USU Bands’ Frequently-Asked Questions
WHAT BANDS ARE THERE AT USU?
Q: Are there auditions for the bands?
A: Wind Orchestra: most exclusive; auditions held during first week of classes each semester. See the Band Bulletin Board (Room 113, Chase Fine Arts Center) the first week of each semester for audition materials.
Marching Band: Auditions are less rigorous than Wind Orchestra and occur during Fundamentals Week (one week prior to fall semester). It is the band’s student leadership staff’s job to teach you to march the way we do here. If you excelled in your high school band and are physically fit, you should have no problem. Percussionists audition during drum camp and flags audition at prearranged auditions. To get on the mailing list for marching band, be sure to complete a University Bands Pre-Registration Student Information Form.
Pep Band: Auditions occur at the end of October. Marching band members are eligible, and announcements will occur on the Band Bulletin Board and in marching band rehearsals.
Symphonic Band: The only audition for this ensemble is for chair placement. Simply register for the class, and attend the first rehearsal with instrument in-hand.
Q: How can I become a member of the Aggie Marching Band?
A: 1. Complete and submit a University Bands Pre-Registration Student Information Form, by tearing off the form from a marching band brochure or submitting a form at SOAR or at the Bands Bulletin Board (Room 113, Chase Fine Arts Center) during the summer. . . OR. . . simply provide your summer mailing address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive all information.
2. There are two summer mailings for the marching band: June 15 and August 1. The August 1 mailing is the most important, as it includes specific move-in materials for Fundamentals Week, which occurs the week before school starts. Simply respond to all requests in the mailings to become a member.
Q: Where do I live during Fundamentals Week?
A: Students living on-campus can live in their assigned residence halls at university expense (excluding meals) by responding accordingly to bands’ mailings. Off-campus students must arrange their own move-in one week early.
Q: Is marching band for music majors only?
A: NO. The band is represented by over 40 different majors. Many outstanding students from every college on campus are involved in the USU bands.
Q: How do I audition for marching band percussion?
A: 1. Make sure your are on the marching band mailing list by completing a University Bands Pre-Registration Student Information Form. This will enable you to have audition materials sent to your home address beginning with the June 15 mailing. You may also pick up audition music at the Bands’ SOAR information display in the Taggart Student Center.
2. Make arrangements to arrive on campus on Wednesday, August 17 for percussion camp and the succeeding week of Band Fundamentals.
3. You may audition on as many or few segments as you wish (snare, tenors, bass, cymbals). We will assign instruments at the camp.
4. See the percussion-specific letter for further details.
Q: What expenses are there to be in marching band?
A: 1. There is a $25 course fee that covers the band shirt, worn under the uniform, and the banquet at the end for the semester.
2. Students provide their own instruments except for those requiring expensive marching-specific instruments, including sousaphones, mellophones, baritones, percussion, piccolos, and a few other school-owned instruments. Students using school-owned instruments may pay a $20 usage fee for the season; they are further responsible for any damage to the instrument.
3. Drum sticks, valve oil, lyres, and other essential materials are the responsibility of the individual student.
4. Shoes: The band wears all-white marching shoes. Shoes may be ordered through the August 1 mailing by completing a shoe-order form and submitting a check.
5. Gloves: White gloves may be purchased through the band by ordering at Fundamentals Week registration.
Q: Are there scholarships for marching band?
A: There are talent awards given to many students that audition in February—and marching band is required, and there may be a minimum stipend awarded exclusively for marching band participation. Basketball Pep band members receive a further stipend, and talent awards beyond the minimum stipend are awarded for outstanding performance and work. Further money goes to wind players of the Symphony Orchestra and the selective Caine Foundation Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion Groups, auditions for which are the same as those for Wind Orchestra.
TIME COMMITMENT CONCERNS
Q: I’m concerned about the time commitment.
A: College band is not as demanding, time-wise, as many high school marching bands. Although 1 1/2 hours per day is encumbered by the schedule, the band actually rehearses only 2-4 times per week, depending on the home football schedule that week. Rehearsals occur in the afternoons when fewer classes are offered, so conflicts are minimized. The only out-of-school requirements are the performances, which number 6-7 Saturdays of the fifteen-week semester. . . The enjoyment received from the experience is more than worth the time.
Q: Will marching band hurt my academic record?
A: No. The efficiency with which the marching band runs minimizes out-of-rehearsal time, and the orientation students receive during Fundamentals Week focuses their attention on budgeting of time for best performance of academic and personal commitments. With the marching band represented by over 40 different majors, it is common to find upperclassmen of the same major who can further assist in orientation and comfort level in the new environment.