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Tryout Information


Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of The Ohio State University Marching Band! 

The Ohio State Marching Band is an all-brass-and-percussion marching band. There are plenty of opportunities for woodwind players at Ohio State, though! Many woodwind players learn to play a brass or percussion instrument and have had success in making the band. For other opportunities, learn more about our Athletic Band program or other concert bands in the School of Music. 

All candidates that have not been members of the Marching Band in past years are required to attend Candidate Days. These days are meant to introduce new candidates to what will be expected during tryouts. 

Auditions for The Ohio State University Marching Band take place over two days. Tryouts are open to all students eligible to register at Ohio State and those at Columbus State Community College and other area institutions eligible to register through the Higher Education Council of Columbus (HECC).

If you are planning on trying out for the Marching Band, we suggest you register for the class for the autumn 2024 semester, as it is easier to drop the class than adjusting an existing class schedule. The course number for marching band is MUSIC 2205.01 (or MUSIC 7205.01 for graduate students). If you are enrolling at an institution other than Ohio State, please check with your advisor on how to add the course. 

If you are enrolling via Extended Education, you can do so here. Any returning Marching Band members who have enrolled this way in the past can enroll using the new applicant/visitor application, but there will be no application fee. The process does take 2-3 weeks, so enrolling sooner is better than later. Anyone who is enrolling via Extended Education for the first time will be required to pay the $60 non-refundable application fee.


For additional practice on our music and marching fundamentals, we encourage you to attend Summer Sessions, our optional rehearsals that run from June through early August.

2024 Tryouts Schedule

Thursday, August 8: Squad leader tryouts, 9 a.m. to noon, 2-5 p.m.
Friday, August 9: Candidate Day 1 (for all who have not previously been members of the marching band), 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., 1:30-3:30 p.m. Registration will be open at the Band Center from 7:30-9 a.m. There will be an optional meeting for parents at 9:30 a.m.
Saturday, August 10: Candidate Day 2, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 11: OSUMB Tryouts Day 1 for all candidates, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Secondary instrument auditions and music/marching re-auditions, 7-9 p.m.
Monday, August 12: OSUMB Tryouts Day 2 for all candidates, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 2023 band selected ~9 p.m.

If you have not previously checked out an instrument for Summer Sessions, you will be able to check one out on your designated first day of tryouts.

General Tryout Information

Tryouts consist of two elements, each worth half of the total audition score: a music audition and a marching audition. Music auditions consist of scales (chromatic and major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats), prepared exercises, school songs, and sight-reading. Students are evaluated on tone quality, rhythmic accuracy, technical facility, articulation, stylistic interpretation, and overall musicianship and preparedness.

Prepared music will be emailed to students three weeks before tryouts. Registered students may request school songs by emailing osumb@osu.edu. Marching auditions consist of the basic OSUMB marching fundamentals, 8-to-5 marching, and playing while marching.

Instruments will be available for checkout for tryouts in the summer. Students who need an instrument for tryouts should contact the band office at 614-292-2598 OR osumb@osu.edu.

Marching Fundamentals

Those trying out for The Ohio State University Marching Band will also need to know the fundamentals of our marching style. More information can be found in the newly updated fundamentals guides:

Tryout Music

For tryouts, candidates must have four songs memorized: Fight the Team, Buckeye Battle Cry, Hang On Sloopy and Beautiful Ohio (long version, begin at measure 13 and play to end). Candidates must also perform the appropriate tryout sheet for their instrument, which contains musical exercises. The tryout sheet will be made available to those who have registered three weeks prior to tryouts. The tryout sheet does not need to be memorized.

Housing During Tryouts

For those with an on-campus housing contract for the 2024-25 academic year, early move-in is available starting in early August at a cost of $35 per day. Early move-in slots start as early as August 4. Students who intend to move in early must be registered for tryouts by no later than July 16. Autumn semester dining plans will not be active until August 19, so students moving in early will need to make arrangements to get their own meals until then. Contact Student Housing for more information.

Rehearsal Schedule After Tryouts

For those that make the band, the hard work continues! Three-a-day rehearsals begin at 9 a.m. on the day after tryouts and continue through the start of classes.

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact osumb@osu.edu.