Still not sure if you want to audition for the Southeast Marching Band? Review this page for more information.

Students have lots of questions about the Marching Band. Here are the questions we're most frequently asked about being a member of the marching band at Southeast.


Not as much as some people think. You will actually have more free time than you did in high school.

The band regularly rehearses Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 4-5:50 p.m. We perform at all home football games (usually 4-6 per year), which are on Saturdays.

Other than that, the band has its preseason "band camp" during the middle of August and performs at one or two high school band shows. Although it is a fall semester course, the marching band season ends when the football season ends. We also make sure the band has a few free weekends throughout the season (no games, etc.).

Both ensembles fall under the umbrella of "Athletic Bands" since they are groups who perform at sporting events. Many students are in both bands.

The Southeast Marching Band is a pre-requisite for the Show Band. The Marching Band is a fall semester ensemble that performs field shows, wears traditional marching band uniforms, plays in the stands at football games, and also performs in parades.

The Show Band, a pep band, plays at "winter" sporting events (usually October through April), including Men's and Women's Basketball. The Show Band will have auditions around midterm of the fall semester and begins rehearsals after auditions are complete. Rehearsals will be held in lieu of some Marching Band rehearsals, so if you can fit in marching band, you can fit in pep band. The Show Band does not march but plays in the stands at these sporting events. Depending upon the point in the season, the "uniform" usually consists of black pants and a shirt provided by the program.

Here's a list of various types of performances the Marching Band has given in the past. See the calendar for this year's specifics.

  • Home football games - pregame, halftime, and sometimes postgame
  • One or two area high school band shows
  • Parades (Homecoming, off-campus parades)
  • Campus events and pep rallies
  • Playoff football games

No! In fact, the majority of the Southeast Marching Band, Show Band, and Concert Band are not music majors. We usually have students representing every college on campus in these groups. The Southeast Wind Symphony is open to all students by audition. While it tends to be made up primarily of music majors, non-majors are welcome to audition for the wind symphony.

Music majors are strongly encouraged to participate in the marching band for at least one year. Music education majors must participate in the marching band for two years. The experience you'll gain will prove very beneficial when it comes time to find a job. This is especially important for students who have not marched before (other than parades). Plus, it's a lot of fun and a great way to meet people!

Many members of the marching band also hold part-time jobs. There are many jobs available on campus that have flexible scheduling options. Southeast Transit and Work-Study across campus are two popular employers, as they have shifts at many times throughout the day and on weekends. Wherever you end up working, make sure you give them a copy of our calendar and rehearsal schedule as early as possible.

No, we don't. Contrary to what you may have seen in the movie "Drumline," there are actually no real competitions for college-level marching bands. There are some college marching band shows, but these are non-competitive in nature. We do perform in exhibition at one or two high school band shows per year, but we are not adjudicated, rated, ranked, etc. If you're worried you'll miss competing, just give it a few weeks. You'll probably forget all about competitions! We still work hard to put on the best show we can, but there is no pressure to "do what the judges want." It's a lot of fun.

Yes! You receive one credit as a benefit of being in the marching band. Members must enroll for the credit in order to receive the participation scholarship. The course is MU386.

Obviously, we prefer every member be at every rehearsal. However, we currently have a policy that if you have an unavoidable course conflict (not work, not a course that you could take at 8 a.m. instead but don't want to get up that early, etc.) that is required for your major, you can miss up to one hour of rehearsal per week. If you need to miss more than that, it would be too difficult for you to keep up. If you are in this situation, please contact us as soon as possible. If there is another section available, but it is full, we may be able to get you into the non-conflicting section. Please communicate any of these issues! If your conflicting course is ever canceled for the day, you are expected to come to marching band rehearsal.

That depends what instrument you play. We automatically supply baritones, baritone saxophones, drumline equipment, mellophones, piccolos, sousaphones, and tenor saxophones to players in those sections. If you need one of those instruments, please indicate that on the participation form. If you need a different instrument, we may have a harder time finding one for you. Please keep in mind that instruments are in short supply, so please request one only if you really need it. You can also look into renting instruments from area music stores as well, especially if you will be playing in additional ensembles. We'll figure something out no matter what, as we don't want a lack of instrument to prevent anyone from marching. Colorguard equipment will be provided for you. There is a $50 per semester charge to rent marching band instruments.

