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Galena Middle School

Band Handbook
Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2018/19 school year. We are excited about the new school year,
and the opportunity to work with your child this year. The Middle School Band Program is
a developmental program that feeds our successful GHS Band program. As with anything
in life, we have ups and downs, and music is no different. Please continue to encourage
your child to work through difficult times, and let us know how we can help. Music is truly
a wonderful gift, and one that you can continue for the rest of your life. We want to
encourage music to be a part of their life even after MS and/or HS.

We will be working with the students to determine our goals for the year. While we won’t
be able to attend large group contest this year, we still want to maintain our high
standards, but IGSMA solo and ensemble is also a great opportunity for our students to
grow as a musician. This is open to selected 5-8th graders. 5th grade band will focus on
fundamentals, and we are extremely excited with the start the students have already had
this year. One of our major goals every year is to have fun and enjoy making music

Please review the handbook and calendar. Pay particular attention to the calendar as most
of the dates are considered mandatory performances (grade is attached to the
performance). If there is a conflict, please let us know right away, so that we can prepare
for the absence. The Galena Bands really do bring an abundance of positive attention to
our community and school, and it is because of the hard work that has been put forth by the
students, Boosters, and you the parents. Thank you from the bottom our hearts - your
work, support, and dedication means the world to us. We have the best parents and kids
here in Galena.


Mr. Holland and Mr. Suau

Contact Information

Director: Steve Holland, hollandsteve@gusd120.k12.il.us

Assistant Director: Michael Suau, msuau@gusd120.k12.il.us
School Address: 1206 N. Franklin St., Galena, IL 61036
School phone number: 815-777-0917
Home practice
While it would be ideal for students to practice every night, many students have other
commitments which make this goal impossible. In terms of practicing, all we ask is that you, the
student, do your best to find some time each week. Any amount of time is better than no time. You
might have stretches where you can’t practice at all, but then have a lull in your schedule where you
can get more time in. Ultimately every child’s goal should be to practice a minimum of 120
minutes a week. Students with larger instruments may have a harder time with reaching this goal,
but certainly make an effort to get your instrument home as much as possible.

The band goes to Great America almost every year, and this year it will be open to all band and
choir students. The cost of the trip is usually around $75, and chaperones are needed. More detail
will follow in April/May, as the trip is around the last day of school.

Honor Groups

ILMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association) District #8 Band is one of the groups that student
could participate in over the course of the year. This is an auditioned group of 6-8 graders that are
selected to the District ensemble and slated to perform in November, both jazz and concert. If a
student is interested in auditioning, they should get the music from us as soon as possible. The
audition takes place in October.

Classroom expectations
Objectives/Goals: Our goal is to allow all students the opportunity to grow musically and to develop a
love for music as an art form, and to teach students to be responsible members of society through
performance opportunities.
1. No Talking – be respectful.
2. No Gum, Food, and Drink (Bottled Water acceptable)
3. Must have Music, Instrument, and Pencil. Please store music in the appropriate place- on the
floor is not one of them.
4. No playing other people’s instrument in class.
5. Be in the room on time. No vulgar language
6. Keep the room clean and organized!!!!


I reserve the right to do this at any time. Auditions will take place in October for the7th and 8th grade
students (5th and 6th graders do not audition). Student challenges will take place no more than once a
week and you can only challenge for the chair above you unless the person you are challenging is also
challenging up.
Grading System
The number of points students earn in the various categories determines all grades. The semester is
divided into two quarters.

Classroom Work - This is worth 10% of the student’s quarter grade. The student will be rated on a five-
point scale for participation in class during the week. The rubric is as follows: 5 - A positive,
constructive, helpful, cooperative attitude is shown. Leadership is also evident. 4 - An average attitude
is demonstrated. Students will do what it takes to get by without extending themselves beyond
expectations. 3 - An average attitude is demonstrated. 2 – The student displays a negative, lazy,
disruptive behavior in class. No effort is evident to share the responsibilities of the group in terms of
learning the music, making extra rehearsals, etc. 1 – The student displays a disruptive behavior in class
and is without their instrument.

