MUS 186M  •  M–F  • 4:00–5:20

Jack Saunders Field/Norman C. Dietz Band Hall
Dr. James Batcheller • 774-3317 •
Fall Semester 2019


All members of the Chippewa Marching Band MUST enroll in MUS 186M.

Course Objectives

The Marching Chips enjoy one of the finest, most consistent band traditions among all universities in the country. This is due, in great part, to a rehearsal and performance structure designed to encourage the development of the individual students as musicians, teachers, and leaders within an ensemble context.  It is the primary objective of this course to promote the appropriate development of professional roles, hand in hand with performance and teaching skills. To that end, students will be placed in a variety of positions of responsibility appropriate to their demonstrated abilities.


Required Materials and Equipment

For ALL rehearsals

• Nametag pouch (provided) to carry drill assignments and coordinates.

• Shoelaces or string of sufficient length with which to wear the flip folder with ALL currently assigned music.

• Cotton gloves (all winds) to be used whenever handling the instrument.

• Athletic shoes in good condition and appropriate socks for rehearsals – running shoes aren't well suited for moving backward and sideways. Students with documented need for specific orthotics will be accommodated.

• Appropriate head wear, sunscreen, and rehearsal clothing (no jeans or other restrictive garments).

• Etymotic (or approved substitute) EA ear plugs.

• Appropriate lubricants, polishes, and replacement parts for instruments.

For Performances, as assigned

• The assigned uniform jacket, gauntlets, pants, helmet, and plume. All uniform parts are expected to be appropriately clean, pressed, hemmed, and/or shined.

• A BLACK micro fiber shirt to be worn with the uniform AT ALL TIMES and appropriate thermal under pants for extremely hot or cold weather – UnderArmor Heat Gear and Cold Gear represent the industry standard. The micro fiber layer allows sufficient ventilation and wicking to promote core temperature maintenance. Bulky under garments are unhelpful and unsightly, and are therefore not permitted.

• Black MTX uniform shoes or Color Guard Dance Shoes, as assigned.

• Black socks of at least crew length.

• Uniform gloves, as assigned (White for winds, black cymbal gloves for cymbals).

• Uniform rain coat, as assigned.

• Translucent garment bag and sturdy hanger for transporting uniform

• Official wind suit, pullover, tee shirt, and shorts.

• Etymotic (or approved substitute) EA ear plugs.

• Appropriate lubricants, polishes, and replacement parts for instruments.

Optional Materials

In addition to regulation caps, students may wear winter gloves and scarves in the stands, as needed, when the helmet has been removed – Only combinations of maroon, gold, black, grey, or white are permitted. Sections will work together to provide duffle bags for stand folders, spats, and caps. Band and section jackets, shirts, shorts, and other items may be purchased through CMU Athletics and local sporting goods stores.


Follow all directions. This includes all information in printed, verbal, and other formats, beginning with the CORE VALUES, guidelines, and instructions given during pre-season rehearsals and all schedules and materials posted online and mailed out over the summer.  Responsibility for the direction of the ensemble begins with the director and proceeds through instructors, graduate assistants, drum majors, and appointed student leaders. Responsibility for the performance of the ensemble rests with each and every member. Begin with your own performance.


Memorization and Rehearsal Attitude

It is not possible to perform even the most rudimentary drill maneuvers well while reading music from a flip folder. Memorization of certain music is therefore required. Failure to meet the assigned memorization schedule may result in students being sidelined for the show at hand.

First Year Members are to be able to sing, as a group, our Alma Mater, "Hail Chippewa," and the Fight Song before the end of pre-season rehearsals. The drum majors will help you get started. Also, please be prepared to provide assistance to the older members when asked.

Returning Members are to demonstrate the highest quality of marching, playing, and rehearsal protocol in order to assist new members in developing their work ethic.

Also, be prepared to provide assistance when needed (without being asked).

All Members are to memorize the Pre-game music before camp. Some people will have new parts to learn at camp and are expected to do so by the end of pre-season rehearsals.  Music for the Albany halftime is to be memorized by the end of camp. Music for Band Day is to be memorized by Sept. 11. Music the remainder of the season is to be memorized no later than Friday of the week prior to the first performance of that music (see online calendar for details).

Rehearsal Procedures

• Our field is in somewhat delicate shape after a hard summer of landscaping and hot weather. Please refrain from any activity that may damage the field. Use common sense! Don't play football on the field if it's muddy or soft from rain. 

• Nothing should interfere with full or sectional rehearsals on the field. Even when no sectional is ongoing, extra-curricular activities must cease no later than 3:50 pm.

• Because we are the largest and most recognizable ensemble in the School of Music, we must set the best example of courtesy to others and of appropriate treatment of facilities. We are committed to the care and upkeep of all rooms, lobbies, and hallways in the Music Building, the IAC, Stadium, and Turf Bay.

• When in rehearsal mode, silent attention to detail is required. Rank Captains will give instruction when asked to do so. We have no time to waste. All talking will cease at any time we are in a "set" position. Failure to observe this basic rule will drag us all down and therefore will not be tolerated.

• The Rehearsal Tower is OFF LIMITS to anyone not specifically invited to enter or climb it.

• Rehearsals will begin promptly (at 4:00 during the regular season). All members are to be warmed up, musically and physically, and in formation at that time. Rank captains should be ready to report the roll at the moment rehearsal begins. MUSIC MAJORS MUST NOT SCHEDULE PRIVATE LESSONS OR COACHING BETWEEN 3PM AND 6PM. When your applied professor asks for your schedule, BLOCK the time between 3 and 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

• APPROPRIATE footwear (as designated by the director) is required.

• Bring pencils, music, drill charts, and coordinate books to all rehearsals. Failure to do so will result in a grade reduction and may affect performance opportunities (shadow).

Sectional Rehearsals

Sectionals are necessary to our success. All students are expected to participate in all sectionals unless an approved class conflict exists. Percussion and Color guard should expect to rehearse in sections nearly every day of the week, especially at the beginning of the semester.

Other Assignments

In addition to memorization and rehearsal participation, grades will be given for individual assignments. Additional testing may be used to gauge student review of our history and traditions.

Grading, Awards, and Attendance

• Grades are assigned based on individual contributions to the group effort. The grade of "A" is reserved for those who complete all assigned duties and instructions to the highest degree they are able. Grades lower than "C" represent work unacceptable in a performance class and will automatically convert to a grade of "E."

• Each member is given a small monetary award, the amount of which is determined by length of service.  The intent of the award is to offset the cost of required materials for the course. Failure to meet stated expectations will result in an award reduction.

• Absences and tardiness will be reported to the Assistant Drum Major at the beginning of each rehearsal. The Director will maintain the attendance record and will report to members, via email, their status each week. Tardiness is defined as not being in your assigned spot with all required materials when the whistle blows at the beginning of rehearsal.

• Once the director has approved an absence, the student may be required to complete an additional work assignment in order to have the absence excused. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the director's approval, complete the work assignment, and verify the completion of the assignment to the director WITHIN ONE WEEK OF THE ABSENCE in order for it to be considered excused.

• MUS 186M is a credit bearing university class. According to University Policy, class attendance (including pre-season) supersedes all other activities, extra labs, floor meetings, orientation sessions, honors colloquia, etc. Limited resolution of class conflicts is possible but must be approved in advance.

• Professional expectations begin with attendance, whether you are preparing to be a music teacher, orchestral performer, or to enter any other profession. Serious personal illness or family emergencies are examples of reasonable excuses for tardiness or absence. Any reason reported immediately to, and determined to be reasonable by the director will be excused. A first unexcused absence from any regular rehearsal will result in a reduction of the award and the lowering of the final grade by 0.5/4.0. More than four such occurrences will bring the grade below acceptable standards and will therefore result in a grade of "E" and a complete loss of the award.  Any unexcused absence from a final rehearsal will result in a complete loss of the award and the lowering of the final grade by 1.5/4.0.  Any unexcused absence from a performance will result in a complete loss of the award and being dropped from the course with a grade of "E." 


We will park in the NORTH end of Lot 75 on Game Days. No permit is required for Lot 75. A student parking pass is required for parking in Lot 33 and other lots near Saunders Field until 4 pm daily. Without a pass, it is impossible to park there without risking a ticket and/or being late to rehearsal. Purchase a permit if you intend to park.               

Respect for Others

The Chippewa Marching Band, its members, and staff are committed to maintaining an atmosphere of respect and pride for one another and the greater community.  Such respect begins with how we address one another using preferred names and pronouns, and by how we recognize diverse cultural traditions. Our language and our behavior must live up to the CORE VALUES we adopt during Camp Week.   

As with any university class, the Student Code of Conduct is in effect at all times. No member of this ensemble will be required, either explicitly or implicitly, to participate in ANY activities or events other than those specified by the Director. HAZING IS AGAINST UNIVERSITY POLICY AND IS IN DIAMETRIC OPPOSITION TO THE GOALS, PURPOSES, AND TRADITIONS OF THE CHIPPEWA MARCHING BAND. 

We are extremely fortunate that our University is a LEADER in the effort to fight against campus assaults of all kinds. If you or someone you know is being or has been hazed or assaulted in any way, there ARE those willing and eager to help you. As Director, I am committed to your wellbeing. If you are in trouble and want it addressed quickly and thoroughly, PLEASE feel free to discuss your concerns with me, your section leader, or anyone else in our leadership team. We will place you in touch with those who can help. If you would rather report your situation confidentially, I encourage you to use the following resources.

In the case of issues of sexual assault, or where you are struggling personally in any way, contact the CMU CARE Team at:

If you would like to speak confidentially with a trained advocate who is NOT required to report your situation to the authorities, contact Sexual Agression Peer Advocates at:  or by calling 989-774-2255.

Or the CMU Counseling Center at:

In the case of hazing, go to the Student Affairs Public Incident report page at:

Take up the challenge to go beyond mere civility. As hard as we work we need to take care of one another. Be truly respectful and supportive of one another's efforts and look out for one another both on and off the field. Remember: "NO ZEBRAS, NO EXCUSES!"


Dr. Batcheller