Rising 9th Grade Information

Tomball Band Booster Club Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

by Freshman Parents

As the 8th grade students get ready to move into the high school band program, many parents wonder what to expect. The band program may seem overwhelming to new Freshman (and their parents) but at Tomball High School, the band program is amazing and teaches many great values to its participants.
Students learn teamwork, leadership, responsibility, time management and much more. They also have fun doing it. Even though it is quite exhausting, they can’t wait for it to start the next year. Below you will find several frequently asked questions by Freshman parents. This is not an exhaustive list but can hopefully answer some of your questions.

What is the cost of participation in Band/Color Guard?

Although participation in band can seem pricey, the benefits to students for participation far outweighs the cost. Parents will be asked to pay the following approximate fees.

  • Band fees – covers transportation to and from away games and competitions, non-district employees, techs, Master classes, music arranging and more (paid directly to TISD Student Account)
  • Booster Club fees – this helps with marching show costs including props, uniforms, flags, tarps; also helps cover non-district employee salaries; scholarships for students; music licensing; and more
  • Instrument rental fees (depending on section)
  • Band camp fees for Percussion/Colorguard (one extra week)
  • Meal Fees for Band Camp, Game Days, and Contests. Plus Gatorade and Snacks.
  • Uniform fees – (paid directly to vendor)
  • Concession Stand Deposit – $300.00
  • Other small sectional costs such as a sectional t-shirt or hat.
  • Optional fees: Booster Club membership ($20.00); Band Trip Fees (varies from year to year)

    What uniform fees will I need to pay?

    • Every student needs a few items of clothing and bags for carrying uniforms. The first year the price seems high, but once purchased, these clothing items and bags can be used in subsequent years. Please reference the New Member Letter for detailed fee amounts for the current school year
    • Red dri-fit performance top two recommended
    • Membership shirt
    • Male Shorts two recommended
    • Female Shorts two recommended
    • Show shirt not required but could be used as a practice top and displays each year’s show theme
    • Duffle bag with embroidered name
    • Garment Bag with embroidered name
    • Marching Shoes
    • Gloves (type determined by section) two pairs recommended

    Purchased separately:

    • Red ONE GALLON water jug (Amazon is the best place to order)
    • Red and white practice tops (the color alternatives from week to week)

      Are there dress requirements for band camp or after school practices?

      YES.  During band camp, the students will alternate between white tops one week and red tops the next week (with student leadership wearing the opposite color of shirt each week to stand out to the students).  Students must also wear appropriate shorts and athletic shoes.  If students are not dressed appropriately, they will be asked to go home and change into appropriate clothing.  No open-toed shoes will be allowed for safety reasons.  The top for after school practices will again alternate between red and white.  Student leadership will again wear the opposite color each week.

      What is the volunteer deposit?

      The TISD Concession Stand is the Booster Club’s biggest source of revenue each year and we need every family to help to make it successful. To encourage participation and ensure fairness to all families, the Booster Club collects a volunteer deposit fee at registration from every family, regardless of Booster Club membership. Our current contract with TISD Nutrition states that TBBC will receive $40,000 for working concessions at all of our home games. We will also be expected to work playoff games, but the details are TBD. This is the MAIN fundraiser for TBBC, covering approximately 40-50% of the operating budget (excluding funds collected and spent for meals). TBBC is charged whenever we are in breach of contract and is in jeopardy of losing future contracts if we do not fullfill our volunteer obligations.


      • For 2023-2024 each band and color guard family is expected to work THREE shifts at the TISD Stadium Concession Stand.
      • Once a family has completed their THREE concession stand shifts, the $300 volunteer deposit will be held in escrow for the family’s volunteer deposit for the next school year.
      • Once a student graduates or leaves the band program, they will receive their volunteer deposit back if they have fulfilled the required THREE concession stand shifts per year and are current on all fees.
      • Every shift that is not worked will result in a $100 charge and that money will NOT be held in escrow for the student’s account for the next school year.
      • Those who sign up for a shift and do not show up to work the shift will be charged a $50 charge per shift missed. This charge will not apply to those who give our volunteer coordinator 24 hours notice and/or find a replacement to work their shift.
      • Volunteering to help feed our students meals, as a chaperone, or to be part of pit crew will NOT fulfill the volunteer requirments. Only working concession stand shifts at the TISD Stadium will count towards the volunteer deposit requirements.

