Forney High School Band
Frequently Asked Questions
Forney High School
800 FM 741
Forney, TX 75126
972-564-3890 (#3019-Band Room)
Mark Poole – Director of Bands: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Adler – Assistant Director: email@example.com
Mario Luna – Assistant Director/Percussion: mario.luna@forney isd.net
Casey Snead – Colorguard Instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I take AP classes and still be in band?
Yes. In fact, a great majority of our students are in AP and upper level classes. We have many of the top 10 graduating class every year. Most of our students excel in their academic classes.
Can I be in athletics and band or other extra-curriculars?
ABSOLUTELY! We have several students that do band and football, band and basketball, band and choir, etc. You have SEVERAL electives to choose from. Band acts as both a fine arts credit and P.E. credit.
Can I be in Highsteppers and band?
Yes. We have students do both and it actually has very little conflict if any.
Do I have to supply a uniform?
No. The school provides the marching and concert uniforms. You will be responsible for some other things such as t-shirt, shoes, gloves, etc. We will order them, so you do not even have to worry about that.
Do I have to buy my own marching instrument?
No. We provide ALL marching brass and percussion. Woodwinds do have to provide their own (with the exception of the larger woodwinds such as bass clarinet or Bari sax)
What is the policy for before/after school tutoring?
Since we rehearse before school most days, you can still attend tutoring most any day after school. Also, we typically do not rehearse marching band on Monday mornings so students can attend then.
Can I be in Color Guard and Band?
Yes. You can do colorguard in the winter and band in the fall. Or you can possibly march with the colorguard in the fall and perform with the band in the spring.
Is there a band website?
The Forney Band has its own website! Keep up to date with the most recent information by looking up http://www.forneyhighschoolband.com/
What if I can’t march?
No one can until we teach them. We go at a very easy pace. We have never had a student who was not able to march and play. We will show you everything you need to know. We will have some practices for our upcoming freshmen in the late spring/early summer to get you ready to go.
What is summer band camp?
The Beginning of August marks the beginning of the very busy Marching Season. It is all about “The Show”. We will start around the 1st Monday in August. (Sometimes that means late July) Attendance at this camp is mandatory. Speak to the directors about any concerns.
What is the Forney Band Booster Club?
The Forney Band Booster Club is the parent and community support organization for the band. The main purpose of this organization is to help the band directors and band members achieve their goals as a performance group.
What is the structure of the band?
There are 6 parts to the Forney Band: Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Percussion, Color Guard, and jazz band. A student’s placement is determined by tryouts in the spring and fall. During the fall semester all of these parts meet together for before and/or after school rehearsals. During the school day each member will rehearse with their assigned group during their assigned class period. In the spring each group will meet during their assigned class time the difference being that percussion students will now meet with their assigned band instead of as a percussion class.
What is Colorguard/Winterguard?
The Color Guard is an integral part of the visual performance of the marching band. It is also highly successful in winterguard in the spring semester. The group is under the direction of the Color Guard Director. The guard may work on dance, rifles, sabers, as well as flags.
Does the band perform at pep rallies?
Yes, pep rallies are held every other Friday during football season except for homecoming week.
Does every band member march in the show?
The marching shows are designed for a specific number of band members and color guard members. This number is somewhat less than the number of members in the band. The marching spots will be assigned by the directors during summer band camp after they have had the opportunity to watch the students march and listen to them play. The members who are not assigned a marching spot will be alternates. Alternates are very important to the band program. This means that they will most likely “share” a spot alternating each week. When a band member can’t march because he/she is ill, he/she becomes ineligible because of low grades, or for any other reason, a director may use an alternate to replace him/her on the field. At the directors’ discretion, an alternate may challenge another band member for a spot on the field.
Alternates are expected to be at every rehearsal and band function.
Tell us about the Friday night football games.
On most Fridays from the end of August until the beginning of November there will be a football game. The students will be given a set time to meet in the band hall. There will be inspections of uniforms, costumes, and equipment before the buses are boarded for away games and before walking in formation to the stadium for home games. TONS OF FUN!!!!
What are Marching Contests?
Besides football games, the fall is all about the marching competitions for the Forney Band. These competitions are usually held on Saturdays. They are comprised of UIL, USSBA, and other marching competitions. Most of the competitions are in the DFW area with the notable exception of the UIL state competition that is held every other year in San Antonio if we are selected. For the local contests the students will meet at the band hall at an instructed time, they will rehearse, and then load the buses to travel to the competition site. Many competitions have a preliminary contest; they announce winners; and then have a finals competition for those bands that qualify. After the final awards are announced the band will reload the buses and return to the Forney High School band hall. Once again we recommend that you wait for a phone call from your student telling you that they have been released before you go to the school to pick them up or watch for a message on Facebook. There even overnight trips associated with this activity sometimes.
Where can I find more information?
More information about the band, including policies on grading and attendance, is in the Forney High Band Handbook. This can be found online at www.Forneyhighschoolband.com. Also, PLEASE feel free to email Mr. Poole with ANY questions you may have.
What is the Concert Season?
Concert season takes place mostly in the spring semester but begins immediately following marching season. Concert season is the time when most musical training takes place and each band’s performance rating during the UIL concert contest is the basis for evaluating the entire band program. Band members will be placed in one of three bands based on the number of students and their playing abilities. Tryouts are held in late fall. Concerts and contests are help throughout the spring semester.
Are private lessons necessary?
Private lessons are strongly recommended. They are offered on every instrument, pending instructor availability and are conducted at Forney High School. Our instructors are professional players or advanced-level university students who are contracted through FISD. The lessons are $16 per session. Students with the benefits of private lessons not only elevate their own play but the musicality of the band as a whole.
What are All-Region, Area, & State try-outs?
This is an individual contest. Individual band members of the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic bands are required to tryout and members of the concert band are strongly encouraged to tryout. Pre-selected tryout music is available to all students beginning in late July. Region Concert Band tryouts are held in early December in two phases. The students passing the first round (consisting of two phases) of tryouts will perform with the all-region band. If a student passes the second round they attain area status and therefore are eligible to compete for the All-State band. This competition is usually held in early January. Band members who become All-State musicians assemble in San Antonio in February to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association convention. The bands and orchestras made up of these wonderful musicians represent the top ½ of 1% of the high school band members in the state of Texas. Advancing to All-State is the highest individual honor a high school musician can achieve.
What is Solo an Ensemble Contest?
Students in the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Bands are required to perform a solo at the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest. Students in the other groups are strongly encouraged to do a solo and/or ensemble. Students compete on an individual basis. This gives each student the opportunity to solo which is invaluable to the development of their musical education. Students who receive 1st divisions are awarded a medal.
What is the Band Banquet?
A band banquet is held each spring near the end of the school year. It is a time to gather and celebrate the year, but more importantly to thank the senior members for the time they spent with the band and wish them good luck in their future endeavors. Tickets are sold to the band members and their parents and siblings. Seniors are special guests “usually” do not need to purchase tickets. The attire for this event is dressy but not formal.
Does the band perform at graduation?
The Wind Symphony is expected to perform for this ceremony. Transportation is provided.
This sounds like a lot of work. Is band fun in high school?
ABSOLUTELY! We work hard, but we have a GREAT time doing it! Students will develop life-long relationships through band. The band students are some of the finest people in the school. Our retention rate (students signing up each year) is almost 99%!!! That should tell you what a rewarding experience band is. Because our program is so successful, we are very well supported by the school, administration, FISD, and community. We are also a crowd favorite at performance venues.
Where can I find more information?
More information about the band, including policies on grading and attendance, is in the Forney High Band Handbook. This can be found online at www.Forneyhighband.com.