TELL ME ABOUT THE MARCHING ILLINI
For over 150 years, the Nation’s Premiere 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.
WILL I HAVE 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.
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 or collegiate 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 representing a large contingent of the membership. We even have graduate students that participate in the world famous Marching Illini!
Current students in the Marching Illini come from the following states:
- New Jersey
CAN I JOIN THE MARCHING ILLINI IF I AM A STUDENT AT PARKLAND COLLEGE?
YES! There are two “tracks” to be a part of the Marching Illini if you are a student at Parkland College. If you are a Parkland Pathways student, you are considered an Illinois student and can enroll in up to 5 credits each semester at UIUC. You may audition and then register for MUSC 487, Marching Illini. For more information about the Parkland Pathways program, click HERE
If you are solely a Parkland College student, you may audition as long as you register for the class as a non-degree seeking student. To learn more about registering as a non-degree seeking student, click HERE
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO FOR MY AUDITION?
If you have not completed a prospective student form, take 10 seconds to do so HERE
If you are ready to audition, complete the AUDITION REGISTRATION FORM
All audition materials and information can be found HERE
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 not playing in an ensemble this spring, the expectation to play in one of our concert ensembles has been waived due to COVID. If you are a second year or more member, you do not need to complete a spring audition.
WHERE DO AUDITIONS TAKE PLACE?
Due to the COVID, all auditions are taking place through video auditions for the 2021 season. If you are ready to audition, complete the AUDITION REGISTRATION FORM All audition materials and information can be found HERE
During non-COVID times, 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.
WHAT IF I DO NOT OWN AN INSTRUMENT – PICCOLO, MELLOPHONE, MARCHING BARITONE OR SOUSAPHONE?
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 at no charge.
WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE AN INSTRUMENT?
All instruments and equipment are provided by the Marching Illini at no cost to the student. All regular maintenance is covered by the Marching Illini but any additional damage will be the responsibility of the student.
WHEN IS PRESEASON/BAND 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. 1-3 hours of credit is awarded for participation in the band. All members must enroll in MUSC 487, Marching Illini in order to be an official member.
IS THERE A COST TO JOIN 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 and typically one away game each season. All expenses associated with travel are paid for by the Marching Illini.
HOW MANY DIFFERENT HALFTIME SHOWS DO THE MARCHING ILLINI PERFORM EACH SEASON?
The Marching Illini performs a new and different show for each home game. Typically, we will perform 7-8 new shows each season.
DO MEMBERS OF THE MARCHING ILLINI RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS?
Unfortunately, we do not offer any scholarships at this time. A Marching Illini Scholarship Endowment has been created and we are in the midst of growing that fund further.
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. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact Professor Houser ([email protected]), Director of the Marching Illini or you can always call the Illinois Bands office at 217.333.3025 for more information.