Drum Line

About the drum line

The Bronco Drum Line is a big part of football game days at Western Michigan University. Each year, the Bronco Drum Line strives to reach a goal of excellence in performance. Being a member of the drum line requires a strong dedication to individual work, and a trustworthiness to be personally accountable for your own excellence.

Membership

The Bronco Drum Line is an ensemble-class in the School of Music open to students meeting the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of the audition procedure.
  • Official enrollment at Western Michigan University or admission to the dual enrollment program with a qualifying institution.

Membership in the marching band and the drum line is open to all interested students. Like all other band ensembles, marching band is an academic class taken for credit. All interested students are invited to audition for the band. The majority of marching band members are from other academic disciplines.

Due to the competitive nature of the drum line activity, a limited supply of equipment, and a large number of people interested, membership is by audition only.

At the start of the auditions you are expected to have digested all the material in the drum line course packet. This material includes exercises, drum cheers, stand cheers and cadence series, as well as all pre-game material. More information is available on our drum line audition information page.

Alternates

For students who do not pass the audition but demonstrate promise as a future member, and a desire to learn and improve, we have an alternate program. The WMU drum line alternate program is designed to provide percussionists an opportunity to improve their rudimental drumming skills by association with the WMU Bronco Drum Line and its instructional staff. If a position on the drum line becomes vacated during the marching band season, alternates will be prepared to fill that position pending a successful audition with other drum line alternates.

Alternates will:

  • Enroll in the class and receive credit like all other members.
  • Be in attendance of all Bronco drum line rehearsals and performances not including sectionals (though attending extra Bronco drum line rehearsals outside of regularly scheduled rehearsals in an observer capacity is encouraged).
  • Receive instruction from Bronco Marching Band drum staff.
  • Prepare all Bronco drum line repertoire.
  • Learn pre-game and halftime drill in a “shadow” position on a rotational basis as determined by staff during band camp and class time rehearsals.
  • Rehearse on an individual and small group basis during regularly scheduled class times.
  • Fill vacant spots in the drum line during rehearsals and games as appropriate and determined by staff.
  • Be fitted for a uniform in the event the opportunity to join the drum line to fill a vacancy presents itself.
  • Assist staff with drum line logistics by facilitating maintenance and transportation of equipment.
  • Attend morning Game Day rehearsals dressed in Bronco Band rehearsal “secondary” uniforms ready to participate in rehearsal if necessary
  • Attend all WMU home and away games where the Bronco Marching Band is performing dressed in professional attire (not in a Bronco Marching Band uniform), as determined by staff.

Alternates will not:

  • Participate in Game Day warm ups or performances with the Bronco drum line.
  • Perform in parades or the Season in Review Concert.

For additional information about the drum line please visit the frequently asked page, or use our Contact Us form to send us your question.

Register for drum line Audition