East Central High School

Hornet Band


Handbook for

Band Students & Parents

East Central High School - East Central ISD

7173 FM 1628 - San Antonio, TX 78263


East Central High School - Band Personnel

Amy Welty

Fine Arts Secretary


Douglas Johnson

Assistant Band Director - Woodwind Facilitator

Director, Concert Band


Richard Mendoza

Assistant Band Director - High Brass Facilitator

Director, Freshmen Band


Thomas Esperiqueta

Assistant Band Director - Low Brass Facilitator

Director, Symphonic Band

Colorguard Director


Ron Garza

Director of Bands

Director, Wind Ensemble

ECISD Band Coordinator


Please visit our band website


to view the most up-to-date online versions of this Band Handbook and other information of interest to the students and parents of the East Central Hornet Band.


The East Central Hornet Band consists of the Golden Hornet Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Gold Band, Freshmen Band, and the Color Guard.  

The East Central band staff has developed this handbook to familiarize each band member and band parent/guardian with general operation and procedures of the Hornet Band and standards by which all band members are expected to conduct themselves. Certain rules, policies, and procedures are necessary so that these overall goals of the group are met, and that the welfare of each individual member is best served at the same time.

The purposes and success of our band are dependent upon these factors from its members:

As a member of the East Central Hornet Band, you must perform to the best of your abilities in every way and work together with the band staff to making this band the finest musical organization that our combined efforts can produce.

In order for this to occur, students will demonstrate these ideals of East Central High School:


Above all, please refer to the most recent East Central ISD Parent & Student Handbook for all school and district policies.

ECISD Bands Pillars of Success

(in alignment with the ECISD Athletic Pillars of Success)

Partnership with Band Students, Faculty, and Parents

Life Lessons/Character Development

Our directors will strive to make band members exceptional people first, exceptional students second. and exceptional musicians third. Collectively, we will be intentional in creating a culture of a positivity, developing leaders, and being exemplars of grit. The primary ingredients in achieving this are attitude and effort. We will follow the formula E + R = O , which states:

The EVENTS that happen to us + our RESPONSE to them = The OUTCOME we get.

Representation of Community

It is a privilege and not a right to represent and be a member of a UIL organization at ECISD. Each band student is expected to demonstrate good bandsmanship, honesty, and integrity… all of which embody the standard for East Central decorum. Each student must abide by all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, policies and procedures, whether federal. state, local, school district, team, and UIL.

Community Engagement

As a community, we will strive to enrich students with respect for the surrounding community. We will help our students develop into ethical leaders and responsible citizens. We will make our community engagement
initiatives a top priority each year.

Performance Time

Specialization and Commitment

We strive to support and promote multiple activity participation throughout our electives and sports. Participation in multiple activities aids in the development of motor skill acquisition and performance necessary for all activities.

The College Process

We will partner to assist and support students/families who aspire to play and perform at the next level. Students will be provided guidelines for utilization as potential collegiate students. The ECHS band solicits visits from local college faculties to recruit and promote their college and university band programs.

The Role of Non-Varsity Bands

Regarding Non-Varsity bands, ECISD recognizes these as valuable developmental years regarding motor skills, ability, and confidence. The nature of these opportunities are medium to high-level with diverse performance competitions.

The Role of Non-School Bands, Band Camps. etc.
East Central ISD values opportunities that contribute to the future success of Hornet Band members. These opportunities include, but are not limited to: non-school bands and organizations, drum corps, independent units, community bands, and participating in showcase tournaments and clinics. ECISD understands that participation in non-school bands provides value and many benefits to UIL band. Because of this, East Central strives to create a healthy, student-centered partnership with non-school organizations. Some of these local organizations include San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble (SAYWE), Youth Orchestra of San Antonio  (YOSA), and local drum & bugle corps units. Directors also encourage students to seek out local universities for resident or commuter summer band camp opportunities.

We encourage and support all students and directors to participate in training and competition beyond the East Central Bands. This provides a chance to build meaningful relationships with parents and other community members. In the event that there are scheduling conflicts between outside organizations and the East Central band, finding a resolution to the conflict will be up to the band member and director on a case-by-case basis.