      What is the Mandatory Meal Fee?

      The Mandatory Meal Fee Covers:

      • 13 Band Camp Lunches. (Camp will run July 26th-August 11th from 7am- 5pm)
      • 10 Game Day Dinners. It will also cover any game day meals if we make the playoffs. (On game days, band and colorguard students will begin practicing immediately following school, they will load the buses then travel to the games and will not return until close to midnight. We feed the students dinner before every game.)
      • 9 Meals for Contest Days. (Contest days the students are usually gone the entire day and we feed the students three meals.)
      • It also includes Gatorade and Snacks throughout Band Camp and Marching Season as these are LONG, HOT Days.

      Please note: the additional Percussion and Color Guard Camp Weeks and Drumline Contests DO NOT include meals. Students are expected to bring their own lunch and snacks during those camps and contests.

      Because the meals are purchased in bulk and not individually, the meal packages are considered “all” or “nothing.” There will not be discounts for days when a student is not at camp, games, or contests. TBBC strives to keep the cost of the meals on budget. At the end of band camp / marching season, the TBBC Treasurer will determine the cost of all meals and snacks provided. If the cost of the food is GREATER THAN the money collected, the Booster Club WILL cover any additional cost. If the cost of the meals are LESS THAN the money collected, the difference will be considered a donation to the Booster Club as long as the value spent was 90% or more of the money collected. If the value spent was LESS THAN 90% of the fees charged, the Booster Club will credit each participating students account for the proportional difference.

      What is the Reveal meeting about?

      At a later date to be determined, the Directors will hold a meeting for parents and students to officially reveal the marching show theme, music basis and props for the coming season.  This single show will be perfected throughout the year and will be their competition show.  The students look forward to this event.

      Why is band such a time commitment?

      • Participating in band is as much of a time commitment as participating in any other athletic program in high school. Band is not only an athletic activity but is also a musical activity and requires time to perfect both aspects of the program.

      What are the demands of students during Band Camp in August?

      Percussion and Color Guard students attend two extra camps during the summer other than the regular band camp. All band students are expected to attend ALL days of band camp. Note: the starting time is the time the first note is played. Please ensure that your student is dropped off early enough for them to put their stuff away in the band hall, have their instrument ready to go, have water and ice in their water jug, and be in their designated place at their designated time. Once the day ends, the students typically need to walk across the parking lot to the band hall, get instruments put away, straighten the room, etc. This same thing applies if there is a Saturday practice session during the fall.

      Why does band camp start so early?

      Band camp starts as early as is legally possible to guarantee all UIL rules are followed. There is so much to learn at band camp and the students need as much time as possible. First, a lot of time is used to teach the students how to move on the field, a difficult feat. The students are also required to learn a lot of music. Besides the marching show, students learn songs for the Patriotic Show; the school song; the fight song; grandiose; stand tunes; and start working on region band audition music. It is a rigorous process that requires time.

      What are the demands of students during Marching Season?

      • From the beginning of camp until football season ends, your students will be extremely busy with practices, games and competitions (every other year is an opportunity to go to State). There are multiple practices during the week and on game days, students will not go home until after the game is over. Sometimes this means they won’t be home until after midnight or later.
      • For football games, the band typically marches into the stadium 30 minutes prior to the start of the game. They will typically perform in front of the home side before taking their spots in the bleachers. They leave the bleachers mid-way through the 2nd quarter so they can begin to warmup for the halftime show.  After the halftime show, they return to the bleachers for the remainder of the game.  Once the game ends, if it is a home game, the band will frequently run the show after the game, once the field has cleared of all football players, coaches, and officials.
      • In October (often referred to as “Band-tober”) students will participate in several contests which help them prepare for UIL marching competitions, Area and sometimes State competitions. Some Saturdays will require the students to arrive at the school early in the morning and not get home until late that night. Sometimes these early arrivals happen after a late game night.

      What happens if our football team makes the playoffs?

      The band continues to play at all the games.

      How do I get a kid who doesn’t drive to and from school every day?

      Find a carpool. Come to the new parent orientation at the beginning of band camp to find other parents who might live near you. Have students reach out to friends.  Volunteer for the band which will allow you to meet other parents in your situation.

      Are there volunteer opportunities that aren’t working in the concession stand?

      • Yes! It takes around 45 volunteers (not counting concession stand help) on any Friday night to have our band perform.  We need people to feed the students, chaperone, push props, move the front ensemble equipment, take pictures, etc. It takes many hands to help our band perform and compete.  However, even with all of these other opportunities, you are still expected to complete all concession shifts, even when volunteering for games/contests in other capacities.
      • Volunteering for the band during the game, including working concession shifts, will get you into the game for free with general admission seating.

      Once school starts, where do kids go after school when they have practice that starts at 3:30 or 5:30?

      • Students can go to band hall to study/work on homework until the scheduled practice time.
      • This is also a great chance for students to meet with teachers for tutorials or if they have questions about lessons in class.
      • For late starts @ 5:30-8:00 kids may get hungry for dinner and it is not provided. They may want to pack a meal/snack or have a parent rotation drop off for meals on these days as they will not be home until after 8:00pm unless you want to pick them up from school and then bring them back for the 5:30 start time.

      How does my student keep up with his classes?

      Students must keep eligibility requirements to participate in after school band events. In the past, students tend to have a less difficult time keeping their grades in check in the fall when it is so busy than in the spring when band activities aren’t as rigorous. In band, students learn time management skills as they are forced to manage their time.  Also, students help each other.  The older students will sometimes tutor the younger students.  In between school and practice is a great time for students to get a lot of their homework done.

      Are the kids practicing inside or outside in summer?

      • Band is very physically demanding – hydration is key. Kids will risk overheating if they do not hydrate all day for after school practice. Once a child passes out from heat exhaustion they are more susceptible in the future as it resets the body’s natural thermostat. 
      • Please have your student start practicing good hydration early in the summer to avoid any issues in August.

      How can I ensure that I have a seat for the home games?

      Buy season tickets in August! For more parent tips, come to the new parent orientation held at the beginning of band camp.

      What is the Patriotic Show and what do I need to know about it

      This game is exciting and fun for the students as we compete with the only other District high school (Tomball Memorial). It is a highly-attended game and the stands are always packed. When it is a home game, having reserved seating is key to finding a seat.  When we are considered visitors or you don’t have reserved seating, you will need to arrive VERY early or you will not have a seat.  If you do not, you will end up standing for the entire game.

      What other obligations will my child have as part of band?

      • Freshman or new students will have a big sister/brother. They will receive gifts and will need to give gifts on home game days (inexpensive, dollar-store type gifts or a snack is what this is meant to be, to build camaraderie).

      What are band trips?

      • Every year the band offers an opportunity for students to travel away for a few days. These trips should have an educational purpose as well as be fun for the students. One year the student trip will be “in state” and the next year it will be “out-of-state.”

      Why does the Booster Club do so much fundraising?

      As stated in the fees section, the Booster Club is financially responsible to help the band succeed. On an average year, props for the show (including Color Guard flags, etc.) can run over $15,000. The Booster Club counts on money from fundraising to cover costs and, if possible, give something back to the band to make it a better organization for the next year. Some of the items the band relies on are music copy supplies, yearly replacement of color guard practice equipment, financial aid for private lessons, concession equipment repairs, band trip financial aid, senior scholarships and more. The District does not cover these expenses. The Booster Club uses excess funds to help provide some of these additional needs.  We need everyone’s help to make this happen.

      Top Ten Reasons To Join the Tomball High School Band


      Help establish and build school spirit and pride.

      Help establish and build school spirit and pride. Playing instrumental music is proven to make you smarter!

      Those who play school owned instruments get to play high quality instruments.

      Get to Wear Great Uniforms!

      Excited Staff!

      Enthusiastic support for the band from our administration!

      Compete in a Variety of Competitions a Year!

      Have an instant group of friends that will be some of the best and brightest at THS.

      YOU!! Your energy, your ideas, your talents, and your personality will make the Tomball Cougar Pride THE BEST IT CAN BE!

      Make Your Freshman Year Memorable!