Liberty High School Bands Handbook/Syllabus 2017-18

Dear Parent(s) of Liberty Band Students:

The following information will help you and your student understand the procedures and policies used in the band program at Liberty High School.  Please read the information carefully and electronically sign (at the bottom of this document) with your signature, your student's signature and your primary email address.  We look forward to seeing you at our performances this year!


Eddie Owen, Director of Bands

Brittany Terwey, Assistant Director of Bands

Laurie Walls, Guard Director

Emily Simpson, Assistant Guard Director


*We create opportunities for all to pursue their potential and positively influence society.

*We are committed to continuous improvement.

*We believe:  Community defines our culture, Learning is our passion, Empowerment inspires our growth, Accountability guides our actions, and Respectful relationships form our foundation.


*To promote and encourage superior playing skills and abilities of all band students.

*To provide the opportunity for a positive and creative musical experience.

*To develop life skills through an enriched musical environment.

*To foster progressive growth in the area of technical facility.

*To create an atmosphere of aesthetic musical quality.

*To instill a life-long appreciation of music.


Mr. Eddie Owen, Director of Bands

Ms. Brittany Terwey, Assistant Director of Bands

Ms. Laurie Walls, Guard Director

Mrs. Emily Simpson, Assistant Guard Director

Mrs. Michelle Davis, Director of Orchestras

Dr. Rika Heruth, Director of Choirs

Mr. Baker Purdon, Assistant Director of Choirs

This handbook is a useful tool which includes policies, procedures, expectations and other important information.  It is to be used as a guide for all of these aspects.  Please keep this link handy for future reference.

As always, you should ask Mr. Owen or Ms. Terwey if you are unable to find an answer in the information below.

Expectations for Band

1. You must be in your designated spot with your instrument/equipment ready by the time the bell rings - This means 7am on the field for marching rehearsals, or in your chair with everything ready at the beginning of concert/symphonic band rehearsals (see “Tardiness”).
2. You should warm up on pertinent/appropriate material; scales, warm-up routine, music in the folder, etc.
3. When ANY conductor (Director, Drum Major, Clinician) is on the podium/tower, please look at the person on the podium, and stop playing and talking.
4. Please work out the technical problems at home!  We do not have time to work on your individual part; your homework assignment is to have all of the music in your folder technically prepared for class rehearsal.  YOU ALWAYS HAVE HOMEWORK IN BAND.
5. This is a performance ensemble; please treat all of our performances (concert, jazz, marching, and pep bands) with a high level of professionalism.  Attendance at performances is mandatory.
6. You must leave all gum, candy, food, and beverages outside of the rehearsal room/stage, marching field, and performances.  Only water is permitted in a rehearsal space.
7. You are responsible to have your own copies of all pertinent drill charts/music/method books/etc. at every rehearsal.  PLEASE BE SURE TO ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT IN OBTAINING THESE ITEMS.
8. Correct performance dress includes all uniform parts (BLACK SOCKS - OVER THE CALF), show t-shirt, clean shoes, and gloves (EITHER BLACK OR PINK DEPENDING UPON THE MONTH OF PERFORMANCE).  NEVER appear in public wearing only part of your uniform or wearing the uniform improperly.
9. Sectional rehearsals are an important part of ensuring student and ensemble success.  Students are expected to attend sectional rehearsals unless a critical conflict is worked out with the section leader/directors PRIOR to the scheduled sectional.  If a section leader has a sectional scheduled, the expectation is for you to attend.  DO NOT HESITATE to ask a drum major or one of the  directors for help, individually or by section.
10. All Instruments, chairs and stands:  All equipment is to be stored correctly at the end of each rehearsal (i.e. in the appropriate case and locker AND LOCKED).  Please treat all instruments, mallets, and accessories with care and respect.

Items to Purchase

*Marching Band Shoes $35.00 All marching members excluding Guard (Black Speedsters)

Black full length (over the calf) socks - $5

*Gloves - Black $7.50/pair, Pink $7.50/pair (includes black AND pink for October Pink Out Game) Required for all members except guard and percussion

*Canvas pouch for drill learning - $3

*Pinnie fee for drill learning - $5

*Show Shirt - $14

BOYS - Tuxedo shirts, black full length (over the calf) socks and black dress shoes will be required for all male students playing in the symphonic and concert band.  

GIRLS - Black hose/tights and black dress shoes will be required for all female students playing in the symphonic and concert band .

*Instrument Usage - BRASS AND WOODWINDS - $150.00  (wind players using school instruments) Fee for the use of any school-owned equipment, including percussion.  Students must consult the directors if there is a financial issue regarding the usage fee.  

*Instrument Usage - PERCUSSION - $60.00 (all percussionists).  Fee for the use of any school-owned equipment, including percussion. Students must consult the directors if there is a financial issue regarding the usage fee.  

