The following e-mail recently went out to students with a background or interest in music:
Hello from the UNH Wildcat Marching Band!
This email contains information about ALL the Department of Music ensembles, but is primarily about marching band since it’s the only ensemble that you need to commit to before school starts.
[We apologize if you receive this more than once; we don’t want to miss anyone!]
It is time to start looking forward to this fall and the 2016 edition of the Wildcat Marching Band! Whether you are a returning member, new member, or still thinking about it, this e-mail will have lots of information for you. Please read on!
First off, please bookmark our website at http://bands.unh.edu/ and join our Facebook group. These will be updated throughout the summer with information about all of the UNH Bands. The WMB in particular uses the bands website as a communication hub – it has all of our forms, calendars, and other information. One of the most useful pages is the Forms Page.
Why should I join the Wildcat Marching Band?
Members of the marching band say it’s one of the best decisions they made as an incoming freshman! To see some reasons why, check out our brand new recruiting video . Also see Top Ten Reasons to Join the Wildcat Marching Band which we also turned into a more generic Buzzfeed list .
2016 Season Highlights
See the website for a current calendar for the upcoming season. Here are some things we’re especially looking forward to:
- The show – What Happens in Vegas…
- The cannon lives on for Overture 1812!
- 8th Annual Cat Pack Kick-Off event – August 29th
- HOSTING the New England Collegiate Marching Band Festival – October 16th
- Band Day! – October 29th
- UNH Sesquicentennial Kickoff performance with GUSTER – September 30th
- Alumni Band at Homecoming – October 1st
- Salem Band Show – October 8th
- 8th annual WMB on ICE – TBD upon hockey schedule release
- 17th Annual UNH Band Extravaganza – November 18th
How do I officially become a member?
The most important thing you need to do this summer is to fill out our Participation Form, which is available on the website. However, you should not fill this out until you know your housing assignment for the fall. The deadline to fill out the Participation Form is July 22nd. If you make changes to your housing after you submit the form, that’s fine. Just be sure to let us know ASAP. If, for some reason, you don’t have your housing assignment by July 22nd, fill out the form anyway and then contact us when you find out where you’ll be living. Incoming freshman should start finding out housing assignments soon. If you don’t find out right away, be patient. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to get everyone sorted out. Let your section leader know that you are definitely planning to join, and then fill out the participation form as soon as you get your housing assignment. You can do the other forms in the meantime.
If you already filled out the Participation form before you found out your housing assignment, please fill it out again.
After you fill out your Participation Form, you will also need to complete the Order Form (credit cards won’t be charged until after July 1st) and Health Form. The Order Form must be completed by July 22nd so we can ensure all the supplies will be in on time. Your Health Form may be submitted electronically or you can print it out and bring it to band camp. The electronic submission is preferred, as we will be keeping the files on an iPad to bring with us when we travel (and the fewer we have to scan, the better).
If you aren’t officially registered for the course (MUSI 454) yet, that’s no problem. You can add it any time during the first three weeks of classes. This will be discussed further at band camp. The most important thing to do this summer is fill out the forms on the website.
Band Camp is required for all members as this is the time when we learn a large portion of our music/carriage and drill for the year. Band Camp will start for WMB Council, Drumline, and Colorguard on Sunday, August 21st, and for all Winds on Tuesday, August 23rd. A detailed schedule will be available later in the summer, but you will move into your dorm for the year between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the 21st or between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. on the 23rd. THESE MOVE-IN TIMES ARE SET BY UNH HOUSING AND THEY DO NOT ALLOW EXCEPTIONS. Please make your end-of-summer plans accordingly so you can be here on time. Band Camp will run until Sunday, but we will work around the Wildcat Days schedule so first-year students won’t miss anything important. You’ll also have free time to get to know your roommates and to get settled even more. Additional information, including a tentative schedule, is available on the website.
This year’s show, What Happens in Vegas…, is going to be a blast! Based loosely on Eric Whitacre’s Godzilla Eats Las Vegas we’re going to have a lot of campy fun telling this story of destruction every week. Please view the show announcement for more information. Instructions for downloading music will be provided when you submit your participation form.
Placement auditions will be held on July 23rd. Holding placement auditions early will allow you to get a head start on the music, which will help us perform at the highest level possible. The drumline will begin band camp on Sunday, August 21st. Video auditions will be an option for those who cannot attend on the 23rd. As a last resort, you may still audition on August 21st, but available spots will be limited.
