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New Marching Band Member

If you are a new applicant and have not been a part of the Cougar Marching Band then click the button below to start the application process

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Returning Marching Band Member

If you have previously been admitted and been a part of the Cougar Marching Band and want to return, please click the button below to fill out the returning member form

Sections and Audition Requirements
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Brass & Woodwind
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Color Guard

Brass & Woodwind

The Power of the Wasatch has 175+ brass and woodwind members. The BYU Cougar Marching Band fields:

  • Piccolos
  • Clarinets
  • Alto Saxophones
  • Tenor Saxophones
  • Trumpets
  • Marching French Horns
  • Trombones
  • Baritones
  • Tubas

The Cougar Marching Band does not march mellophones or flutes but applicants are welcome to use these instruments for their audition on French horn and piccolo, respectively.


The audition requirements are listed below:

  • Woodwinds: 4 scales and the chromatic scale full range of the instrument
  • Brass: 2 scales and the chromatic scale full range of the instrument
  • Long tones
  • 1 lyrical etude
  • 1 technical etude
  • Optional etudes/solos of the applicant’s choice as supplemental materials

Your audition should be a video recording showing you performing the material. All video should be in mp4, mpeg, or wmv format.

Auditions are due before May 25th @ 11:59PM


The BYU Drumline typically fields 25-28 total members including:

  • 8 to 10 Snares
  • 4 to 5 Tenors
  • 5 Bass Drums
  • 6 to 8 Cymbals

The Cougar Marching Band does not have a front ensemble with keyboards, timpani, etc.


The audition requirements are listed below:

  • Rhythm, Timing, & Listening Exercises
  • Etudes
  • Optional etudes/solos of the applicant’s choice as supplemental materials

Your audition should be a video recording showing you performing the material and your feet simultaneously marking time. All video should be in mp4, mpeg, or wmv format.

Auditions are due before May 25th @ 11:59PM.

Color Guard

The BYU Color Guard is a group of 25-30 members who have experience and training with flags, rifles, and other visual equipment.


Potential members can audition in person or by video. In person auditions take place annually in April with video auditions being due by May 1. All new and returning members must audition each year. Submit an application to receive all details about the audition process from the Color Guard Director or reach out with questions to

Required skills include the following on the right and left:


  • Drop Spins
  • Double Time
  • Carves
  • Flourishes
  • Angle tosses
  • Pole tosses or money hand tosses
  • Pop parallel tosses
  • 45 angle pop tosses


  • Coupé & passé hops
  • Sautés
  • Chaîné turns
  • Battements
  • Pas de chat
  • Chaîné jeté
  • Cartwheel

Applicants will also be required to learn and perform pom and flag choreography.

Acceptance Into the Band

Positions are awarded as qualified players audition and announcements of membership and scholarship awards will be sent out sometime mid June. Color Guard members will receive acceptance a few weeks after the audition. Please be considerate and patient, as we receive between 350-400 applications for the band each year.

Additional audition recordings will be accepted until the band is completely staffed, but those who audition late have a much lower chance of getting a position. Filling all positions may extend to the middle or end of May for a few sections. However, most sections are extremely competitive. We urge prospective members to audition as soon as possible.

After receiving admission to BYU, and as you receive notification of acceptance into the band, you can register for the marching band class (Music 323R, Section 1). Registration is through MyMap on your myBYU account.

Talent and Service Awards

Scholarships, also known as talent/service awards, are available to all members of the Cougar Marching Band and are automatically awarded to students when they accept membership and agree to the scholarship policy. All scholarships are for the fall semester unless otherwise indicated.

Marching Band Membership

All membership awards begin at $600 with increasing amounts determined by ability, instrumentation needs, and prior service to the band.

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Photo by Tabitha Sumsion

Concert Band Acceptance

Award of $200 in the fall and $200 in the winter to marching band members who are accepted to and concurrently enrolled in Symphonic Band or Wind Symphony with the expectation that their enrollment in these concert bands continue into the winter semester.

Music Major Status

Award of $200 to students who have been admitted into the BYU School of Music and are participating in Marching Band.

Marching Band Leadership

Award of varying amounts to members who are also in a leadership position for the marching band (i.e. Section Leader, Uniform Committee, etc.)

Mission Deferment

Before Your First Semester

Students who are preparing to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before attending their first semester at BYU are invited to complete the audition process now while your playing abilities are still prime.

  1. Complete the application form and select the mission deferment option.
  2. Audition materials will be sent to you to practice and record.
  3. Submit your audition materials.
  4. During auditions for the season you plan to return for, your audition will be reviewed and acceptance will be considered then.

Current Marching Band Members

Current members will have an opportunity to indicate a desire for mission deferment at the end of their current season.
Members that depart for a mission during the winter semester and are unable to take classes do not need to re-audition.

Re-Audition Requirements

Cougar Marching Band members who participate in a large ensemble during the winter semester do not need to re-audition for the next season of marching band. Members who do not participate in a large ensemble during the winter semester will be required to re-audition for the marching band for the following season.

Large ensembles that fulfill the requirement include:

  • University Band
  • Symphonic Band*
  • Wind Symphony*
  • University Orchestra
  • Symphony Orchestra*
  • Philharmonic Orchestra*

*Audition or director’s consent required.

