The band program has three major divisions: the Marching Band, the Concert Band, and the Flag Corps.
Marching Band and Flag Corps
The Morristown Hamblen West High School Marching Band and Flag Corps perform at half time of every Varsity football game unless the performance is canceled by the Band Director. Home games are held at Burke-Toney Stadium near Morristown East High School. For away games, the school provides transportation for the band and flag corps by school bus. Students are required to ride the bus to away games. The Booster Club provides the chaperones for the trip.
The Marching Band and Flag Corps also perform for community and in competition. The Marching Band and Flag Corps participate in the Hamblen County Veteran’s Day Parade and the Hamblen County Christmas Parade with themed music. The Marching Band and Flag Corps will also have several opportunities to compete against other high schools in band performance competition. The competition sometimes draws bands from Virginia and Kentucky. The bands are judged and scored with the winners receiving trophies.
The Morristown Hamblen West High School Concert Band performs a Christmas Holiday Concert and a Spring Recital. The concerts are held on a Sunday, and include the 6th-8th grade students of local middle schools. Band students are encouraged to participate in Junior and Senior Band Clinics. The clinics evaluates each student’s musical skill and ranks them against their peers across the state, a precursor to All-East and All-State competition and recognition.
Band is a serious scholastic program at Morristown Hamblen High School West. That’s why the band program starts three weeks before actual school classes. The first two of those three weeks are half-days, held on the high school campus. The first week is used to introduce the new freshman class to the the band director, to other incoming freshmen, to their upper class mentors, and to the overall high school experience. During that time, they are also introduced to marching, a requirement they didn’t have in middle school. The second week is for ALL band members, both upper and lower classes. That week is used to introduce the year’s music program, and to re-introduce students who have been off all Summer to the marching discipline. The third week of band camp is held off-campus at East Tennessee State University and polishes the students’ marching, twirling, and playing skills without disturbance from outside distraction.
Students are required to submit five (5) permission forms before they can participate in band camp or other travel. The five forms are listed here.
- Generic Student Information Form
- Student Information and Permission Sheet – used to authorize travel with the band. (This form must be notarized)
- Using A Photograph or Videotape of a Student – this form gives the parent’s permission to publish the student’s image in newspaper, on the website, and in other media. Pictures may be posted on the Booster Club website, on the Booster Club Facebook page, or printed in the newspaper.
- Form 50 – Administration of Non-Prescription Medications and Self-Medication.
- Form 51 – Prescription Medication Information. (This form must be signed by the Physician)
Band Camp Information
Information on Band Camp at ETSU
Band Camp is paid for by the student. All checks should be made payable to: MORRISTOWN WEST HIGH BAND. If there are any problems, please contact Mr. Thomas so that satisfactory arrangements can be made. Also, if you wish to pay the full amount early, you are encouraged to do so.
Everyone is expected to participate in the volunteer program as much as they are able. We need lots of help in the concession stands for home games and chaperones for both home and away games. Your name must be on the sign-up page by the Thursday before the game in order to get in to Burke-Toney stadium without paying for a ticket. Visit the Volunteers page to sign up for your preferred shifts for concessions.
The MWHS Band and Flag Corps uniforms are designed to give a standardized appearance to all band members. This does not allow for individual variation in dress. Therefore, all band members must look as much alike in uniform as possible. In order to achieve this end, all uniforms must fit in an identical manner. All hats must be worn at the same angle and all long hair must be hidden under the hats. When being judged in competition, good uniform appearance can make the difference between ratings.
Uniform fitting takes place after practice during the second week of summer band camp. Band and Flag Corps members will be fitted for a coat, hat, and pants. Cuffs and sleeves will be hemmed after they are fitted.
Marching and Concert Band Uniforms
The school owns the band uniforms. Students will be issued:
A hat and a hat box
A hat plume (feather)
A wool overcoat
A rain poncho for inclement weather
Students will provide the following uniform items:
- Band T-Shirt – The Band Booster Organization provides one free T-shirt to each band student. Students are required to wear the T-shirt to school on every football game day. This T-shirt is part of the bands’ rain uniform. In cases of inclement weather, band students will wear jeans, their band T-shirt and tennis shoes instead of the formal uniform. Mr. Thomas will announce when the band will wear the rain uniform. Please be prepared for inclement weather every game day.
Scrubs – All students must purchase at least one pair of black scrubs. They wear them over their uniforms at all times other than when actually performing on the field, in a parade, or on stage. Scrubs protect the uniform pants and greatly extend their life. If you have good scrubs from the previous year, you do not need to purchase new ones. Buy at Wal-Mart or McFarland Medical Downtown. Be sure they are black drawstring — no low riders. Write your name on the tag. They all look alike!
- Black Gloves – These are available at The Trade Center. It’s a good idea to buy more than one pair. These are worn at every game, competition and parade. Write your name on the tag. Don’t set them down, they tend to disappear, and they all look alike! Some students who play wind instruments will cut the fingers off for dexterity.
Shorts – Students must wear shorts and their band T-shirt under the uniform at all times. There will be times when the T-shirt and shorts option is required.