Program Excellence, Awards, Wins & Losses
Excellence is a process, therefore if our program is to be excellent then we must have programs that promote growth and allow for learning from both winning and losing. Our program will not strictly be defined by results. Rather, we will be focused on an overall program filled with growth mindset objectives.

The Role of Middle School Bands
Our middle school programs can determine the success of the high school bands. Middle school programs must be tightly connected to the high school programs. All students will play at this level provided that they are eligible and their classroom behavior is acceptable. Middle and high school directors will work directly with each other to ensure vertical alignment in terms of philosophy, strategy, and training. High school directors will visit our middle schools to increase retention amongst 8th grade students and to ensure middle school and high school programs are cohesive.

The Role of 6th grade/Beginner Band
Beginner band class is a band class which is designed to prepare sixth grade students for future band programs. The purpose of the beginner band program is to provide students with a preview of UIL bands which they will be eligible to participate in the next year. Students will focus on character development, fundamentals, endurance, agility, and band skill sets.

Professional Training and Development for Staff
ECISD band directors will use the Texas Music Educators Association/Texas Bandmasters Association Professional Development systems as foundations for professional training and professional development. Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and Texas Bandmasters Association are TEA accredited entries for Continuing Education hours. Band Directors will be encouraged to attend specific training sessions applicable to them.



Band Boosters

Band Classes

All students in grades 10-12 are required to audition for select performance ensembles. Auditions take place in November for the spring semester, and also in May for the fall semester of the following school year. Incoming freshmen are enrolled in the Freshmen Band. The Head Band Director determines the audition requirements, and directors will notify students of audition dates, requirements, and results. Directors will serve as  evaluators during auditions. Audition material will reflect the director’s anticipated performance level for the students and will be based on prior learning, and auditions may be live or recorded at the director’s discretion. Students will be re-evaluated periodically for participation in the performance ensembles.

Students in the band program will be placed in a band class/concert ensemble based on these auditions, as well as observation throughout the year.  All band students entering East Central High School in the 9th grade are enrolled into the Freshmen Band for the fall and spring semesters. The student’s placement in bands can also change at the semester depending on director recommendation and student achievement.

Wind Ensemble 

Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Gold Band 

Freshmen Band 

Care & Conduct/Expectations

Band members will observe all policies set forth by East Central ISD, in addition to the following, as they pertain to the instrumental music setting:

Should students violate these expectations, a Minor Incident or Referral will be written by a band director. The following are the consequences for Minor Incidents and Referrals:

  1. First offense: Minor Incident or Referral (depending on severity). Communication with the parent will occur.
  2. Second offense: Minor Incident or Referral. The student will be temporarily suspended from any privileges and upcoming band activities. Communication with the parent will occur.
  3. Third offense:  Minor Incident or Referral. The student will be temporarily suspended from any privileges and upcoming band activities. The student will also be suspended from participation in any events involving travel such as Fiesta events or any band trips. Communication with the parent will occur.
  4. Fourth offense: The student will be removed from the band and will lose all privileges associated with membership in the band.


Color Guard Information

As being a member of one of the largest color guard teams in the San Antonio area, policies and procedures have to be put into place to provide a successful season within the East Central HS Band program. All policies and procedures in the Band Handbook pertain to the East Central HS Color guard program as well.  The following information is more specific to the colorguard program.


Because of the nature of our class instruction, all colorguard students are asked to “dress out” every day like if it were a PE class. Students are given an extra 5 minutes at the beginning of class to change clothes. Students will be ready with equipment (flags, rifles, sabers) by the time warm-up begins. Students will be given a few minutes at the end of class to change back into school clothes.


It is expected that each student will participate fully in the class, “dress out”, and begin on time. All hair needs to be tied in the back and out of the student’s face. Students are also expected to be in attendance at all mandatory after school practices, performances, and competitions.


Marching band rehearsals begin in late July and continue throughout the summer months into the beginning of November. The colorguard is an important visual portion of the UIL halftime show. Band directors and staff have the highest expectations for the colorguard students. Rehearsal and performance attendance are expected. Absences without prior consent can result in a reduction in grade and/or removal from a marching spot in the show. Continued unexcused absences from rehearsals can result in removal from the colorguard program.


Winterguard auditions will happen right after marching band UIL Contests. The audition will be over a routine taught in class plus marching band rehearsal/performance attendance. If a student cannot fit their assigned colorguard period into their schedule, that student will be placed in the class immediately below the one in which they were placed that works with their schedule. (For example, a student makes the varsity team but cannot be moved to the class period for that team. That student will be placed on the JV team)


Students are expected to make sure they have all needed materials for the day (make-up, flags, uniform, rifle, show t-shirt, etc.) and stay for the entire event. If a student needs to leave an event early, they must bring a note from a parent prior to the day of the event and have permission from the colorguard director and band director. Before leaving the show-site, the student AND their parent must check out with the guard director or designated representative. If you leave a performance site without permission, you could be dismissed from the team. Each show and competition will have different details regarding performance times. You will be informed of those dates and times as soon as they are known.

Show hair, makeup, and uniforms will be worn for all performances, pictures, and events, unless otherwise noted. Show makeup is heavier than regular, everyday makeup. The entire guard will look the same. Specific colors are required. Show hair will also be uniform throughout the team and there should be no lose hair or fly-a-ways. Hair for the show will be decided by the end of summer band.


Guard officer auditions will happen at the end of the school year to prepare for the following year.


The colorguard officers will consist of Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, and one Captain. In the event that more than three (3) officers are needed, there can be multiple Lieutenant Colonels and multiple Captains. Guard officers will be held to a higher standard than the rest of the colorguard students and will hold the position for the entire school year unless they leave the program or are removed from office by a director. Each officer will be given a job description to help them be more effective as a student leader. If at any time an officer is deemed to be not conducting themselves at a high standard, a conference between the director, student, and/or parent may occur to discuss possible remediation. If, after the conference, behavior does not improve, the student may be removed from their office.


At East Central, we treat each member, officer, staff, and volunteer with respect NO MATTER WHAT! Whenever someone is speaking, no one else should be talking or spinning equipment. Undermining anyone will not be tolerated, and in extreme situations, might lead to alternate status or dismissal from the program. Any issue a member has with another member, officer, or staff member must be discussed with the guard director or band director. If the member does not feel comfortable talking without a parent, we can easily set up an appointment to discuss any issue. The staff will always be positive with the group, but in the same respect, this is still a competitive group. We will always work towards helping all students grow as young adults. The staff is more sympathetic to certain situations, and when the needs arise, the Director will appropriately deal with the situation, as necessary.


The directors believe first and foremost that a student’s academic achievement is the number one priority. If a student fails at any time, they will be removed from the show spot for the rest of the season and put on probation as an alternate. If a student fails a second time, they could be removed from the group. To ensure grades are staying consistent, a weekly grade check may be handed out to the students.


The guard members are all expected to adhere to the policies and rules of the East Central HS Band Handbook and the East Central HS Student Handbook. The Directors may dismiss any student that does not comply with the policies from the group and/or have disciplinary consequences as deemed fit.


The only way for a member to grow in this activity is through individual practice. THE MEMBER MUST PRACTICE OUTSIDE OF ORGANIZED REHEARSALS. It is recommended that the member take their equipment home and practice or make time either before or after rehearsal to practice at school. While it may seem as though we rehearse a lot, we do not have long enough rehearsals or a large enough staff to individually look at every student during every repetition. We strive for individual responsibility to help the student learn time management, responsibility, competition, and achievement.


We often times wear form-fitting uniforms; therefore, we recommend that students exercise or run on a regular basis along with other physical activities to build endurance. The fall show will run nine (9) to eleven (11) minutes and the winter show runs about five (5) minutes. Each guard member is moving, dancing, running, and jumping during the entire show.


