Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to audition to be in the band?

The Minuteman Band attempts to find a place for everyone who wishes to be in the band. Some sections, such as percussion, colorguard, and twirlers require a skill audition, and may fill to capacity. If you would like an audition BEFORE committing to attending UMass Amherst, please contact the staff for that section. To ensure an invitation to Band Camp, interested students should register via the i-Bander prior to July 1st. At Band Camp, all students will take a placement audition. A few new students in each section might be assigned to alternate status.

Will alternates have the opportunity to perform?

Yes. All students who are members of the Minuteman Band will perform. ‘Alternates’ will share a spot with another student. On any given day, both alternates will perform. For example, one will perform the halftime show, one will perform the post game show. If you are an alternate for one season, and achieve a basic level of playing and marching proficiency, you will be guaranteed a full position in your second year.

Do I have to be a music major to be in the band?

No. In fact, approximately 90% of band members are not music majors.

Do I need to play an instrument or be in the colorguard to join the band?

No. Aside from musicians and the visual ensemble, the band has numerous auxiliary needs such as EMTs, band aides, sound technicians, etc.

How often does the band rehearse?

The band rehearses daily from 4:40 to 6:10 p.m. and in the early mornings on performance days.

Would being in the band conflict with academic responsibility?

Band does not interfere with class work. Rarely will performances overlap class times. If, and when this happens, faculty are informed of the conflict and the student will receive appropriate co-operation in making up any work that is due (as determined the professor). Generally, the band members' average GPA is higher than that of the university at-large. It is important for band members (and all students) to organize their time and stay up to date with all class work.

How many shows does the band perform each fall?

During band camp, the band learns the primary show for the season. Typically, this is made up of three to five custom arranged pieces. Over the course of the season, additional selections supplement the original show. The Minuteman Band also performs a traditional fanfare pregame show.

Where does the band perform?

Aside from all home football games and selected away games, the band performs at several events. Such functions have included campus performances, Presidential Inaugurations, parades, MICCA and CMBC Festivals, and the Music Department's Multiband Pops Concert. Since its inaugural event in 1996, the Minuteman Marching Band takes part in the annual "Intercollegiate Marching Band Festival" at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA. In recent years, the Minuteman Band has traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana for exhibition appearances at the 1993, 2001, 2004, and 2011 Bands of America Grand National Championships. In 1997, the Minuteman Band visited James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia for a nighttime Atlantic-10 football game. In 1998 and 2006, the band took part in UMass Football's National Championship at the NCAA I-AA Championship game in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2001, the Minuteman Band appeared in President George W. Bush's Inaugural Parade.

Can I receive academic credit for band?

Yes. Band members can receive two credits for their participation during the fall semester.

Does the band program provide instruments?

Yes, on a limited basis. The band provides all sousaphones, euphoniums, mellophones and percussion equipment. A very limited number of saxophones are also provided. For other instruments, the band can assist in providing information about instrument rentals from a local instrument dealer.

If I'm a member of Commonwealth Honors College, can I attend the CHC orientation during Band Camp?

Yes. All freshmen in the Commonwealth Honors College will be excused from band rehearsal on Aug. 29th for the induction ceremony from 5-6:15pm. Additional info/questions, contact our Summer Recruiter, Bonnie Harper at 413-545-7755 or ummbrecruit@music.umass.edu

I am an out-of-state student, do I need to bring all of my belongings that I need for the year to Band Camp?

No. Information on where and how to ship extra luggage can be found here: UMass Residential Life Luggage Program