We will be holding two recommended but optional Spin With Us days this summer. These will be on July 9th most of the day and August 5th in the evening. Official times will be set later. It is strongly recommended that you attend at least one of these if possible, but it is not required. While we do not have auditions for the guard, it is helpful for the staff to get an idea of everyone’s skill level before writing the work. The colorguard will also begin band camp on Sunday, August 21st. During these few days, you will get a jump on learning our warm-ups and carriage for the season. Check your e-mail for more information as band camp approaches.
Woodwind and Brass
We don’t have auditions for membership in the Wildcat Marching Band, but most sections have informal auditions for part placement. If your instrument has split parts, you will be asked to play a small audition to make sure each player is placed on the part that suits him or her best. Your section leader(s) will contact you with more information on what to prepare. Most sections will conduct auditions by video in advance, so you can all find out what part you’re playing earlier and have more time to practice the music. Find your section leader on the Contact a Member page if you want to ask any questions.
Music Education majors are strongly encouraged to participate in marching band for at least one year. Freshman year is the best time to do it, since it eases the transition to college and is the most convenient year to fit it into your schedule. About 25% of band members are music majors, so you’ll make some good connections within the department right off the bat. There are also several student leadership opportunities available that can serve as great training and experience for your future teaching career. It’s not unusual for music majors who are in marching band to be in three or more ensembles. You’ll be busy, but you’ll be just as busy (if not more so) when you’re a music teacher! Plenty of music education majors have been able to march all four years in addition to their other ensembles.
Beast of the East Pep Band
The Beast of the East Pep Band plays at all home men’s hockey games, conference men’s and women’s basketball games, and several women’s hockey games each year. While it is a separate ensemble from the marching band, most students choose to participate in both. In the fall, rehearsals are held during (in place of) marching band rehearsals (the first will most likely be on October 10th). When there are hockey games on Friday nights, marching band rehearsal is canceled so that the pep band can be at the game. The Beast of the East Pep Band is actually a pool of people who form smaller bands at hockey and basketball games. You’ll sign up for a specified number of games at the first rehearsal. If you can’t make it to an assigned game, you can get someone who is not signed up for that one to sub for you, so it’s very flexible if you plan ahead. Members of the band are selected to travel with the teams for playoffs. The Beast of the East Pep Band plays until the sports seasons end, which is usually in late March or (hopefully) early April. In the spring semester, rehearsals are held once a week. Come to one hockey game and you’ll be hooked! See the website for more information.
Concert Ensembles and Jazz Bands
The Department of Music offers three concert bands, a symphony orchestra, and two jazz bands. The Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band are open by audition and are made up primarily of music majors (especially Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony). String players in the orchestra audition for seating placement only, and non-majors are encouraged to join. The Concert Band is open to all students on campus, and holds auditions for seating purposes only. Since marching band rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Concert Band and Symphonic Band rehearse Tuesdays and Thursdays, many students participate in both marching band and a concert band. Auditions are held the first week of classes. You can find more information and audition materials on the website. If you want to wait, you’re welcome to join Concert Band second semester.
Both jazz bands rehearse Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons and require auditions for acceptance. They will most likely hold auditions the second week of classes. When you get on campus for band camp, you can pick up your audition music in the PCAC and sign up for an audition time. Audition music will also be available on the Department of Music website later this summer.
If you are a vocalist, we have many opportunities for you as well. The Concert Choir is our large traditional chorus. There are no auditions for membership, so show up to the first rehearsal and you’re in! The Concert Choir rehearses Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. Our select group is called the Chamber Singers. The Chamber Singers are auditioned from the membership of the Concert Choir and rehearse Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Audition information will be given out in Concert Choir during the first rehearsals. Jazz Choir is now in its second year! The Jazz Choir performs a mix of jazz tunes along with other genres. The ensemble performs both with a rhythm section and a cappella. Audition information for the Jazz Choir will be available on the Department of Music website later this summer.
We have a detailed Frequently Asked Questions page on the website. Rather than making this e-mail longer than it already is, please visit that page for questions about borrowing instruments, other ensembles, time concerns, etc. You can always feel free to contact Mrs. Goodwin with any additional questions as well. The band camp information on the website is also a helpful resource.
If you’re still reading, thanks! Hopefully we’ve covered everything we need to for now. Please take a look around our website. Check out the pictures, videos, and other information. If you have questions you can contact Mrs. Goodwin or a member of the band. If you’re on Facebook and haven’t already done so, you can join the UNH Wildcat Marching Band Interest Group and “like” University of New Hampshire Bands. Follow us on Twitter @UNHWMB, and join our page on Wildcat Link. Oh, and don’t forget about our forms page. Got all that?
We look forward to hearing from you and will hopefully see you in August!!!
Senior Lecturer, Director of Athletic Bands