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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bronco Marching Band all about?

The Bronco Marching Band is made up of nearly 300 motivated, hard working students representing almost every discipline on campus.  We believe in excellence and family.  The BMB performs at all WMU home football games as well as select away games, depending on the season. The band has always been a major part of WMU and the Kalamazoo area. Each year, the band gets better and better. This is done with hours of practice, awesome student leadership, a wonderful staff, and great direction from Dr. Montgomery. Even with all the hard work that each BMB member contributes, it’s still all about fun and supporting Western Michigan University.

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I’ve heard that marching band takes up too much time. What is the commitment?

Actually, it takes up less time than you think. Band camp is the most intense, with rehearsals running from 8 in the morning until 9 at night. It sounds hard, but this is when we get to know each other as well as get the hardest work done. Once classes begin our rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Thursday, 4:00 to 5:40 pm. We also rehearse at the same time on Friday of game weeks.  Even so, many of our students also maintain a part time job and have over a 3.0 GPA.

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When is Band Camp?

Band Camp dates are always the week before Fall semester classes begin which is usually the last week of August since classes begin after Labor Day. Check the website in late Spring for the exact dates. For a full schedule for the current season, click here.

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Who Can Join?

Any student at WMU and other colleges in the Kalamazoo area are welcome in the BMB. Many people are surprised to hear that the majority (over 75%) of our members are in majors other than music. In fact, one of our recent drum majors was a biology major!

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I’m a KVCC Student but interested in being in the BMB. How can I join?

The BMB welcomes students from KVCC and other regional colleges to enroll and participate in the band.  Enrollment as a “guest student” at WMU is required. Click Here to see the procedure to enroll.  We love having KVCC students in the band so be sure to get enrolled!

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I hear there are auditions, what are these like?

Drumline auditions happen in May and color guard auditions will happen in August. The audition process is explained at our pre-audition workshops.  We strongly encourage your attendance at the pre-audition workshop. The Drumline pre-audition workshop is normally in March while the color guard workshop is normally in late July. Registration for the pre-auditions and auditions are on the Schedule Page.

Horn Line auditions are held in the first few days of band camp and will consist of scales and performing excerpts from our pre-game music. These auditions are evaluated by School of Music faculty and BMB staff. Music will be available in the summer.

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So, what if I don’t make the band?

In most years 99% (if not all) of those auditioning make the band. The most competitive parts of the band are in our drumline and color guard sections. Due to the more specialized skills and demands required of these sections and limited amounts of equipment, there are times when not everyone auditioning makes the band. Our goal is to make sure that you have the skills to be successful performing under the demands of what is expected of the BMB. The worst thing that can happen is you get to meet hundreds of other Broncos before classes begin and you get to move into your residence hall early!

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Something this fun must cost money, right?

Your expenses will include the price of a one-credit class, wind pants, shorts, black shoes, gloves, and socks – as well as some meals during band camp. The BMB picks up the tab for housing of dorm students and most lunches during camp. Uniforms, music, and in some cases even instruments are provided. Items like BMB t-shirts and jackets are optional. Band camp attendance in August is mandatory. The balance of your contribution will be hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm.

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How do I get information about the season?

A newsletter will be mailed in late July with specific information regarding band camp and the upcoming season. This newsletter will also contain a confirmation form which lets us know of your intent to be in the BMB and reserves your space at band camp. Please complete the confirmation form and return it on the due date.

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What is the attendance policy?

Marching band is a one-credit course offered through the university. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances until the end of the fall semester is required.

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How long is a season for the BMB?

The season begins with band camp, and extends through the end of the first of the semester including potential bowl games.

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I have more questions about Band, how can I find out more?

Call: The BMB Office at 269.387.4702
Email: broncoband@wmich.edu
Fax: 269.387.2785

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Okay, so how do I get in?

First, when you register for fall classes at WMU, include Marching Band, listed under “MUS 1090,” as one of your classes.

Then, get ready for the time of your life beginning in August, with the Bronco Marching Band Pre-Season Camp.

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