FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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What is the Shepton band?
The Shepton High School Silver Stampede is an award-winning band consisting of students in grades 9 and 10. The marching band performs at football games, a holiday parade and competitions in the fall semester. Concert band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, jazz band, full orchestra and small ensembles play at concerts and competitions in the winter and spring months. This class is designed for students who play a band instrument and are interested in the total range of band music and activities. Students will improve instrumental skills as well as acquire skills in precision teamwork, body carriage, musicianship, and showmanship. This course counts as a PE credit towards graduation as well as a Fine Arts credit.
What is the band booster club?
The Booster Club is a nonprofit organization (similar to a PTA for a school) that supports the band program through fundraising, volunteer coordination, and management of online sales of needed band items. The Club supports the band program by paying for clinicians who supplement the instruction of our two band directors, the repair and purchase of instruments and equipment not provided by PISD, fees for contests and other music festivals, rental costs for concerts and events, organizing special events for the students, and much more!
Why do I need to log in to Cut Time?
Cut Time is the communication and music management system used by Plano ISD. The email address(es) you provided when you registered in Cut Time are the ONLY way you will receive updates from your band directors and the Band Boosters. Here you will also find handouts for students, mp3 files for required listening assignments, and study guides for final exams. We recommend both students and parents have Cut Time accounts. If your middle school band director utilizes Cut Time you will automatically join our Cut Time when your student finishes 8th grade. If you don’t get emails from us please contact the Directors. When your student moves onto Plano West the Cut Time emails utilized at Shepton will transfer, so it’s important for your student to get used to using their own email account.
Why do I need to log in to Membership Toolkit?
We use Membership Toolkit to sell required Uniform items, additional Spirit Wear and for volunteer sign up. You can also utilize MTK to get a directory of band families. There is even a Membership Toolkit mobile app.
If I enroll in band class, am I required to march in the marching band?
Yes, the Plano ISD band curriculum includes marching band. Limited exceptions are made for student athletes in some fall sports. Contact the directors for details.
When do marching band rehearsals start?
Marching band camp is typically the last two weeks of summer vacation, with sessions in the morning and evening.
Percussion and color guard members also attend a week-long day camp which is typically held the second week of summer vacation. Visit the Plano West Band Membership Toolkit for registration and details. Student leaders and Drum Majors attend additional camps.
What happens to marching band practice when school starts?
The marching band practices 7- 8:30AM on school days until the UIL Marching Competition (mid-October). First period starts at 9AM, so students have time to change clothes and have a snack.
What does the evening/weekend commitment look like when school starts?
The band plays at six football games in the fall on Thursday evenings (except one game at Plano West on a Friday). On game days, band students eat dinner (restaurant meals served by the boosters, paid for by parents) after school, load instruments and equipment onto two trucks, then board buses to get to the stadium. Students may return to Shepton as late as 11PM.
Additionally, the band marches in two contests on Saturdays in October. These are half-day commitments. Percussion students also participate in the Plano Drumline Competition (PDLC) a Saturday in late September.
That sounds like a lot! What about my classes and my grades?!?
Learning to manage time well is one of the most lasting effects of participation in any extra-curricular activity! Shepton HS has a “not due on Friday” policy which means that there are no major projects or tests on Fridays (helpful during football season). Interestingly, band students typically have some of the strongest transcripts and class ranks in the school. Band culture very much encourages student collaboration/peer tutoring, good organization skills, and academic excellence.
All band students earn .5 Physical Education Substitution Credit for participation in marching band in the fall semester. This credit applies toward the current state PE requirement for graduation. Note: Color Guard members need to be enrolled in band to receive PE credit.
Are there fees for marching band?
Yes. ALL band students are required to purchase several uniform items (band polo shirt, Spirit Shirt, Show Shirt, marching shoes, socks, gloves) and pay a uniform dry cleaning fee. Families also pay for Game Day Meals, water, and additional food at other times when going home to eat isn’t an option. We are a frugal group and work hard to keep expenses down. For example, we use the same marching shoes as Plano West, so they are good for four years.
What is Color Guard?
Color Guard is open to ALL Shepton students (not just band students). Some members are students who find Color Guard more appealing than playing their instrument during marching season, others are students who are not part of the band and just want to be involved. Note: Color Guard members need to be enrolled in band to receive PE credit.
Color guard members provide additional visual appeal to our marching show with flags and other props. They have a dedicated color guard instructor and rehearse at the same time as the marching band, including summer band camp (typically the last two weeks of summer vacation) and a Color Guard Camp at Plano West (typically the second week of summer vacation, visit the Plano West Membership Toolkit to register). Color guard students have the opportunity to participate in Winter Guard with Plano West and Jasper HS students to create and compete with indoor shows (without the band).
How does Jazz Band work at Shepton?
Jazz band participation is by audition (usually early October). Jazz band functions as an extra-curricular activity, not a class. Rehearsals will be determined by student schedules, but may include before or after school rehearsals or rehearsal during block lunch. Performances include the Spaghetti Dinner in January and a combined concert with other West Cluster jazz bands in May.
How does Full Orchestra work at Shepton?
We pair a limited number of wind instruments and percussionists with one of the Shepton Orchestras (string instruments) to create a Full Orchestra for three concerts and a spring UIL competition. Auditions are in late October. Weekly rehearsals are mostly before school, starting in November through late February and as needed for the spring concert (May).