top of page

Marching Band

Marching Band Basics:

Background Information:

Katy ISD has enjoyed a high reputation for excellence in music performance, including marching band, for many years.  The marching band is the most visible aspect of the band program.  The marching band provides performance opportunities for band students while integrating the band program into school and community activities. 

Marching Band Participation:

As an integral part of the band program, Katy ISD’s philosophy is that educationally, historically, and musically, marching band is an essential ingredient in a well-rounded music education in band.  KISD believes that music students need to develop the ability to participate and perform in different ensemble experiences which, for band students, includes the marching band.  As a result, marching band is required for all high school students who elect to take an academic band performance course.  However, students who have medical complications or physical disabilities may be excused from participation at the discretion of the head band director.  Philosophy regarding all aspects of high school band stems from TEA/UIL guidelines which govern all Texas schools. 

Physical Education Credit:

As an artistic endeavor, each rehearsal and performance by the marching band is mentally and physically demanding.  For the full marching band performance, students are always on task and must bring to the experience their best performance skills.  As a result, each student in the marching band is eligible to receive a physical education substitution credit (maximum 1 credit) in accordance with TEA guidelines. 

State Curriculum Requirement:

The music and performance skills and techniques, along with the associated academic skills in the band program, are derived from implementation of the expectations found in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  The curriculum specifically includes requirements such as demonstrating musical skills and artistry, performing in different musical mediums, and experiencing music through a wider range of music literature, which are addressed through the marching band.  Each performance by the marching band provides students the opportunity to demonstrate musical artistry through the ensemble, individual music performance skills and techniques, marching performance skills and techniques, and critical thinking skills that include auditory, spatial, and visual awareness. 

Student Academic Expectation:

The opportunity for weekly performance is a motivating factor for academic achievement for marching band students, since only by maintaining their eligibility can they continue to perform.  As a result, the directors have documented the fact that the least number of ineligible band students during the year occurs during the marching season. 

Since marching band is a part of the academic band course and therefore, part of the graded curriculum, students in marching band are responsible for assimilating the academic aspects of the band elective as found in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  Attendance at rehearsals and performances is mandatory and will be integrated into the student’s grade for band in accordance with TEA/UIL guidelines. 


Practice Time Limits: 
Marching band practice times are regulated by TEA/UIL guidelines.  Adherence to these guidelines is the responsibility of the Head Band Director at each high school.  As per TEA and UIL rules, “The members of a marching band or any of its components may not begin the marching preparation for a UIL contest presentation prior to August 1.  In addition, no more than ten hours of director-supervised instructional time may be devoted to marching fundamentals between the end of the previous school term and August 1.”  Music preparation is not affected by this ten-hour rule.  Between August 1 and the 1st day of school, practice schedules are determined by the Head Band Director.  During the school year, no more than 8 hours of rehearsal per week, outside of the school day, is allowed.  Exceptions to the 8-hour rule include preparation immediately before games and competitions.  KISD observes all of these guidelines. 

Rehearsal and Performance Schedules:  
Rehearsal and performance schedules are determined by each band staff and are available publicly on the Panther Band Charms account.

Marching band students who play an instrument that KISD does not provide (flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet and trombone) must personally provide, march and perform with the same instrument they use in band or a second instrument of the same type that is approved by the Head Band Director. 

Students are responsible for all maintenance on their instrument, whether it is a district-owned or personally owned instrument. 

Marching Band Positions:

Primary Marchers: 
Students who earn a position in the marching band will carry the designation of primary marcher.  A primary marcher is a student who: 

  • Successfully completes the audition requirements by the appropriate time.

  • Demonstrates high quality marching skills

  • Is punctual in report times

  • Is present at rehearsals and performances

  • Maintains academic eligibility

  • Represents the school, school district, band program and themselves with the highest possible decorum and behavioral standards

Special Note: Students who fail to meet the music memorization requirement may be penalized by one of the following: a) loss of position as a primary marcher, b) loss of performance opportunity, or c) performance as a marcher only. 


