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The Sallie B. Howard Band program offers students learning and performance opportunities to develop their basic skills in music theory (rhythms, counting, harmony), musical vocabulary, equipment maintenance, effective practice habits (scales, learning music), ear training, listening skills and tone development. The curriculum is based on the N.C. Essential Standards for Music. All grades are learning musical compositions and theory aligned with their grade level.


K-1 students take band classes once a week to learn the basics of music: rhythm, pitch, notes, etc. By the end of the year, K-1 students are able to clap rhythms using quarter notes and quarter rests as well as define different musical terms and determine how they are used.

2-8 Students at this level are able to choose band as a major. Majors take band class every day. Placement for majors is based on audition results. All majors will require dedication and training in order to master the requirements outlined in the NC standard curriculum. Students will be able to read music on their own as well as play music by ear.


These majors will take a test to see how well they can hear the difference and similarities in 2 pitches and if they can recognize whether a rhythm is the same or not. The only equipment required for this test is a pencil.

At this level, students will be tested to see if they know basic notes (whole note, half note, quarter note), if they can clap the rhythm of the notes and determine what letter each note may represent on a staff (A,B,C,D,E,F,G). The audition begins with a quick lesson about the basic notes and how to clap a basic rhythm.

Middle School majors are required to know the Bflat Major Scale. They will also sight read a grade level 1 music composition. These students will be tested to determine how strong their playing skills are.

Performances & Afterschool Programs

The SBH Drumline is an audition-based activity open to grades 4-8 only. The drumline is a section of percussion instruments usually played as part of a musical marching ensemble. Performance engagements include parades, marching competitions, band battles, community events and more. Drumline participants must display discipline, responsibility, and perseverance. Light strength conditioning is also a part of the program, since students will have to be able to hold heavy pieces of equipment while in motion. The audition is based on having rhythm, the ability to count and read notes, and proficiency in playing rhythms by ear. The positions on the drumline are 4 snares, 2 quads, 4 cymbals (4 pairs) and 6 Bass drums.

The SBH Pep Band is an ensemble of instrumentalists who play at functions or events with the purpose of entertaining and “pepping” up a crowd. The Pep Band provides entertainment at basketball games, pep rallies, and many other events. They also compete in “Battle of the Bands” in Raleigh, NC. Pep band is open to all band majors or anyone who is part of a band ensemble Sallie B. Howard.

The SBH Jazz Band is an ensemble of musicians who perform at various social and school events throughout the year. Jazz band students read classic jazz compositions and standards. Jazz music is based on improvisation and challenges players to think musically on their own.

NOTE: Any student that is in any after-school program MUST have passing grades in all classes. If not, they will be benched from the program for 2 weeks. Within the 2 weeks, if there’s no improvement, he or she could be removed from the program for the year.


  • Two #2 Pencils (no pens)
  • 1 subject notebook for taking notes or a 3-ring binder
  • 1 journal book for journal entries
  • Instruments must be brought to school EVERY day (for grades 2-3, recorders are to be brought everyday as well)
  • Music books must be brought to class everyday
  • Grades 2-3 will need to bring the “MODERN CLASSROOM RECORDER” book to class everyday
  • Grades 4-5 need to bring the “Standard of Excellence Enhanced Comprehensive Band Method Book 1” (red book) to class everyday
  • Grades 6-8 need to bring the “Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method Book 2” (blue book) to class everyday

*Each book should match the instrument the student will be playing.
** The “Standard of Excellence” books for 4th-8th grades are about $7.00. If your child is renting an instrument through the Music & Arts store, then the book is included in rental package. If you are not renting an instrument, you will need to purchase the book no later than by the end of August. After this day, your child’s grades could be affected by not having the adequate materials.

***If there is an issue with purchasing the necessary materials, please contact Mr. Atlas at


  1. No disrespect.
  2. No talking during instruction or performances.
  3. No food, drinks, or gum
  4. No profanity.
  5. No electronics.
  6. No inappropriate touching.
  7. No bullying.
  8. No unauthorized jackets in the classroom.