Colorguard is a physical sport where students toss flags, sabers, and rifles in the air. There is always a possibility of a student being hit by one of these items. Most of the time an injury is minor; however, sometimes the injury can be serious. At any point a student is hit, he/she will immediately contact their parent. It will be the parent’s choice at that point of what action needs to happen. If the injury happens during school hours, they will be sent to the Nurse’s Office with another student, but most of our rehearsals occur after school hours when a nurse is not available.


The colorguard, just like the band, has a limited number of spots available for the competition show. If you are an “alternate” you are still part of the group. You will have all rights and privileges as marching members, just not a marching spot. Marching spots are not guaranteed and every member must work to maintain their spot in the competition show. It is entirely up to the student to decide whether or not being an alternate is viewed in a positive or negative light.


You are making a commitment to be part of the team. It is required that you are at all rehearsals and all contests. Unexcused absences, such as poor time management needed for homework, birthdays, family celebrations, etc., are not tolerated. Punctuality is a must.

During summer/fall rehearsals, you must ALWAYS bring with you the following items:

You can only wear these items if they do not interfere with your equipment during choreography. There is not a strict dress code during rehearsals, but it is recommended that you wear light colored clothing that is semi-tight so that we can see your body movements while rehearsing. Never, at any point, are you allowed to wear jeans or khakis. No jewelry is allowed during rehearsals or performances other than class rings.


The directors encourage positive and reciprocal communication, and we have set forth various sources of communication, such as:

Digital Citizenship

Any communication such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, photo sharing, emailing, or texting, etc., appearing on the internet is public domain, even if it is marked private.  Members are responsible for their personal internet postings, as well as postings from or on others internet sites. The topics of inappropriateness will include but not limited to:


Any such incident will result in review by the band directors and/or campus administration and may lead to probation or dismissal from the band.

Band members that violate the above internet guidelines shall be subject to the following:


According to the East Central ISD Parent & Student Handbook:

“UIL rules state if a student is not passing, he/she may not play. Students who failed at the end of a nine-weeks grading period can become eligible at the end of the three weeks progress report period if they are passing all subjects. This allows students to regain their eligibility after three weeks of classroom assessment. Students will not lose eligibility at the three weeks progress report period; the report card alone takes away eligibility. Also, students who failed at the nine weeks period may still practice with the team. The following calendar of eligibility dates helps explain the UIL ruling.

Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a right. By state law, students must make a passing grade in all their classes in each grading period in order to be eligible to participate in any extracurricular performance or competition in the next grading period, unless the failing grade was received in a designated advanced or honors course. Students who are ineligible because of one or more grades below 70 will be allowed to practice or rehearse during a suspension, but cannot perform or compete. If the student raises the grade(s) to passing within three weeks, she or he will regain eligibility to perform or compete.
Many of our approved extracurricular activities have standards of conduct, dress, and grooming that are stricter than those that apply to all students. You and your child will be informed of those rules at the beginning of the semester, school year, or activity and will be asked to sign a form acknowledging that you are aware of those standards and know that violation of those standards will result in suspension or removal from the activity. These additional rules are authorized by the school board, which has delegated to the superintendent the authority to approve them.”

* Activities that are considered curricular components of any course are not affected by the eligibility law. Examples of theses activities are all rehearsals and performances that take place as a regular extension of classroom instruction. Any performance that is competitive in nature or for which admission is charged is deemed extra-curricular.


Financial Obligations

It is the philosophy of the East Central High School Band that no student should be denied the privilege of band membership due to financial hardship. For options in meeting financial obligations, parents should contact Mr. Garza, or the East Central Band Booster President for finances made through the band booster club.

Grading Guidelines

Students will be expected to meet the responsibilities for each band class as determined by the director. Since band classes are academic music classes with some extra-curricular activities attached, the band student’s grade will reflect achievement in both curricular and extracurricular areas.


The following is a list of general procedures for district owned instruments:

Please strive to treat these district-owned instruments as if they were your own. Most district-owned instruments exceed $2,000 in value.


