Member Information

Marching Band Prerequisites
What will I need?
School-owned Instruments
Music Majors and Marching Band
Frequently Asked Questions

Membership in the Bearkat Marching Band is open to all students enrolled at Sam Houston State University. Non-majors are welcome and encouraged to join. Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Music Education majors are required to have three semesters of marching band completed before graduation. Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion music majors with other concentrations  (music performance, music therapy, theory/composition, etc.) make take marching band for large ensemble credit.


The minimum requirement for membership in the Bearkat Marching Band is two years prior marching experience (high school marching band, college marching band, or drum & bugle corps). Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Percussion Percussion: Percussionists audition for a position on snare, tenors, bass drum or cymbals. Non-percussionists will be considered based on ability level and experience.

Color Guard: Guard membership is open to all SHSU students with previous color guard experience..

Auditions: There are no auditions for acceptance into the BMB on brass and woodwind instruments if you have been playing that instrument in your high school band. You need only meet the prerequisite for acceptance and enroll in the course (MUEN 1116 01 for brass, woodwinds and color guard; MUEN 1116 02 for percussion).  Playing and instrument other than your primary instrument requires both permission from directors and an audition..

NOTE: Percussion audition music is posted on the website and percussionists will audition for part assignments during summer percussion camp. All other members will audition for parts during the first full day of summer band. The audition will consist of sight reading and/or music posted online during the summer.

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What Will I Need?

For music rehearsals:

  1. Your instrument (The following instruments are leased: Sousaphone, Marching Baritone, Mellophone, Percussion)
    Brass: mouthpiece, valve oil, slide grease, etc.
    Woodwinds: reeds, cork grease, etc.
    Percussion: money for mallets (Snare = $9; Quints = $20; Bass Drum = $23)
    Color guard: a practice pole (aluminum, 6 feet long, 1 inch diameter)
  2. Flip Folder (provided by BMB
  3. Ultimate Drill Book App

For marching rehearsals:

  1. Clothing appropriate for outdoor rehearsals in East Texas (i.e. t-shirt and shorts or athletic pants). NO JEANS. Light colored clothing is best.
  2. Tennis shoes (no other type of shoes will be allowed)
  3. Hat
  4. Sunglasses (optional)
  5. Sunscreen (optional)
  6. Khaki shorts, official BMB shirt, black socks and marching shoes for Saturday morning rehearsals.
  7. All items listed under for playing rehearsals above.

For performances:

Woodwind, Brass, Percussion

  1. Official BMB Shirt (supplied by the band) - to be worn under the uniform
  2. Shorts, roughly knee length, to be worn under the uniform
  3. Black socks (full length socks, not ankle socks)
  4. Black MTX marching shoes - You need to purchase these before summer band or during summer band from Bill Atkins with cash or money order ($45).

Color Guard and Twirler uniforms to be determined by instructors.

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School-owned Instruments

School-owned instruments are available for mellophone, baritone, sousaphone, and percussion. Once issued, the student is financially responsible for the equipment. Any costs for damages or repairs beyond normal wear will be charged to the student. Loss of the instrument (state property) while issued to the student will result in the full cost of the instrument being charged to the student. All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and polished before check-in. Upon return, an additional charge of $25 will be assessed for instruments that have not been cleaned properly maintained. All equipment is listed property of the state and must be returned upon request.

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Members are expected to be at all rehearsals, sectionals, and performances. Students will not be excused to attend other classes, work, teach lessons, attend weddings, or for any other personal business. Commitment to the ensemble is crucial for success of the Bearkat Marching Band. Individual requests will be examined on a case by case basis.

Stipends will be awarded to BMB members during their second year of participation. Stipend amounts will increase with the third and fourth years of participation. In order to receive a full stipend, students must participate in every BMB performance.

Regular rehearsals:
Mondays, 6:30-8:50 PM at Bowers Stadium.
Tuesdays/Thursdays 4:00-5:50 PM at Pritchett Field Stadium.
Saturday morning dress rehearsal on the game and exhibition days

Further information regarding absence and grading procedures is detailed in the BMB Syllabus posted on Blackboard.

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Registration for summer band is now completed online, but we will have registration session on the first day of summer band to take care of all the final details and make sure everything is correct. The following is required for registration:

  1. Summer band online registration
  2. Uniform Measurement
  3. Music Check-out (each member must present their flip folder or purchase one during registration)
  4. Equipment check-out (for students using school-owned equipment)
  5. Locker check-out ($5 per semester - submit payment online)
  6. Part auditions (for Trumpet & Trombone only)

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Music Majors and Marching Band


All undergraduate music majors (woodwind, brass, percussion) are required to enroll in marching band.

