Drumline Frequently Asked Questions

Specifically, what kind of sticks do the snares use?

We use Innovative Percussion FS-SG (Shane Gwaltney) model sticks.

Back To Top

What will the auditions be based on?

Technique, sound quality and rhythmic consistency. You do not need to prepare an individual audition piece. Potential members will prove these skills by implementing them by playing material from the packet in a group ensemble setting. Individual auditions will be used if needed.

Back To Top

How do I get music to practice?

You will be required to purchase the music in the form of our annual course packet. The cost of the packet is $20. Inside of the packet you will have all of the exercises and standard drumline repertoire.

Order information for the 2015 BMB Drumline Course Pack

Back To Top

How big is the drumline?

Our goal is 7 to 9 snares, 4 to 5 quads, 7 to 9 cymbals, and 5 to 7 basses. Drumline spots are awarded to members based on playing, learning, and marching ability.

Back To Top

Did you actually use tri-toms?

We did have a tri-tom line from 2002 to 2011. In 2001, we had 12 snares, 7 quads, 8 basses, and 12 cymbals. We couldn’t make those lines any bigger, so we decided to add a tri-tom section. The voicing fit between the basses and quads.

Back To Top

Will the drumline interfere with my school work?

Rehearsals are scheduled at a time of day when few other classes meet and little class time is lost due to travel. With careful planning you should have time to participate in the drumline. As with any college activity, you will be responsible for keeping track of your time and keeping up with all of your academic work. The average GPA in the Bronco Marching Band is above a 3.0. It is very possible to do well in school and participate in the BMB.

Back To Top

What do I bring to auditions?

The Audition Camp will be an 9 hour indoor/outdoor rehearsal and some of the sections during the audition process will be outdoors for extended periods of time. Please prepare accordingly.

Items to bring:

  • Sticks/Mallets
  • Three ring binder with music
  • Pencil
  • Drum Pad
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch or money for lunch. There are many restaurants are located nearby
  • Sun Block
  • Sunglasses
  • Sneakers
  • Ear plugs

You do not need to bring your own instrument.

Back To Top

Who can join the drumline?

The bronco drumline 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

Back To Top

What if I don’t get offered a spot on my instrument of choice?

You can either choose to audition for another instrument or you may be offered a spot in our Alternate Program.

Back To Top

What is the Alternate Program?

The WMU Drumline Alternate Program is designed to provide percussionists an opportunity to improve their rudimental drumming skills by association with the WMU Bronco Drumline and its instructional staff. If a position on the drumline becomes vacated during the marching band season, alternates will be prepared to fill that position pending a successful audition with other drumline alternates.

Back To Top

Who is eligible for the Drumline Alternate Program?

Students who attend drumline auditions for the current season that are NOT selected to be on the drumline but ARE runners up will be invited to join this program.

Back To Top

Do I have to be a music major to be in the drumline?

Membership in the marching band and the drumline 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 auditions for the band. The majority of marching band members are from other academic disciplines.

Back To Top

What is the drumline’s schedule? How often do you rehearse?

During the marching band season (Fall semester), the drumline rehearses with the marching band from 4:00 – 5:40pm, Monday through Friday. These rehearsals are mandatory and are part of the requirement for the academic class. Each sub section in the drumline also has a once a week, 2 hour rehearsal, at a time chosen by the members of that subsection. On game days there are morning rehearsals which last for about 3 -4 hours, as well as a warm up prior to the march to the stadium.

Back To Top