- Black Socks – Socks must rise above the ankle.
- Black Marching Shoes – All marching band students must wear the same style shoe. Fitting and ordering takes place during the second week of band camp (“Full Band” week). Mr. Schupe of The Trade Center will order shoes for all the students during uniform fitting day which takes place during the second week of Summer Band Camp. Payment is due at the time of ordering. There is no tax or shipping charge if you order with the group. If you do not order shoes on that day, then you need to go to The Trade Center as soon as possible and place your order so as to have them by the first game. The students will be notified when the shoes are available to be picked up.
Note: The Band Boosters will provide only one free T-shirt per student for the duration of their time in West High Marching Band. Please take care when washing this shirt, as we want to maintain a uniform appearance for the band. Bleach should NOT be used in the laundry. If the band shirt turns pink, becomes stained or discolored, it will be the student’s responsibility to purchase a new shirt. If you need another shirt, you may purchase one from the Boosters Club.
Flag Corps Uniform
The school owns the Flag Corps uniforms. Students will be issued the uniform.
Students will provide the following uniform items:
Students will be fitted for their uniforms during the second week of Band Camp in July. All freshman and new band students must be fitted. Students should wear socks and marching shoes for the fitting. Booster Club Volunteers will fit the students and pin the uniform sleeves and pant legs for length. We always need volunteers to pin and hem. Please contact us if you are able to help. At the uniform fittings, band members will also try on scrubs and be fitted for their band t-shirt.
Student Responsibilities toward Uniform
Band uniforms are owned by the school and loaned out to individual students with the understanding that they will be taken care of. Maintenance will be monitored very closely. This demands that while a student is in possession of a uniform, responsible care be exhibited concerning the wearing and storing of the uniform. Students are restricted from wearing the uniform anywhere that is not a band activity, and they may not allow other individuals to wear any parts of their uniform. The purpose of a uniform is so that everyone looks standardized. Because of this, all pieces of the uniform will be worn correctly at all times. There might be times we take parts of the uniform off because of weather, etc. Only the director will make the decision to remove uniform parts. Extreme care should be taken while eating in uniform. While the band is in transit from one place to another, care should be taken so that the uniform does not get soiled or wrinkled. When the uniform is turned in after the performance it is usually moist due to perspiration or inclement weather. Care should be taken to hang the uniform in the storage bag properly to avoid unnecessary wrinkling.
Students are responsible to:
- Examine their uniform garment after each use. Notify the uniform managers of any problems, such as stains or rips
- Always hang up their uniforms after a performance. Place trousers “on the crease” with the coat over the hanger. The “round” or curved part of the hanger goes toward the back of the coat.
- Not place any other objects inside the garment bag. The uniform bag is for the uniform pants and coat only. While the uniform is being worn, “change clothing” may be kept in the uniform bag and then exchanged at the conclusion of a performance.
- Place their hat in the hat box.
- Place wet items where instructed.
- Put the uniform bag and hat box away in proper place in the band room before leaving.
Uniforms will be stored at the school unless some special arrangements have been made to take it home for some special purpose. In that case, the student must notify the band director or uniform manager. Never leave the uniform in a car unattended for an extended period of time. Never leave the uniform in the sun for an extended period of time because it will fade. Never wear plumes in the rain.
Students should be very careful in situations where buses are parked closely together. Do not allow any part of the uniform to come in contact with the exterior of any vehicle or building.
Students should always wear scrubs when not on the field. Watch when you sit down to make sure nothing is on your seat or the bleachers.
Uniform Cleaning and Maintenance
Money for the cleaning and repair of uniforms comes out of band camp fees at the beginning of each year. All uniforms will be cleaned after the marching season and at the end of the year at no additional cost. If the uniform needs mending or cleaning, make sure that the band director or uniform manager knows this. If a uniform is found to be unusually soiled during a season, cost for additional cleaning will be your responsibility.
Additional Band Equipment
Every brass player must furnish his/her own valve oil and slide grease. Every woodwind player should provide his/her own cork grease and reeds. All percussionists must furnish their own sticks and mallets. All band members must purchase a lyre and flip folder with enough pages to hold all their marching music.
The travel uniform will be worn when traveling to away games. The travel uniform consists of the current band T-shirt, uniform pants, scrubs, and band shoes. Students will carry their coats (in their uniform bags) and hat boxes. Remember that band students must always wear a shirt and shorts under their uniforms.
Optional Band Clothing and Merchandise
You may want to visit the band’s Special Order Merchandise page if you haven’t already. You will find personalized clothing and travel bags and other popular items for sale there with downloadable order forms.
Student Travel Information
The operations of the Morristown West High School Band require that the band travel many times during the year. All members are required to travel with the band. Exceptions to this are very rare, and permission to travel separately can only be given after a travel consent form is completed and approved by the band director and principal. Hamblen County permission slips for off-campus travel will be issued as needed for each student to have signed by a parent or legal guardian. These permission slips are necessary for the student to be allowed to take part in the band program.