While we do not charge a large fee for participation in the band, there are some supplies you are required to have. However, most of these are one-time purchases. Theoretically, you can buy these supplies as a freshman, take good care of them, and they'll last you until you graduate. Here is a list of required items:

  • Southeast Band T-shirt & Shorts - we wear these to game day rehearsals and under the wind and percussion uniforms for all performances. Sometimes it serves as our uniform for on-campus performances or on road trips, so it is important that everyone have one and that they all match. Annual purchase.
  • Shoes - Winds and drumline wear black matte-finish marching shoes and the colorguard wear black “split-sole” guard shoes. These two styles are affordable, comfortable, and appropriate for our style of marching. Winds and drumline may wear other brand black matte-finish marching shoes, but they must match the overall style of traditional marching shoes. Black short socks for the informal uniform and black long socks for the formal Marching Band uniform.
  • Baseball Cap - we wear this to game day rehearsals, in the band seating area, and to performances that do not require formal dress uniforms.
  • Gloves - Members of the wind (and sometimes colorguard) sections wear black gloves both for uniformity and comfort. Winds especially may wish to purchase more than one pair in case they lose a glove (or two) throughout the season. Guard members use black fingerless leather gloves. Woodwinds, especially clarinets, usually cut the fingertips off of the gloves for ease of playing. You don't need to purchase special gloves for that. The drumline does not wear gloves. Cymbal players wear fingerless black leather gloves to protect their hands. Drum majors purchase the same gloves as the winds but white in color.
  • Lyre - Winds are required to own a lyre and flip folder for their instrument. Everyone is required to have all music at every rehearsal. If you play flute or piccolo, you'll want to order a Flutist's Friend instead of a lyre (this includes a flip folder).
  • Uniform Fee - All marching band members are required to pay a $20 fee each year. This goes toward upkeep and replacement of uniforms and parts and to help offset costs for various incidentals throughout the season.
  • Colorguard Gear - Colorguard uniforms require black jazz pants, and a black and a white long compression top. In addition, color guard uniforms aren't as warm as marching band uniforms, so each member will wear a personalized jacket in the stands at football games. These are required, again for comfort and uniformity. Also, see “shoes” above.

Check the interactive campus map for help.

  • Drill Field - on Morgan Oak and Fountain St. near the River Campus adjacent to the round-about
  • Academic Hall - The Registrar's office and business services are located here. If you need to make any schedule changes that you can't do online, or if you have any financial matters to take care of, you can do so at Academic.
  • Houck Field – Football field located on Bellview St. We have game day rehearsals here and, of course, our home football games.
  • River Campus – This is the home of Southeast visual and performing arts. This campus is separate from the main campus. It is located on Fountain St. next to the Emerson Memorial Bridge.

  • MB – Southeast Marching Band
  • SB – Show (Pep) Band
  • RC – River Campus (Music/Art/Theatre building)
  • RCC – River Campus Center (Dobbins Center)
  • 120 – Music Rehearsal Hall at the RCC
  • CAC – Cultural Arts Center (at the RC—Bedell Performance Hall)
  • 155 – Music Rehearsal Hall at the RC CAC
  • Drill Field – marching rehearsal field behind Brandt Music Hall
  • Brandt – the former music building on the Main Campus
  • Houck – football stadium
  • Wind Symphony – top concert band (audition required)
  • Concert Band – concert band (open enrollment for those with prior instrumental experience)
  • Studio Jazz – top jazz ensemble (audition required)
  • Lab Band – jazz ensemble (open enrollment for those with prior instrumental experience)

Band camp is our mandatory pre-season rehearsal time. Typically, it starts the Monday before classes begin, with the drumline, colorguard, and Marching Band staff members coming two days earlier. We spend this week learning or brushing up on technique, rehearsing the music, learning drill, and getting to know each other. This is arguably the most important part of the season, since we get so much accomplished. We can usually learn most or all of the pregame show and get started on our first halftime show. It's especially beneficial for new members, because you get to move in early, learn your way around campus, and make dozens of new friends. When the rest of the freshmen arrive later that week, you'll have a huge jump on them.

