Higley High School

    Marching Band Handbook



    Mr. Chesley Sharp

    Band Director


    (480) 279-9775


    Mr. Steven Cheatham

    Asst. Band Director


    (480) 279-7393


    Mr. Clay Ashworth

    Assistant Marching Band Director




    Online Handbook Preface


    A Note from Your Directors

    COVID-19 has placed the structure of education worldwide into an unprecedented frenzy. As a response, daily classes are being held through a virtual format. This page is dedicated to online learning expectations so that we can create a musically-enriching environment for all learners.


    1. Students are expected to have videos on as much as possible. Please communicate if there is a reason your video cannot be on.
      1. Video should show student’s face and upper body in order for the teacher to evaluate posture, finger technique, embouchure, etc.
    2. Students need to do their best to find a place in which they can successfully play their instrument during class time.
      1. Attempt to either purchase a stand, tape music to the wall, or find other creative solutions to be able to see music and sit with good posture
    3. Students are expected to mute and unmute as requested.
      1. At times, students will play along at home with their microphones muted. Individuals will be asked to unmute and play for the class or participate in group discussions or educational activities.
    4. Students should create an environment with limited distractions
      1. Close apps and tabs not related to class, put away phones, turn off music or videos not related to class.
    5. Students should only use chats and messaging when prompted by an instructor
      1. There will be time before exercises to seek clarification, so questions should only be asked or typed at those times.
    6. Students should always be respectful in the learning environment
      1. Virtual learning is a new process for all educators and students. There will be setbacks and issues with technology. Please meet all students and instructors with ease as we delve into this process together.



    Canvas will be our number source of meeting links and materials. Please check this daily.


    Online Student Schedule (As of 7/27/2020)









    7 – 7:55


    0 hour




    8 – 8:55

    1st hour

    4th hour

    Office Hours

    1st hour

    4th hour

    9 – 9:55

    2nd hour

    5th hour

    2nd hour

    5th hour

    10 – 10:55

    3rd hour

    6th hour


    3rd hour

    6th hour

    11 – 11:55

    No direct instruction – students are expected to work on assignments from all classes

    0 hour

    Noon - 3

    No direct instruction – students are expected to work on assignments from all classes



    In this fluid situation, if any questions arise please email either director. Instructors hold the right to update any information as needed. Announcements for changes in course structure can be made: in live classes, on Canvas (announcements or modules), through Charms, through class email, or through any HUSD Administration.



    • Please note that the remainder of the handbook references a normal school environment. There will be many adjustments and variations that will need to happen to navigate our time together when we return to the school building.




    The purpose of the handbook is to provide valuable information about the marching band program.  To consistently achieve and maintain the high standard of excellence desired by this organization, members should familiarize themselves with the regulations, procedures and traditions of the ensembles.


    It is hoped that some of the questions always prevalent with a performing group will be answered in this handbook.  If a problem or question not covered in this handbook should arise, the director should be consulted for an explanation.  Additions and changes may be made throughout the year if necessary.

    Marching Band

    The Higley Marching Knights is a musical marching unit organized during the fall semester.  The Marching Band performs at football games, marching festivals, and pep assemblies throughout the school year. The class provides the building of marching fundamentals, advanced techniques in instrumental music, and the opportunity to work as part of a team. You will need a spiral bound notebook for this class.  Students will be required to purchase additional items for this class.  This list of additional items is included on the contract at the back of this handbook. If a student becomes ineligible or is involved with any kind of illegal activity, he or she may be removed from the field show.  Class is daily from 6:25 – 7:20 AM.  There are also mandatory evening rehearsals every week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9:00 PM.


    Attendance Policy

    Marching band members are required to attend all classes, rehearsals and performances.  They are also expected to have all their equipment (instrument, music, and pencil) with them.  Students who arrive late to class or who do not have their necessary equipment may receive After School Detention.  If you would like to receive attendance updates throughout the day, you have the option to sign up in ParentVUE.Students should be on time for all band functions.  If the function starts at 5 pm the student should arrive at 4:45 so they are ready by 5!


    Excused Absence

    Students will receive an excused absence from class, rehearsal, or a performance for reasons of illness, family emergency, or school activity only. All absences during the school day must be excused according to Higley High School policy established in the student handbook. Excused absences from school DO NOT excuse students from after school events.  The director needs to be contacted directly about after school absences. For a student to be excused from a rehearsal or performance a parent must notify the director at least two weeks prior to the event.  This may be by email or a letter.  Emergency situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


    Unexcused Absences

    Unexcused absences from class/rehearsal/performance will result in a zero grade for the event.  An unexcused absence from a performance may result in the student’s semester grade being lowered by one or more letter grades. 



