For over 150 years, the Nation’s Premier College Marching Band, the Marching Illini has captivated audiences across the nation with spectacular performances and innovative concepts. The unique style of the Marching Illini represents a combination of time-honored traditions and exciting innovations.  Whether performing before the home crowd or away, the Marching Illini has held a level of national distinction and a reputation for excellence that makes them The Best Band In The Land.


is there time to be in the marching illini and maintain high academic standards?

Absolutely! The Marching Illini is comprised of the University of Illinois’ best and brightest students. The Marching Illini has one of the highest cumulative GPA’s on campus with students from every academic discipline and major. We even have graduate students that participate in the world famous Marching Illini!


WHO can be a member of the marching illini?

Membership in the Marching Illini is open to all students on the Illinois campus who have had high school marching band experience.  You do not have to be a music major to participate.  Members of the Marching Illini represent all academic disciplines on campus, with Engineering and Music representing a large contingent of the membership.


Can I audition for the marching illini if i am a student at parkland college?

YES!  You may audition as long as you register for the class as non-degree seeking student.  For more information, visit the admissions website:  http://admissions.illinois.edu/apply/nondegree


IF I AM A RETURNING MEMBER, what steps must i take to re-audition?

If you are a first year member and you are playing in one of the spring concert bands, you do not need to re-audition in the spring.  If you are a second year or higher member, you do not need to re-audition.  If you are a first year member who is not playing in a spring concert band, you must go through the audition process as outlined on the website in the spring.



All woodwind, brass, and drumline auditions take place in the Harding Band Building located at 1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820. Parking is free on the weekends and after 5:30pm on the weekdays. If auditioning during business hours on a weekday, feed any of the meters around the building. Report to the Illinois Bands Office HBB 140 upon arrival to the historic Harding Band Building.



No worries at all…you may audition on your concert instrument for the Marching Illini audition.  If you are chosen to join the Marching Illini in the Fall, we provide all instruments to our members.



All instruments and equipment is provided by the Marching Illini at no cost to the student. All regular maintenance is covered by the Marching Illini but any other damage will be the responsibility of the student.

when is preseason camp?

The Marching Illini Preseason Camp takes place on the University of Illinois campus in August – one week before classes begin.  All members report at different times depending on their role and year in the band.  Visit the Preseason Camp sub-menu option under JOIN for more information.


when does the marching illini REHEARse?

Preseason camp begins one week before classes begin and consist of full-day rehearsals for the length of the camp, 9 AM – 10 PM.  During the fall semester, MI rehearsals are held Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 5:00-6:30 PM, Thursday nights from 8:00 – 9:30 PM, and Saturday mornings on game day.  Drumline, Illinettes, and Colorguard members rehearse 1-2 additional times per week in sectionals for preparation of Game Day.


where does the marching illini REHEARse?

Rehearsals are held in historic Harding Band Building, Memorial Stadium, and the Marching Illini practice field located on the corner of First and Gregory.


is the marching illini an academic course?

The Marching Illini is an academic course. One-Three hours of credit is awarded for participation in the band. All members must enroll in MUS 273, Marching Illini in order to be a member.


is there a COST associated with MEMBERSHIP in the marching illini?

There are no charges associated with the use of university instruments, uniforms, or music.  All members are required to provide the following:  black marching shoes, khaki shorts, and some other items.  The Marching Illini provides a number of other required items for rehearsal and game day attire.  Have no fear, Marching Illini members do not do any fundraising.


Does the Marching Illini TRAVEL?

The Marching Illini performs at all home games, including post-season bowl games.  In addition, the Marching Illini performs at various exhibition performances with the Chicago Bears, Bands of America, and high schools throughout the state. All expenses associated with travel are paid for by the Marching Illini and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.


HOW MANY SHOWS do the marching illini perform each season

The Marching Illini performs a new and different show for each home game. This number typically totals 6-8 new shows each season.


do members of the marching illini receive SCHOLARSHIPS?

Unfortunately, we do not offer any scholarships at this time.  We hope this will change with the help of our many fans and alums in the near future!


how do i become a member of the marching illini?

You must complete an audition registration form located on this website under JOIN. All audition information is posted on this page as well so be sure to read through all of this information. You can always call the Illinois Bands office at 217.333.3025 for more information.