I. Welcome

Welcome to the Coldwater Band!

The Coldwater Band Program is ready for another exciting year. We have the privilege of representing our school and community at numerous events. Consider the number of people who will see members of the Coldwater Band Perform this year; it should give you a sense of the responsibility you have to perform to the best of your ability. EVERYONE is responsible for the success of the group. As a young band member, my director had a poster in our bandroom that said “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” Everything you do as a band member or parent should have the group’s success in mind.

Each year we welcome a new class of excited fifth grade band students while watching the culmination of eight years of band participation with our senior class. The work ethic, dedication, leadership, and camaraderie established in band will stay with you the rest of your life. If you remember to put forth the best effort, come in with a good attitude, and remember to be better every day, we will have another successful year in the Coldwater Band Program.

To make sure that we start on a successful note, the following policies and guidelines have been established. These are not meant to be punitive, but to ensure that the band is successful. If you follow these guidelines your band experience will be rewarding and fun.

II. The Band Program

The Coldwater Band Program is designed to meet all the curricular standards established by the State of Ohio through a variety of classroom, performance, and assessment opportunities (see below).

5th Grade Band
WW/Brass/Perc. Sectionals/Full Band/ After School Lessons

6th Grade Band
WW/Brass/Perc. Sectionals/Full Band/ After School Lessons

7th Grade Band
WW/Brass/Perc. Sectionals/Full Band
OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event OMEA Large Group Adjudicated Event Portfolio

8th Grade Band
WW/Brass/Perc. Sectionals/Full Band
Honors Bands (extra curricular)
OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event OMEA Large Group Adjudicated Event Portfolio

High School 
Symphonic & Concert Band
Marching Band
Cavalier Steel (Steel Drum Ensemble)Small Ensemble
OMEA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event OMEA Large Group Adjudicated Event Honors Bands (extra curricular)
Pep Band (extra curricular)

III. Band Expectations

  • Demonstrate Integrity,Pride, and Excellence in all we do.
    Respect yourself
    Listen carefully and be an active participant in the class.
    No talking or playing when the director is working.
  • Respect each other
    Do not cause distractions.
    Students are to only touch/play their own instrument.
    No electronic devices are to be out in class (except tuners).
  • Respect the facilities
    Keep the band room neat and orderly.
    Students do not play or sit items on the school percussion.
    No food, gum, or drinks (other than water) in the band room.
    *Students are responsible for damage due to their actions.

IV. Classroom Policies and Procedures

The band facility is quite a busy place. Nearly 300 students use it daily. The cleanliness and organization of the band room affects our success. Keep it neat and orderly always. You are responsible for doing your share to pick up reeds, paper, and misplaced articles, returning them to their proper place. Have enough pride in your band to assist with the band facilities.

Students are to keep their instruments on the appropriate shelves in the band room. These will be labeled and students are encouraged to use the same shelf to avoid “lost” instruments. All cases are to be latched and must have be clearly labeled with the student’s first and last name on the outside of the case. Students are to store their instruments in approved storage areas only. Your personal belongings are not to be kept in the band room.

Daily Procedures

  1. Enter the band room in a quiet manner.
  2. Only touch, handle, or play your instrument
  3. Come to class prepared (instrument, music, binder, accessories, pencil, book)
  4. Be ready to play 3 minutes after the bell rings
  5. Play your instrument only during appropriate instructional times.
  6. Sit quietly, pay attention, and stay on task when not playing your instrument.
  7. Study your music quietly while the director is assisting other students. Check fingerings, mark music, write in counts, listen
  8. Do not pack up your instrument until instructed to do so.
  9. Leave the room in a quiet manner.
  10. Daily Set-up and clean-up
    • Percussion- At the end of every period cover percussion instruments, put away all small percussion, sticks, and mallets
    • 4th period- Set up all chairs and stands for HS Band
    • 5th period- make sure the back hallway is cleaned up/ instruments on shelves
    • 6th period- Cleanup practice rooms
  11. The only electronic devices allowed out during rehearsal are tuners and metronomes

V. Materials

You are responsible for bringing your required materials every day. Failure to bring any of these items will result in a lowering of your participation grade. It is also your responsibility to keep these items in working condition. Instruments, books, and binders/folders must be marked with each student’s name.