    Any infraction of attendance policies can affect students' grades, performance participation, trip privileges. Excessive violations may result in a re-evaluation of the student’s continued participation in program.

    If a student misses the rehearsal prior to a performance they will not be eligible to perform.

    Unusual situations such as sustained illness, injury or family crisis should be brought to the attention of the director as soon as possible.

    Tardy Policy

    All students are expected to report to class on time every day.  

    1st tardy is a reminder

    2nd tardy is a phone call home

    3rd tardy is ASD (after school detention) with the classroom teacher

    4th tardy is an office referral


    Public Performances


    The marching band performs at football games and marching competitions.  A full list of dates is provided on the class contract at the end of the handbook.  Every student will be informed of all the events the band will be attending as soon as they are finalized.  Information regarding these events will also be posted in the band room and on Mr. Sharp’s teacher page.  It is the student’s responsibility to know this information.  Always report to the designated meeting place.  Each student is responsible for bringing his or her own instrument, music, and uniform, or arriving with it on if indicated, for each performance.  Remember that you represent the school and need to act accordingly.  Be courteous and use your common sense in determining your behavior.


    To perform at festivals and competitions students must be at the practice directly before the performance and also meet the school eligibility requirements.  If ineligible students are still required to be with the band and participate in all aspects of the event, except for the field performance.  Students with less than 70% in a class will be assigned tutoring.

    Higley High School Student Athletic and Activity Academic Expectations


    The administration, teachers, and coaches of Higley High School recognize the critical importance of promoting academic achievement. Accordingly, the administration implemented the following academic expectations as a condition of participating in athletics at Higley High School:


    Students must maintain (C's) or better to remain in good academic standing for athletic and activity participation.

    If a student falls below a (C) in any class, the following protocol will take effect, in order for a student to remediate, and regain good academic standing for participation:


    4.5 and 13.5 week progress reports:

    F - Student is declared ineligible, for the following week.

    *  Student must attend a minimum of 4 tutoring sessions (of a minimum of 30 minutes) during the week, per (F).

    *  Student may regain eligibility, after one week, if grade is raised to passing (D).

     *  Student will remain on Academic Probation, and must continue with a minimum of at least 3 tutoring sessions per week, in each class with a grade below a (C), until next grading period.


    D's, No (F) - Academic Probation

    *  Student must attend a minimum of 3 tutoring sessions per week (of a minimum of 30 minutes), for any class with a (D) (at the 4.5, 13.5 week report), until the next grading period.

    *  Students must turn in Tutoring/Grade sheet by Friday, before 2:30, in order to regain/maintain eligibility for the following week.


    9 and 18 week grading periods:

    F - Student is declared ineligible, for the following week.

    *  Student must attend a minimum of 4 tutoring sessions (of a minimum of 30 minutes) during the week, per (F).

    *  Student may regain eligibility if grade is raised to a (C), or better in all classes.

    *  Student must continue with 3 tutoring sessions per week, in each class below a (C), until next grading period.


     D's, No (F) - Student is declared ineligible for the following week.

    Student may regain eligibility, after one week, if grades in all classes are raised to a (C) or higher.

    Student must attend a minimum of 3 tutoring sessions per week (minimum of 30 minutes per tutoring session), for any class with a (D) (at the 9, and 18 week report), until the next grading period.


    *Students must turn in Tutoring/Grade sheet by Friday, before 2:30, in order to regain/maintain eligibility the following week.

    School Equipment

    School Instruments

    As you know, most students rent instruments from local music vendors, and those vendors maintain the instrument throughout the year.  There are a limited number of school-owned instruments that are available for use by students who are unable to rent their own.  All instruments need to be checked out on a SCHOOL INSTRUMENT USE FORM available from Mr. Sharp.

    The district policy is that all students using a school instrument must pay a yearly maintenance fee of $75.00 which will help cover the cost of regular maintenance and repair.  Supplies such as reeds, cork grease, valve oil, slide cream, cleaning supplies, etc. are to be provided by the student.

    Music folders, instruments and equipment should be kept in their proper places when not in use. Students are financially responsible for all lost or damaged school equipment.  Any damage to school instruments should be reported to the director immediately so that repair arrangements can be made.  You can do more harm to an instrument by continuing to use it in such a state. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REPAIR ANY DAMAGE YOURSELF. If damage is due to negligence or vandalism, the student who has the instrument checked out is responsible for repair costs. In order to maintain the quality of our instruments and avoid conflicts, students may only play the instrument they have checked out unless the director has approved a switch. Percussionists are the ONLY ones allowed to play percussion instruments.

