water in it! No Gatorade or Powerade) and sunscreen (already on!). Do not wear jeans. Do not wear high tops or sandals. Any student not dressed to work, will be sent home.
- Marching Performances: T-shirt (usually band show T-shirt), uniform pants, uniform jacket, uniform hat, marching shoes, BLACK
socks, black gloves and gauntlets. Students will gather for inspection by the section leaders prior to each performance. Mr. Winson will give the students information about ordering marching shoes. The students will be fitted for uniforms at the beginning of the season and will wear the same uniform the entire marching season. They are dry cleaned once a year. The Booster Club charges an annual dry cleaning fee of $25 per student. Before each performance, students pick up their uniform and after the performance they check it back in. Uniforms do not go home. At the time the students are fitted, adjustments will be made. No sewing adjustments to the uniforms shall be made by the students or their parents. If an adjustment is needed, see the uniform crew. Each student is responsible for their own BLACK socks. We suggest that you buy several pairs at the beginning of the season. Ask to see their black socks before they leave for every performance (yes, actually make them show you).. For BOA and UIL events, have your student carry an extra pair in their backpack. The marching uniforms we have were brand new for the 2002-2003 school year. They are expensive. Take care of them.
Uniform Crew: Members of the band that are responsible for handing out uniforms prior to an event, and placing them in storage after the event.
Yard Signs: Students can order signs for their yard with the band logo and their name through the Booster Club. The purpose of these signs is to let the community know that an Austin Bulldog Band member lives there.