Join the Band
Tradition is an important part of Big Ten universities. The Pride of Minnesota has been bringing spirit, color, and music to campus for over 120 years. We would love for you to become a part of the band's life and experience the pageantry, excitement, and dedication to excellence for yourself.
Never marched before? We'll teach you!
Not a music major? Neither are 95% of our members.
Worried about the time commitment? With nearly every major represented in our current band, let us know your area of interest. We will have a student contact you and let you know how it works with your upcoming course of study.
The School of Music also supports athletic pep bands that play at a variety of regular season and post-season athletic events.
Prospective members are invited to contact us for more information about the program. Members of the band staff, including the directors, graduate assistants, and current members, will be happy to answer your questions by phone or in person. Students who plan on visiting the Twin Cities campus and who would like to meet with a member of the Marching Band staff member or student should schedule an appointment.
Marching Band Auditions for fall 2016 have closed. If you would like to learn more about joining the Minnesota Marching Band and join us in 2017, please complete the Marching Band Interest form.
Not a U of M student?
You do not have to be a U of M student to participate. Part-time students or students attending other metro-area schools can take Marching Band as an extension course by contacting:
College of Continuing Education
20 Ruttan Hall
1994 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
612-624-4000 or 1-800-234-6564
High school students who wish to join the Minnesota Marching Band through post-secondary option (PSEO) programs should contact their high school counselor for further information.
Marching band season officially begins with Spat Camp, the ten-day training period that starts in late August and ends on Labor Day weekend. When fall semester classes begin, the band meets Monday through Thursday from 4:15–6:00 p.m. Additional rehearsals are held on Friday afternoons (4:15–6:00 p.m.) and Saturday mornings before all home football games. The rehearsals avoid conflicts with most classes and allow residence hall students ample time to attend evening meals.
Spat Camp, the intensive, in-residence preparation camp where students learn music and marching fundamentals, marks the official start of marching band season. Students reside in one of the East Bank residence halls during Spat Camp. Registration materials are mailed in June to prospective members. A nominal fee covers the cost of housing, meals, and social activities during camp. Please email or call the Ensemble Office at 612-624-2514 if you need registration materials or have questions.
Marching Band students with residence hall contracts may move into their own rooms on Sunday, August 30. The Marching Band office staff will assist residence hall students with arrangements for early move-in.
Auditions for the first performance blocks will be held during camp on Saturday, August 29. A series of fundamentals, marching, and playing checks will make up the audition.
Our pregame show currently consists of a 244-member block and the remaining members manage the 40-yard by 25-yard representational American flag. The majority of the 17-minute show is done in Big Ten High-Step style. Our halftime block currently consists of a 300-plus member block performed most often in low-step style. We will provide all necessary instruction and practice before the pre-game audition. To aid in a stress-free audition, be sure to report to Spat Camp in good physical condition, good musical condition, and ready to learn!
Winds and Color Guard
Music and marching auditions for winds and color guard will be announced shortly. Music auditions will consist of the following concert major scales: B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, C, F (1 octave from memory), a chromatic scale, and the Minnesota Rouser and Minnesota March.
Auditions will take place on Saturday, April 16th at TCF Bank Stadium. To register for an audition, please email Aimee Barmore at email@example.com or call 612-237-4580 and with your contact information, twirling resume, your audition video and a twirling photograph. Additionally, please include an essay in 500 words or less, telling us why you would like to be a part of the University of Minnesota Marching Band. View our twirler audition guide to learn more.
Drumline auditions are held in late April in the marching band area of TCF Bank Stadium in Room 4 at 9:30 a.m. The entrance to the Marching Band facility is located under the "Pope" County marker in the northeast corner of the stadium. Everyone who wants to audition must be present at 9:30 a.m. for a brief informational meeting and to sign up for an audition time. Students who do not make the drumline often stay with the band playing, and sometimes learning, a different instrument.
Learn more about the University of Minnesota Drumline.
Registration and Freshman Orientation
New students must attend University orientation before Spat Camp begins. Students who are assigned orientation dates during the Spat Camp period should contact their college representative and ask to have their orientation rescheduled. You should register for MUS 3480 which carries two academic credits. Part-time students can register through the College of Continuing Education and Extension. Please call 612-625-3333 for more information. Spat Camp registration materials will be mailed to all interested students in early June. For more information call the Ensemble Office at 612-624-6873.
Homecoming weekend festivities include a bonfire, coronation, and pepfest on Friday, and rehearsal, parade, and game on Saturday. The Annual Indoor Concerts at Northrop Memorial Auditorium offer Marching Band fans the opportunity to enjoy the band's lively and spirited performances up close. Each year the band also performs at least one special concert off campus. Various events such as Band Parents' Day and the annual Marching Band Banquet bring marching band members together.