Athletic Bands

UK Bands Winds and BrassWe'd love to have you as a member of the athletic bands!

Join one of the largest and most visible student organizations at the University of Kentucky! Entertaining thousands of fans with our spirited, high-energy performances, the Wildcat Marching Band enjoys a national reputation as one of the finest collegiate marching bands in the country. The Wildcat Marching Band provides a pep band for every away game in the Southeastern Conference and travels with the full band to one away game each year. In addition, the Wildcat Marching Band has participated in numerous post-season bowl games, BOA Regional Championships, a Presidential Inauguration, a World Series, and the 2008 Ryder Cup. The basketball pep band was part of the 2011 NCAA Final Four and the 2012 NCAA Basketball tournament where UK won their 8th National Championship. Any UK student is eligible to participate, regardless of major.

Visit the WMB YouTube channel.

Rehearsals

Band rehearsals are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm. Rehearsals on game days begin five hours before kickoff and last about an hour. Game day rehearsals are held on the Tim Couch fields at the Nutter Athletic Complex. These rehearsals provide an enjoyable change of pace with minimal time involvement for the busy college student. No "extra" rehearsals are scheduled. Marching Band (MUC 190) earns one college credit per semester. This credit may be used as an elective in any degree program.

Early Week

August 16th (Percussion) & 17th – 25th, 2019

"Early Week" (UK's band camp) is held a week before classes begin and includes extensive training in marching and playing at the college level. In addition to regular rehearsals, there are lots of social activities planned throughout the week to give students a chance to relax and meet their new friends! Those students who have been assigned a residency hall can move into their room during this period at no charge. The band provides all meals. The band's early arrival on campus provides each individual an opportunity to get settled in the residency halls, buy books, make new friends, and adjust to a new environment and a new independence before classes begin. The 2019 Early Week is Saturday, August 16 through Sunday, August 25, 2018.

Travel

The band provides a pep band for every away game in the Southeastern Conference and travels with the full band to one away game each year. The Wildcat Marching Band has recently traveled to Georgia, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Tulane, Auburn, Alabama, and Florida and has participated in five bowl games, a BOA Regional Championship, a Presidential Inauguration, a World Series and professional football games. Most recently, the band was invited to perform as one of the featured ensembles in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Ryder Cup international golf matches. Travel expenses such as lodging, transportation, and meals are provided by the University of Kentucky - there is NO COST to the band members.

Cost

The University of Kentucky provides the financial support for the band. There is generally no expense for being in the band except for the purchase of minimal required attire (Between $100-$150) & uniform shoes (approximately $35). Band members do NO FUNDRAISING.

Wildcat Marching Band

Entertaining thousands of fans with our spirited, high- energy performances, the Wildcat Marching Band enjoys a national reputation as one of the finest collegiate marching bands in the country. The Wildcat Marching Band provides a pep band for every away game in the Southeastern Conference and travels with the full band to one away game each year. In addition, the Wildcat Marching Band has participated in numerous post-season bowl games, BOA Regional Championships, a Presidential Inauguration, a World Series, and the 2008 Ryder Cup. The basketball pep band was recently a part of the 2011 NCAA Final Four and the 2012 NCAA Basketball tournament where UK won their 8th National Championship. 

Marching Band (MUC 190) is a one credit hour class that rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30-7:30PM.  Members also participate in Early Week (UK's Band Camp) and can move into their residence hall a week earlier than the rest of the student body. In addition, the Wildcat Marching Band represents nearly every academic major on campus and is the largest student organization at the University of Kentucky while maintaining some of the highest GPA's on campus.

The University of Kentucky is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

You can visit the official UK Athletics website here.

For more information, fill out this form.

Visit our YouTube channel to see the WMB in action.

UK Pep Band

The UK Pep Band plays an integral role at all Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum home games where we have the best seats in the house! At home in the eRUPPtion Zone, the Basketball Pep Band performs regularly for over 24,000 Wildcat Fans as part of the most intimidating home court in college basketball. The Basketball Pep Band performs at all men’s and women’s home basketball games, and travels to every SEC & NCAA tournament as a 29-member Road Band.

Membership

Woodwind and brass students who satisfactorily complete Marching Band (MUC 190) during the fall semester are eligible to participate in the basketball pep band that year. Percussionists may audition for a spot on drum set. Men's games are held in Rupp Arena and women's games in Memorial Coliseum. Selection for Road Band is at the discretion of the director and is based upon instrumentation needs, an audition, seniority, attendance and participation during the regular season.

Rehearsals

Rehearsals are held in Room 22 (Band Room) two (2) hours before tip-off for men's games and one (1) hour before women's games. You must be present at the rehearsal to receive attendance credit. Two (2) tardies to a rehearsal equal one (1) absence. Please arrive to rehearsals on time. There will be approximately three (3) pre-season rehearsals which are required of all pep band members.

Schedule Conflicts

Any schedule conflicts that arise during the season must be brought to the director's attention as soon as you know about them - no last minute surprises!

Storied Rupp Arena

Named after the late and legendary UK basketball coach Adolph Rupp, Rupp Arena is located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, in the Lexington Center Complex, near the 31-story blue-green Lexington Financial Center. Opened in 1976, the facility seats over 24,000.

Drumline

Thank you for your interest in the Wildcat Marching Band Drumline. We are very excited about this fall’s line and are looking forward to a great marching season. While any individual is allowed to participate in the WMB drumline, there are auditions for placement on each instrument. In addition to halftime performances and stand tunes, the drumline will also learn extra candences and grooves. In order to help this process, we ask that you prepare as much during the summer months as possible. It is important that all players come prepared with a solid foundation of skills. In preparation for the audition, please work on all basic concepts including timing, technique, sound quality, relaxation, marking time, reading skills, etc. 

This year we are excited to host Summer Drum Day on June 29th, 2019. It will take place from noon to 8pm at the University of Kentucky Hagan Baseball Stadium. Please refer to the audition packet for more details. 

Please feel free to contact drumline instructors James Vilseck or Dr. Joshua Smith for any questions you may have.

Download the Audition Packet

Majorettes & Color Guard

UK Bands Sweetheart MajorettesSweetheart Majorettes

As the first female members to join the University of Kentucky Wildcat Marching Band in 1960, the UK Feature Twirlers and Sweetheart Majorette Twirling line is rich in tradition, excellence, and is comprised of national champion twirlers from all over the United States.

Taking pride in being one of the best twirling schools in the SEC, the UK Twirling program loves being a part of the Wildcat Marching Band and representing twirling in front of 70,000+ CATS fans at Kroger Field. The UK Feature Twirlers and Sweetheart Majorette line also perform at other UK Athletic events, around the Lexington community, and compete on the local, regional, and national level.

If you are interested in twirling at the University of Kentucky but not ready to commit, please contact UK Twirling coordinators Kelly Hanlon and Medina McAnallen (uktwirlers@gmail.com) for more information.

MARCH 2019 TRYOUTS


UK Bands Sweetheart MajorettesColor Guard

Thank you for your interest in the University of Kentucky and the Wildcat Marching Band Color Guard! As a member of the Color Guard and Wildcat Marching Band, you are a visible representative of not only the athletic teams we support, but also the University and state of Kentucky. The Color Guard performs at all home football games at Kroger Field for both pregame and half time in addition to various special events alongside the Wildcat Marching Band. The rewards from having this type of experience cannot be measured. Imagine the excitement of performing at major SEC events: performing at some of the largest nationally televised games, and traveling to various venues around the country. Earning a place on the Color Guard at UK will allow you to make friendships that last a lifetime and create some of the most memorable experiences of your life!

Audition Requirements/ Expectations:

  • Selected during the first days of Early Week
  • Please wear form fitting athletic clothing and athletic shoes. No Jewelry, jeans, or sandals.
  • A brief interview with the judging panel after each individual routine (no more than 3-5 questions).
  • A group flag routine taught and prepared by coaching staff and current members/ auditioned in groups of 4

Spinning/Tossing Skills To Demonstrate:

(Click on skill to view an example video.)

What To Bring:

  • A Form fitting athletic clothing and tennis shoes/socks. 
  • A non-returnable photo of yourself
  • A water bottle
  • Your own rifle if you wish to audition on rifle

Alumni Band

The University of Kentucky Alumni Band Association, is one of the largest and most active alumni associations on campus. Its board of directors meets monthly to plan activities for the membership and to work with the UK Band to continue to grow and improve upon the great traditions of the UK Bands. In addition, the University of Kentucky Alumni Band organizes a biannual reunion where they perform with the Wildcat Marching Band at a home football game. Finally, each year the Alumni Band plays at all Men's and Women's basketball games over the Holiday Break.

Auditions & Scholarships

There are no auditions for woodwind and brass players to be in the Wildcat Marching Band. The only prerequisite is high school band experience. Students who have been accepted as a music major do not need to audition. Auditions for the drumline take place during Early Week (Band Camp). Auditions for the Color Guard and Sweetheart Majorettes are held during the months of April and June. Check the Drumline and Majorettes information for more details.

Band Scholarships

The University of Kentucky Bands offers generous support to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential for superior musical performance as well as outstanding academic achievement. Performance-based scholarships are competitive and are determined through auditions with the members of the UK Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion faculty.  Awards include full and partial-tuition scholarships, and service awards are also available through several endowed scholarship programs including the Robert C. McDowell Scholarship Fund, Henry P. Ormsby Memorial Scholarship, UK Band Alumni Scholarships, and the Harry Clarke Band Scholarship. Scholarship awards are available to both music majors and non-music majors.

Scholarship Auditions

To schedule an audition, or for more information about UK Band scholarships, please call the UK Band Office, (859) 257-2263.

Student Leadership, Honors, & Organizations

Leadership

Drum Majors and Student Leadership staff are selected each spring from the ranks of the Wildcat Marching Band. Selection is based on experience, rehearsal discipline, conducting ability, personality, and leadership potential. Freshmen and new members of the marching band are eligible to try out for these positions after completing one year in the WMB.

Honors

Members of the Wildcat Marching Band have been selected as members of the Olympic Band, the Liberty All-Collegiate Band, the Disney World All-Star Band, the Collegiate Presidential Inaugural Band, and the Rose Bowl United Way Collegiate Band. In addition, many former members of the WMB are teaching marching bands throughout the Commonwealth and across the country, as well as playing professionally with bands such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Each year the band awards the "Honor Band Society" award to those students who have contributed to an extraordinary degree their time and energy to the success of the band. These awards are presented at the annual band banquet.

Student Organizations

The honorary band sorority, Tau Beta Sigma, and band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, are very active throughout the year providing special service to the band and supporting its needs.

What's next?

If you're interested, fill out our interest form for customized information about our programs.