Any trip with the band is considered an Academic Commitment. Traveling to and from home and away football games and competitions is a school function, and students are expected to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for classroom behavior. As with any school activity, all school rules are in effect. Any student found in violation will be dealt with according to school policy. In severe cases, students will be referred to the school administration, and will be dealt with according to school board policy. These standards follow the rules in the West High handbook and the Hamblen County rules of conduct.
Violations of these standards include:
- Disrespect – Chaperones shall be afforded the same respect that any teacher or school official enjoys.
- Profanity – The use of profane or vulgar language is prohibited.
- Littering – Students are responsible for removing and placing in a proper trash receptacle any bottles, papers, cups, etc. that they use at the game. A plastic garbage bag will be placed on each bus and passed back to students before arriving at the school at the end of the trip. Students are responsible for making sure no debris is left in their bus seat area.
- Inappropriate Contact – No inappropriate display of affection between students is permissible.
- Fighting – No exchange of physical blows (hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, grabbing, etc.) will be tolerated.
- Drug Use – Hamblen County has a zero tolerance drug use policy.
Arrival and Departure
Prior to the first football game, a list will be posted for students to sign up for a bus assignment. Never remove or change anyone’s name. Once everyone has signed, the list will be removed and typed for use in roll call. Once the list has been removed, no changes will be made. The bus you sign up for is your assigned bus.
All band students will be responsible for helping to move equipment, supplies, etc. to and from the field or bus. Students must be prepared to give assistance whenever any chaperone or band parent requests it or whenever they see anyone in need of help. Percussionists and band officers are required to assist loading and unloading the equipment bus. Band members are responsible for loading their own instrument and equipment. All large instruments will be transported on the equipment bus, while smaller instruments are carried on the student buses.
Chaperones and bus drivers are to be treated with the utmost respect. Remember, we cannot travel without them. Please show your appreciation for the service they are providing.
These rules are set forth by the Board of Education and must be followed. In view of the fact that bus service is an extension of the classroom, the board expects students to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for classroom behavior.
Students shall enter the bus in an orderly fashion and go directly to a seat and remain seated until the destination is reached.
Students shall keep their hands, arms, and heads inside the bus.
All articles such as backpacks, bags, musical instruments, etc., must be kept out of the aisle.
The emergency door must be used for emergencies only.
Chaperones will sit apart, with an equal distance between each other, spread out from the front to the rear of the bus and provide behavioral supervision of students while in transit. Chaperones are expected to enforce the rules, and students are expected to follow the rules and listen to the chaperones.
Please browse the rest of our website and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. We also have a Facebook page if you’re on Facebook, but e-mail is our main communications tool.
A PDF copy of all the information above this link can be downloaded by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’ve got a bunch of pictures for the band website, but the folder is too large to send via email. How can I get them to you?
A: You can use a file sharing web service such as www.hightail.com, www.sendspace.com, or www.dropbox.com. You have to register (takes a minute) then just enter email@example.com for the recipient e-mail address, and upload your .zip. The webmaster will get an e-mail with a link to download. Others have used online photo sharing sites such as www.flickr.com, www.shutterfly.com, www.photobucket.com. These sites enable you to send the band webmaster an invitation to view your photo gallery with download privileges. If you have a yahoo account or Flickr account, you can upload photos to the following Flickr account: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Does the band play at the Jamboree?
A: No. However the boosters run the concession stands every other year—alternating with East High Band Boosters. In 2015 West hosts the Jamboree.
Q: What time should I arrive and what time can I plan on leaving when I work the concession stand for a football game?
A: You should arrive at the away side gate as close to 5:00 PM as possible. Time is needed to set up. We start selling around 6:00 PM when the gates open, and you can plan on leaving around 9:30 PM after cleanup.
Q: Can band members and younger siblings help in the concession stand?
A: Yes, however they are not permitted by the Hamblen County School System to handle the money at any time. There is still plenty to do and all students are encouraged to help whenever the band is not playing, such as at Freshmen/JV games and/or basketball games.
Q: I understand that the Clinic results are available. Do you have them and are you going to post them to the web?
A: No. Mr. Thomas is the only one with official results, and he will notify students.
Q: How do I find out how much money is in my student’s account?
A: Contact our Band Booster Treasurer, by clicking here.
Q: I see on the calendar band competitions the next 2 Saturdays. Can you tell me something about these? Are we supposed to take our kids there or to the school? Is the whole band going together? Is this something we can come and watch?
A: The competitions are the highlight of the marching band season. You should definitely come watch and cheer for our band. Plan on spending the majority of the day and evening. More specific time information will be posted on our News page as it becomes available. The band travels to competitions together by school bus with Mr. Thomas and chaperones, the same as they do to all home and away football games.
Q: Why are things like sectionals not on the calendar anywhere?
A: Sectionals (with the exception of percussion and flag) are often left up to the discretion of the section leader. They can be set up or canceled with little or no notice. Unless Mr. Thomas has identified a serious problem and approached a section leader about it, it’s possible that he may not even know about them, until they happen.