*Uniform Cleaning Fee - $35 - covers marching band and concert band uniform cleanings for the season



We are able to communication with you via email, as well as our Facebook page (LHS Band Boosters ) and our official BAND Twitter (@LHSPrideBand) and my own Twitter (@LHSBlueJayPride). You can also connect to our Guard on their Facebook Page:  Liberty High School Color/Winter Guard.  Our Google calendar is another great reference and can be found at this link:   BAND CALENDAR

You can also see the consolidated version here:  DATES AT A GLANCE

It includes several important pieces of information about our bands. Please visit these resources (Facebook - LHS Band Boosters, Band Calendar - link is above, Twitter @LHSBlueJayPride AND @LHSPrideBand) often for band information and updates. Please stay in touch with all of these resources, as you will be able to find the information you need. IF YOU DO NOT USE FACEBOOK OR TWITTER, please contact Mr. Owen ( and Mrs. Nichole Centa ( to be placed on the email distribution list.  As always, if you can’t find it there, please ask a director!

The LPS Fine Arts Department also has a Facebook page (LPS Fine Arts Department - if you're a Facebook user, just "Like" the page), Instagram (lpsfinearts) and a Twitter account as well (@LPSFineArts). You can also receive updates and information from these resources.

OFFICE HOURS: Mr. Owen and Ms. Terwey will set aside time for students and/or parents when they are available. Parents can contact us at any time by e-mail or phone:

Mr. Eddie Owen – OR 816-736-6800, ext. 2067

Ms. Brittany Terwey – OR 816-736-6800, ext.

Ms. Laurie Walls -  OR 816-736-5490, ext. 2045

Mrs. Emily Simpson -

Student Scheduling/Opportunities

LOCKERS:  Students have all been assigned a locker and have been issued a school owned lock.  Students are responsible for the cost of the lock replacement ($15) if it is lost.  The best way to prevent loss is to lock it when it's not in use!!   If you do not lock your lock/locker, there is a greater chance that something could be damaged or stolen.  Students that leave lockers open/unlocked after class is over will be warned once to keep it locked and then lose the privilege of using the school band locker.

All-District & All-State Bands and Orchestras:  Students have the opportunity to prepare for and participate in auditions for the Kansas City Metro No. 3 All-District Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, and Full Symphonic Orchestras. Auditions will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at Liberty High School.  The audition music packets include soloistic exercises and etudes, as well as scales that must be prepared to the very best of one’s ability level. All District BAND Packets may be downloaded here.   All District JAZZ Packets may be downloaded here.  All NON REFUNDABLE audition fees must be paid by the student prior to the auditions.

Taking this audition is an agreement to participate in ALL rehearsals and performances without any exception.  Students not meeting this obligation of participation will be immediately removed from the district ensemble and will not be permitted to audition for a district ensemble the following year (this is the KC Metro District’s policy).  Over 1000 students audition annually for the All-District ensembles. Please follow through with your responsibility to that ensemble, or you will have prevented another student (somewhere else in the Kansas City area) from having the opportunity to be a willing participant.

Scheduling conflicts in school-sponsored student activities:

The following will be used as a guide for deciding which activity a student will participate in if two activities are scheduled at the same time.

These are listed in the order they will take place:

1. The two sponsors will meet to see if they can mutually agree on what activity the student will participate.

2. If the sponsors cannot agree, we will use the following criteria as the decision tool:

     a. Level of importance the student is to the activity:

An example would be—Are they a part of a large group with many other students doing the same thing or are they the only one doing a particular function in this activity?


1. State participation

2. District participation

3. Conference participation

4. Building participation (activity participation for grade)

5. Non-conference participation (athletics)

Example:  If a student is to be involved in a Conference volleyball game and a District band competition both scheduled at the same time, the student would attend the District band competition because it has a higher priority.

     b. If using the above criteria does not enable the sponsors to reach an amiable agreement, the principal and activities director will make a decision that must be accepted by the sponsors and will not affect the status of the student with the sponsors.

Syllabus and Grading Policy for LHS Band Classes:

Instructors:  Mr. Eddie Owen, Ms. Brittany Terwey

First Period:  Marching Band – Symphonic Band/Concert Band
Textbooks: The only official texts are the drill charts, sheet music assigned to folders, special handouts, and provided method books.  When concert/symphonic  band books/materials/sheet music are checked out to students and not returned at the end of the year, students will be responsible for the cost of replacing the materials.
Course Objective: The purpose of band classes is to assist students in the development of both their individual musical skills and those skills necessary to perform in a large ensemble.  Included will be a study of many of the fundamental elements of music, including basic music terms, symbols, and concepts.  Students will develop an appreciation for and an understanding of a variety of music through rehearsal and performance experiences.
Grade Requirements: Each student must earn rehearsal skill/participation points each day.  Six week grades will be determined by several factors, including rehearsal skills/participation, concert skills/participation, and observation of individual performance and progress.  The grades will consist of the following components:  Performance skills/participation (40%), Rehearsal skills/participation (30%), Playing tests/quizzes (15%), Semester Final Exam (15%).  The following is a list of possible reasons students would not earn skills/participation points:
•No instrument, music, charts, markers, pencil, in rehearsal/performance

•Tardiness* (see below)

•Bringing candy, gum, food, beverage into rehearsal space

•“Marching/Concert Performance Test” (marching execution, music memorization, part-checks during concert season, etc.)