Jazz and small ensembles DO NOT qualify for this requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Cougar Marching Band is comprised of students who have been members of championship high school bands as well as students whose high school didn’t even have a marching band. This diversity of backgrounds makes it difficult to compare college with high school. However, one of the greatest differences is that there is much less rehearsal time available. We perform a standard pregame show and 2-4 different halftime shows each season, and play lots of stand tunes. Also, the college band has to find a happy medium between being a fun and spirited organization while still achieving a quality of performance representative of the image of our great University at home and away.
  • All individuals who are selected for membership in the band will receive talent/service awards beginning at $600. Increasing scholarship amounts are determined by instrumentation needs, prior membership, and leadership responsibilities. Additional scholarships are also available to marching band members who are concurrently enrolled in an auditioned concert band and/or are music majors.
  • Marching Band is a class (MUSIC 323R), and therefore requires enrollment during fall semester (September – December). Rehearsals are held each Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, with the color guard members arriving at 3:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to learn new routines prior to rehearsal with the band. The drumline also holds an additional section rehearsal from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on Fridays.

    The full band rehearsal time is used to prepare for performances at all home games, a concert performance, and a performance at Rocky Mountain Band Invitational, our high school marching band competition. There is also a pre-season band camp and often a trip to a bowl game. Even though we could often use more than the 6 hours per week rehearsal time, a high priority of our program is to not interfere with the academic demands of our students. Therefore we accomplish all group rehearsal within the time that is scheduled.
  • There are annual band dues of $50.00 which help to cover the cost of incidental band expenses, such as dry cleaning. In addition to this amount, white gloves ($3.00; $4.50 for gloves with grips), navy blue wristbands ($3.00 for drummers; $12.00 for tenors) and white oxford shoes (for all instrumentalists, about $36.00) are required. They may be purchased at Band Camp if you don’t have them, and must be approved for use if you already have them.

    Bowl game expenses (including meals) are covered entirely by the bowl invitation. Any trips to away games cover transportation and lodging, leaving the students with only the minimal cost of meals.
  • The band size is set at 225 performing members. There are also members designated as alternates to enable us to cover spots left by illnesses or emergencies. The 225 generally includes 160 woodwinds and brass, 25-30 percussionists, and 25-30 color guard members.
  • Currently, only about 20% of the band are music majors. We have students from virtually every major on campus. Students in most majors enjoy being a part of the band because they still want to perform on their instrument and have an “outlet” from their other college studies. Of course, the music majors are also an important part of the organization and many of them see this experience as a way to prepare for future careers in music.
  • Absolutely! Each year the Cougar Marching Band has members that, at the beginning of the season, have never marched before. Also, because some high schools teach different marching methods, some students are starting from about the same level as those with no marching experience. Members learn marching techniques and commands during Band Camp.
  • Because the marching band’s first performance usually takes place during the first week of school, we have found it necessary to begin one week prior to the start of school in the fall. During this week members learn BYU Marching Band basics, our pregame show and our first halftime show. Obviously, rehearsals are intense during those days and new students are not able to attend conflicting New Student Orientation activities. New students will instead have a special condensed orientation meeting presented by the New Student Orientation committee during Band Camp. This meeting is especially designed for Cougar Band members and features the top advisors from the university.

    You are responsible to arrange housing for your student prior to the start of school in time for Band Camp. Many housing complexes have availability for early move in arrangements.

    Band Camp 2024:

    Friday, Aug. 23rd Leadership Camp (only involving certain student leaders & staff)
    Saturday, Aug. 24th Drumline & Color Guard Camp begins
    Sunday evening, Aug. 25th Freshman and New Student Fireside
    Monday, Aug. 26th - Saturday, Aug. 31st Marching Band Camp for Full Band
    Friday, Aug. 30th New Student Orientation
    Saturday, Aug. 31st Game Day
    Sunday, Sep. 1st Fireside for band members
  • Band performances at games usually include 6 home games (generally Saturday afternoon/evening), possible in-state games or travel and a potential bowl game at the end of the year. Trips to in-state games are usually an hour or two away from campus and is easily accomplished on the day of the game.
  • With the rise of BYU football to national prominence, the Cougar Band has accompanied the football team to a bowl game 32 of the last 39 years. These games have provided the band with performance opportunities in Florida, Alabama, Arizona, California, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Nevada, and New Mexico. As bowl games are generally during the holidays, there are about four days of activities that integrally involve the band with the bowl festivities. All band members are required to attend. Because most bowl games take place during the holiday season, arrangements include air travel to the game for those who are at home.
  • Many band members (even non-majors) do participate in both marching and concert bands simultaneously. Also, since the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band are offered both semesters, there is the possibility of joining a concert band during the winter semester. Instrumentalists are encouraged to continue performing year-round and the non-auditioned University Band provides the opportunity for many as it is offered as an evening class. Marching Band members who participate in a large ensemble during winter semester are not required to re-audition for the marching band the following year.
  • In short, becoming the best you can be musically and spiritually. Should you be selected for membership, you will be required to attend Band Camp for the week in August prior to the beginning of Fall semester, attendance at all rehearsals, games (including bowl games), and performances.
  • Instruments are available to students who do not own one. Instrument lockers are available in the band facilities at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Information on instrument check-out and locker rentals will be emailed during the summer before Band Camp. Music for the upcoming season will also be emailed to members during the summer.