Frequently Asked Questions about Marching Band
Who Can Participate?
All students enrolled at the University at Buffalo are eligible to participate in the "Thunder of the East" Marching Band.
All students enrolled in the SUNY System or attending local colleges are eligible to participate in the "Thunder of the East" Marching Band.
Do I have to be a music major to join the band?
No! Of the all the students involved, more than 98% of the "Thunder of the East" Marching Band major in areas other than music.
Will I have enough time to participate in marching band as a freshman?
Absolutely! On average, the Marching Band rehearses 6 hours per week, which is often MUCH LESS time commitment than students spent rehearsing in their high school bands. We are able to work around your class conflicts with rehearsals.
Marching Band students maintain a better than 3.0 GPA! For most weeks, the marching band rehearses three times a week (MWF) for two hours a day (6:30-8:30 pm). Students rarely drop marching band because of time commitment. Our students see marching band as their time to make great music, take a break from the lecture halls and labs, and be among close friends.
How many performances does the Marching Band have?
This year, the "Thunder of the East" Marching Band will perform at all 6 home football games. The Marching Band will also perform in the annual NYSFBC Championships in Syracuse, NY. The State Championships features all high school competitive field bands. We also perform in support of on campus and community events as well as exhibition performances at local high schools.
What is the difference between the "Thunder of the East" Marching Band and my high school band?
There are no competitions for college bands, so our main goals are to entertain the audience and support the UB athletic teams. We perform many times throughout the semester, with music ranging from jazz to rock to pop and hip-hop. If you think you've had enough of marching band, you'll find the "Thunder of the East" to be an exciting change of pace!
How do I register for Marching Band as a class?
Inform your advisor you wish to be involved in Marching Band and sign up for MUS 130 during course registration. Marching Band is offered as a two credit course.
What if I have a class conflict with Marching Band?
If a class conflict cannot be avoided, don't assume that you cannot participate! We understand that there are many lab and course conflicts with marching band during the week. If you have exhausted all other scheduling options, we do permit first-year members to miss a rehearsal with the permission of the Director of Athletic Bands (work and other personal conflicts are not permissible). Permission is granted on a case-by-case basis.
As a Marching Band member, how much should I expect to pay?
There is a fee to cover the cost of purchasing marching band shoes for you. ($30). There is also a small fee (around $5) if you wish to rent a locker in the Music Hall. The Marching Band pays for all travel-related expenses.
Are there scholarships available to members of the marching band?
Yes! Music performance scholarships are available to marching band students of any major, and are awarded by audition. These scholarships are most often awarded to the best instrumentalists and performers of each section. Auditions for scholarships take place during band camp. Students interested in a scholarship are encouraged to complete the online scholarship application and submit it for scholarship consideration. For more information check out the scholarship tab on our webpage.
Are there auditions?
Currently, we hold auditions for membership only for the Dance Team. These are held during two audition dates each spring semester. All Instrumentalists, Drumline, Colorguard, and Twirlers need only to register for band camp to become a member.
What is the audition process?
No formal music audition is required (except Dazzler Dance Team); however, new members will be asked to play for part placement during Band Camp. New students will be asked to sight read and play scales. Also during Band Camp, prospective members will participate in a number of sessions designed to teach marching fundamentals and band procedures.
Is everyone who registers for Marching Band guaranteed a spot?
Yes! All persons are accepted into the "Thunder of the East" Note: the Dance Team "UB Dazzlers" are by audition only.
When should I register for Marching Band?
It is ultimately up to the new student to decide whether to register before or after attending their orientation session. The sooner your register the easier it is for us to prepare for your arrival and placement in the band.