Frequently Asked Questions
Those who have marched in the Panther Marching Band for a few years count their experience in the marching band as one of the most enriching and enjoyable times of their college life. The responsibility and dedication of being in the Panther Marching Band is not easy, but the rewards of camaraderie and lifetime friendships are tremendous. Membership in the Panther Marching Band is a good way to find your ‘niche’ in a large university. Research has shown that new students who are involved in groups such as the Panther Marching Band tend to have a more smooth transition to college life, performing better academically than their peers and feeling more "at home" at their new school than those who opt not to participate in ensembles or student organizations. We believe we are a family, and we want YOU to become a member.
Do I have to be a music major to be a member of the marching band?
No. Approximately 50% of the Panther Marching Band is comprised of non-music majors, representing every academic discipline offered at Eastern. We welcome diversity, and enjoy members who are there because they love making music, and love supporting Eastern!
Are there marching band scholarships available?
YES! There are limited number of Athletic Band Awards available each year. These awards can range from $300 to $1500 and are based on need and audition. Apply here!
What about percussion?
Percussionists can check our website for warm-ups, exercises, cadences, etc. You will be asked to perform material from this packet for your audition, which will help determine your placement within the section. These auditions take place in April. The Panther Marching Band uses snares, tenors, bass drums and cymbals.
What about color guard?
We have an excellent guard in the marching band that includes flags and rifles! Audition take place in April of each year, and students are asked to prepare a two-minute solo routine for the auditions. Fundamentals will be stressed including, but not limited to: equipment skills, basics, drop spins, double fast drop spins, and tosses. Bring a standard (6 foot) pole, and nylon flag (2 1/2' x 3 1/2' in size). Equipment approximate to this is acceptable. (equipment will be available if you choose). Wear work-out type clothing that allows free movement.
When is Preseason Camp held?
Preseason Camp is traditionally held the week before classes begin in the fall. Attendance at camp is mandatory for all members.
Does membership in the marching band take a lot of time?
No. In fact, it probably takes much less time than your high school marching band. Marching band is a class that you register for, and we meet during that class time. Rehearsals are held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 4:00 to 5:50 PM and Saturday mornings prior to home games from 9-10:30am.
What if I have a class conflict with rehearsal?
Band members are asked to schedule all classes outside marching band rehearsal times. In most cases, alternatives to conflicting classes can be found. The main thing to remember is that all conflicts must be approved by our director, Dr. Francis.
What costs are involved with membership in the Panther Marching Band?
Members are expected to purchase the class credit, black gloves ($3), black marching band shoes ($35), a band t-shirt, (10.00), a band cap, to be worn in the stands ($20), and maintenance of your personal instrument. Students must also supply black shorts to be worn under the marching uniform. All other uniform items and travel costs (hotel stay, meals, etc.) are provided free to all members. That's it! And best of all, band members do NO fundraising!
I really enjoyed attending competitions in high school. How many contests does the Panther Marching Band attend?
None. No marching bands compete at the collegiate level. The name of the game here is entertainment. We perform a changing show for home games, exciting music in the stands and on the field, and have a ton of fun! HOWEVER, the Panther Marching Band hosts a high school marching contest and tries to travel to one other contest during the season.
Is there an audition for membership in the marching band?
Currently, we invite all students interested in membership to be part of the Panther Marching Band without auditions. We do have a seating audition for part placement, but this audition does not keep anyone out of the band; it is merely used to help balance the part assignments throughout the group.
What instruments are provided by the University?
We provide piccolos, tenor saxophones, mellophones, baritones, sousaphones, percussion, and guard equipment. Due to increased maintenance costs on instruments, students will be required to pay a $40 rental fee for the semester.
Is there an opportunity for travel?
Yes. The marching band traditionally travels with the full band to 1 or 2 games each year. We also travel to any post-season games the team attends. The Panther Marching Band also enjoys performing in exhibitions at high school band festivals and community/campus events in addition to NFL Games across the Midwest.
Do I receive academic credit for participating in the marching band?
Yes. Marching band is an academic class offered through the university. All students must register for Marching Band (MUS 202 for 1 credit hour) before classes begin.
I'm a high school senior. How can I truly experience what it's like to be a member of the Panther Marching Band?
We invite senior band members who are serious about attending Eastern to be our guest at the home football game of their choice. You'll be with us from the moment we step off to the stadium, and we guarantee there is no better way to experience the Panther Marching Band and OVC Football than enjoying it with 10,000 other Panther fans! For more information or to schedule a visit, contact us today!
Do I have to be in a concert band to be in marching band?
No. You may be in marching band or concert band, or both. We highly encourage you to be in marching band in the fall and a concert group in the spring.
What about the Panther Basketball Band?
The basketball band performs at all men's and women’s home basketball games while classes are in session, and travels to tournaments with the teams. Auditions for this ensembles takes place in early October.
How do I obtain more information?
Contact us today either by phone (217-581-2312) or by email. We would be happy to help you schedule a campus tour, or visit with Dr. Jim Hile, Assistant Director of Bands and the Panther Marching Band Director to discuss participating in the marching band.