What is the difference between Marching Band and Varsity Band?

Marching Band is offered in fall semester, and Varsity Band is the spring semester course offering. Enrollment in Varsity Band is limited to those who have successfully auditioned and previously participated in fall Marching Band. Learn more about the specific courses here.

What is the weekly time commitment?

Rehearsal times for each ensemble are listed here. During the academic year, there are no required extra rehearsals during the week. Game day rehearsals are required. During the spring semester, the Varsity Band often performs at athletic events or other events. The expectation is that members of the athletic bands program will perform for several events throughout the academic year.

Can students participate in Marching/Varsity Band as well as one of the concert ensembles during the same semester?

Many students do participate in both. Any scheduling conflicts are resolved on an individual basis during audition days prior to the start of fall semester.


What is the instrumentation of the UW Marching Band?

The band’s instrumentation includes: clarinets, alto saxophones, trumpets, flugelhorns, mellophones, trombones, euphoniums, sousaphones, and drumline. The UW Marching Band does not have piccolos, flutes, front line percussion, color guard, or twirlers.

Are school instruments available for band members to use?

All members of the UW Marching Band perform on University-owned instruments. University instruments are assigned upon successful audition into the band.


What can I do to prepare for a successful Badger Band audition?

Maintain active membership in your high school band program, and practice your instrument consistently. During the months prior to auditions, exercise regularly to prepare for marching fundamentals. Incoming first-year UW-Madison students can attend a Summer Clinic to learn more.

Do I need to have previous marching experience to audition for the Badger Band?

High school or other previous marching band experience is not a requirement to audition for the Badger Band. Fundamentals of the Badger Band’s marching style are taught during “Reg Week” (August auditions), and additional instruction is available during the band’s Summer Clinics.

What is “Reg Week”?

Reg Week occurs in August prior to the start of fall semester. All returning band members and auditioning prospective students come to campus early to learn techniques and rehearse together. Prospective students complete their auditions during this time.