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 indicate your desire to audition by checking the options https://www.cmich.edu/ess/oss/New_Student_Orientation/Pages/default.aspxavailable on the Orientation web site.

Because of the precautions being taken during the COVID-19 health crisis, all auditions will be conducted by video submission. Packets with audition materials and instructions have been prepared for all sections. Demonstration videos are available, as well.

Click to download the
Audition Information Packet


If you register for classes before you submit your audition and receive the result, enroll in MUS 186M in order to reserve a spot. Adding band after your schedule is already set may prove difficult. 

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. Questions concerning non-major auditions can be directed to the main office at 989-774-3281.


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. Winds 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.

You may prepare your audition video using your phone, tablet, or any device that will allow you to record and transfer a video via the internet. We ask that you submit your video through YouTube because it's among the easiest and most secure methods available. If you don't already have a YouTube account, you can establish one by following the instructions at YouTube Help.

If you don't already have a YouTube account, you can establish one by following the instructions at YouTube Help.


Submitting Your Audition Video

Once you've completed your audition, submit it using our online form. (Coming soon) Audition videos are due no later than June 15by 11:59 pm for full consideration.


Information for Music Majors

  • 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 battery.
  • 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 year.


Discipline Specific Information


Brass and Woodwind players will be provided with a short, lyrical passage and a technical exercise to prepare. We also ask that you play at least one octave each of the "concert" B-flat, E-flat, and F major scales and a chromatic scale.

Additionally, we ask that you perform one of the major scales while marking time. You may use any style that's familiar to you. Our style is fairly simple:

  • Holding your instrument in a comfortable playing position, stand with your heels together, your toes comfortably apart, and your body aligned vertically from your ankles up through your knees, hips, abdominal core, and shoulders.
  • Leaving your toes on the ground, mark time with your heels alternating from left to right, and play an octave of a concert F, B-Flat, or E-Flat scale, following the pattern below:
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  • Mark time and play the scale of your choice once at a moderate tempo and again as quickly as is both comfortable and reasonable. As an example, 100 beats per minute and 132 beats per minute would provide a good contrast.

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.

Please review the detailed Color Guard audition packet located in the section below. A complete playlist of demonstration videos is available on YouTube.

The audition is designed to evaluate your ability to learn basic equipment work, simple choreography, etc. We use six-foot weighted poles with 54" by 36" silks. If you are more comfortable with smaller equipment, you may use whatever is available to you. Let us know if you don't have access to equipment and we'll try to help.

Any student interested in Drum Line should first view an informational Google Document linked here. Students auditioning for the field battery will be asked to prepare several of our exercises and cadences on their desired instrument. Demonstration videos will be made available as soon as possible.

We realize that not everyone has access to instruments at this time. Instructions will be included with the demonstration videos as to how you can complete the audition with a practice pad or by other means.

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 students 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.).


Discipline Specific Audition Packets

Sample Videos