Music Education majors are required to enroll in 3 semesters of marching band and must enroll in marching band every fall semester until the requirement has been satisfied.

Transfer students

Transfer students that have completed marching band courses at another university may count those courses towards the SHSU Marching Band credit requirements. However, transfer students will not receive a stipend until the second year of participation in BMB.


Students with physical limitations will need to formally request a waiver (include all medical documentation) to be excluded from marching. Students are not excused from the marching band credit requirement for reasons such as work, teaching lessons, other class conflicts, etc.

Major Ensemble requirement

All music majors must complete a major ensemble each semester. For Wind and Percussion majors, only Wind Ensemble and Marching Band will satisfy major ensemble requirements during the Fall semester. Students that make Wind Ensemble must still participate in marching band until the marching band requirement has been satisfied.


Music majors that have completed the marching band requirement may still need to enroll in marching band to satisfy the major ensemble requirement. Music Majors who wait until AFTER the wind ensemble audition to join the marching band (and consequently miss summer band) will NOT have a spot in the first show; therefore, they will not be awarded the marching band stipend for performances of that show.

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Summer Drum Line Audition Camp

Percussion Start Date for 2021 is AUGUST 5th

  • Please refer the 2021 Drum Line Packet for information about auditions
  • Note: University Hotel space will be reserved for drum line members on August 6, 7, and 8 as needed. We will make the hotel reservations based on the online registration information.
  • You will be able to check into your dorm room on Sunday, August 8, between 2 and 4 at your dorm building.

The size of our drum line is limited, so participation audition and Zoom meeting does not guarantee a position on the drum line. We would like to march 7-9 snares, 4-5 quads, 5-6 basses and 7-9 cymbals

Be sure to complete the online registration form for summer band so we will know to expect you.

Please be aware that you will be on your own for meals. Dining hall service begins on August 14. BMB will have food at the evening social events on during the week of summer band.

2021 Bearkat Drum Line Packet

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Summer Color Guard Camp

Be sure to visit  for updates and additional information


The Color Guard start date for 2021 is August 5th

For the evenings of August 5, 6, and 7, BMB will provide a room with quad occupancy for color guard members who need a place to stay prior to August 11th. Accommodations will be at the University Hotel, which is across the street from the PAC.

Be sure to complete the online registration form for summer band so we will know to expect you for the color guard camp. We will make the hotel reservations based on the online registration information. Please email Dr. Gibbs if you do NOT need a hotel room for the color guard camp.

Please be aware that you will be on your own for meals. Dining hall service begins on August 14. BMB will have food at the evening social events on during summer band.



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Frequently Asked Questions

Must I attend summer band rehearsals?
Yes. Attendance is required at all summer band rehearsals.

How many rehearsals and/or performances can I miss?
None. Being a part of the ensemble requires a firm commitment to attend ALL rehearsals, sectionals, and performances. In certain circumstances, you may be excused from a limited number of rehearsals depending on the nature of the absence. Grading and Attendance procedures are detailed in the BMB Syllabus (posted on Grade book). No member will be allowed to miss a performance due to work, another class, weddings, etc.

Are sectionals required?
Percussion and Color Guard have a mandatory 1.5 hour sectional each week (in addition to class time). Although infrequent, other sections may have a sectional on occasion, if necessary.

Where do I go on registration day?
Registration will begin in the Music Building promptly at 2:00 p.m. If you will be living in the dorms, early check-in times will be from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, August 8.

I’m a non-major, but I may not be as good as a music major. Can I still join?
Certainly! Over 40% of the band are non-music majors. We are looking for members who like to play, like to march, will work hard, and like to have fun!

What will happen during summer band?
We have several important goals to accomplish during band camp:

  • Unify our marching style so that we all look alike
  • Unify our concepts of articulation and style so that we all play alike
  • Memorize music for the first show
  • Learn drill for the first show
  • Learn pregame music and drill
  • Learn stand tunes

Is college marching band similar to high school marching band?
Not really. Our sole purpose is to support athletics and entertain the crowd at events. For this reason, we generally perform three or four different shows during the season. Also, most of our members have between 4-7 years of experience in marching band, so we are able to learn quickly and perform at a high level.

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