Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a music major to participate?No. 60% of our members are non-music majors with over 30 different majors and every college represented in Blazin’ Brigade.
Is Blazin' Brigade like high school?Collegiate marching band at a major university level is different from high school. Not better and not worse, just different. Our rehearsals are fast paced, we play a lot of music, and we perform at least three different shows in a season.
How much rehearsal time is required?
Blazin’ Brigade is an ensemble course and all members must register for MUSC 3880. We rehearse six hours a week during our regular class time (MW 4:00-5:50 PM, F 3:00-4:50 PM). If we have a home game, we have stadium rehearsals on the morning of the game.
Can I pass all my classes and be in band? Greek Life and band? Can I have a job?Yes. The myth that band takes up your entire life is confusing. We continue to encourage you get involved in your university. We lay out clear ways for our students to ensure any opportunities they want to participate are open to them. It requires organization and good communication on your part.
How much does marching band cost?
Beyond the cost to enroll in the marching band class, the following costs are associated with your participation:
$55 materials fee, which covers uniform cleanings, instrument maintenance, and other costs associated with a fully functioning marching band. This fee is automatically added to your university bill.
$50 for required team gear and apparel. This is a one-time cost for the duration of your participation in Blazin’ Brigade provided you take care of your gear and apparel.
Is specific apparel required?Yes. We are uniformed in every way. Directions on purchasing our required apparel are available when Band Camp information is published each spring. Current and new members will receive additional information as soon as possible.
Are scholarships or stipends available?Yes. Each member of Blazin’ Brigade receives a stipend at the end of each season. Students receive $75 for each year they are a member of Blazin’ Brigade, up to $300. Section leaders, drum majors, and undergraduate staff receive an additional $50.
Do we march corps or traditional?Blazin' Brigade marches a modified corps style with elements of traditional style in our pregame.
How often do we travel?Blazin’ Brigade will travel to 1-3 away games plus all playoff games depending on the success of the football team. The cost of travel is provided by VSU Bands and the university. All travel is required attendance.
Does everyone make the band?Blazin’ Brigade operates on the philosophy that we have a place for everyone who has experience performing in a marching band. There is no limit on the number of students we accept. If you are qualified, we want you to be a part of our band.
What about drumline?Drumline consists of 4-5 snares, 3-4 tenors, 5-7 basses, and front ensemble. Drumline uses match grip and audition music is available on March 1. All drumline and front ensemble instruments are provided by the band program.
What about color guard?Guard audition information will be available on March 1.
What about dance line?Our dance line is known as the Blazettes. We typically dance in hip-hop or jazz styles, but be prepared for anything. Audition information will be available on March 1.
Do I need my own instrument?Blazin' Brigade provides mellophones, trombones, baritones, and Sousaphones. We also have a limited number of piccolos and tenor saxes available. Drumline and front ensemble instruments are also provided by the band program. No other instruments are provided or available for rent.
May I audition on more than one instrument?We strongly encourage you to audition on your primary instrument.
How often do we travel?The band usually travels to 1-3 away games plus all playoff games depending on the success of the football team. We also perform at high school marching band competitions and occasionally a Friday night high school football game. The cost of travel is provided through the university.
What kind of shows do we do and how many?Blazin' Brigade performs 3-5 shows a season with music from a variety of genres. We have performed current Top 40 music, 80's music, rock, blues, and a variety of other genres.
Are there leadership opportunities?
There are multiple leadership opportunities for Blazin' Brigade members:
- Two drum majors who lead the band musically
- Two section leaders who focus on sectionals and marching instruction
- Two captains each for guard, Blazettes, and drumline who focus on music instruction
- Three undergraduate staff members who focus on marching band instruction and are responsible for logistical operations of the band
- Social Media Team is responsible for photography, videos, and communications across all our social media channels
- Library Team focuses on getting music organized and distributed to the band
- Two service organizations: Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi