Marching Band FAQ

Marching Band FAQ

Your time at NIU will be life changing! Don’t let opportunities pass you by during your collegiate years. Through music, choreography, friendship, and exuberant displays of school pride, being a part of the Huskie Marching Band will enrich your days at Northern like no other experience can.

Is an audition required to join the Huskie Marching Band?

Auditions are required for drumline, colorguard, and The Silverettes. Screening auditions are held for woodwinds and brass players during the first week of band camp to determine part placement and spots in the drill. Fill out and submit the online Membership Information Form to get specific information.

Does Marching Band take up a lot of time?

HMB is a great way to invest your time. Rehearsals are always productive, efficient, and fun. The band rehearses 3 or 4 days per week for a total of seven hours, with drumline meeting an extra 2 hours one night per week. Rehearsal times are late afternoon and evening to avoid conflicts with other classes.

Will my studies suffer for being in band?

No! The network of experienced students you will meet can help you in your academics, and assist you in learning the “inside stuff” of campus life. Many of our members are honor students in their own departments, and hold academic scholarships.

Do I have to be a Music Major?

No! The majority of our band is not music majors. Our members are people who love music, love marching, and love performing.

When is Band Camp?

Band Camp is required of all members. It starts one week before fall semester starts.

Can I move into my residence hall room early?

Yes! Because you are in the Marching Band, you can move into your dorm room or University Plaza room the day before Band Camp begins.

What instruments are used in the HMB?

Winds: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, Mellophone, Trombone, Baritone, and Sousaphone.

Percussion: Snare, Tenor, Bass, and Cymbals.

Are instruments provided?

Well, yes and no. Percussion instruments are provided, as are sousaphones, baritones, and mellophones. Other than that, we encourage you to use your own.

What does it cost to be in the Huskie Marching Band?

Actually, very little! Aside from providing your own pair of black, marching style shoes and a pair of gloves, all other expenses are paid for!

Do I receive academic credit for performing in the Huskie Marching Band?

Yes! All students must enroll in Marching Band (MUSC393A) and receive 1 credit hour each semester.

What kind of show does the Huskie Marching Band perform?

The Huskie Band performs several new shows every season! Typically we perform 5 or 6 different shows — a new halftime show for each home football game. Show themes are designed to best entertain our audience while demanding creative choreography and showmanship from the band's members. Our show styles include jazz, rock `n roll, classical, ska, and movie soundtrack music.

Where does the Huskie Band perform?

We perform at all home football games, one away football game, a local parade, and a season-finale indoor concert. We also travel to post-season games, thanks to our winning football team. Recent trips have included the Silicon Valley Bowl in California, playoff games at the site of Super Bowl XL, and dozens of games broadcast on national TV.

Do I have to pay for trips or do fund-raising to participate in Marching Band?

No! Your "cheese & sausage sales" and "car wash" days are over! All expenses for travel are paid for, plus we provide meals, or money for meals.

Are there other performance opportunities for me besides marching band?

Of course! Most ensembles are open to any student who wishes to participate, although some require an audition. Each ensemble is an independent unit, so you can enroll in any one ensemble or several, the choice is yours!

Huskie Pep Band

Pep band meets both fall and spring semesters. You can enroll for a single semester or both. The pep band performs at Women’s Volleyball games, Men’s and Women’s Basketball games, as well as any post-season games.

All-University Band

The University Band is a concert band that meets once a week on Tuesday nights, and gives two concerts each semester. No audition is required- just attend the first class meeting to sign up. Many members of the Marching Band enroll in this class.

Other School of Music Ensembles

Any student may also audition for the Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, or one of our many jazz bands. Auditions take place during the first weekend before school starts. See the School of Music for audition materials and specific details.