HELLO FUTURE BAND MEMBER!
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So you want to be in band? Great idea! You’ll learn an instrument or two, be part of team and spend a lot of time with friends in band. Most kids start band in sixth grade, and almost everyone is brand new to music and band. If you start in sixth grade, you’ll be the same as everyone else. If you’re already in sixth grade or later, you can still jump in and start to learn. Whatever your age, there is a place for you in the band hall. We can’t fit the whole school in there, but there is room for you.
STARTING IN MIDDLE SCHOOL
You can join band by picking it as an elective choice when you choose classes for middle school. After that, you go to an “instrument selection day” at your middle school. You’ll meet the band directors and they will show you instruments and help you try to make a sound on them. After trying a few, you’ll probably have a few favorite choices. The band directors will help you choose and after that, you’re no longer just a person. You’re officially a Trumpet, a Clarinet, a Percussionist, a Tuba, a Saxophone, or whatever instrument was your favorite. You’re a member of the band!
If you’re on track to go to Travis High School, you’ll probably be a band member at Bowie MS, Garcia MS, or Sartartia MS, which are our main feeder schools. These bands go to contests, have pep bands for football games, and have overnight band trips around Texas for seventh and eight graders. You might go to some other school but end up transferring or moving to Travis High School, and that’s great too.
MOVING TO TRAVIS HIGH SCHOOL
Once you get to high school, the bands get bigger and better. In late summer, the Travis High School Band has “summer band” where you will learn to march on a football field and learn our show for the year. Our marching band has brass and woodwinds, a drumline, a mallet percussion “pit” and a color guard. Most of the color guard members start as freshman in high school and enjoy mixing dance with visual arts. If you think you might enjoy color guard, talk to the high school directors about joining. We work as a team and spend a lot of time together making friends and working on music. By the time school starts, you’ll already know lots of people on campus.
During the fall, you’ll cheer on Travis High School at football games and go to marching contests. Our home field, Mercer Stadium, does not have a track around the field so you’ll always be close to the action. After marching season, you’ll join a smaller band for concert season. You can try jazz bands, percussion ensemble, color guard or winter guard. During concert season, you can try out for regional and state level honors bands.
TRAVELING AND HAVING FUN
The Travis High School Band has members from all academies, so you’ll know people in your academy and also have band friends across the school. In your academy, you may have the chance to travel to places around Texas, the US and maybe around the world. The Travis High School Band generally takes a big trip every few years, with smaller trips in between. Recently, we’ve been to California to visit Disneyland and see the LA Philharmonic perform!
During your last few years in school, you’ll have a chance to be a leader. Our band members are drum majors, section leaders, trailer crew leaders and leaders around the school. We also have band members who are in Travis High School sports and clubs and other groups all over campus.
MOVING ON TO COLLEGE AND BEYOND
As a senior, you will have a chance to earn a letter jacket and you’ll start to think about college. Some of our kids keep playing music in college and some move on to other things. We have band members who have been valedictorians and placed in the top ten percent of their class. We have kids go on to major in almost anything you can imagine. A few even go on to become future band directors. Our kids go to lots of Texas schools like UT-Austin, Texas A&M, Texas State, UT-Dallas and others, but we also have kids that go to schools out of state like MIT, Pepperdine, Gonzaga and others.
Wherever you end up, you’ll always be able to pick up your instrument, play a tune, and remember the fun you had and the friends you met in the Travis High School Band!