The Colorado State University Marching Band is one of the premiere college bands in the country, whose performances have been heard by millions of fans. The band supports CSU teams and entertains audiences with music ranging from traditional school songs to the latest hits.
The band has been featured at state, national, and international events, including the Denver/9News Parade of Lights, the Rocky Mountain Showdown, Denver Broncos games, Colorado Bandmasters Association State and Regional Festivals, and most recently on national television for the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. In addition, the band performed internationally for over 750,000 fans along the route of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Festival and Parade in Dublin, Ireland.
Today, the Colorado State University Marching Band is a dynamic student organization whose membership has grown over the past three years to 240 students, representing every college on campus. As bearers of tradition, and a public face of the university, Fort Collins, and the State of Colorado for over 115 years, CSU Marching Band members exemplify the “Proud to be a CSU Ram” motto.
By Tiana Nelson, Director of CSU Denver Outreach As a favorite annual tradition, Colorado State University alumni and friends are invited to watch the CSU Marching Band in the 9NEWS Parade of Lights. CSU’s Marching Band is the only college marching band participating in the parade, scheduled at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 in […]
The Colorado State University Marching Band’s 2016 season is nearly complete, with just a final home game, the 9News Parade of Lights in Denver, and a possible bowl game remaining. To date, this has been a tremendous season for the marching band as they have participated in the decade-by-decade theme celebrating the “Farewell Hughes” season. […]
Click here to download the 2016 CSU Marching Band Performance Schedule schedule (PDF)
- Aug. 31: President’s Fall Address
- Sept. 2: Football vs. CU (Rocky Mountain Showdown)
- Sept. 10: Football vs. UTSA
- Sept. 17: Football vs. UNC
- Oct. 1: Football vs. Wyoming
- Oct. 7: Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally
- Oct. 8: Football vs. Utah State (Homecoming Weekend)
- Oct. 19: CBA North Regionals (evening performance)
- Nov. 5: Football vs. Fresno State
- Nov. 12: Football at Air Force
- Nov. 19: Football vs. New Mexico (Senior Day)
- Dec. 1: Parade of Lights Preview (UCA)
- Dec. 2: 9NEWS / Denver Parade of Lights
- Dec. 3: MWC Championship Game (TBD)
Bowl games begin as early as Dec. 17 and continue into early Jan. Below are the bowls with which the Mountain West Conference is currently aligned, but our selection to a game is not limited to these in special circumstances. Attendance is required of all band members – please make any travel plans with this in mind.
- Dec. 17: New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque)
- Dec. 17: Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas)
- Dec. 21: Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego)
- Dec. 22: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise)
- Dec. 24: Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu)
- Dec. 30: Arizona Bowl (Tucson)
Click here to download the 2016 CSU Marching Band Preseason Rehearsal schedule (PDF)
- Regular rehearsal times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 4-6 p.m.
- Game-day rehearsals: 4.5 hours prior to all home games at Hughes Stadium
- Drumline Sectional: Monday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (Course credit available)
- Color Guard Sectional: Wednesday, 7-8:30 p.m. (Course credit available)
During the fall marching band season we perform for a variety of audiences in many different venues, including:
- Six CSU football games (pre-game, halftime shows, and in the stands throughout the game)
- Exhibitions at CBA Regionals (Colorado Bandmasters Association)
- One or two away games, including the Rocky Mountain Showdown
- The CSU Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally
- A Denver Broncos football game halftime show
- The Denver/9News Parade of Lights
- Bowl Game!
Marching Percussion and Colorguard only: All of the dorms will open on Saturday, Aug. 13 for early check-in beginning at 8 a.m. You will move directly into your assigned dorm room for the entire year. It is not temporary housing. You will have a normal rehearsal schedule for the rest of the day on Saturday, and this information will be posted under the "Schedules" tab on our site.
All Winds and Brass: All of the dorms will be open on Sunday, Aug. 14 for early check-in beginning at 8 a.m. You will move directly into your assigned dorm room for the entire year. It is not temporary housing. The detailed camp schedule will be posted under the "Schedules" tab on our site.
The cost for early check-in is $60 per day, and includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the campus cafeterias. Regular meal plans go into effect with the general move-in day, Thursday, Aug. 18. To ensure that you've been counted as a member needing early move-in, please look at your commitment form confirmation email that you received after submitting your registration. Make sure you clicked the box that said "I will live in the dorms on campus, and need to move in early".
Please note that early check in information is due by Friday, July 15 in order to avoid a $10 per day late fee. If you have any questions or to confirm your early check in, please contact Copper Ferreira at email@example.com.
- Course registration fee $35.