    Color Guard

    It is your responsibility to take care of the equipment. Lost or excessively damaged equipment will be your responsibility to replace. Do not slam or scrape the poles on the ground. You should NEVER sit on any practice or performance flag!  The school will provide flags and an equipment bag to each guard member. The member must replace lost or damaged equipment.


    You may mark your music, but only with pencil.  Each student is responsible for the music given him or her.  All music needs to be kept in a flip folder or binder with page protectors.

    Lost and Found

    All items found in the band room not locked or stored will be sent to the school lost and found. The school and district take no responsibility for loss or damage to items left at school.


    There are a number of lockers available in the band room for student use. Combination locks must be supplied by the student. You will need to register your lock combination with your teacher. Lockers are meant for the storage of instrumental equipment ONLY. No food, books, or gym clothing may be stored in lockers. Lockers must be made available to inspection upon request.  Abusing your locker may result in the loss of locker privileges.


    All marching band members are fitted for uniforms. It is very important for students to take good care of the uniforms and handle them carefully. Upon receipt of a uniform, students accept full responsibility for all of the uniform parts. Students also sign a contract agreeing to return the uniform in the same condition it was given.


    All pieces of the uniform are numbered and logged as they are assigned to each student. Numbering and logging ensures that every piece is identifiable as to which student it is assigned. Any piece of the uniform lost or grossly mishandled will be replaced at the student’s (parents’) expense.


    The Uniform

    Each member is issued: 1 overlay (jacket), 1 pair of bibbers (pants), 1 shako/beret (depending on the section) with plume, 1 pair of gauntlets (depending on the section), 1 garment bag.


    Uniform Alterations

    Do NOT make alterations on your own.  If alterations are needed they will be taken care of by the uniform committee.


    Storing the Uniform

    The uniform is stored at the school, unless taken for alterations or cleaning during the marching season.  Each student’s uniform is stored in the assigned garment bag.


    When hanging up the uniform:

    1. Hang both pants neatly, matching creases.
    2. Hang the overlay facing you, with the hanger hooking to the right.
    3. Gauntlets go in the zipper pocket on the back of the bag with your gloves.
    4. Slide the bag over the jacket with the front of the jacket facing you and the front of the bag facing you. This hangs the bag properly for easy identification.
    5. Wipe the dust off the shoes before you store them
    6. Hang the bag on the rack. Students are responsible for keeping the bag free of dirty clothes and socks. This keeps the uniform smelling fresher during the season.


    Shakos (Hats)

     Make sure your shakos are in their boxes and wiped out after each use to prevent mildew and dirt buildup. Wipes will be provided for this.  Do not store anything else in the hat box.  Plumes are stored together, and parent volunteers place the plumes into your shakos just prior to performing.

    Please note that the plumes must be handled by the metal stem. Never touch the feathers.


    Bag and Hanger

    The large hanger and uniform bag need to be taken care of.  If for any reason a part of your uniform is damaged, lost, or broken, please notify a parent in charge of the uniforms.


    Wearing the Uniform

    When you wear the uniform, please be sure that the clothing you wear underneath the uniform is clean! You must always wear the show compression shirt. When students are allowed to take off their overlay the shoulder straps for the bibbers must remain on their shoulders.  You must also wear thin shorts underneath to help keep the uniforms cleaner, and to make changing on a bus easier and quicker.  Clothing should never be seen through the uniform.  Everyone wears black socks.  Note that socks cannot have different colored heels. Socks should be at least mid-calf height, to prevent skin from showing between the shoe and the pant. Never wear your shoes without socks.


    Transporting the Uniform

    For most competitions, the uniform bags are taken on the bus with the students.  Students are responsible for putting their uniform bag and hat boxes on the bus.


    Cleaning the Uniform

    The uniforms need to be cleaned following specific instructions.  At various times during the season all uniforms will be collected for cleaning. 


    Band Shirts

    There are 3 band shirts each student will have.  During band camp students are given a “SOUND MATTERS” shirt to be worn for the parent performance at band camp. By tradition, they are also worn on Fridays during the school year, sometimes swapped out for the show shirt.  During the year the show shirt is worn at competitions. If a student forgets their t-shirt when needed for a performance or competition, the band must stay in full uniform for the duration of the event, or the student may not be allowed to participate.  The third shirt is the compression shirt that will be given to you.  This will be worn under the uniform overlay and in the stands at football games.  You will be given the opportunity to purchase a second one so you don’t have to wash it between a Friday night football game and Saturday competition.


