Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there an audition process to be a member of the UCMB?

For the most part, marching in the UCMB is self-selection. At this level, the students we encounter who want to be in the band have the prerequisite skills and auditions aren’t really necessary. UConn has high admission standards so our members are very smart students and are typically good players that would be successful in any excellent university band. In the case of Drumline, Front Ensemble and Color Guard, we hold several weekend rehearsal camps throughout the summer where prospective and returning members work on their performing skills to make sure all are up to our high performance standards. Drumline instrument assignments are determined through these camps.

Can I succeed at academics while being a committed band member?

Absolutely. In fact, the average cumulative GPA of our members is a 3.4. We have members from virtually all majors and course loads including engineering, business, sciences, and honors program students. Most of our members believe that being in the marching band taught them good time management skills during their freshman year.

I was admitted to a regional campus. Can I join the UCMB?

Yes! Students admitted to regional UConn campuses are welcome to be a member of the UCMB. Commuting members are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Storrs campus for rehearsals and performances.

I've never marched before. Can I join the band?

The UCMB prides itself on its composition of students with a diverse range of experience. While many members have participated in marching bands previous to joining the UCMB, about ¼ of the band only has only done parade marching. Our instructional procedures during Pre-Season and throughout the regular season quickly bring even new marchers up to speed. After all, UConn students are smart! It just takes instruction and effort.

Am I expected to provide my own instrument?

All members of woodwind sections, as well as the trumpet section are expected to provide their own instruments for use during the season. Piccolos will be provided to those members who are assigned a piccolo part. All mellophone, baritone, trombone, tuba and drumline section members will be provided an instrument upon arrival to preseason. Additionally, members of the color guard will be provided necessary equipment. There are a very limited number of woodwind instruments and trumpets available for loan through the university. In the event that you are unable to provide your own flute, clarinet, saxophone, or trumpet, please contact Assistant Director of Athletic Bands Marvin McNeill.

How often does the UCMB travel during the season?

The UCMB travels from Storrs to Rentschler Field in East Hartford for every home football game during the regular season. The UCMB performs in two parades and two exhibition performances around the state. Usually one regular season away game may be added to the schedule (such as the band’s recent trip to Yankee Stadium for UConn vs. Army), however these are usually limited to one per semester. If presented the opportunity, the UCMB also performs in a bowl game during the semester break.

Will I receive course credit for being in the UCMB?

Yes. The UCMB is not only the largest student organization on campus; it is also an academic course. All members must register for MUSI 1108 when enrolling in classes. The band meets during the week on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:00 PM and Friday from 3:35-6:00 PM.

What happens if I have a conflict with the rehearsal schedule?

All members are expected to be present at all performances and rehearsals (including a possible post-season bowl game). Members of the UCMB should make all attempts to schedule classes outside of designated rehearsal times. Most courses offered by the university do not overlap with our schedule; however some upperclassmen may need to take a required major course only offered during rehearsal. Freshmen and sophomore course requirements usually offer greater flexibility and should not warrant a conflict. All conflicts (rehearsal or performance) must be approved by Director of Bands Dr. David Mills.

Do band members move on campus early?

New members will report Saturday, one week before the other freshmen move in. Returning members will report on Monday morning (one week before classes begin).

Where will I live when I come for preseason?

All members who will be living at the Storrs campus will be able to check into their university assigned rooms (not a temporary one) upon arrival at preseason. This is a great advantage as you will avoid the rush and jammed elevators typical of campus wide freshmen move in day. The university does not provide housing during preseason for commuting band members. Please contact us if you commute and would like the convenience of staying nearby with another member. Detailed instructions for early check in will be provided to all members as preseason approaches.

Are members required to purchase their own uniforms?

Uniforms, shakos, berets, gloves, baseball caps, and winter hats will be provided for band members during the season. Upon arrival at preseason marching shoes must be ordered. Long black socks are essential for the season and must be supplied by the band member.

Do I have to be a music major to be a member of the UCMB?

No. The UCMB has members that represent nearly all the majors on campus. You will be sure to form many friendships with individuals willing to help make your time at UConn as academically and personally rewarding as possible. Of the 300 members, usually 40-50 are music majors.

Do music majors belong in the UCMB?

Yes! While there is no marching band requirement for music majors, many music majors are members. Music majors especially find the UCMB a valuable experience.

I'm interested in learning a new instrument...is that possible?

Yes. The fact is: Connecticut high school bands just don’t produce enough low brass players necessary for a college band like us. We are fortunate to have talented woodwind players that were successful switching to low brass instruments. It is amazing to see how successful most have been. During the spring semester a brass conversion class is offered to all band members. We are especially in need of horns, baritones, trombones, and tubas as well as pit percussion and color guard. If you think this may be an option for you, please feel free to contact us.

How do I join the Pep Band?

Pep Band auditions are held during November. The audition will consist of major scales, a prepared excerpt (posted ahead of time), and sight-reading. Members will be placed in one of three pep bands that will alternate between Men’s and Women’s basketball games. UCMB membership is not required to be a member of the pep band, however, UCMB members are given preference.

Are there any scholarships available for marching band members?

At this time there are no scholarships offered by the UCMB. Visit the admissions website for more information about scholarships offered by the university.

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