- Supplemental tuition $45.
- Black rolled heeled Drill Masters marching shoes, approx. cost $35. Cash or check only.
- 2 pairs of white gloves, approx. cost $3.00 each per pair. Cash or check only.
- Students who use a school-owned instrument pay a one-time semester fee of $50.
- All students will receive a one-time $25 on their student account to dry clean their uniforms at the end of the season.
- Early dorm move-in for band camp (if applicable), approx. $240.
- Course registration, supplemental tuition, and early move-in can all be charged to your student account.
One of the highlights of every CSUMB performance is the fantastic Color Guard! Incorporating sophisticated choreography with flag, rifle, and dance into each show, this select group of performers brings excitement and artistry to the field every week.
Auditions for the Color Guard are held each summer and are open to any current or incoming CSU student, regardless of major. Guard members are marching band members, perform at all home football games and additional events, and earn the same scholarship!
Saturday, June 11, 2-5 p.m. Click here to register.
You must attend the audition date to tryout for the CSU Color Guard. The auditions are held in the University Center for the Arts in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall. Please wear appropriate athletic clothing, footwear, and bring a water bottle!
- Flag, dance, and movement
- A comprehension of tryout choreography
- Rifle is not part of the audition process, but is a desired skill for incoming members.
If selected, enrollment in the Marching Band class (MU 204) is required. Guard members are required to attend preseason rehearsals as noted in the schedule.
Taped auditions are accepted – please show a full routine that demonstrates flag choreography, dance, and movement skills.
For more information about the CSU Color Guard, or how to submit a video, please contact Instructor Summer Killinger.
In order to get ahead of the learning process, the Color Guard reports earlier than other members. With basic movements, flag technique, as well as show choreography to learn, there is plenty of material to nail down.
Report date for all guard members is Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.
We will rehearse Aug. 13-14, then join full band rehearsals starting Aug. 15.
Detailed schedule coming soon (PDF).
The CSU Drumline is a key component of the marching band. It takes individual and ensemble playing skills to be successful in the drumline, so the audition process is a little bit different than it is for the winds and color guard.
- Click here to register for auditions.
- Drumline auditions will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 2-5 p.m. at the University Center for the Arts.
- You may audition for the section of your choice: snare, tenor, bass, or cymbals.
- All members must be in attendance. If you are unable to attend the live auditions, a video must be emailed to Mr. Stroman by June 9.
- The audition for those interested in the battery will consist of all exercises included in this packet, sight-reading, and the PAS 40 rudiments.
- Your placement on the line will be based on your ability, attitude, experience, and the position in which we feel is best for the line and the band. All past members must audition.
Pad days are designed for students to gain experience in a relaxed atmosphere, with the CSU Drumline method of performing. The staff and section leaders will help students with technique and music in preparation for the 2016 season. Dates will be posted in April.
In order to get ahead of the learning process, the drumline reports earlier than other members. With cadences, stands grooves, as well as show music to learn, there are plenty of notes to get through.
Report date for all drumline members is Friday, Aug. 12, 2016.
We will rehearse Aug. 12-14, then join full band rehearsals starting Aug. 15.
Detailed schedule coming soon (PDF).
Please learn, memorize and be comfortable with the exercises and rudiments in this packet. These exercises and rudiments are responsible for developing a specific musical and technical requirement that is inherent in the successful performance of the music. Everyone interested in playing bass drum and cymbals will audition on snare drum using match grip and should prepare
the snare drum part, as many rudiments as possible and be ready to sight read. Those interested in trying out for snare drum should use traditional grip. Those of you interested in tenors, be prepared to play the entire part on the second drum in addition to the split, if given. We understand that for many of you, percussion may not be your first instrument, please do your best and try to learn as much of the snare part as possible.
The approach is the concept behind the sound and the visual presentation. In marching percussion, the visual aspect of producing sound is as important as the sound itself. If it looks good, it probably sounds good. It is therefore important to understand and develop a uniform technique.
Each of the exercises in this packet should be practiced slowly and gradually sped up. Practicing the exercises slowly allows you (us) the ability to accurately execute the correct rhythms, stickings, dynamics, and pitches. I suggest spending the majority of your practice time with a metronome at the low end of the tempo range in front of a mirror.
For most battery exercises a dynamic marking will be given which is defined by the highest point of the stroke in inches. General rule of thumb for accent/tap playing is 6″ of difference between accented and unaccented notes. Example: ff playing would be 12″ accent height and 6″ unaccented height. Below is how the stick heights correspond with the written dynamics. Mallet players should practice the exercises at all dynamic levels.
fff – 15’’ full wrist/arm extension – stick is at a 90 degree angle to the drum head
ff – 12’’
f – 9’’
mf – 6’’
mp – 3’’
p – 1 ½’’
Things to listen, look and feel in your playing:
- Accurate playing of the part – rhythms, pitches, stickings, dynamics/heights/accents.
- Consistent Tempo – use your ears and your metronome. Record yourself – you’ll be amazed at what you hear.
If you have any questions, or would like to get together for help, please e-mail Shilo Stroman.
Special Assistant Professor of Percussion
Any interested CSU student can audition to join the Marching Band. We march the following instruments: flute/piccolo, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, sousaphone, a full battery, color guard, and the renowned CSU Golden Poms dance team. To audition for a spot in the band, visit our audition information and registration page here.
The Marching Band rehearses Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4-6 p.m. On game days, a rehearsal at the stadium 4.5 hours before game time is necessary, and lasts about an hour. Students then eat, change into uniforms, and begin the series of performances for fans in and around Hughes Stadium.
Other special performances are planned each year. Please refer to the performance schedule. Though the fall is a busy time for marching band members, studies regularly show that students actively engaged in campus activities are significantly less likely to drop out of college, and more likely to graduate in four years. We care about your academic success and try hard to make sure all of our students are succeeding.
Band camp, or preseason rehearsals as we call them, is our opportunity to learn not only our method of marching, our pregame show, and begin on our first halftime show, but it's a chance to learn about the history of the CSU Marching Band and its traditions. Even better, it’s a chance to meet new friends and people as you transition to college life. These rehearsals are mandatory. We coordinate with Ram Welcome to ensure that our new marchers have a chance to participate as fully as possible in both activities.
We practice 4.5 hours before the game on the field at Hughes Stadium. Equipment is loaded and taken to the stadium the night before or the morning of the game. After rehearsal we get into uniform and parade around the stadium on our way to Ram Walk, the traditional walk for the football team into the stadium. We parade back into the stadium for a meal, which is provided, and a break. After our meal, we’re back in uniform, parading around the stadium, letting the tailgaters know that it’s nearly time for PREGAME! We run from the tunnel onto Sonny Lubick Field, cheering, playing school songs, and getting the crowd excited for another Rams victory. Throughout the game, we perform in the stands, taking the field once again for our halftime show. After every Rams victory, we play a short post-game show, including our famous version of “Black Betty,” that we’ve renamed “CAM the RAM!” We end our gameday together by singing the CSU Alma Mater. That’s a typical, but anything-but-average game-day for a CSUMBand member!
M,W,F practices are held at the University Center for the Arts (UCA). Some student parking is available on the streets, and the UCA is close enough to easily walk or ride your bike from campus. Carpools are usually organized by each section for game day transportation to Hughes Stadium.
All band members receive one credit for being in the marching band by registering for MU 204. Color Guard, Golden Poms, and Drumline members can elect to receive an additional credit for their sectional time by registering for MU 496I.
We understand that even though we try to schedule our rehearsals in a way that avoids most courses, there are some unavoidable scheduling conflicts. For this reason, we allow all sophomores, juniors, and seniors with an unavoidable class conflict, to miss up to 30 minutes of rehearsal each week. Because most freshman-level courses have many scheduling options, and you are still learning all of the music and drill for the first time, we require that you reserve Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 4-6 p.m., for MU 204.
This likely isn’t a problem! Students rent all large and specialty instruments, including drumline, mellophones, trombones, baritones, and sousaphones. We also have a limited supply of other instruments – just let us know when you fill out your audition registration form.
The CSU Marching Band is grateful to our many supporters. For more information on how you can make a gift to the CSU Marching Band, click here.
We recognize the tremendous effort of our marching band students each year with one of the most substantial marching band scholarships in the country. Awards begin at $500 for new members and increase for each year you are in the band, up to $1700. The incredible funding and support for the band comes from the university administration and the generous support of donor Dame Jackie Erickson.
All marching band students enrolled at ¾ time or above who have their lawful presence requirement approved in RAMWeb will receive a base scholarship of $500.
Returning Marching band students enrolled full time with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher at the beginning of the fall semester will receive an additional: $800 for 2nd year students; $1000 for 3rd year students; $1200 for 4th year students.
First year member: $500 MBPS
Second year member: $500 MBPS + $800 DJ = $1300 total
Third year member: $500 MBPS + $1000 DJ = $1500 total
Fourth year member: $500 MBPS + $1200 DJ = $1700 total
Scholarship recipients must be registered for MU204 Marching Band and a member in good standing when the funds are issued each fall. All marchers need to register for the marching band. Click here to register for an audition or fill out your commitment form