Getting Started in Marching Band & Color Guard

Welcome to the Bowie Band Family!

We remember how awesome and overwhelming the first few weeks of band can be, so we’ve created this webpage to help you.  The best thing you can do is stay informed.

So make sure you:

  1. read this webpage
  2. sign up to received Yahoo! emails
  3. sign up for CHARMS and check the calendar often
  4. make a favorite
  5. use your adopter!
  6. attend booster club meetings

People you need to know and how to contact them:

Band Directors

Kim Shuttlesworth (Director of Bands)
kshuttle [at] austinisd [dot] org“>kshuttle [at] austinisd [dot] org

Ryan Thomas (Assistant Director)
rthomas1 [at] austinisd [dot] org “>rthomas1 [at] austinisd [dot] org 

Amy Suggs (Assistant Director)
amy [dot] suggs [at] austinisd [dot] org“>amy [dot] suggs [at] austinisd [dot] org

Matt Aktinson (Assistant Director )

Band Boosters

Kevin Wood, President
president [at] bowieband [dot] org

Sherri Dugan, Vice President -Fundraising    aasherridugan [at] yahoo [dot] com

Lori Owens, Vice President -Hospitality                                                                lowens0728 [at] gmail [dot] com

Veronica Gonzalez, Recording Secretary                                                                               gabant2 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Victoria Harkins,  Corresponding Secretary   vharkins [at] harkinsengineering [dot] com

Lisa Jackson,  Treasurer lpjackson [at] Austin [dot] rr [dot] com

Vicki Wood,  Uniforms                                                                                                                      vwood6 [at] austin [dot] rr [dot] com

Judy Willis, Fruit stand
fruitstand [at] bowieband [dot] org

Kim Walker, Communications, Yahoo
emails [at] bowieband [dot] org

Gerri Nuckols, Adopt-a-Rookie Chairperson
mayo6 [at] austin [dot] rr [dot] com


Yahoo Group

One of the band’s most important communication tools is the Yahoo! Group.  This group is used by the Band Directors and the Booster Club to send out last minute changes to the practice schedule and information, things your child needs to bring to practice, information concerning fundraisers, and includes the calendar of upcoming events. Parents are STRONGLY encouraged to join because of the amount of information that is distributed during the year.

To join the group:

  1. Go to Yahoo Groups
  2. On the right side, click on the blue box that says “Join This Group (above picture)
  3. Click on “Create New Account” at bottom of box
  4. Fill in all information and click on “Create My Account”
  5. Read membership steps
  6. Enter child’s name, grade & instrument (or color guard) in the box at the bottom
  7. Complete the 3 steps (recommend individual emails fully featured)
  8. Click on blue box marked “Join” at bottom right


As students register for Band or Color Guard, their information is entered into an online program,, which students and parents can use to check-on the student’s band account, letter points, band calendar, handbook, etc.  Directors can also use this program to send emails.

The code for Bowie students is bowiehsband and the ID number is the one issued to students by AISD.  It can be found at the top of report cards.


AARP was designed to match rookie parents with a veteran contact in the band who will share tips, explain marching season requirements and answer questions.  If you have any questions or have not heard from your adopter shortly after Spring Camp, please contact Carey Mayo, mayo6 [at] austin [dot] rr [dot] com.

Important Dates

To assist you in making summer vacation plans, and to get a start on your fall calendar, below are the dates we know of so far.  Look for Yahoo! emails for changes and additions.

June (TBA but usually the first full week after school is dismissed) MOVEMENT CAMP  9am – 5pm

June, during Movement Camp, date to be announced

July To Be Announced

July 31

Aug 1-start of school
SUMMER BAND CAMP including some Saturdays

  • 8:00-12:00 at Burger
  • 2:00-4:00  Sectionals at Bowie
  • 6:00-9:00 at Burger

Aug   Week Before School starts
SUMMER BAND CAMP 6pm – 9pm only, at Burger

During School year Marching Band Rehearsal   6-9PM Mon, Tues; 6-8PM Thursday,  game on Fridays (usually but there are a few Thursday games.  Please look at calendar)

Aug  (TBA)

Aug ?

