Mansfield Summit Frequently Asked Questions

Many parents want to know what this High School Band this is all about. Below, you'll find a list of some frequently asked questions that may shed light to some of your own personal questions. If you find yourself wanting to know more, email our band booster president who's information is on Boosters and Executive Board page.


What are the components of the Marching Band?
Winds - brass and woodwind
Percussion - battery (drumline) and front ensemble (pit)
Color Guard - (auxiliary) perform with flags, rifles, sabres.


Why is the Front Ensemble call the Pit?
The term is derived from the orchestra pit seen at concerts  - usually located at the front of the stage.


What does the Marching Show consist of?
Three or four parts or "acts": an introduction, opener, ballad, and closer.


What is the difference in UIL qualifying contests and independent contests?
Independent contests are typically a one-day competition where bands pay an entrance fee to compete. The judges rank the bands and often receive awards for best color guard, drumline, marching and music in their division. Divisions are often based on either school size, or band size.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is a system set up to provide academic, athletic and fine arts a unified competition for schools throughout the state. The state is divided into 33 geographical regions and 10 larger geographical areas.  A rating scale of 1 (superior), 2 (excellent), 3 (good), 4 (fair), and 5 (poor) are used to judge bands.

Bands that receive a rating of 1 at the Regional (we are Region 5) competition will move on automatically to the Area (we are area B) competition. The top 4-5 bands from the Area competition will move on automatically to the State competition in San Antonio. Up until 2023, the system was set up so that bands have the opportunity to compete at the state level every other year, this has changed to now allow bands to qualify every year. You can read more on that here.  Based on student enrollment, Summit is currently classified by the UIL as a 5A school.


Are there other contests in the fall?
There may be separate contests for drumline and colorguard in the fall. These competitions can be held indoors or outdoors and various other schools around DFW.


What are the competition categories?
It depends on the competition we are attending. For Bands of America competitions, scoring system places

-60% of the value on music and 40% on visual

-60% of the score is within the area of general effect and 40% within the Performance Area.

The point allotment for the field competition is as follows:

  • 20 points(1) Music Performance (Individual)
  • 20 points(1) Music Performance (Ensemble)
  • 20 points(2) Visual Performance (Individual)
  • 20 points(2) Visual Performance (Ensemble)
  • 20 points Visual General Effect
  • 40 points Music General Effect
  • Timing & Penalties
    • (1) Averaged, (2) Averaged

UIL shows are set up differently: their sheets have categories for General Effect, Marching Performance, Percussion, Brass, Music - Woodwinds and Auxiliary.  The judge then ranks the bands, and assigns the placement in each category, known as an "ordinal". All the ordinals are then added up and the band with the lowest total is first place, the next second, etc...


What is All-District and All-Region?
All-District, All-Region, All-Area and All-State competitions are governed by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and are not directly related to the UIL.  All students in the state work on the same predetermined etudes for their instrument and audition individually.  Judges listen to auditions at each level and rate students for selection to the bands.  Selected students will be awarded by working on a concert with distinguished conductors.

MISD All-District is used as a "practice" to get students prepared for All-Region. Students who make the All-District band earn letterman jacket points, but typically do not participate in a clinic/concert.

The top students in the All-District auditions qualify for "Area".  Students who earn "Area" status then audition again for a chance to make TMEA All-State band. Students from Summit are consistent members of the All-Region bands with several progressing each year to the All-State level.


What do students work on in their band class during the day?
Marching show music, drill team music, concert music, and the All-Region etudes. Most weeks, there are master classes taught by specialists to help work with students on the All-Region music. Colorguard focuses on equipment technique, show work, and dance sectionals.


What do band members wear to football games?
The band usually wears the formal marching uniform at football games provided by the district, but there is required clothing to be worn under the uniforms purchased by the student's family. Typically, students wear their blue band performance t-shirts, black band shorts, long black socks, and marching shoes.  Color Guard also wears either their blue or white band performance t-shirts, and black band shorts, and/or their sweat suites, but will change into their uniform right before the halftime show. In addition, to maintain our uniformity, and protect our actual uniforms we ask the following:

Band - no make up, or jewlery, hair must be off collar and off face the entire time we are in uniform. Un-natural hair color must be coved in some way.

Guard - correct makeup, mirror, hairspray, bobby pins, hair net (correct color), brush or comb, safety pins, sewing kit, electrician’s tape (white and black) and fray check.


Where do parents sit at football games?
Chaperones will sit beside the band in the stands just beyond their block seating. Parents may sit anywhere outside the blocked seats and are encouraged to cheer as loud as they can in support of our students.


Do the students get a break during the game?
Yes.  Immediately following the halftime performance, band members assemble in a designated area.  Boosters distribute snacks and drinks to the students.  Students return to the stands when there are approximately 3:00 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.


What are volunteer 'points' and how can they help me save on the band fee?
Each band student pays fees outlined in the handbook each year. Parents and students can volunteer or donate items earning points to waive "Activity Fee 2". The band requires families earn 20 points per student to get the discount. Points can be earned many ways and are outlined in the handbook. You can keep track of your points by filling out the google form under the Parents section on the website. When you fill out the form, the form will send you a copy of your reply. Keep that for your records. When you sign in at an event or put your name on a list for donating food, the Booster Board VP of membership will track your hours, but it's a good idea to double check so your hard work is rewarded!