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Athletic Band - Thu, Sep. 10, 2015

St. Ambrose University - Athletic/Marching Band FAQ

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Starting in the fall semester of 2016, a stadium band will be established with the goal of fielding a full marching band in fall of 2018.

For more information about the Athletic/Marching Band program, contact

Nicholas (Nick) Enz at 563-333-6149 or [email protected]. Dr. Enz is available to meet with prospective students during individual visits to campus as well as participate in large-scale campus visit days.

How do I become a member of the St. Ambrose University Marching Band?

The St. Ambrose Marching Band is open to any St. Ambrose University student. Selection into the marching band will be by audition. An audition of only music will happen this 1st year for 2016, and then a marching audition would possibly be added after that. Instrumentalists are asked to play scales, to play a 5-minute prepared solo of their choice, and sight-read a selection during their audition. A good indicator of acceptance into the marching band will be if the student has participated for multiple years in high school marching band.

Do I need to be a music major to join?

No, students do not need to be music majors to participate in any music ensembles. In fact, like most college marching bands, most members will not be music majors. As a university grounded in the liberal arts, our choirs and bands reflect the diversity of students here at SAU. All of our ensembles provide an opportunity for students to connect and build relationships with other students in many other disciplines across campus while making music together.

Are scholarships available?

Yes! A $1,000 renewable Marching Band Award will be offered in fall 2016 to new students who register for participation in the athletic band program. All incoming first-year and transfer students with experience in high school and/or collegiate bands are eligible for this award, regardless of major. No audition required, but students must demonstrate prior band participation by providing a transcript or a letter from a band director. Auditions for additional music scholarships may be scheduled with the Music Department.

Scholarship information can be found here

What is the instrumentation of the band?

The band will use standard marching band instrumentation including flutes/piccolos, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, mellophones, trombones, euphoniums/baritones, tubas, snare drums, tenor drums, bass drums, cymbals, and mallet percussion.

How much time does the band require?

The band rehearses 6-12 hours per week depending on game and travel schedule.

Can I play in both the Symphonic Band and the Marching Band?

Definitely! You can also earn a scholarship for playing in both ensembles.

What instruments will be provided?

St. Ambrose will provide all musicians playing tuba, euphonium, mellophone, and percussion with instruments at no charge. Musicians playing other instruments should bring their own personal instruments. If you do need an instrument not listed above, please contact Dr. Enz at [email protected] at your earliest convenience.

Is there a storage space to keep my instrument?

Yes. Lockers of many different sizes are available and free of charge for you to use.

Will there be an out of pocket cost for members?

Absolutely not! All uniforms, travel, and lodging will be covered.

Will students move in early to practice? When is band camp?

Students will move onto campus about 2-3 weeks before the fall semester for Band Camp! Look for an email once you have been accepted regarding the official Band Camp dates.

What leadership opportunities are there with the marching band?

There will be plenty of opportunities for leadership. These will include a drum major, band librarian, instrument manager, and uniform manager just to name a few.  

How is being in a college marching band different than being in a high school marching band?

While there are many similarities between high school and college marching bands, there are also many differences! A primary purpose of college marching bands is to entertain audiences, provide school spirit, and ignite the football team. Instead of working on a single show to perform at a competition, the band will learn multiple shows and a wide variety of music during the season to excite the crowd. Additionally, the college marching band travels more frequently than high school marching bands. These trips can help create strong bonds between musicians that can last a lifetime!