    Uniform Rules

    1. Water is the only substance that may be consumed while in uniform, unless otherwise instructed.
    2. Never wear an incomplete uniform in public, or hang the shoulder straps off your shoulder, unless otherwise instructed.
    3. Hair must be off the collar or up in hat at all times (make sure you have hair ties please).
    4. No public displays of affection while in uniform (holding hands, kissing, etc.).
    5. No excessive make-up, no jewelry or other accessories may be worn.
    6. Keep uniform clean and maintained.
    7. If the overlay is removed it must be turned inside out and placed on top of your shako.
    8. Only a marching band shirt may be worn under/with your uniform
    9. Clean, all-black socks and jersey/compression shorts must be worn.

    Music Room Policy


    All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice and bigotry. As members of the Higley High School educational community, students are expected to refrain from participating in acts of harassment that are designed to demean another student’s race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, disability or sexual orientation.

    Classroom rules

    Our classroom can be summed up in 2 main ideas:

    1. Exemplify professionalism
    2. If everybody did it would it work?

    Here are some (but not all) of our specific rules and expectations.

    1. No food, drink, candy or gum is allowed in the music room. Water in a closable container is allowed.
    2. Leaning on equipment (especially music stands and percussion instruments) is not permitted.
    3. When seated in a chair, all four legs must be touching the ground at all times.
    4. No running or horseplay is permitted.
    5. When you choose to leave your music at school, it must be kept in your locker.
    6. No student is allowed in the director’s office, library, or uniform room without permission.
    7. No hats are to be worn in class.
    8. Do not touch or play any instrument that you do not own or which is not checked out to you or your section.

    Rehearsal and performance procedures

    Upon entering the room, read the board so you will know where practice will start.  You should unpack and set up your instrument, get your music/drill, and go to the proper area.  The other materials you should have with you every day are a sharpened pencil, and (depending on your instrument) at least 2 working reeds, valve/slide oil.  You may then warm up, practice your music, or socialize with your immediate neighbors.


    During rehearsal you should remain attentive and follow instructions as best as you can.  Do not pack up your instrument until the director has told you to do so.  This is to be done without an excess of noise.  No one is to leave the area until you have been dismissed. 


    For rehearsals and performances students need to be in the proper attire and ready to begin by call time.  Only band students are allowed in warm-up or performance areas.  This includes designated band seating in the bleachers.

    Chain of instruction

    In order for us to run an effective rehearsal, it is important for everyone to understand the chain of command. Please feel free to come to any of the instructors with any concerns you have, but for general questions, please go through your student leaders first.

    The chain of instruction is as follows:

    Other Members (usually vets)
    Student Liaison
    Drum Major

    Assistant Director/Director

    Behavior Management Plan and Consequences

    *A student’s behavior can warrant skipping steps if the offense warrants further action.

    1. Verbal Warning
    1. Student to fill out Behavior Improvement Form & Parent communication
    1. After School Detention (ASD) as needed, also any tardy on or after 3rd tardy.
    1. Parent conference (may involve counselor/administrator)
    1. Written referral to principal’s office & call or letter home

    Student Leadership

    Student leadership is the most important part of our program. By the time a student is in their second year of the program, they are leaders, whether they realize it or not. If a student aspires to student leadership in the Higley Instrumental Program, they will begin to experience the lifelong lessons of service and dedication. Student leadership is essential to our success as an organization.

    While everyone can be an effective leader in this program, formal opportunities to serve are available in the following areas:


    • President
    • Vice President
    • Secretary


    • Treasurer
    • Drum Major
    • Student Liaison



    Travel privileges are exactly that. They are earned through good conduct and performance in ALL classes and activities at Higley High School. The director reserves the right to revoke these privileges if necessary.

    1. Higley performing ensembles may travel to in-state and out-of-state festivals. All school rules are in effect during those trips. Infractions will be handled as if they occurred on school grounds in accordance with HHS and district policies. Any illegal activity will result in the removal from participation in the program.
    2. All students will ride to performances on provided buses. Students may travel home from events with their own parents if the Band Director is provided with a note from a parent prior to the event, and the proper form is filled out before the student leaves.
    3. If you have any medical conditions that could affect you during a performance or trip, please let Mr. Sharp know as soon as possible.


    Occasionally students will be asked to participate in fundraisers to help with costs incurred by extra activities or expenses such a field trips, equipment, clinicians, etc.  This is done so that learning can be enhanced, but no extra financial burden is placed on students and their families.  Money earned is deposited into the band club account or booster account, where funds are tracked for each student.  When a student leaves the program any remaining funds revert to the general account, unless there is a younger sibling to pass the funds on to.  Refunds cannot be given on credits from fundraising activities.