•Refusal  of participation during a rehearsal by a student

•Unexcused absence from rehearsal** (see below)

•Unexcused absence from performance*** (see below)

*TARDINESS:  If a student is not in his or her required spot (rehearsal room, marching field, etc.) with their chair/stand/instrument/equipment ready to go by the time the bell rings, he/she will be counted tardy.  7am rehearsals are required and they begin at 7am. Please have your student at school PRIOR to 7am to prevent them from being tardy to the rehearsals.  A student that arrives to class late will be counted tardy in the attendance program.  Passes from teachers do not necessarily excuse a student for tardiness.

**UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM REHEARSAL: Students are to remain in the room/on the field until the directors dismiss them.  A student may leave the room during the hour with permission or a pass signed by one of the directors.  Students leaving the room before the end of the hour will be marked absent for the entire hour, unexcused.

***PERFORMANCE PARTICIPATION:  Every student is required to participate in performances pertaining to the group of which he/she is a member.  Students will be graded on the following performance criteria:  posture, hand position, tone quality, balance, blend, intonation, breath control, rhythmic accuracy, note accuracy, style, phrasing and overall musicality.  Students (and parents) need to understand that the performance is the culmination of the preparation for the actual performance, and expectations for both are extremely high.    An unexcused absence from any performance (INCLUDING PEP BAND) will result in a zero for that assignment.  If you have an excused absence (Student illness or injury OR Family emergency) an alternative assignment will be due upon return of the student.  This will  involve performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) for the class (public performance) and receive a critique from the directors OR turning in a video recording of them performing the previously prepared literature (their individual part) and receiving a critique from the directors.  Since students receive performance schedules before the school year begins, they are responsible for arranging their schedules accordingly.  Work is NEVER an excuse.   Notify the directors in advance if possible for these types of absences.  THE DIRECTORS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE.  THE ALTERNATIVE ASSIGNMENT AS LISTED ABOVE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE UP AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE.

The following grading scale will be used in this class:

A: 90 – 100%

B: 80 – 89%

C: 70 – 79%

D :60 – 69%

F :59% and below

The group in which you perform is a direct reflection on you as a member of that group; the entire ensemble is no better than its weakest member.  Don’t settle for “getting by.”  As you strive to make your performing ensemble something of which to be proud, we as a staff will do the same.

Private Instructors 2017-18

Private Instructors  (2017-18)
Please click on this link for the attachment:  PRIVATE TEACHER LIST

This is not an all- inclusive list.  There are many other fine instructors in the area.  These are just some of the individuals that currently teach students in the Liberty Public School District, or that are known to have successful studios.  

Parents and students are strongly encouraged to consult with the band directors before committing to any private instructor.  They will be able to give you detailed insight into the instructor’s personality, general expectations, and track record.

Band and Guard Lettering Forms

Click the link here for the BAND lettering form:  BAND LETTERING FORM

Click the link here for the GUARD lettering form:  GUARD LETTERING FORM

Please note that the lettering form is due NO LATER THAN APRIL 13, 2018.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

Concert Etiquette

The Liberty High School music department wants to present the best, most professional setting during concerts for our performers and audience members. There are universally accepted do's and don'ts of which audience members should be aware when attending a musical performance. These include the following:

1.  When you enter the auditorium, be aware that you have entered a performance area, even if the performance has not yet begun. Proper decorum (soft talking with the person next to you, etc.) is expected. PLEASE TURN OFF ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES. We will be making recordings of every concert, and would like to have them free of any ringers or beeps.

2.  When the house lights dim, focus your attention on the stage and wait for what happens next. The dimming of lights is a signal for your attention on stage, and talking becomes a distraction for performers and listeners alike.

3.  If someone other than the conductor walks on stage in front of the ensemble, they are making a formal entrance.  You should applaud, if it is a member of the ensemble, it's probably the concertmaster, who will indicate to the ensemble members that they should check their final tuning and wait for the conductor to enter.

4. When the conductor of the ensemble enters the stage, the ensemble usually stands to acknowledge the audience with the conductor. Although the conductor is the only one who bows, the mere fact that the ensemble stands while the conductor bows includes them in this acknowledgment.

5.  During a concert band performance, it is customary to hold applause until the conductor acknowledges the audience.  Do not applaud during the middle of a selection, even if there is a pause during the performance for different movements of an entire work. On the other hand, if you're listening to a JAZZ BAND and someone takes a solo, do show your approval of the individual's solo performance when they finish by applauding!

6.  Applause is the appropriate response for a concert performance.  Whistling, yelling, etc. should not be a part of a concert.

7.  Screaming children, like good intentions, should be carried out immediately.  

8.  NEVER enter or leave the auditorium when a performance is in progress!!! (Except for the "upset child" scenario mentioned above.) If you arrive late, you should wait until the first selection is over to be seated.
Public performances are the culmination of the participants' hard work and dedication, and they appreciate your courteous attention to them as they perform for you.

Please remember that a concert is a formal event, and should be treated as such.


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