Aug Start of School
When school starts, practices are generally:

  • Mondays – 6pm – 9pm
  • Tuesdays – 6pm – 9pm
  • Wednesdays – OFF
  • Thursdays – 6pm – 8pm
  • Fridays – football games

(If game is on Thursday night, marching practice will be on Friday night of that week)

Sept  TBA
BOA Austin, RR Dragon Stadium

Westlake Festival

BOA San Antonio, Alamodome

Uniform Day
Saturday, August Date TBA

Parents and Students are required to attend this event. It is a wonderful time to meet other parents, ask questions, pay for Feed the Dawgs, join the booster club, order a letter jacket, and purchase spirit items and show shirts. Students will practice most of the day but will be released from practice at their assigned time for uniform fitting and individual photos. Summer uniforms cost approximately $200 (first year only).Your Fair Share Fee will be due on this day. Schedule for the day, and Fair Share amount will be announced soon.

Fair Share Fee

Each Bowie Band student is assessed a dollar amount. This shared expense is determined by the budgeted needs of the band for that year with regard to the number of band members.  This assessment is called the fair share. It will be due on Uniform Day.  The amount of next year’s fair share will be announced soon.

Summer Camp Clothes

At the beginning of summer band, students should wear light colored t-shirts and light weight shorts (no denim).

After marching auditions are held, each student will be assigned a “dot number.” These dot numbers need to be painted on white t-shirts.

Each section of the band has an assigned color for their athletic shorts:

  • Flute = red
  • Clarinet = blue
  • Sax = green
  • Trumpet = red
  • Mello = green
  • Baritone = blue
  • Tuba = black
  • Percussion = black

For practice, athletic shoes with good arch support and comfortable socks are a MUST! They do not need to be new.

Unless you want to do laundry more than once a day, purchase at least 4 shirts, shorts and socks.  Standard AISD dress code will be enforced – no short shorts, spaghetti straps, etc.

Half gallon to gallon water jugs are a MUST! They will consume lots of water. Sunscreen is also necessary and students may wear sunglasses and/or hats if they so choose.  Cotton practice gloves will be distributed on Uniform Day.

Copies of the show will be given to each student and individual pages must be put into sheet protectors.  You’ll need approximately 100 sheet protectors.

Later on in the season, the Band Directors will ask students to wear marching shoes and socks so that they can get used to marching in them.

Summer Show Uniform

Directors will tell you when to wear this uniform (early season football games, some performances…)

These items will be purchased on Uniform Day (Aug 9):

  1. Red Bowie Band “polo”
  2. Black shorts (non-athletic style)
  3. Bowie visor
  4. Gloves
  5. Bowie Hoodie
  6. Bowie Letter Jacket (optional)
  7. Bowie Duffle
  8. Formal Undershirt

These items you’ll buy on your own:

  1. Solid, plain black belt (no large or reflective buckle)
  2. White on white tennis shoes
  3. White “no show” socks
  4. Black hair tie (males and females: all hair must be off the collar)
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Lyre
  7. Flip folder with extra sleeves

Formal Uniform

These items will be provided by the school:

  1. Shako (hat and plume)
  2. Coat
  3. Bibs (pants)
  4. Spandex undershirt
  5. Gloves
  6. Gauntlets
  7. Shoulder water bottle
  8. Rain gear

These items you’ll buy on your own:

  1. spandex briefs
  2. long black dress socks
  3. Vipers marching shoes (buy from band)

Summer Band

Here are some tips to help your student prepare for Summer Band Camp:

  1.  Eat a good breakfast! No sugary drinks, fatty foods, sodas or dairy products.
  2.  Drink A LOT before camp even starts.“Today’s dehydration was caused by yesterday’s lack of hydration.”
  3.  Start to run/walk outside before camp starts.

Fruit Stand

Booster volunteers run this program every day during the morning sessions of Summer Band Camp at Burger.

Various fruits, cups of ice water and Gatorade are prepared for the students.

The Fruit Stand also provides basic First Aid supplies such as Tylenol, Pepto Bismal, ice packs, bandages, etc….

There are cots and chairs in the shade for those who feel sick.

Volunteering at the Fruit Stand is a great way to get to know other parents and the kids themselves.

Marching Season Tips

  • Arrive 10 minutes early
  • Pit arrives 15 minutes early and takes about 30 minutes after practice to load up
  • At Burger, do not to park or drive through the area the band uses as a “field”

Carpools are available

Schedule appointments around band, as 1 absence affects the whole ensemble

For unavoidable absences, notify section leader by phone or text and one of the directors by email ASAP

Always read Yahoo emails as schedule might change for holidays, Thursday football games, etc.

