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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 65% 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!

Is there an audition for membership in the marching band?

Students interested in drum line and color guard are required to audition. There is not an audition for wind players to be a part of the Panther Marching Band, but we do hold informal part placement auditions during Preseason Camp. Visit the Auditions page for more information. 

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 for one hour (time depends on kickoff).

When is Preseason Camp held?

Preseason Camp is traditionally held the week before classes begin in the fall. 2017 camp will be help Aug.13-19. Attendance at camp is mandatory for all members.

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. Druffel.  

Does the Panther Marching Band have a percussion pit?

The Panther Marching Band only marches a battery drum line of snares, tenors, bass drums and cymbals. Don't let that discourage you if you only played pit percussion in high school. With the help of our drum line instructor and fellow members, we have had plenty of pit players learn battery percussion very quickly. 

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 ($30), a band cap ($15), and instrument rental if needed ($40). Students must also supply solid black athletic shorts for preseason performances, a lyre for their instrument, and flip folder. Instrument requirements such as reeds and valve oil, as well as any other maintenance are also the responsibility of the student. All other uniform items and travel costs (hotel stay, meals, etc.) are provided free to all members. And best of all, band members do NO fundraising!

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. 

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 perform an exhibition at one other contest during the season. 

Is there an opportunity for travel?

Yes. The Panther Marching Band may travel to any post-season games the team attends. The band also enjoys performing in exhibitions at high school band festivals and community/campus events. 

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 and high school band members who are serious about attending Eastern to be our guest at Panther High School Band Day held Nov.4, 2017. This is an opportunity to spend the day as member of the Panther Marching Band family by taking part in all of our game day activities; from the parade to the stadium, to halftime, to singing the Alma Mater at the clock tower. We guarantee there is no better way to experience the Panther Marching Band and OVC Football than enjoying it with other Panther fans at O'Brien stadium! More information can be found here

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. More information can be found on the EIU Bands Webpage.

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. Details about participation will come out in October. 

How do I obtain more information?

Clink here to ask a member or contact PMB Director Dr. Benjamin Druffel today at bjdruffel@eiu.edu.