In addition to the rehearsals during the day, there are also usually band-sponsored evening activities designed for everyone to get to know each other. In the past, this has included scavenger hunts, section Olympics, a "no-talent show," and game nights. Even though people are usually pretty tired at the end of the day, most choose to stay for these activities because they're a lot of fun.

Because we learn so much during band camp, it is required for all members to attend. Occasionally, people must miss for a verified excused absence. In these rare circumstances (which must be approved in advance) the students do not march the portions of the pregame show that they miss learning. This saves the ensemble time, so we don't have to re-teach the show for those few who did not learn it. If you absolutely must miss part or all of band camp, you must let us as soon as possible. We may decide it's better for you not to participate this year.

The band pays for your on-campus housing until dorms open. Meals are your responsibility. It is important we have an accurate count of who is going to be there, so we pay for the right number of rooms and meals.

The short answer is "everything you'll need for the semester" since you'll be moving into your dorm.

Here's a list of more specific items you'll need/want for the week:

  • Instrument
  • Anything you need for your instrument to work properly (reeds, oil, etc.)
  • Comfortable clothes for indoor and outdoor rehearsals. Check the weather.
  • Sneakers or similar closed-toe footwear for marching rehearsals. No sandals or heeled shoes. Feel free to change footwear when we're indoors, but you'll need appropriate footwear outside to be able to use proper technique and avoid injury. We don't wear uniform shoes to rehearsal (except Game Day)
  • Socks (make sure you have black socks or tights for performances, too)
  • Sunblock
  • Bug repellent
  • Pencils
  • Highlighter (for drill charts)
  • Water bottle or Camelpak (BIG)
  • Hat or visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Light rain jacket
  • Folder or 3-ring binder (not required, but helpful for organizing handouts, drill, music, etc.)
  • Lyre (winds only - if you already own one).
  • Music downloaded from the Internet

Housing representatives will be available on the first day of band camp during limited hours (typically 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). You can check into your residence hall at any time during those hours and start moving in your belongings. Marching band registration is typically held that evening around 6 p.m. You'll continue to get settled in your room throughout the week. See this year's band camp schedule for more details.

Unfortunately, due to schedules, most pre-orientation programs and marching band don't mix. You would have to miss too much of band camp for us to allow. However, one of the main attractions of those programs is the chance to meet a lot of new people before everyone moves in. You'll also get to do that in marching band! If you were interested in some of the other aspects (e.g. RUSH), there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in that sort of activity through other organizations during the school year.

We ask that you avoid scheduling placement and proficiency exams during Marching Band activities. You do have a choice about scheduling those events. Make sure to consult the Marching Band schedule prior to scheduling those exams.

Many members of the marching band also play in various chamber ensembles, Concert Band, Jazz Ensembles, or Wind Symphony. The Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble schedules fit the Marching Band schedule nicely, as they don't rehearse at the same times/days. Wind Symphony (MU390) rehearses each semester on Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 - 2:15 p.m. in RC CAC155, and the Concert Band (MU391) rehearses in the spring semester on Monday and Wednesday, 4 - 5:30 p.m. Auditions for acceptance into the Wind Symphony are held on Sunday afternoon prior to the first Monday of classes. The music for Wind Symphony auditions is typically available one month prior to auditions. While the Wind Symphony and the wind and percussion sections of the Symphony Orchestra are made up primarily of music majors, there are occasionally non-majors who are selected for membership.

There are two jazz bands in the music department. The Studio Jazz Ensemble is auditioned. Like the other ensembles, these are open to anyone, regardless of major. The Studio Lab Band is non-auditioned, and accepts both music majors and non-music majors. There are specific requirements for the audition, so contact Dr. Jefferson for additional information.

Music is available on the website in PDF form for you to download. A notice, log-in, and password will be sent to you weeks prior to Early Week. It is your responsibility to download and bring copies of the music to rehearsal. If you lose your copies, you'll be able to access printable versions of the music from the webpage throughout the season.
Contact Us
River Campus Marching Band Annex
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7800
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701