Do I have to be a music major to be in the Wildcat Marching Band or Wind Symphony?
No! You are absolutely welcome and encouraged to audition for any of our ensembles regardless of your major. We have non-music majors in all of our ensembles.
Do I have time?
YES! The Wind Symphony and Symphony Band rehearse 2 hours a day, 3 days a week, each performing 2 or 3 concerts a semester. Concert Band rehearses Tuesday and Thirsdays from 3:30 to 4:40 and plays one to two concert a semester.
The Wildcat Marching Band rehearses 3 days a week for 2 hours each day. You are also committed to each home game, as well as Early Week, our band camp. Regular rehearsals begin at 5:30pm (after most other classes are finished) and do not conflict with most courses. On a case-by-case basis, we can make arrangements to accommodate most schedule conflicts. Members of the Wildcat Marching Band are also required to travel with the band to any post-season bowl game in which UK participates.
I think it may be best to wait to get adjusted to college, and try the band next year.
If you’re interested in the band, you should join right away! Students who do not participate their first year are less likely to join later. Additionally, being in the band provides many benefits to you. If you’re in the Wildcat Marching Band, you are able to move into your dorm a week before everyone else, and to get used to campus before classes and the rest of the student population move in. You also get a week of rehearsals, meals and social time to make 200 new friends!
What about away games?
Away football games are optional (unless scheduled as full-band travel). If a student wishes to travel to these games, they will be able to sign up during Early Week.
What is the cost to me?
Students in the Wildcat Marching Band purchase black marching shoes, but other apparel is provided by the University of Kentucky Bands.
Besides the cost of shoes and the incidental costs of playing your instrument (reeds, valve oil, etc.), there is no cost to students for any of the band’s activities. Students who travel on away trips with the band will be given per diem – money allotted for food each day of the trip.
Can I get a scholarship?
There are scholarships available to students who audition for performance studios in the School of Music. That means that they are auditioning to take private lessons with a private instructor. These scholarships are most often awarded to music majors, but not exclusively.
There are also a very limited number of scholarships that are awarded to returning members of the Wildcat Marching Band, regardless of major.
How do I get into the band?
Audition! Auditions for the Wind Symphony and Symphony Band are held the two days prior to the beginning of classes.
Woodwind and brass auditions for the marching band can be scheduled by calling the band office at (859) 257-BAND. These generally take place during your summer advising conference, but can be scheduled at any time throughout the year. Students who have been accepted as a music major do not need to audition. Auditions for the drumline take place during Early Week (Band Camp). Auditions for the Color Guard and Sweetheart Majorettes are held during the months of April and June. More information about Wildcat Marching Band auditions can be found here.
Do I have to audition?
Auditions are required for Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Wildcat Marching Band, and Jazz Ensembles.
The Concert Band is open to anyone without an audition. Just register for the class and come to the first rehearsal!
What do I need to know for my audition?
See the Auditions and Scholarships page for audition requirements and etudes. Also, you may find our suggestions for preparing for a scholarship audition to be informative.
For the Wildcat Marching Band, students should prepare a chromatic scale to show range, and a short excerpt or etude/solo. You will also be asked to sight-read. Most students who have played in their high school band find that they have the skills needed to make the Wildcat Marching Band.
Can I be in the UK Basketball Pep Band?
You must be in the marching band to be in the pep band. There is no separate audition for basketball band. More information about the UK Pep Band can be found here.
Is there a marching band camp?
Yes. Our band camp is called Early Week, and is held the week before classes begin. Students living in the dorms will be able to move in during this time. The extra costs of early move-in, as well as all meals for the week are paid for by the University of Kentucky Bands.