The high school band program at East Central provides many opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills with a variety of offerings. Students can audition and/or apply for both selected officer positions and elected officer positions. In this manner, students can not only serve their band program but also refine skills that they will be able to use in other school organizations, as well as in their future careers. Audition criteria is selected at the discretion of candidates based on their performance both during the audition and during their performance during the current school year.

Student leaders are held to higher standards of performance and behavior than a general band student. They are expected to be positive role models for all band members at all times. The must also have been eligible for both UIL Marching and Concert and Sightreading Contest prior to application. All student leaders are leaders throughout the school year.

Section Leader Expectations & Responsibilities:

Section leaders are determined by the band directors through an audition and interview process. Officers are determined first by audition, then by election from the band members. Any person in the East Central Band program who violates school rules and regulations, and/or disregards the East Central ISD ideals of safety, respect, and responsibility, will not be allowed to retain a band officer position.

Positions appointed by audition

Drum Majors

Section Leaders (one per section)

Drill Captains (numbers vary by section)

Section Leaders and Drill Captains

Positions appointed first by audition, then by election






Quartermasters (Uniform Crew)

Loading Crew Manager

These student leaders are to help the band and band directors in the day-to-day operations of the band program. Although there certainly are other strong leaders in band, a strong leadership hierarchy is important to our success. If a band member has a complaint about a council member, they must contact a band director, who will consider the complaint and outline a course of action.

Letter Jackets

(Amended for 2020) A student must earn a total of 2 points to qualify for a band letter jacket, with the intent of participating in band the following academic year (as shown by registering for fall band or colorguard through spring choice slips). A point is earned each time the student participates at UIL Marching Contest, and at UIL Concert & Sight Reading Evaluation (or Winter guard Championships for color guard members). The goal is to earn the letter jacket by the end of the freshman year, having completed one fall contest and one spring contest without losing points through ineligibilities, or lack of participation by absences, etc., to wear their sophomore year and any following years the student is a member of the East Central Hornet Band.    

Marching Band

All members of the East Central Hornet Band will participate in some form at East Central football games, mostly as marching members on the field, in the front ensemble, or with the colorguard. All members will also participate in parades and pep rallies that feature performances by the Hornet Band.

Cast Members

Students who earn a position in the UIL marching band will carry the designation of Cast Member. A Cast Member is a student who:

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 cast member, b) loss of performance opportunity, or c) performance as a marcher only.

Marching Band Rehearsals

Music Inspection

Music inspection will occur before all football games and marching band performances that will utilize music which is not part of the field/competitive 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

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, 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.

Home Football Game Procedures

Students will remain on campus after school on game days for a brief rehearsal (run-through) not to exceed one hour and then for food attained by the boosters. Students are not allowed to leave campus after the run through/before the game. This is in consideration of time, organization, and safety. Please do not ask for exceptions to this. The schedule typically runs as follows:

Away Football Game Procedures

Arrival at ECHS

Meal Programs

Multiple School Activities

It is the belief of the band directors and ECISD that participation in school extracurricular activities promotes a well-rounded education for the student. With this is mind, students in the band are encouraged to participate in as many activities as they wish; however, the band directors will expect an equitable amount of commitment from the student. Schedules can be worked out between the band directors, coaches and sponsors to allow the student to participate in all activities but only if the student communicates their involvement ahead of time.

Physical Education Requirement

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 1.5 credits) in accordance with TEA guidelines. Students who do not participate at rehearsals and performances may be denied PE credit.

Solo & Ensemble Contests

Travel Guidelines

While on the bus students will:

As a member of the band, you are a representative of your school and community. Always be on your best behavior. Your conduct at all times should be considered a good reflection on the school, the band, your home, yourself, and the community.

Physical Education Requirement

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 1.5 credits) in accordance with TEA guidelines. Students who do not participate at rehearsals and performances may be denied PE credit.

Summer Band

Summer band camp for the Hornet Band starts mid-July for leadership members, then continues adding percussion, freshmen, and new members. Full summer band for all members typically begins the last week of July and into the 1st of August when we begin learning the marching band show.


Uniform Guidelines