    Band Grading Policy

    All students will be given a grade of “A” provided that they follow the policies of the band.  The student’s grade is split in to 2 categories:


    Coursework (80%)

    -The bulk of your grade during remote learning relies on coursework. Coursework will include two assignments per week that will be due the following Monday by 8:00am. These assignments may include, but are not limited to worksheets, quizzes, music theory, audio recording, video recording, or guided listening.  


    Final Exam (20%)

    -The final exam will be a cumulative assessment from the semesters work. There will be ample opportunity to prepare for the assessment.


    Gaining Points

    Students will earn points in the following ways:


    1. In-class Group Rehearsal Techniques - 10 points
    2. Football and Festival performances - 100 points
    3. Tests/Quizzes (playing or written) - maximum of 50 points
    4. Evening Practice Group Rehearsal Techniques – 30 points
    5. Sectional Assessments – 10 Points
    Losing Points

    Students will have points deducted from their grade for the following reasons:

    1. Tardy to a performance – 15 points
    2. Tardy to Class or Evening Rehearsal – 3 points
    3. Unexcused absence – Grade of zero


    Grades will be given on the following scale:

    A = 90% or higher                     B = 80 – 89.9%             C = 70 – 79.9%

    D = 60 – 69.9%                         F = less than 60%


    Late Work Policy

    If a student is absent with an excused absence though the attendance office, they will have as many days absent to make up the work without penalty.

      If a student is absent and it is unexcused a penalty up to and including no credit for the work missed may be enforced.  It is to the teacher’s discretion to accept any late work that is turned in after a due date.


    The Band Letter is an award designed to reward outstanding contributions to the band program.  The band letter represents participation above and beyond the minimum level of attendance and performance.  Students will earn points based on several different criteria.  Students must audition for the All-Region groups in order to earn a letter, with guard being an exception.  Information on how to earn a letter is posted at the front of the band room.







    This contract constitutes the necessary obligations to be a part of the Higley High Marching Band. This includes attendance requirements, equipment needs, and financial responsibility. Please read the contract through. The Google Form that needs to be completed to show acceptance of this contract will be available when school begins.



    • All band members are required to attend class every school day. This will start at 6:25 AM so we can have maximize rehearsal time and still have time to pack up and allow the students to get ready for 1st
    • All band members are required to be at every Tuesday and Thursday night rehearsal.
    • All performances are mandatory for all band members.




    • Football Games –9/11(@Mountain Pointe), 9/18(@Casteel), 9/25(8th Grader Night), 10/2, 10/9(BYE), 10/16(Perry), 10/23(Hamilton), 10/30(Senior Night).
      • The band will attend all football post-season games. (11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/5)(TENTATIVE)
    • East Valley Veterans Parade November 11, 2020 TENTATIVE
    • Gilbert Days Parade November 21, 2020 TENTATIVE




    If a student misses the rehearsal BEFORE a performance, they will NOT be allowed to perform.


    *Refer to the Marching Band handbook for specifics regarding attendance policies.




    Band Shoes - $40                      We will order as a class.  Money due by July 31.

    Gloves - $4-5                            We will order as a class.   Money due by July 31(buy 2 pairs) (Percussion excluded)

    Socks – cost varies                    ALL Black! Crew length or longer

    Shorts – cost varies                   Cotton mesh, dance, or compression shorts to be worn under the marching uniform

    Flip Folder – winds/brass           Order from a local or online music store (Percussion excluded)

    Binder with Sheet Protectors      Available where school supplies are sold.

    Lyre – cost varies                      Available from most music stores or wwbw.com.  You need to supply your own lyre if you own the instrument you are using.


    Color Guard

    Shoes – about $30                     We will order as a class.

    Body Tight - about $30              We will order as a class.

    Gloves – about $17                   We will order as a class.



    Refer to the fee schedule included in your HIA folder from the parent meeting.  It can also be found on Charms and as the last page of the band handbook.






    ADJUSTED 7/28/2020








    Check to H.I.A. or CC
    (Cannot use Tax Credit)

    Date TBD



    HUSD 60

    (Paid at Kingdom Days)

    Cannot use Tax Credit!

    Date TBD


    (If Applicable)

    Mandatory for all Percussion!

    You MUST tell them you need to add this fee.


    HUSD 60

    (Paid at Kingdom Days)

    Cannot use Tax Credit!




    HUSD 60
     (Can be paid at Bookstore with tax credit)


    Check to H.I.A. or CC

    Items specific to Instrumentalists and Color Guard will be communicated directly to student families and may be ordered as a unit. (i.e. guard gloves, marching shoes, etc)