Game Day Schedule

7:45AM  ::  Arrive at Bowie to rehearse with the Silver Stars

  • Wear PRACTICE marching clothes and shoes
  • Take school clothes/shoes to change into before school starts
  • Take band duffle with all uniform pieces for halftime show
  • Remember water bottle, stand music and lyres for the game

4:10PM  ::  School is out

  • Change into uniform in Band Hall
  • Eat dinner (See “Feed the Dawgs”)
  • Fill water bottles

5:00PM  ::  Uniform inspection

5:15PM  ::  Load school buses and leave for football game

10:30 – 11:00PM :: Return to Bowie on bus

Band Handbook

The directors have provided a band handbook which contains information with which all students and parents should be acquainted.  This handbook can be accessed by going to  After entering the Bowie code (bowiehsband) and the student’s ID number, the handbook can be found under the handouts tab.


Find answers to the most frequently-asked questions.

Band Booster Club

Plain and simple – the band booster club supports the band and its directors!  We raise money through membership dues and fundraisers, sell spirit wear, maintain the website, get information to all members via the Yahoo! group and we organize all the volunteers.  We Feed (and feed and feed!) and Water the Dawgs, manage letter points and help kids order letter jackets, form the pit crew, provide scholarships and assist with uniforms. and so much more.  To continue to be successful, we need you to join and we’d love to have you join us in volunteering!  Meeting schedules will be Yahoo’d to you and membership forms will be handled at Uniform Day.  Plan on attending the first booster meeting at the beginning of the year – it’s always an informative one!

Water the Dawgs

Band members get very THIRSTY!!  To help with this, a quart-sized red, igloo Water Bottle is provided to every band student.  The ‘Water the Dawgs’ program consists of volunteers who fill these water bottles before football games.  These volunteers show up before school is out on Fridays, set up tables and fill igloos with ice water.  Before Inspection, every band member arrives at the tables to fill their bottle.  At out of town competitions, this group loads cases of water bottles on the buses.

Feed the Dawgs

This is a program organized to feed students since they DO NOT go home on game days. For about $6-7 per meal, students will have food delivered to the school. Choices from a select menu are made and paid for on Uniform Day. This allows the student to eat before the games and makes your afternoons a lot less insane!!!


A booster volunteer will collect names of folks interested in carpooling to Burger.  Students will be sorted by neighborhood so you can contact someone who lives near you to work out a carpool.  Unless you’ve got lots of free time, a carpool is a must!

Move the Dawgs

This is how we transport all of our large instruments and props.  We use a semi-truck and trailer, and occasionally 3 other pull-behind trailers.  We are always in need of drivers who are available and are willing to be licensed to drive the semi.  Also, if you are handy with maintenance, our trailers need you!

Hospitality Committee

This committee feeds the band for out-of-town competitions. Depending on the time of departure and preliminary performance of the band, this could include breakfast, lunch and dinner at Bowie or at the competition site for about 300 people. We provide dinner for the two nights of Winter Band Camp at Bowie in February. We also feed directors, clinicians and judges at Region Jazz tryouts, Solo and Ensemble and Winter Band Camp at Bowie.

This is a great way to get involved and interact with the most polite group of teenagers around!

Grand Ol’ Flag

This is our largest fundraiser and benefits the band/guard greatly!    Students sell annual flag subscriptions to their neighbors.  The GOF committee then places flags in the subscribers’ front yards on all the major holidays.  You will be receiving information about this program soon.  Students are urged to sell, and both parents and students are needed to deliver flags on holidays.  This fundraiser helps in keeping costs down and thereby cost per student lower.

Burgers at Burger
Saturday, August  ?

You’re in for a thrill!  Your family, friends, and alumni are invited to eat burgers at Burger, mingle with other band families, and then climb to the top of Burger stadium and watch the band perform its first official run-through of this fall’s marching show!  You will be amazed at how much the kids have accomplished and you will know that all the hours of hard work have paid off!  The Boosters will grill hamburgers and each band section will be asked to bring different side dishes.  Water games will be a big hit and keep everyone cool!  Date/time TBD.

Bulldawgs & Hotdogs
Saturday, September ?

A school-wide booster event at Bowie High School for all Bowie families and friends.  The marching band performs our show music, cheerleaders perform and the Silver Stars dance.  Plus, all the Booster organizations sell a variety of food and Booster spirit items.  The band traditionally sells sausage wraps.  Mark your calendars, this is a FUN night!  Volunteers will be needed.

Letter Points

Earn your letter in band! This summer’s activities (private lessons, music camps, concerts attended…) count toward your letter; so start keeping track. With some extra work, you can letter in your freshman year!  Print the form now and keep it on the refrigerator to fill in as events occur. Information and point log are in the band handbook, located in “Files and Handouts” in CHARMS. Letter jacket information will be available at Uniform Day on August 9.