General Information & FAQs


There is nothing quite like the experience of a large university marching band! At KU, we play a wide variety of music: different halftime shows for almost every home game, energizing music in the stands, and a pregame show that is rich in tradition and college pageantry. We’re here to entertain the crowd, support the team, and HAVE A GOOD TIME!

Membership in the Marching Jayhawks is open to all students enrolled at the University of Kansas. Non-music majors are welcome and encouraged to join! Instrumental Music Education majors (band emphasis) are required to have one semester of marching band completed before graduation. The minimum prerequisite for membership in the Marching Jayhawks 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.

The Marching Jayhawks march the following instruments/sections: piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, mellophone (horn), trombone, baritone, sousaphone (tuba), snare drum, tenor drums, bass drum, cymbals, colorguard (flags), and twirler.

We perform at all home football games, select away games, and post-season championship and bowl games when eligible. The University provides all travel expenses.

Marching band is a class at KU, and students may receive one credit hour for BAND 410.

A member of the Marching KU Band playing a horn

Frequently Asked Questions

No! In fact, a vast majority of the band are not music majors! We are comprised of a diverse student population, and many of our students view marching band as their social “break” from their classes. Over eighty different majors are represented in the band, so chances are very likely that someone is already in the band and studying your desired curriculum.

You bet! Auditions are required for colorguard, drumline, and twirler in the Marching Jayhawks, but there are no auditions required for the woodwinds and brasses in the Marching Jayhawks, just prior experience in your high school band or equivalent playing experience. While the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band have an audition requirement, the University Band is open to all students without an audition.

We rehearse for two hours a day, three times a week during the fall semester, plus game day rehearsals/performances. While this may appear as a lot of time, it is actually less of a daily commitment than many other college bands. And, many students don’t realize just how much free time they have in their schedule while at college. It’s not just about classes!

We play at all home football games and often take at least one trip. The band also hosts and performs an annual marching festival, the School of Music Collage Concert, and various pep rallies and campus events.

See How to Join for more information.

If the conflict cannot be avoided, contact Dr. Smith maosmith@ku.edu, director of the Marching Jayhawks.

There is a band activity fee due at band camp ($200for returning members, $225for new members). Additional costs may include marching shoes, and dry cleaning during the season. Information on these fees will be available to band members in the summer. The band provides meals on game days, all travel expenses, and a variety of adidas apparel as part of our sharp image!

The University of Kansas Office of Admissions and Scholarships offers various scholarships. For more information, please visit Financial Aid.

The University of Kansas School of Music also offers music scholarships to incoming music majors. These scholarships require an audition with the applied faculty member on your instrument.

Participation in the Pep Bands is limited to fall semester marching band members. There is no audition for the Volleyball Band. Auditions for the basketball bands are held during the fall semester prior to the beginning of the basketball season.

Many students claim that joining the Marching Jayhawks was the best decision of their college career! You will meet lifelong friends, be a part of a great tradition of collegiate athletics, and have a fantastic experience (i.e., fun)!

Contact Dr. Smith maosmith@ku.edu for your options! Students who attend a regional community college or Haskell Indian Nations University can also participate in the Marching Jayhawks.