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Athletics at Butler

Butler Bands Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers were developed by current members of the marching and basketball bands.

What are the benefits of joining the Marching Band?

Marching band is a great way to make a lot of friends very quickly, and it offers perks and benefits towards your college career. Enrollment in the marching band gives you a $100 tuition reimbursement and meets your university required PE (Physical Well Being) credit. The marching season ends about 5 weeks prior to the end of the semester, opening up time previously used for rehearsals to study for finals while students in other PE courses are still attending those classes. Participation in the band and guard makes you part of a very powerful spirit organization on campus, provides you the opportunity for leadership development and personal growth, and instills principals that can be used throughout the entirety of your college career.

How do I join the Marching Band?

Joining the marching band is quite simple. When you register for your fall classes, add one of the following course numbers depending on your year and requirement. If you are a First-Year Student, you want to register for PWB140, to receive your PWB (Personal Well-Being) core requirement. If you already have your PWB credit, then add course ES119 if you are a freshman or sophomore, or course ES319 if you are a junior or senior. If you have not yet been in contact with the band office, fill out the online contact form. The band office will answer any questions you may have about the ensemble and will collect important instrumentation and uniform sizing information needed to start the year off strong. The office can be contacted via email at bubands@butler.edu or 317-940-8363.

Do I need to be a music major?

No, many students from various majors on campus join marching band each year. These students simply enjoy performing, love the experience, and find rehearsals a very relaxing way to get away from their school work. In fact, the about half of the members of the Butler University Marching Band aren't music majors.

What experience do I need to join the Flag Line?

While experience is a big plus, no prior color guard involvement is necessary. The Butler University Marching Band has a world-class instructor and student leadership who are more than willing to help you out and teach you what you need to know. We have a large range of experience in our line, from those who have marched with drum corps and high-end competition HS bands to new members interested in learning for the very first time at Butler.

What can I do in the Marching Band that doesn't involve marching?

We have pit percussion and front electronics ensembles that perform on the front sideline. These ensembles include guitar, electric bass, mallet instruments, piano/synth keyboards, and auxiliary percussion instruments. 

We are always on the lookout for students with dynamic speaking voices to be the band's announcers, and those students can earn their PWB credit too.

We also have internships for video and audio engineers to assist with our live performances and to create the season DVD that we create each year.  Media Arts majors, or those with media or audio production experience, can contact the "Internships and Career Services" office at Butler to apply for these internships.  If you can play an instrument we want you to do so, but if you are a non-musician with A/V skill, this is a way you too can get involved.  Check with friends and roommates to see if they might like to intern with our band.

How much does it cost to be in the Marching Band?

There are NO fees for participation in the Marching Band.

Do I need my own instrument?

School owned instruments can be rented from the marching band.  Once again there are NO fees.We own piccolos, clarinets, tenor and baritone saxes, trumpets, mellophones, trombones, marching baritones and tubas.  We also provide all drums, mallet instruments, electric instruments, and amplifiers. 

Are there auditions?

There are no auditions for membership in the wind section, but percussion does hold auditions if necessary.  

How physically demanding are rehearsals?

Because Marching Band is a PWB Credit - and due to the nature of Marching Band - there is physical demands to participate.  For inexperienced marchers, special care is taken in the first week of rehearsals to get participants accustomed to the techniques of marching. These techniques are designed to make marching as effortless and comfortable as possible. Appropriate footwear, comfortable clothing, and a large water bottle are the best tools for a physically undemanding rehearsal. 

How can being in the Marching Band help a Music Education major?

Participating in Marching Band as a music education major allows students the opportunity to develop leadership and teaching skills.  Many use their roles as Drum Major or Section Leader to "try out" pedagogical techniques that they later utilize as future music educators.  Some music majors perform on a secondary instrument, or march in the guard or drumline as this adds even more tools into their educator's toolbox.  As long as you look and sound good, and can make a real contribution to the band, you are welcome to play an instrument other than your primary and strengthen your secondary instrument skills!!

Can I join if I've never marched before?

Absolutely. We welcome students from Drum Corps to students with no prior marching experience.  Also, our marching band is like one big family, so there will always be someone there to assist you, you'll always have someone there to help you when it is needed. The band has members every year who have little or no marching experience.  Typically, they are able to quickly learn and become very proficient members of our band.

Is it true I can attend Butler's "Snare & Tenor Drum Camp" at a reduced tuition?

Yes.  This camp, featuring Bill Bachman and our own Jeff Queen, is available with the band paying nearly half the cost of the camp.  See here for information and dates of the camp and here is the application for the reduced tuition.