The following is a list of materials that students will need for band. If you already have these, it is not necessary to purchase them again.

  • Instrument in good working order
  • Required Accessories
    • minimum of 3 good reeds for the saxophone and clarinet/ neck-strap (saxophone and bass clarinet)
    • valve/slide oil (brass)
    • sticks and mallets (percussion)
    • Pencil- no pens
    • flip folder for marching band (grades 7-12)
    • A wire music stand for home practice is highly recommended
  • Mouthpiece
    • Hard Rubber mouthpiece for clarinet (Mr. Ruckman recommends the Hite Premier) and saxophone
    • *5C or 3C mouthpiece for trumpets
    • mdc mouthpiece for Horn
    • 6 1/2 AL mouthpiece for baritones and trombones
  • Music Folder (provided by the band). All music must be kept in the binder or folder! Students are responsible for replacing lost music.
  •  Band method Book (grades 5-6)

VI. Marching Band Student Conduct Guidelines

***During band events school rules are always in effect***

General Guidelines

  1. Students are to treat chaperones, staff members, bus drivers, and each other with respect.
  2. Proper and good sportsmanship is expected at all times.
  3. To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late; to be late is to be left.
  4. Listen to your Field Commanders and Section Leaders. Remember, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Individual responsibility= group success
  5. Attendance is vital to our success. Attendance is mandatory for all practices and performances- no exceptions. This includes any playoff games for football. The complete attendance policy is explained earlier in the handbook.
  6. Memorization of drill and music is important to our success. You are graded on this.
  7. All school rules are in effect at all times.
  8. Public displays of affection will not be tolerated- especially in uniform.
  9. Instruments are to be kept in good working order.
  10. Respect school-owned instruments- Damage due to horseplay, lack of proper care, or neglect will be your responsibility.
  11. Be prepared- Always have music, charts, and pencils at every practice.

Game Guidelines

  1. The band is a vital part of school spirit at football games. Watch the game and directors because things happen quickly. Always be prepared to play- that is why we are there!
  2. Only play your instrument when the entire band plays.
  3. The band seats are for band members and chaperones only. Students are to sit with his/her section. You will be assigned an area to sit in the band section. Section leaders are expected to enforce this at all times.
  4. You get a refreshment break during third quarter. Be in your seat ready to play with 1:00 left in the 3rd quarter. Failure to do this loses third quarter privilege for the entire Band.
  5. Take care of your instrument in the stands to prevent damage. You are responsible.
  6. Make a good impression. Carry yourself in a respectful manner.
    You are to remain in full uniform (button, zipped, etc.) at all times.
  7. You must have all of your music in your own personal flip folder at each game. Failure to do this will result in a lower grade. Be ready to play at all times!
  8. All band members must attend the game in its entirety. Early dismissals should be infrequent and are excused only at the discretion of the director.
  9. The directors will dismiss the band members from the band room following the game. No one leaves before dismissal. Instruments and music should be put away and the band room cleaned up.

Bus Guidelines

  1. The chaperones are in charge- they may assign seats.
  2. Keep the bus clean.
  3. Maintain silence at RR crossings.
  4. Use moderation in talking and singing.
  5. No photographs are to be taken on the bus.
  6. Hands and arms must remain in the bus at all times.
  7. Stay seated at all times.
  8. No food or drink on bus
  9. Do not exit the rear of the bus
  10. You must ride to all events on the bus.
  11. To ride home with a parent you must have completed a transportation waiver form prior to the event. Written permission from a guardian is required- no phone calls or texts. Your guardian must speak to the bus chaperone at the event to verify they are taking you home.
  12. Thank your chaperones and drivers.
  13. Before unloading, clean your area. Check under seats etc.

Band Trailer


  • You are responsible for loading your instrument. Remember, no instrument = unexcused absence
  • Woodwind and brass must be loaded first. Plan to load a minimum of 2015 minutes before departure time.


  • Percussion, Sousaphones, podiums, etc off of the bus first. Everyone else will help stack these outside the bus. Do not enter the bus to get your instrument until the above mentioned items are off of the bus. This is the quickest way to take care of unloading.

Band Uniform

  1. The uniform must handled with care at all times
  2. Long pants must not stick out of the bottom of the uniform. Don’t wear jeans.
  3. Always wear the band summer shirt under your uniform. You may add thermal layers if necessary. Sleeveless shirts are never to be worn under the uniform.
  4. Long Black socks, black gloves, and your black marching band shoes are to be worn with the uniform.
  5. Only uniform parts are to be kept in the garment bag.
  6. Always wear the uniform zipped, buttoned, and snapped. If the jacket is allowed to be removed (director decision), it is to be turned inside out when laying it down.
  7. Only small stud earrings are allowed- all other jewelry must be removed.
  8. Long hair must be kept up in the hat.

VII. Use of School-owned Instruments

  • Students who play percussion, french horn, tenor or bari sax, bass clarinet, piccolo, baritone, tuba, or any other school owned instrument must fill out a rental agreement found at the end of the handbook.There is a $25 yearly rental fee for these instruments.
  • All instruments must be returned at the end of the school year in the same condition as when they were assigned. Students are responsible for routine maintenance (oil valves, cleaning, etc.), breakage, and repairs.
  • Students observed abusing school instruments will forfeit their privilege to use a school owned instrument and will be required to pay any repair/replacement cost.

VIII. Care of Instruments

  1. Handle all instruments with care! Your instrument is made of breakable parts, so always be careful when handling it. Do not let younger siblings touch it!
  2. Always store your instrument safely in the case when you are not playing it.
  3. Before you pick up your case, make sure the latches are closed.
  4. Do not let the instrument get too hot or cold (leaving in a car overnight etc.)
  5. Flute/Clar/Sax- always swab your instrument when you are done playing. Do not leave reeds on mouthpieces.
  6. Brass- Check valves and slides daily to make sure that they are oiled and greased. Clean your mouthpiece weekly.

IX. Grading Policy

A student’s grade in band is determined through a point system. Students are awarded points for performances, playing or written tests and quizzes, and participation.

All performances are required. Please see attendance policy for complete description.

Concert Attire for 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th grade bands
Men: Dress pants, shirt and tie
Women: Dress pants or a long skirt, dress shirt No Shorts, Jeans, sweats, etc.

Classroom participation includes participation in classroom discussion and performance. This also includes the student bringing these to class (See Classroom Policies and Procedures):

  • Cooperative, teachable attitude
  • Instruments in working condition
  • Reeds, mouthpieces, any necessary accessories
  • Music and assigned materials
  • A sharpened pencil

Students will be graded on maintaining their handouts as well as (but not limited to) successful completion of music theory worksheets, music history worksheets, rhythm sheets, etc.

X. Attendance Policy

100% attendance is vital to the success of the Coldwater Band. Every person is important, and the entire band is affected when even one performer is missing.

All rehearsals, performances, and adjudicated events are mandatory unless otherwise stated on the calendar. These events are part of the required curriculum for CEVS. Every effort has been made by the band department to avoid scheduling conflicts with Coldwater school sanctioned events. Performances are evaluations of classroom material, and the “final exams” of concepts studied during the grading period. They are the culmination of weeks of work and give students the opportunity to display the music skills and talents that have been developed. Performances cannot be replicated in the rehearsal setting. For this reason, the calendar is given to the students with enough advanced notice to ensure that all parents and students make arrangements to limit or eliminate conflicts.

Excused absences from practice (outside of the school day)

  • To be excused from a practice (outside of the school day) students must complete the “Request for Excused Absence” form, providing the specific reason for the absence. In order to be excused, the absence must be approved by Mr. Ruckman. This must be submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to the absence. For illness, please turn in absence form at the next class period/ practice. Work, Babysitting, etc., are never excused absences.

Unexcused absence from practice (outside of the school day)

  • Unexcused absences from practice will result in loss of points from the daily participation grade and cannot be made up. In addition to point loss, any unexcused absence may result in consequences such as detention, extra duties, loss of third quarter privileges (marching band), removal from a performance, withdrawal from the band program.

