May 22, 2017

2014 SMB Auditions

The Spartan Marching Band is open to all university students by audition only. You must be regularly admitted to Michigan State University in order to audition; students enrolled at MSU through the Lifelong Education program are not eligible for participation. You do not need to be a music major to qualify for the Spartan Marching Band.

You may e-mail the Director of the Spartan Marching Band, Professor John Madden at with any questions related to Spartan Marching Band auditions.

All auditions (regardless of section) must be confirmed through the MSU band office at (517) 355-7654. The SMB has scheduled several audition days for 2014. They are:


The instrumental audition should consist of one prepared selection involving contrasting styles (3 to 5 minutes in length). A piece that you might perform at a “Solo and Ensemble Festival” would be appropriate. You do not need an accompanist. Please also prepare your major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. There will be brief sight-reading.

Auditions are Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

“Out of state” instrumentalists (or those who can not attend the audition day) may submit a DVD (video and sound) of your solo material and scales. Mail DVD by June 7, 2014 to:

Professor John T. Madden
Director, Spartan Marching Band
118 School of Music
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1043


2014 MSU Drumline auditions will be held on Saturday, April 26, and Saturday, May 10, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. More information can be found on the drumline website.

Questions about drumline auditions should be directed to Professor Jon Weber, MSU drumline instructor.

Color Guard

Auditions are Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Location: Band Hall in Demonstration Hall

The SMBCG will hold one (1) audition day for the 2014 SMB season. All prospective members will experience a morning group class in movement and flag that includes fundamentals along with choreography. After lunch, there will be a brief review and then the audition will proceed in small groups.

What to wear:
Please wear darker clothes that you move well in and are able to properly show your skills. Ladies, a hair tie is expected to keep your hair out of your face.

What to bring:
Water, gloves and a great attitude! We will provide all equipment.

What we are looking for:
We are looking at grace, poise, attention to detail, athleticism, connection of body with equipment, quick adaptability to style + technique, strong performance, strength, consistency, attitude. The desirable candidate will have all of the above attributes or the right mix along with a strong desire/passion to improve and grow into the skill set necessary to succeed at Color Guard at MSU.

Video Auditions
Those who are unable to attend auditions with a reason deemed acceptable by the SMBCG instructor or SMB Director are able to submit a video with that demonstrates the following requirements:
Movement: 60 second routine that demonstrates basic knowledge of movement fundamentals including moving across the floor
o Drop spins
o Peggy spins
o Thumb flips
o Pull hits
o Pop, Pole (crank), Prayer, Wind-­-up, 45 tosses
o 60 second routines

To submit, please upload to Youtube and mark as ‘unlisted’. Send unlisted link to

Deadline: Friday 6/13/14 @ Midnight – This deadline is non-­-negotiable. We will not accept late submissions.

Questions about Color Guard auditions should be directed to Mr. Peter Eichler, Spartan Color Guard instructor.

Big Ten Flags

Auditions are Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Big Ten Flag questions should be directed to section leader, Shannon Black (

Brass and Saxophone Music Majors

If you plan to be a music-major, your College of Music audition will satisfy for automatic membership in the Spartan Marching Band (except for percussionists). Feel free to call (517) 355-7654 to ask any questions related to this subject. Music majors will receive a letter from the Band Office in early May. If you would like to participate in the SMB as a music major, simply fill out the form in the early May mailing and return it to the MSU Band office. You will then be included in our July mailing for all new SMB members.

Flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon music majors must audition for the SMB, on your SMB instrument of choice. These instruments are not in the SMB instrumentation.

Directions and Audition Appointments

All auditions (regardless of section) must be confirmed through the MSU band office. Contact Charlene Wagner, SMB Administrative Assistant at (517) 355-7654 to secure an audition. Or, email her at

Note: Be sure to leave plenty of time for parking, as finding a spot can sometimes be difficult!

Door to door directions from mapquest. Enter your address in the start section, then press “get directions” at the bottom of the page.
Campus Map (the MB is at B-11).
Map to the Music Building.

More questions about the audition process? Be sure to visit the SMB audition FAQ page.