​​A printable document containing the audition information on this page can be downloaded HERE.

Who May Audition?

Any CMU student may audition to become a member of the Chippewa Marching Band. All incoming freshmen and transfer students who are not Music Majors may schedule an audition in the spring. Incoming Music Majors who have passed their entrance audition for School of Music faculty may play their primary instrument in the marching band without further audition. All percussion majors must audition for placement in the field batterie. All incoming freshmen and transfer students who wish to participate in the color guard must audition. Music majors who wish to play an instrument other than their major instrument must audition to do so. All instrumental music education majors will be accepted to the section that best suits their ability and training needs, as determined by the marching band director. Typically, once a student has been accepted to the marching band, he or she will not be required to audition in subsequent years.

Arranging for an Audition

Auditions take place in conjunction with early Student Orientation sessions. Once accepted to the University, students will receive an information packet from the Orientation office. Be sure to select an Orientation session that coincides with auditions. Auditions are scheduled for the afternoon and evening before your Orientation session. This allows students to relax and focus on their audition before dealing with the excitement and rigor of a full day of Orientation and registration activities. Students may arrange for overnight housing at a nominal cost through the Orientation office, if desired. Often, students have stayed in one of the residence halls while family members have lodged at one of our local hotels. Many students and their families have found the overnight stay to be an excellent opportunity to explore the Mt. Pleasant community. If you have questions, call the CMU Orientation office or visit their web site.

Confirmation of your audition date and time will be mailed shortly before your Orientation session.

Music Majors will receive information in the mail. When visiting campus for Student Orientation, Music Majors should be fitted for shoes by members of the marching band staff.

Preparing for the Audition

Students will be asked to demonstrate the best of their training. The emphasis in these auditions is on determining your skill level and your experience. There will be some physical movement in the audition so take time to warm up and dress to be comfortable. Brass and percussion will be asked to mark time while playing during a portion of the session (low impact mark time only: heels rise and fall, toes remain on the ground) to determine agility and coordination. Color Guard applicants will learn a short segment of flag and body work.

Woodwinds and Brass

Prepare a selection of your choice that will best demonstrate your musical proficiency. A prepared solo is desirable but not absolutely necessary. If it is a lengthy work, select the section or sections you are most enthusiastic about. Please bring a copy of the music with you even though you may have it memorized. It is not necessary for solos to be accompanied. However, you may bring an accompanist if you desire. We do not provide accompanists and most students audition unaccompanied

You may also perform something from your practice materials such as exercises, scales, or studies. You might choose material from a private lesson book, group method book, or etude book, which you have used. The combination of your prepared solo, etudes, and exercises should demonstrate 1) Your tone quality, 2) Technical proficiency, and 3) the extent of your range on the instrument. Be prepared to play B-flat, E-flat, and F major scales and a chromatic scale across your practical range.There will also be a brief sight-reading exercise, the music for which will be provided for you at the time of your audition

We can provide an instrument for Mellophone, Baritone, and Sousaphone auditions, though students are encouraged to play the instrument they have used to prepare for the audition. Students MUST provide their own mouthpieces. Students auditioning to play Mellophone may audition on either French horn or trumpet, if they prefer. Students auditioning to play piccolo may play all or part of their audition on flute, though some demonstration of piccolo skill is encouraged

Woodwinds and Brass will report for pre-season rehearsals on Monday, August 20, at 10:00 am.


Students auditioning for the field batterie will be asked to prepare one of our cadences on their desired instrument. Music will be mailed when an audition has been arranged. You may also download a PDF version of the music by clicking here. Those with limited experience in rudimental snare drumming and/or multiple tenor drums are encouraged to prepare as much of the bass drum material as possible. All persons auditioning for the bass drum line should prepare the top bass part. Those auditioning for cymbals may read the top cymbal part. You may audition on more than one instrument (i.e. snare and tenors, tenors and bass drum, etc.)

Students are encouraged to attend open drumming sessions on Monday evenings through the Spring semester in the School of Music.

Once selected, members of the drum line will be asked to come to campus August 3 - 5 for equipment fittings, basics instruction, and to make final part adjustments. The line will report for pre-season rehearsals on Sunday morning, August 19.

Color Guard

The audition is designed to evaluate your ability to learn basic equipment work, simple choreography, etc. Equipment will be provided. We use sixfoot weighted poles with 54" by 36" silks. If you are more comfortable with smaller equipment, you may being a pole along to demonstrate your experience, though you will be asked to use our equipment for the learning session. If you have previous guard experience, you may prepare a brief routine that best demonstrates your abilities, but this is NOT required. If you are accepted based upon this preliminary evaluation, you'll be expected to join us for a mini-camp August 3 - 5, and to move to campus in time for our pre-season rehearsal camp, which begins on August 19.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​