Excused absence from a performance

  • To be excused from a practice students must complete the “Request for Excused Absence” form, providing the specific reason for the absence. This must be submitted no later than 4 weeks prior to the absence so that arrangements may be made to cover parts, assign solos, etc. For illness, please turn in absence form at the next class period/ practice. Work, Babysitting, etc., are never excused absences. All absences, with the exception of last minute emergency or illness, must be excused by the band director prior to the performance.
  • Any student missing a performance for an excused reason must make up the points for that performance by an assignment determined by the Band Director.
    Failure to submit the assignment within the time frame established by the Band Director will result in loss of points for that activity, and a dropping of the grade for that quarter.

Unexcused absence from a performance

  • An unexcused absence for a performance will result in a two-letter grade drop for that grading period. In addition, any unexcused absence may result in consequences such as detention, extra duties, loss of third quarter privileges (marching band), removal from a performance, withdrawal from the band program.

XI. Student Leadership

The success of the Coldwater Band is dependent on student leadership. The bigger the band, the more people are needed to take the lead and make sure things happen.

Band Officers/Representatives
Officers and representatives are the liaisons between the band and the directors. Many of the activities we do are organized by this group. This group is responsible for the planning, communication, goal setting and follow through of the entire organization.

Section Leaders
Section Leaders are chosen based on their musicianship, leadership, and communication skills. They are responsible for having their section’s music up to speed and having all music played off. This may include the scheduling of extra sectional time outside of scheduled band rehearsals.

Every member has a leadership role in this regard. You are responsible for maintaining the pride, effort, and enthusiasm of the entire group. ALWAYS BE PREPARED!

Drum Major
Students selected as Drum Major are expected to be role models for the entire band at all times. Drum Majors are to set high standards for themselves and the band, and should work to maintain those standards. Respect is to be shown to the Drum Major at all times.

Squad Leaders
Squad Leaders assume responsibility for learning and cleaning drill. A squad leader should always have music and charts to assist in drill learning and cleaning.

XII. Parent Involvement

Your son or daughter is about to embark on an exciting journey! Performing with the Coldwater High School Band is fun, exciting and can lead to a lifelong involvement in music that will enrich their life. There are many advantages your child acquires when they play an instrument.

Why Music?
Did you know this journey could also make them smarter and more successful? Studies have shown a direct correlation in higher academic achievement and the study of music. In fact, CEOs from Fortune 500 companies prefer to hire employees with a background in the arts because those employees tend to be better problem solvers, show more concentration and the ability to stick with a job through to completion. That’s a great skill set to acquire!

Hints for Success
Provide enthusiastic support for your son/daughter’s participation in band
Attend demonstration concerts and full performances and whenever possible, take your child to performances of other musical groups.
Advocate for music in your schools. Current research proves that music participation will help your child in all disciplines and in life.
Make sure your child’s instrument is always in proper working order. If problems arise take the instrument to your child’s band director or to the local music shop for professional repairs. It is very frustrating to play on an instrument that is not functioning properly.

The Role of a Parent- As a parent, it is not important for you to have previous experience with musical study. If you have, you will understand the challenges, enjoyment and effort your student will experience through the study of a musical instrument. Your role as your child continues in instrumental music is simple – be supportive. You don’t need to know how to play an instrument to help your child learn. All students will face adversity at some point. Your support is crucial for their continued success. Show Resolve: When you hear frustration in such phrases as “I want to quit” or “I sound awful,” discuss why those feelings occur. Don’t take the path of least resistance.

Coldwater Band Boosters
The Coldwater band program has a booster organization that is made up of the parents of current band students, and it is an active volunteer group that assists the band program with needs that are not funded or supported by the school system such as chaperoning, fundraising, and working the concession stands plus many other activities. We consider all band families as part of the Boosters. Being active is a great way to be involved in your student’s band experience. We would like to invite you to become an active participant. Be on the lookout for the monthly meeting schedule and volunteer opportunities.

XIII. Cavalier Band Online

Band Website


H.S. Band Twitter: