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Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of The Sound that Lights the South.
Marching Band FAQ's
Who is eligible to be in the Marching Band?
Membership in the UWG Marching Band "The Sound that Lights the South" is open to all current and registered UWG students - regardless of major!
How do I join?
1) Register on the form on this page (when available) AND
2) Register for MUSC 2720 or 4720 via BanWeb.
Can members of DCI/DCA corps still march at UWG?
Yes! Members of Phantom Regiment, The Cavaliers, Spirit of Atlanta, and many other drum corps have marched and are currently marching with the UWG Marching Band.
Where will I live when I arrive at Band Camp?
Students who will live in campus dorms will move into the dorm room that has been assigned to them by Residence Life for the upcoming school year. See the camp calendar for your appropriate check-in time. Several staff members will be on hand to assist you in your move. Students should bring all belongings needed for the school year.
What if I don't have an instrument for Marching Band?
The University of West Georgia owns many of the instruments that a student might need for Marching Band. We issue mellophones, sousaphones, and percussion equipment to all students in those sections of the band. Other woodwind and brass instruments are available on a more limited basis. Preference will be given to those who turn in their camp information forms first.
What is the Marching Band's instrumentation?
The UWG Marching Band consists of the following: Flutes/Piccolos, Clarinets, Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophones, Trumpets, Horns (Mellophones), Trombones, Euphoniums/Baritones, Tubas, and Percussion. Color Guard membership is determined by the visual coordinator during a series of prior auditions. The Drumline holds auditions on the first day of camp for instrument placement.
Are there majorettes in the Marching Band?
Yes! In the past we have had as many as three feature twirlers; if you’d like to audition for a spot please send either Dr. Byrd or Dr. Self a videotape or digital recording of one of your performances.
Does Band Camp ever interfere with New Student Orientation?
Most band members will complete orientation during June. However, if a student must participate in orientation activities during Band Camp, they are permitted to do so. It is the student’s responsibility to inform his/her section leader and the graduate assistant of any conflicts between Band Camp and orientation. Please make sure to ask your section leader and other veterans about what orientation activities you should attend.
How time consuming is Marching Band?
We rehearse for a week during Band Camp to solidify the show. Once classes begin, the Marching Band rehearses Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on a weekly basis as well as a rehearsal block prior to home football games. While band does require a time commitment, it is rare that a student’s academic progress is impaired. Band members tend to be among the most academically and socially adjusted students.
Can I be in other music ensembles as well as the Marching/Concert Bands?
YES!!! Many students, both music majors and non-majors, participate in several ensembles in addition to the bands, including Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, and a multitude of smaller chamber ensembles.
Do I have to be in both Marching and Concert Bands?
While there is significant overlap between the two groups, there is not a requirement that students play in both bands. However, students who do both often find that their college musical experience is greatly enriched. We have two different auditioned concert bands: the Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Band. Both groups consist of music and non-music majors and continue to perform advanced collegiate level music.
When are auditions for the concert bands?
Auditions for Spring Concert Ensembles (Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band) will take place late in the fall semester. Application materials will be posted in late October/early November. Auditions will consist of orchestral/band excerpts, scales, and sight-reading.
Can I perform in both Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band?
Absolutely! Many of our students perform in both. Often students will play their primary instrument in Wind Ensemble and a secondary instrument in Symphony Band. The only requirement is to pass a successful audition on each instrument.
Can I be involved in other campus activities and be in the band?
Of course! However, because the Marching Band and concert bands are registered classes, students are not permitted to miss rehearsals or performances for other campus or non-campus activities. This includes other music department activities.
Does the Marching Band travel?
Yes, the band attends an away football game (schedule permitting) and appears as the guest band at three or four high school band festivals each year. These short trips provide an opportunity for the band to be heard and seen by a wider audience and allow students to spend enjoyable time off campus with each other.
What marching style does the band use?
The UWG Marching Band is composed of students from many different marching backgrounds and styles, ranging from those who have never marched before to those whose high school bands were competitive. As a result, the band’s style attempts to meet the needs of all students who participate, and that allows for a variety of shows to be performed throughout the season. A glide step is used since it allows for proper playing of all instruments and drill is written in a corps style which is slightly modified to allow for quick and relatively easy learning. There is no cause for concern if a student comes from a different style of marching; students adjust quickly and easily with generous assistance from rank leaders, drum majors, and other leaders in the band.
So… I hear that the band dances?
Yes! One of the things that makes The Sound That Lights The South so unique compared to other bands in the Southeast is our inclusion of a dance routine for every halftime performance. This is a trademark of our band and something that brings a lot of fun to members and audiences alike. If you’ve never danced in a marching show before, DON’T WORRY… it’s new for the majority of our first-year members!
Do I have to memorize my marching band music?
All music for the pregame and field shows will be performed from memory. Music to be played in the stands is issued in a flip-folder and brought to every game.
Does the band compete?
No. This is one of the biggest differences between college and high school band. Our function is to provide entertainment and support to the athletic programs and other aspects of the University of West Georgia. Each fall, we perform as the exhibition band for a limited number of band competitions and festivals. Occasionally, we are invited to perform at pro sports games and other local and even international engagements.
Are there other athletic bands at UWG?
In addition to the UWG Marching Band, the UWG Basketball Pep Band, “Wolfgang,” performs at all home basketball games in the spring. The Pep Band is offered as a for-credit class in the spring.
Conducted by Dr. Josh Byrd, The University of West Georgia Wind Ensemble is a select instrumental wind and percussion ensemble open to all UWG students by audition. As the premier wind band at West Georgia the ensemble is comprised of the most advanced woodwind, brass, and percussion players at the university. This ensemble performs a wide range of literature and regularly features some of the finest guest soloists and composers in the southeast. The Wind Ensemble meets during both fall and spring semesters. Audition materials can be found on the band’s website at uwgbands.com.
The Symphonic Band is conducted by Dr. Cale Self and serves as a non-auditioned concert band open to all students, faculty, and staff at West Georgia. The Symphonic Band meets during the spring and performs two concerts over the course of the semester.
The University of West Georgia Marching Band - The Sound that Lights the South - is open to all UWG wind, percussion, and guard students on campus. As a class, all students participating in marching band receive credit for this ensemble. The Marching Band performs in a variety of venues including home games, select away games, and area marching band exhibitions. The Marching Band is a unique ensemble that combines Drum Corps style marching techniques with Show Band elements for pregame and halftime shows.
The Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dr. Dan Bakos, performs on campus and on regional tours. This big band ensemble serves as the resident band for the annual Sunbelt Jazz Festival, featuring clinic sessions and performances by notable world-class artists such as Bobby Shew, Chris Vadala, Jerry Coker, Vincent DiMartino, Steve Weist, Rob McConnell, Gary Foster, Lew Soloff, Ignacio Berroa, and others. Auditions are held each semester. Smaller jazz combos are also available.
The basketball Pep Band - The Wolfgang - performs for the men’s and women’s home basketball games. The ensemble is open to all qualified students at UWG but seating is limited to 36 members (preference will be given to current members of the Marching Band). Instrumentation includes woodwinds, brass, percussion, and electric bass.