Playing/written tests or assignments – These are worth 40% of the student’s quarter grade. Students
will be tested during class or during a scheduled time. Weekly lesson grades are also in this grade
category as well. Students are expected to make 6 lessons per quarter. If the student does not make all
six lessons, he/she will be given the opportunity to either make-up the lesson (if we are available) or to
do a SmartMusic assignment for each lesson missed.

Practicing is required. While it is not a grade, students should strive to practice a minimum of 120
minutes a week. Practicing will help them in their lessons and in the classroom. We will be doing an
incentive program for practicing this year, and this will be further explained to students in class.
Band Lesson Rubric
Mr. Holland & Mr. Suau
Attendance Attitude Performance
Student is on time and has
Student is Well prepared for
all materials Positive Attitude!
(instrument, music, pencil) 5 points
10 points
5 points
Student is late OR missing Student is Somewhat
Acceptable Attitude
materials. prepared for lesson.
4 points
4 points 8 points
Student is late AND Student is NOT prepared for
Negative Attitude
missing materials. lesson.
3 points
3 points 6 points
*20 points possible

Performances – These are worth 50% of the quarter grade. Point totals and rubric may vary slightly due
to the nature of the performance. Performances are mandatory. The only reason for missing is a family
emergency or illness. I need to be notified before the performance if you are ill. With a family
emergency, I would prefer to be notified ahead of time, but I know that is not always possible. So if it
happens, it will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If you can’t get a hold of me, call the school and
leave a voice message. This is a common courtesy, ex. You would call your employer if you had to miss
work. Those who miss performance will need to write or play for me for each missed performance

**Please note: babysitting and jobs are not considered to be valid excuses as the calendar of events is
given out many weeks (often months) in advance.

The calendar is attached at the end of the handbook, as well as it will be posted on the HS and MS
web page, as well as the District Calendar. Please look these dates over carefully, and review them
with your child’s other events. We know conflicts will happen, but it would just be nice to avoid as
many as we can for all parties involved.

Concert Dress
Concert Attire
Most of you should already know proper dress attire for concerts. You want to dress as though you
were going to a fine restaurant or the symphony. Basically, I want my students to wear their very best
outfit. Here are some guidelines for you:
Ladies – Nice slacks (no jeans) with an appropriate top. Dresses are permitted providing that
they are not low-cut, no high thigh slit, and are not skin tight.
Men – Nice dress pant or khakis (no jeans). You are also required to wear your slacks with a belt
at waist level. I also recommend a button down shirt and a tie (no clip-on – I will teach if you need me
to help you). Dress shoes with black socks (no sandals, tennis shoes, etc.).
You will need to take care of reed and supply orders by calling Kephart-West Music (1-800-373-2000). Just
let them know your name and that you will need it delivered to Galena High School. Our Kephart-West Music
rep is Rod Pierson, and he will be here most weeks on Wednesday. All students should have their case
marked with their name (name tag). We are providing the list below to assist in understanding some of the
basic supplies that every child could or should have.

Woodwinds o Bach 5c mouthpieces or Bach 3c/Yamaha

14B4 GP (trumpets) ( 7/8th grade)
o Yamaha 4c mouthpiece(basic) o 6 ½ AL Mouthpiece ( 7/8th
o Neck Strap(Saxes) trombones/baritones)
o Cork grease o Helleberg Mouthpiece (tubas)
o Mouthpiece Brush o Lyre and flip folder (7/8th grade)
o Reed Guard for 2 or 4 reeds o Bell attach lyres for trombones (7/8th grade)
o Cleaning Swab and/or rod o St. Mute (Denis Wick or Tom Crown preferred,
o Rovner Ligature (Saxes and clarinets)-this is but the stone lined mutes will work fine)
quickest and cheapest way to improve your (7/8th grade)
sound. (more for 7th and 8th graders)
o Rico Royal 2 ½ for 5th graders---3 to 3 ½ for Guitar/Bass
6th – 8th. (clarinets and saxes)
o Flutist Friend Lyre (7/8th grade) o Good set of strings
o Clarinet lyre and Flip folder (7/8th grade) o Picks (guitar)
o Sax lyre and flip folder(Yamaha lyres will only o ¼” patch cable (2)
fit Yamaha saxophones) (7/8th grade)
o 5A sticks (good for 7/8)
o Al Cass or Blue Juice valve oil o 2B sticks (good for 5/6)
o Super Slick slide cream and water bottle (t- o Stick/mallet bag
bones) or Slide-o-Mix works well also. o Yarn mallets
o Tuning slide grease o Plastic mallets
o Cleaning snake and mouthpiece brush o Vic Firth Dave Weckl drum stick (jazz players)

***I prefer Vic Firth drum sticks.

5th Grade: Sound Innovations by Alfred Music Company - book 1 (for your instrument)
6th Grade: Sound Innovations by FJH Music Company – Book 1(continue working—hopefully
book 2 at some point in the year)
Music Boosters
All music parents are members of this organization whether you attend the meetings or
not. While we have a great core group of parents in leadership positions it would be great
to have more parents involved at the meetings. More heads are always better when trying
to solve the unique needs of our Music Department. The Boosters meets the first Tuesday
of every month at 7pm in the HS Band Room. FYI: Dean Skinner is the Music Booster

We, the Music Department, like chart to help the leadership in the Boosters. Please sign up
in an area that you might be able to assist with this year. The Booster may be in contact
with you whether you sign this or not. It will make it much easier if you sign-up for as
many events that you would enjoy the opportunity to help our fine students. Thank you in

____ Assist at a parade (for 7th/8th band) – Halloween parade

____ Concert set-up and tear down (winter or spring)

____ Country Fair parking(we really need help here—this is a big fundraiser for us)

____ Chaperone for IGSMA solo and ensemble contest

____ Girls Basketball concession stand

____ Rummage Sale

____ Class representative (we need two per class, i.e. class of 2022, 2023, etc.)—attending
booster meetings regularly would be part of this responsibility.

Name ________________________________________

I understand the by signing up I am not committed, but I may be contacted for assistance by
the Music Boosters. I also give permission for the Booster to email me regarding upcoming
events and information.


Compliance Agreement and Information Form


I have read thoroughly and understand the information contained within the Hand Book. I agree to
follow the class rules to the best of my ability and realize the consequences if I do not. I understand
how my grade will be determined for all aspects of this course. I also am committed to making all
performances to the best of my ability, and will call ahead time when I can’t make it.

Name: ___________________________Signature:___________________________
Date: _______________

****The information you provide below is very important. I have had instances where I have used this
info to track down a misplaced instrument. We have many students with similar looking cases and
instruments, and the only way I can be sure I have the right instrument is by locating the serial number.

Instrument: _____________________
Model: ________________________
Serial #: _______________________
Personal or School

Example: Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Make and model: Yamaha YAS 23
Serial #: 123456Y

I have read thoroughly and understand the information contained within the “Class Rules”, “Class
Expectations” and the “Grading Policy.” I will agree to support these rules and procedures as stated,
and help my child to make performances.

Parent/Guardian Name: _____________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________________
Date: ________________
Phone #: ________________________
E-mail: ___________________________________________
GMS Band Calendar
August 27 – IMEA Audition Material request (open to 6-8th grade)

October 13th – IMEA Auditions in Dekalb (Huntley MS): For interested students (all day)

October 27th – Halloween parade: 7th and 8th grade band. (Mandatory!!!)
Time: Report to band room at 5pm - Parade at 6:30pm.

November 10th – IMEA Jazz Concert: For selected students (all day) at Belvidere HS .

November 17th – IMEA District VIII Concert: For selected students (all day) at DeKalb HS.

December 11th – MS Winter Concert at Turner Hall: All MS Bands perform (Mandatory!!!)
Time: 6pm in GMS Gym: 5/6th grade concert
Time: 7pm in GMS Gym: 7/8th grade concert and MS Jazz
------snow date is the 12th.

February 1st – UWP Jazz Festival: MS Jazz Ensemble (all day)

February 16th - IGSMA Solo and Ensemble: For selected students (all day) at TBA.

April 27th – Boy Scout Parade----7/8th marching band (mandatory) (with HS student that are available) at
May 10th – MS Spring Concert at GHS Gym: All MS Bands perform. (Mandatory!!!)
Time: 6pm in GHS Gym: 5/6th grade concert
Time: 7pm in GHS Gym: 7/8th grade concert and MS Jazz

May 23rd – Great America trip (tentative date) ---approximate cost is $75, and this is a purely optional