Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check out our answers to some questions that are often asked by prospective students. Contact the Band Office at 402/472-2505 if you still have questions after reading this information.


Do I have to be a music major to participate in a band at UNL?

No. The Glenn Korff School of Music encourages all UNL students, regardless of academic major, to participate in an ensemble. Members of the Big Red Express pep band and the Cornhusker Marching Band must meet and maintain full-time enrollment status at UNL (12 credit hours) and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0.


What are my chances for being accepted into a band?

This depends largely on your fundamental skills and your preparation before the audition. However, if you have good basic skills, you have a better than average chance of passing the auditions. You have no chance at all if you don't audition.


Does participating in a band take a lot of time?

The marching band rehearses for a total of 6.5 hours during the week. The rehearsals are early in the morning so class conflicts are relatively rare. There are usually six to seven home games every season and the full band usually makes one weekend trip to a road game. Extra rehearsals are not scheduled.


The Big Red Express rehearses for two hours once a week through mid October. Once the music book is established the band will rehearse only to add additional tunes. Each band member performs only 1/3 of the band's schedule. Only 30 to 60 of the 90 members perform at any one game since the Big Red Express is a rotating pool band.


The Wind Ensemble rehearses for 4 hours each week and performs two to three concerts each semester. Occasional dress rehearsals are called in addition to the regular rehearsal time. The ensemble usually performs a three to four day tour during the spring semester. Members of this ensemble must devote considerable time to private practice in preparation for rehearsals.


The Symphonic Band rehearses 3 hours each week. The Jazz Ensemble I rehearses 2.5 hours per week. The Jazz Ensemble II rehearses 3 hours per week. All three ensembles perform two to three concerts each semester. Occasional dress rehearsals are called in addition to the regular rehearsal time. The Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensemble I occasionally perform off-campus and do short tours. Members of all ensembles are strongly encouraged to devote time to private practice in preparation for rehearsals.


Each Campus Band rehearses for two hours once a week during the spring semester only. Both bands perform one concert. Private practice time is strongly encouraged.


Should I participate in a band during my freshman year?

Absolutely. You’ll be a happier person and a better student if you are participating in a campus organization. It is essential that you become involved in the campus community whether you choose a band, a church group, intramural sports, or an academic club. There are many wonderful organizations available on the UNL campus. Involvement in the University community will help you build a network of friends and help you sustain a positive outlook in your approach to academic life. We certainly hope that you participate in a band, but get involved in campus life right away.


How much does it cost to be in a band?

Each of the band ensembles is a one credit hour course and you must pay tuition for that course. If you perform in more than one band per semester you may take the second band for zero credit. That band would appear on your grade transcript but would not figure into your GPA and you would not pay tuition.

In most cases, the University pays the travel expenses for all of the bands and provides the uniform and some instruments for the marching band. Marching band members must purchase shoes, gloves and some small personal items, and pay for uniform cleaning. Members of the concert and jazz ensembles must provide their own concert attire. Big Red Express pep band members must purchase a band shirt. The University owns some instruments that students may rent for a minimal fee.