How much time does marching band take up?
The CMB rehearses from 6-8:20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays most weeks, and we add on a Friday rehearsal from 6-8 on game weeks. The marching band is a 2-credit course at the University. Color Guard and Drumline have one additional sectional practice on home game weeks.
But even though that’s less time than my high school band, I’m worried I won’t have enough time to keep up with my classes AND band. Isn’t that right?
Don’t worry, you’re not the first to think this. However, you actually have a lot more time on your hands in college than you think you will. You spend less time in class than in high school, and even though the academics are harder, you’ll have time for school, CMB, other activities, and a social life!
Where does the band practice?
Last year the band celebrated the opening of The Hunter Smith Band Building. This $12.7 million building is now the new home for the band and has two levels of rehearsal space and uniform and instrument storage! Most rehearsals are held at Carr’s Hill Field, a million-dollar turf field also built just for the CMB.
How many games will I perform at as a member of the CMB?
We perform at all home games. If the football team is invited to post-season play, the band will travel with them to a bowl game. In 2011, we traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to support the team in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. In addition to these, you also have the opportunity to travel to voluntary away games with the band if you wish. The CMB has also performed at bowl games in Nashville, Boise, and Jacksonville.
Wow, that sounds like it will get expensive with all that travel. How much do I have to pay to be a member of the CMB?
Actually, all travel is paid for by the CMB – including all meals, hotel, transportation, and more! For the whole season, you will only have to pay $40, which is the cost of shoes and gloves. Everything else – band camp, travel, clothes, uniform, instrument, etc – is taken care of by the University!
Did you say free clothes?!
Yes! In addition to the use of a fantastic uniform for the season, each member gets classic CMB shirts, sweatpants, a baseball hat, a winter cap, and mesh shorts – to keep!
OK, OK, that sounds great! But I don’t have my own instrument – will I need to rent one?
Nope! The CMB provides top-of-the-line instruments for each and every member – from piccolos to percussion. In addition to looking top-notch, this also helps us stay in tune!
This sounds great, but how is the CMB different from high school band?
The CMB is a totally different experience from high school band. Our attitude is best described as “relaxed intensity.” We want each and every member to have a great and fun experience, while putting on a fantastic show each time. Each and every member is in the CMB on their own accord, and no one is forced to join. This means that the attitude of the band is great & everyone works hard, and we have a fun, efficient, and enjoyable practice environment. Also, we don’t go to any competitions. Our focus is completely on providing different shows to entertain the fans at football games!
Wait – did you say different shows?
Yes! The CMB performs a totally different show, with new music and new drill, at each football game. This way no one gets bored playing the same music for three months, and there’s a show for every taste. We also perform a pre-game show at each game with traditional school songs to fire up the crowd before the game.
That sounds great, but who runs all of this? Do you have band parents?
Student leadership is one of the central tenets of our band and our University. We have over 170 student leaders: Section Leaders and Drill Instructors are responsible for teaching their sections music and drill, and the student support staff runs the logistics of the CMB – everything from uniform maintenance, gameday setup, attendance, librarians, equipment, the website, the end-of-season banquet, historians, and the band office. In addition, student drum majors lead the whole band, both on and off the field. Students really take ownership of the band and make sure that the whole organization runs smoothly.
What about band camp? When is that?
Band Camp for the CMB starts a week before move-in day. This year, members will come on Saturday, August 15. We rehearse three times a day – full band drill rehearsal in the morning, student-led sectionals inside in the afternoons, and full band music and drill rehearsal in the evenings. Each night, the sections compete in a variety of competitions for a prize at the end of camp. These range from a scavenger hunt, to bowling, to pool nigh, to a skit night, and represent some of the best memories for most members. During camp, we’ll learn the pre-game show and the first game show. Oh, and did we mention camp is held at the Doubletree Hotel in Charlottesville? All expenses and meals are taken care of by the band.
Wow, that sounds great! Sign me up! How can I audition?
Each new member of the CMB will be asked to schedule a brief “Directors Meeting” during the summer (before band camp). This meeting provides our staff a chance to meet each and every new member in person before the school year begins. During the meeting we will hear a brief playing audition and answer any questions you have about band camp or the season. Following each meeting a student will be told if he/she has earned a spot in the band. They will receive an invitation to our band camp in August similar to this. Drumline and Colorguard members will audition at our precamp on July 20. If you are an incoming first-year student who would like to audition for the CMB, contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
And what other bands are on Grounds, besides the CMB?
The University Wind Ensemble is the premiere band here, and students must audition to be a member. If you’re interested, email Mr. Pease to set up an audition. This group meets both semesters. The University Concert Band meets only in the spring semester, but you don’t have to audition for it if you’re in the CMB. During the winter and spring, CMB’ers also have the option to participate in the HOOps Band (for basketball) and the Olympic Sports Band, which plays for multiple different sports, including lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, and even crew and wrestling! Each of the Olympic Sports games are paid per diem.
I’ve heard something about scholarships. What’s that all about?
Scholarships currently aid all of the student leaders, in addition to percussion and low brass players. The band is currently offering scholarships based on seniority in the program, instrumentation, talent, and support of the band.
I have another question that isn’t on here. How can I contact you?
Feel free to call the office at (434) 982-5347 at anytime, or stop by! We’re located in the Hunter Smith Band Building on Culbreth Road. Also, you can email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!