Candidates for the woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the Cornhusker Marching Band must complete a two-part audition process. Playing auditions (first round) are held in the spring and consist of a prepared solo and major scales or rudiments. Students living outside of Nebraska's borders may submit a recorded audition (MP3 or CD) for the first round, but all candidates must attend the second round of auditions on the UNL campus. The marching portion (second round) audition is held in August and consists of a two-day clinic followed by a group audition, which emphasizes fundamental marching skills.
Candidates for the color guard (flag line) must complete a two-part audition process as well. Candidates are not required to choreograph routines. All audition materials, routines and music are provided and taught by the UNL band staff.
Twirler auditions are held in the spring, and consist of original choreographed and impromptu routines.
All members of the Cornhusker Marching Band must be enrolled as full-time students at UNL and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.
First round brass & woodwind audition requirements:
- Candidates must prepare a solo or etude of two to four minutes in length. The choice of music is up to the candidate and should be something that the individual is comfortable playing. Up tempo, technical pieces are better than slow, lyrical pieces.
- Brass and woodwind players must also sight read and play a major scale to two octaves.
- Students auditioning for piccolo positions may play the first round audition on flute.
- Students auditioning for marching horn (mellophone), baritone and tuba positions may use their concert instruments for the first round audition.
First Round Percussion Audition Requirements:
- Candidates playing an individual percussion audition (May 11 or May 25) must prepare a solo or etude of two to four minutes in length. The choice of music is up to the candidate and should be something that the individual is comfortable playing.
- Percussion students may choose to participate in an all-day preparatory mini-camp (June 8) as the first round audition. The session is designed to show how the percussion section plays so that candidates will know how to prepare for the second round of auditions. Both new and veteran students are encouraged to attend. No final instrumentation decisions are made during the mini-camp. The Cornhusker Band Percussion Handbook explains the instrument assignment process and contains all of the information candidates need to prepare for the fall marching season. The handbook will be distributed at the mini-camp. It is not available prior to the mini-camp date. The handbook is mailed to successful first round percussion candidates that do not attend the mini-camp.
First Round Audition Dates
March 26, 27 & 28, 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
Saturday, June 8 (all day mini camp)
Saturday, April 13, 9:00 AM-noon
Brass & Woodwinds:
Saturday, May 11
Saturday, May 25
Saturday, June 8
Saturday, May 11
Saturday, May 25
Saturday, June 8 (all day mini camp)
Schedule an audition appointment using our on-line request form. Note that we do not accept "walk-ins" on audition days -- you must schedule an appointment.
Color Guard audition requirements:
Color guard candidates must complete a first round audition in the spring and a second round audition approximately 10 days before the fall semester begins. Color guard candidates are not required to choreograph routines. All on-site audition materials, routines and music are provided and taught by the UNL band staff. Practice time is built into the schedule so that candidates can become familiar with the routines. The routine involves both flag work and dance.
Video taped auditions are acceptable if an on-campus audition is impossible. Performance tapes are not accepted for color guard auditions. Please frame the video camera so that both the hands and feet are visible at all times. Please wear relatively form-fitting clothing so that body moves and position can be adequately evaluated. Please include:
- 16 counts of drop spins with both right and left hand
- 16 counts of double time with both right and left hand
- One parallel toss, one double time toss, and one toss of choice.
- 32 counts of 8 to 5 marching and 16 counts of jazz run
- One 48 count phrase with movements chosen by the candidate.
Twirler Audition Requirements:
Twirler candidates are expected to complete a single audition that takes place in the spring. We are looking for a twirler that is a versatile and exciting performer with more than one apparatus. We will expect candidates to perform a routine utilizing more than one piece of equipment choreographed to your choice of music. Please vary the equipment among multiple baton, knives, hoops, etc. Fire batons are not allowed on the University campus. We will provide a sound system that can play CDs and/or music from MP3 devices.
Video taped auditions are acceptable if an on-campus audition is impossible. Performance tapes are acceptable for twirler auditions only if it is a solo performance by the candidate. Please frame the video camera so that both the hands and feet are visible at all times and please include the use of more than one apparatus.
The audition held in Lincoln will include:
- A two to four minute routine utilizing more than one piece of equipment choreographed to the candidate's choice of music
- An impromptu routine that the candidate must choreograph on the spot to music chosen by the judges
- A short interview with the panel of judges
Second Round Audition Dates
- Thursday, August 15, Percussion check-in & rehearsals (final roster posted August 17.) Brass & Woodwind leadership uniform check-out.
- Friday, August 16, Color Guard check-in & rehearsals (final roster posted August 17)
- Saturday, August 17, New Brass & Woodwind check-in & rehearsals (final roster posted August 18)
- Saturday, August 17, Veteran & Woodwind provisional uniform chek-out.
- Sunday, August 18, Veteran Brass & Woodwind check-in & rehearsals (final roster posted August 18)
- Saturday, August 18-Sunday, August 19, Color Guard and Percussion Section rehearsals
- Sunday, August 18, Brass & Woodwind auditions
- Monday, August 19 through Friday, August 23, full band rehearsals
- Wednesday, August 21, Color Guard costume check-out
- Friday, August 19, 7:00 PM, Exhibition Performance at Memorial Stadium
- Saturday, August 24 & Sunday, August 25, brass, woodwind & percussion uniform check-out
A note about the second auditions (Band Camp):
Candidates that pass the first round audition will receive an invitation to attend Band Camp in early July. The invitation will include specific instructions regarding the audition procedure, Band Camp housing and the schedule. This information will not be available prior to early July.
New and veteran candidates for the percussion and color guard sections train together with music and routines provided by the band staff at Band Camp. It is important that these sections work together from the start of camp.
New brass and woodwind candidates work with their section and rank leaders for the first few rehearsals. Veteran brass and woodwind candidates participate in one rehearsal prior to the audition on Sunday. Each brass and woodwind section completes a group audition on Sunday afternoon that includes a memorization check. The Sunday afternoon audition sessions are closed to the public. Specific times for each audition group will be announced during the noon rehearsal on Sunday.
Meetings and pre-game rehearsals begin on the Monday following the second round auditions (see schedule above.)
The fall semester begins on Monday, August 26. The Marching Band class meets from 7:00 AM to 8:20 AM for brass and woodwind players. Percussion and color guard rehearsals are from 6:30 AM to 8:20 AM.