College Marching Band | How To Join College Marching
Page updated 3/1/2016
College Marching Band Tips for Students and
Parents - Many students who
join a marching band in high school choose to continue this
their college years. Marching band and playing musical
instruments can be a fulfilling piece of your college
Many marching bands play events like halftime shows for
college football games, parades, concerts, and special
events. If you have the luck of going to a school
with a good football team, your marching band could even
travel to college bowl games to perform. Many
times bowl games are located in warmer climates which
provides a nice break if you happen to attend a school
in a colder area.
The college or music school
that you choose could offer a variety of options to join
marching band. Listed below we will help you to find
answers to some frequently asked questions regarding joining
a marching band during your college years. This
info is general in nature, but feel free to visit our
Music College Listings to
research more universities that may offer opportunities to
join their marching band programs.
Visit this page if
you need to locate
marching band music instrument manufacturers. Good luck on your
marching band search.
Frequently Asked Questions About College and University Marching
Listed below are some frequently asked questions on
joining Marching Band in College or at a University:
- Do I have to be a music major to join a
college marching band - Typically the answer
here is No, unless you go to a music or performing arts
program at a specific school. Many schools offer
non music majors an opportunity to perform in their
marching band programs. Email or call the specific
Music University that offers
marching band programs so that you can research for
- Will I have to participate in band camp for
college marching band programs - Many college
and universities with marching band programs require a
band camp to be attended. Band Camp for
marching band typically occurs in the weeks prior to the
fall semester. Typically schools with a college
football program will have a late summer band camp.
Many football games start in late August or early
September, so you must be prepared for home games and
possibly away games depending on the school in which you
apply. Plus you can tell stories about "This one
time at band camp....."
- Are auditions required for marching band
- Typically yes. You may have to memorize scales,
perform sight readings, spin, twirl, or perform drum
rudiments. Auditions may require you to
prepare a solo or song arrangement. Certain
instruments may have different audition requirements.
Consult the school website of interest for typical
audition requirements for marching band.
- Typical marching band Instruments Include:
- Alto Saxophone
- Tenor Saxophone
- Do colleges provide musical instruments and
drums for marching band - Of course this is
dependent on the school, but typically the larger
instruments may be provided. So most percussion
type instruments, tubas, and sousaphones are provided by
many schools. Consult the website of the
school you may be researching for more details.
- Are uniforms provided for most college
marching bands - Many colleges may provide a
uniform others may ask you to pay for them. Color
guard, drum corp, and marching band members could have
different uniform types and sizes. You may also
have to pay for your own shoes, lyres, and gloves.
Consult the school of
interest for more info.
- Do I have to fundraise for college marching
band - Most colleges pay for travel, meals,
hotel costs, and some equipment and uniforms.
Typically expenses are minimal for participants.
Fundraising for college marching bands typically is not
as prevalent as it would be for a high school marching
- Can I receive academic credit for marching
band - Depending on the school you may receive
certain credits for you time in marching band.
- How much rehearsal time is needed per week
- Most college marching bands practice 5 to 7 hours per
week. Typically 3 to 4 days of practice are
required dependent on the school. Typically
the time you spend practicing should not interfere with
- What are the typical genres of music played
in a marching band - Many marching bands these
days play a variety of music including rock, pop, movie
jazz, and hip hop. Check you school of interests
website for more details.