CSU Marching Band
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 on national bowl game broadcasts for the past four years. 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 numbers more than 265 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 more than 117 years, CSU Marching Band members exemplify the “Proud to be a CSU Ram” motto.
According to Ann Gill, emeritus dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the band is at the heart of CSU traditions. “Fans near and far love the Marching Band,” Dean Gill said. “They appeal to, and honor, generations of Rams and Aggies.”
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By Tony Phifer, CSU External Relations Rachel Lana loves to play the clarinet, but when she developed tendinitis in high school from playing the instrument she wondered what she could do to treat the painful condition. Beyond physical therapy, the only treatment advice she got was to simply stop playing the clarinet and rest. She […]
- 8/26 - Home vs. Oregon State
- 9/1 - Rocky Mountain Showdown
- 9/9 - Home vs. Abilene Christian
- 10/13 - Homecoming Parade
- 10/14 - Home vs. Nevada
- 10/18 - CBA Regionals Performance
- 10/28 - Home vs. Air Force
- 11/11 - Home vs. Boise State
- 11/18 - Home vs. San José State
- 11/30 - Parade of Lights Preview
- 12/1 - 9News Parade of Lights
* subject to change
Please Note: If you are planning to march in Fall 2017, read below for an important announcement about our preseason rehearsal schedule.
We are all really excited about the plans for the fall, and especially the plans for game day and the new stadium. With a new space and set-up, we’ll have a lot to learn during our preseason (band camp) rehearsals, including some time in the stadium to make sure that we ALL know how a complete game day works well in advance. Especially with the important performances that we’re involved with during our camp week, and the early first home game this year, we’re going to need a little extra rehearsal time. With that preface, please read the following carefully, as it is different than previous years:
Thursday, August 10 – All drumline, guard, and student leadership team report
Saturday, August 12 – New members report (dorms available for move-in)
Sunday, August 13 – All members report (returning students living in Residence Halls can move-in this morning)
This rehearsal schedule allows us the time we’ll need to be absolutely ready to impress every person in the new stadium on opening day. Please make sure you’ve updated your calendars to reflect this.
- 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
- The Denver/9News Parade of Lights
- Bowl Game!
Marching Percussion and Colorguard only: All of the dorms will open on the Saturday before camp 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 the Sunday before camp 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 mid July (exact dates will be communicated) in order to avoid a $10 per day late fee. If you have any questions or to confirm your early check in, please contact Anthony Lederhos at Anthony.Lederhos@colostate.edu.
One of the highlights of every CSU Marching Band performance is the fantastic colorguard! 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 colorguard 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!
Date to be announced in early 2018
You must attend the audition date to tryout for the CSU Colorguard. 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.
In order to get ahead of the learning process, the colorguard 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.
Detailed schedule coming soon.
Golden Poms and Colorguard Coach
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.
- Drumline audition information packet.
- New member and returning member audition registration.
- Drumline auditions will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 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 10.
- 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 2018 season. Sessions are held in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall, UCA.
2018 dates to be announced.
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.
Fall 2018 dates to be announced.
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.
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 the CSU Marching Band Presidential Scholarship. All marching band students enrolled at Colorado State University who meet university requirements will receive a scholarship of $500 for the fall semester.
Membership in the CSU Marching Band entitles students to audition for our pep bands. Each member of these ensembles has an additional scholarship. These scholarship groups have limited instrumentation that perform at all of the men and women’s home basketball games, a select number of women's home volleyball games, and other university events.