Incoming Freshman Parent & Student Frequently Asked Questions
Can you tell me about the band classes at Lamar High School?
All students participate in marching band in the fall semester, and students begin receiving their physical education (PE) credit. After marching season, the band formally divides into three performing groups for the concert season: the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Winds, and the Concert Band. The Concert Band rehearse during 4th period, Symphonic Winds rehearse 7th period and the Wind Ensemble rehearses during 8th period. The difference between the groups is the difficulty level of the music they perform. The division allows for more individualized instruction and keeps the students progressing at their own levels.Here is the link to the audition material for incoming freshemen
Can I get all the classes I need and still be in band?
Yes! The Lamar High School 8-class block schedule will allow you to take all of the classes needed to graduate and still participate in band all four years. The credits earned in band all count towards the graduation requirement. PLEASE NOTE: You can be in band for four years in high school (including 9th grade) and get everything you need to graduate!
How much does it cost for my child to be in band?
The cost to participate in the Lamar Band is minimal! Students do not pay yearly instrument fees, uniform fees, or participation fees at Lamar High School.
Student will only need to pay for their band shirt (approximately $15), marching band shoes ($40), gloves ($2.50) and an annual SmartMusic subscription ($33). Additionally, for those families whose students are on free or reduced lunch, Lamar High School offers financial assistance of up to $150 to cover the costs associated with participating in the band program for those students who meet the specified guidelines for receiving financial assistance.
How much time does band take?
As with any activity, there is some extra time required for rehearsals and performances. However, it is not nearly the time commitment some people make it out to be. In fact, if you compare it to other band programs or other types of school activities, you will be surprised at how little extra time is actually required. Marching season generally runs 13-14 weeks out of the 36-week school year. A few extra rehearsals are called during concert season. Many band members continue private lessons outside of school time, but this is optional, although highly recommended. Band does require some extra commitment, but as with anything worthwhile, the more you invest, the more you get out of the program. Remember that anything done well takes an investment of time.
Why should my child go to Lamar for band?
The band program at Lamar is one of the very best within the Houston ISD. We offer students a world-class musical experience. When paired with Lamar’s exceptional academic track record and the opportunity to participate in an internationally recognized IB World School program, you can trust that your child will be receiving the very best education, both academically and musically.
My child is interested in attending a high school that does not have a marching band, but would also like to participate in marching band. What is the best option?
There are some high schools within HISD that do not offer marching band. Lamar offers an exciting and unique band experience for its students, paired with the International Baccalaureate Programme. Your band student will not find a better school to meet his/her musical and academic needs.
Will my child need to audition to be in the Lamar Band?
All students who play an instrument are automatically accepted into the Lamar Band program. Auditions are only conducted to place students in the appropriate band class for them based on their skill level. The audition process is very laid back and informal. We will post audition material, but in regards to incoming freshmen, we really are just looking for their approximate playing ability, musical potential, and tone quality. Generally, incoming freshmen are encouraged to play material performed in middle school whether that be a solo or band literature from the prior school year.
The band directors and school administration provide every opportunity possible for a student who wishes to participate in band to do so regardless of their family’s financial situation. If a student needs an instrument, generally Lamar will furnish an instrument for the student to use while in the Lamar High School Band.
Lamar High School will furnish saxophones, trumpets, French horns, trombones, euphoniums, tubas, and percussion. All instruments will be of the highest quality, are generally new or have been purchased within the past two years, and will be silver. We also have a small number of flutes and clarinets, but as students usually own these already, we have a limited number on our school inventory.
Mr. Don Christian, Director of Bands
Office: 713-522-5960 x. 523