The band directors will keep the number of alternates to a minimum; however, they are a necessary and vital aspect of our program due to the UIL “No Pass/No Play” rules and to prepare for possible substitutions due to injury, sustained illness, etc.  Alternates will meet the same attendance, rehearsal, memorization, academic, and performance requirements of primary marchers.  Specific drill may be written and music may be edited for those students who are not yet able to achieve the physical and musical demands required of primary marchers.  This will help improve their individual skill level and will prepare them for future performance opportunities.  As a band staff, we are committed to providing performance opportunities for all students.  However, the level of performance participation may be limited by eligibility and individual performance ability. 

There are many ingredients that are vital to a successful marching program and no one part is more valuable than any other.  Examples of ways that students can contribute to the performance are: Marching Winds, Marching Percussion, Pit Percussion, Color Guard, Stage Crew, Pit Crew, and Tech Crew. 

Marching Band Rehearsals:

  • Respect everyone on the marching band field - we are all working toward the same goal.

  • Prior to all rehearsals, eat healthy and drink a lot of water.

  • Be punctual.  Aim to arrive 5 minutes before practice begins.

  • Water breaks are meant for your health and comfort.  DRINK WATER!  Return on to rehearsal ready to go!

  • Rehearsal will be silent at all times.

  • Standing is the only acceptable position on the marching band field unless instructed otherwise (ex: when a director tells you to kneel while he gives instructions).

  • Everyone will be expected to vocally count at all times.

  • Pay attention to general instructions at all times.  Listen attentively and respond appropriately.

  • Fundamentals will make us successful.  Therefore, we expect everyone to participate fully.

  • Section leaders are responsible for keeping coordinate books.  You will receive your coordinate books from your section leader at the beginning of rehearsal, and it will be given back to them at the end.

  • Band members should wear their coordinate book at all times.  Your section leader will tell you where to wear them.

  • Move when instructed quickly and quietly (ex: moving from set to set or after a discussion with a leader).

  • “Set/Attention” is eyes forward, no talking, no moving.

  • When setting forms keep your feet together and mouth closed.

  • Remain at attention until you are told to relax.

  • “Relax” means silently standing in the ready position.

  • When adjusting the forms, use your coordinate books at all times unless instructed otherwise.

  • To keep your spot on the marching field, meet all music memorization deadlines. 

Marching Band Performances:

The primary performances of the marching band will be at the football games. The marching band will also perform at various competitive marching festivals and UIL Marching Contests, as well as possible local and national parades. 

Katy ISD Marching Band Performance Guidelines: 
The band directors in Katy ISD recognize that the health and safety of their students is a primary concern, as well as their scholastic performance in all of their subjects.  The band directors also acknowledge that the season for marching band competitive performances is contained within a brief but intense period of time during the months of September through November.  Additionally, KISD recognizes the intrinsic value gained by the students from the pursuit of excellence in these programs. 

After lengthy study of current practices of state and national marching band programs and to provide a balance of the above beliefs, KISD Marching Bands will participate in competitive/festival performances for no more than five consecutive weeks during a marching season.  This guideline refers to competitive/festival performances involving the entire marching band and does not include performances at football games. 

Performance Procedures:  

  • Report Time: This will be the designated time at which all members should be at the high school or set location.  Students should have all attire and necessary items for the designated performance prior to the report time.  

  • Load Time: This will be the designated time at which all members should be on the appropriate bus with all equipment loaded.  All equipment will be checked by the section leaders.  Students without appropriate equipment will be sent home and an unexcused absence recorded.

  • Return Time: This will be the approximate time of return to the band hall.

What to Bring:

  • Garment Bag

  • Marching Shoes

  • Marching Socks

  • Black Band Shorts

  • Water Bottle

  • Flip Folder

  • Lyre (if necessary)

  • Instrument with accessories

  • Performance Shirt

  • Uniform Apparel

  • Proper under garments

  • Hair Accessories (Hair spray, gel, bobby pins)


Music inspection will occur before all football games and marching band performances that will utilize music which is not part of the field/competition show.  Students will be asked to display music, lyre (if appropriate), and flip folder.  Students who do not pass music inspection may not be allowed to perform. 

Uniform Inspection will occur prior to student departure for a marching band performance, students must pass a uniform inspection.  In order to board the bus, students must have complete uniform, raincoat/poncho, music, flip folder, and other components for the marching performance.  Students who do not pass the uniform inspection may not be allowed to attend the event.  Students not meeting uniform, music, and loading guidelines will be subject to disciplinary consequences. 

Football Game Procedures:

The football game is viewed as a performance of the band program.  Such performances include all aspects of the game from arrival to departure. 

  • Students will remain on campus after school on game days for a brief rehearsal and then for food attained by the boosters.  This is in consideration of time, organization, and safety.  Please do not ask for exceptions to this.

  • Students will arrive at the designated report time.

  • Students will load and be prepared to travel at the designated load time.

  • Students will load the buses with all equipment needed for the performance. The section leaders will inspect all students boarding buses prior to departure. Students with long hair must have hair up before allowed on bus.  Students not meeting uniform, music, and loading guidelines may be sent home and not allowed to participate.  Students will receive an unexcused absence for such occurrences.

  • Upon arrival at the performance area, students will put on all uniform components and prepare equipment for unloading.  Students will unload buses when instructed to do so by a chaperone or director.  Exit the bus in proper uniform as instructed by the directors, carrying all necessary equipment in garment bag unless instructed otherwise.

  • Instruments that arrived via equipment truck/trailer will be picked up at the designated area when instructed.  All cases must be put back in original location with latches closed.

  • Students will report to the entrance formation for final inspection.  Upon instruction from a Drum Major or director, students will file silently into the stadium.

  • Upon arrival to the seating area, students will remain standing until all band members have arrived and are prepared to be seated.  Students will sit when instructed by a Drum Major or director.  Students will sit in assigned seat and section.  Students will remain in that seat and section at all times.  Any movement in this bleacher adds risk to the safety of students and their instruments.

  • Students must bring their band water jug into the stands with them.  No other food or drink will be allowed in the stands during the game.  Students will refrain from accepting food or drinks from parents, relatives, or friends. Parents:  please do not offer refreshments to your children.

  • Restroom breaks may be granted by a director, chaperone, or selected student leader.  Every effort will be made to accommodate needs without jeopardizing the integrity of the section. Restroom breaks will not be granted in the second quarter of a football game.

  • Students will be expected to listen for and watch the directors and drum majors during the game.  Students will need to be prepared to perform at all times and at a moment’s notice.

  • Students will refrain from playing their instruments on an individual basis. The band will perform as a group or with approved small ensembles.  While playing, always pay attention to the director/drum major.

  • At the appropriate time, the band will be dismissed from the stands for the half-time performance.  At this time, the band must move quickly, quietly, and efficiently to the appropriate area.  Students will need to be focused on the directors’ and Drum Majors’ instructions.

  • At the conclusion of the half-time performance, students will return to the stands and continue in the stand performance throughout the remainder of the game.

  • During the 3rd quarter, we will participate in the good sportsmanship procedures of officer meetings and introductions.  The band president will create a schedule of which student leaders participate in this event each week.

  • At the conclusion of the game, students will load busses quickly and efficiently.

  • Upon return to the band hall, students will ensure that all personal items, uniforms and instruments are placed in the proper storage areas.

  • At the conclusion of each engagement, there may be a brief meeting before dismissal.

Instrument Loading and Unloading: 

  • All instruments except clarinets and flutes will be expected to transport instruments on the band trailer/instrument truck.

  • Meet with Section Leaders in designated area (on the marching field).

  • ALL equipment ready for inspection: uniform, hat box, plume, gloves, gauntlets, lyre, flip folder (in stand tune order), black socks, black shoes, water bottle, complete instrument
    (with all accessories: reeds, mouthpieces, valve oil, etc.), band shirt.

  • Case should be closed and secure.  Instruments in the wrong area may be overlooked and not loaded.

  • Students will be responsible for seeing that their instrument or empty case is in the proper location.  Section Leaders will designate the cart that instruments are to be loaded for each instrument.

Arrival at PHS:

  • Students will also be responsible to see that their instrument is picked up and stored correctly upon the unloading of the instrument truck.

  • No one departs Band Hall until instrument truck is unloaded.

  • Get YOUR instrument out of the way once it is unloaded and put it away.

  • Return uniform (hung properly) to uniform room.

  • Help loading crew and cooler crew unload by taking items to appropriate storage areas.

  • GO HOME!  All of you are loved, but go home and get some rest!

  • Section leaders/Uniform Crew Members help hang uniforms at first game.

  • Students who display difficulty in following the loading and unloading procedures may lose the privilege of utilizing the instrument truck and be charged a maintenance fee

bottom of page