November 27, 2015

SMB Audition – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Do I have to be admitted to MSU in order to participate in the Spartan Marching Band? Yes. Note: Admission to Lifelong Education is not an option for participation in the Spartan Marching Band.

2. Is the SMB a class? Yes, members of the SMB must sign up for MUS 114 and pay for one credit. This is not optional.

3. What do I prepare? What should I play? A 2 to 4 minute piece exhibiting contrasting styles. These styles should show off what you do best. You have a few minutes to “WOW” the adjudicator. Preparing jazz or classical styles is fine. Solo and Ensemble pieces work very well. Remember that this is an audition, not a recital, so you will not play through ALL of the prepared selections. The adjudicator will probably cut you off, or ask you to skip around a bit. Selections do NOT need to be accompanied.

4. When will I play? We will meet in room 120 of the MSU Music Building (West Circle Drive) at 9:00 am for a brief meeting. At approximately 9:30 am, (a sign up sheet will circulate) you will begin to play for individual adjudicators (sign up in 5 minute intervals). No one should be here later than 1:00 PM.

5. Is there a marching audition? Yes. Upon completion of your playing audition, our marching staff will do a brief clinic (outside), presenting you with some basic SMB fundamentals and concepts. Then, you will participate in some marching exercises. Your “marching skills aptitude” score will be calculated into your overall audition score. Please dress accordingly. Running shoes (sneekers) suggested.

6. Will I be interviewed? The adjudicator will talk with you and ask questions. Just be yourself. Be upbeat, positive, confident, etc.

7. When do I find out if I made the band? A mailing goes out on July 1st (approx).

8. When would SMB start in the fall/summer? Spartan Band Preseason Drills (band camp) begin here on the MSU campus on Monday, August 19th. If you earn a spot in the band, you will receive permission to move in to YOUR dorm room early (just like a football player). You will live in your room for the duration of Preseason. You will need to pay a small fee for each day you stay in your room before your regular dorm contract begins, but your meals will all be paid for/provided by the band.

9. How much practice/rehearsal is there? The SMB’s preseason begins on August 19th and finishes on August 26. Classes begin on the 28th of August. Our regular rehearsals begin that day and are from 4:30 to 6:00 PM (Mon–Fri). An additional “sit down” music rehearsal is held on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Gameday rehearsals usually begin at 7:30 am.

10. Are there sectionals? Yes, on an average of twice per week (Wed and Fri) from 4:00 PM to 4:25 PM.

11. What do I need to pay for? The class credit, your band jacket (approx. $125), white gloves and band shoes ($35-40), your season-long uniform dry cleaning (approx. $60-75), various SMB gear/t-shirts/etc ($20), and maintenance of your personal instrument.

12. Will I be given an instrument to use? Yes, if you play mellophone, baritone or tuba. Silver trombones, trumpets, and saxes are issued for game-day use only. Trumpets, trombones and Saxes must provide their own instrument for practice. No cornets may be used in practice or performance. Personal practice trombones may NOT have F-attachments.

13. Isn’t the Spartan Marching Band just for music majors? NO. Only 30 to 40 of the band’s 300 students are studying music as a major. Otherwise, students from all across the university’s academic offerings enjoy performing in the Spartan Band.

14. Do I need to make an appointment for my audition? YES. Please call 517-355-7654 and ask for Charlene Wagner. Charlene is the Band Office Secretary. She will take your information, and put you on the list of those we expect to attend the audition.

15. Where do I park on June 8? In the North Spartan Stadium gated lot. It is a 5 minute walk to the Music Building.

16. How many positions are open in the band? Those #’s will be discussed at the June 8 meeting.

Other Questions? Email Professor Madden at: