Tryout Information


Tryout Update | July 13

With August coming up quickly, we wanted to provide an update to our planned tryout schedule.

Nothing has officially been cancelled or changed yet, but we are anticipating that tryouts are likely going to look different this year compared to the past. We want to assure everyone that we are working on solutions that will be not only equitable for everyone trying out but also provide safety for our current students, future students, judges and staff. We still anticipate putting together the 143rd edition of the Ohio State University Marching Band, and we are still planning for a season.

With that in mind, our tryout registration form has officially opened on Monday, July 13. We hope that everyone planning to try out signs up. While we cannot commit to a date to provide more information, please check back in the coming weeks for further updates.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of The Ohio State University Marching Band! Registration is required to participate in tryouts.

To register, please fill out the form here.

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.

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.

2020 Tryouts Registration

Tryouts will be held on August 16-17, with Candidate Days on August 14-15 being required for all who have not been members of The Ohio State University Marching Band before. 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 2020 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 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 & 2020 Schedule

Auditions for The Ohio State University Marching Band take place over two days. All students who have not previously been members of the marching band are also required to attend Candidate Days.

Thursday, August 13: Squad leader tryouts, 9 a.m. to noon, 2-5 p.m.
Friday, August 14: Candidate Day 1 (for all who have not previously been members of the marching band), 2-5 p.m., 7-9 p.m. Registration will be open at the Band Center from noon-2 p.m. There will be an optional meeting for parents at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 15: Candidate Day 2, 9 a.m. to noon, 2-5 p.m.
Sunday, August 16: 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 17: OSUMB Tryouts Day 2 for all candidates, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 2019 band selected ~9 p.m.

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 Marching auditions consist of the basic OSUMB marching fundamentals, 8-to-5 marching, and playing while marching.

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 Down by the Ohio. 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 2020-21 academic year, early move-in is available to you at a per-day cost until the official move-in day. To make early arrival arrangements, please contact University Housing.  

Rehearsal Schedule After Tryouts

For those that make the band, the hard work continues! Three-a-day rehearsals begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 18, and will continue through Friday, August 21.

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