  1. Re-direct students (resets, time-outs in class, separation from class, etc.)
  2. Report incidents to homeroom teachers (K-1)
  3. Student/Teacher conference and Remind text to parent
  4. Parent called/conference
  5. Referral to In-School Discipline Director
  6. Repeated referrals may lead to a Broken Contract Letter sent home, a conference with parents, teachers, and school leadership.
  7. If conduct does not improve, the student will be permanently removed from the class and banned from participating in other electives.
  • How do we enter the band room? Walk in, get materials out, put book bags away; No returning to class if you’re not prepared within the first 5 minutes.
  • Assigned seats. Every student must sit within their section.
  • Absolutely no running or horse playing in the band room.
  • Do not get out of your seat or walk around without permission.
  • Bring materials (Two #2 Pencils, 3-ring binder, journal and music folder) and instruments/ recorders EVERY DAY. Not bringing materials will result in a ZERO in participation for that day.
  • Instrument maintenance – It’s important that you rent an instrument through Music & Arts. The repair or damage done is free versus damaging a school-owned instrument which could result in paying serious fees./span>
  • Always keep a music folder and file holder (keep up with given worksheets, music etc.)
  • Maintain good posture throughout band class.
  • Performance expectations (No Leaders, everyone is held accountable for their own actions); The uniform for every musical performance is BLACK and WHITE. White top (button-up for boys and a blouse for girls) and black dress pants for boys and girls. Must wear black dress shoes (NO sneakers, skirts, heels or excessive jewelry). If the performance attire is not met, your child WILL NOT participate in the performance.
  • Exiting the band room (Middle School: wait quietly while announcements are made).


  • 100% Participation
  • Materials
  • M.U.S.I.C.
  • Make good choices
  • Use equipment properly
  • Speak when the time is right
  • Involve yourself in all activities
  • Cooperate with others
  • “I Don’t Know” is not an answer
  • “Giving up is not an option”
  • Practice! – It is important that your child practices at least 3 hours and 30 minutes per week!
  • Always bring your instrument/recorders (MANDATORY)


2-3 Grade: will need to pay $7.00 for the MCR music book and recorder.

4-8 Grade: we encourage parents to rent instruments through Music & Arts (prices vary).


Participation grades are given daily

  • Performances are worth 30% of your total grade.
  • Homework 10% (practice logs are due every Monday for 4th-8th grade only)
  • Classwork 10%
  • Participation 15% (must participate in ALL activities and make all performances)
  • Quizzes 15%
  • Tests 20%

NOTE: If a student does not earn a 70 or above, he/she will not be able to perform in Winter Recital or the Music Extravaganza.


Consideration for Solos and Awards are based on the following criteria:

  • Student has consistently displayed a positive attitude during their training in SBH Band.
  • Student has consistently displayed their best effort during their training in SBH Band.
  • Student has consistently accepted and immediately implemented corrections when given during their training at SBH Band
  • Student has been consistent in submitting their written work (practice logs) and has maintained a passing average during their training in SBH Band
  • Student has displayed the technique and performance quality necessary to compete in Band auditions.


Paul Atlas has returned to SBH as Band Director after 7 years. A 16+ year veteran in music education, Mr. Atlas is a 1986 graduate of North Carolina State University with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. After working for several years as an engineer, he returned to school and received a BS degree in Music/Math Education from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC in 1997. He began teaching at Sallie B. Howard in 1997 as one of the inaugural members of the faculty. Initially he taught general music and chorus, but soon saw the need for an instrumental music program and established the band program in 1998. The band would eventually become one of the best middle school programs, not only in Wilson, but also in eastern North Carolina as evidenced in the numerous superior and excellent ratings received at the North Carolina Bandmaster’s Association Music Festivals. Mr. Atlas has also earned a Master’s of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC. He serves as the senior pastor of Amanah AME Zion Church in Knightdale, NC. Mr. Atlas is married to the lovely Shellena Atlas and they have two wonderful canines named Wolf and Pack! He is passionate about music and looks forward to sharing that passion with the students he teaches.


Email:; Phone: 252-293-4150

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