Feb. 1, 2010
Elizabeth Klipp, 404-413-1356
They have the uniforms, fight song and director. Now all the Georgia State University Marching Band needs are the musicians.
The School of Music has put out a rallying cry for students to fill the inaugural Georgia State Marching Band.
Now is the time for students to make the band.
"This is an opportunity to be involved from the ground floor and establish traditions," said Robert Ambrose, GSU director of bands.
Georgia State's Marching Band will step-off on Sept. 2, minutes before the Panther football team takes the field in the Georgia Dome for its first home game. The rhythmic drums, harmonic melodies and waving flags will rouse the spirit of players and fans alike.
A traditional drum corps style group, the Georgia State Marching Band will play brand new instruments and don sleek, contemporary uniforms proudly displaying the GSU flame.
"Our idea is a blending of the traditional aspects of marching band with a fresh feel that's relevant to our metropolitan campus," said Chester Phillips, director of athletic bands and associate director of bands.
Phillips will lead the Georgia State Marching Band, drawing on his experience of being a member and soloist with the UGA Redcoats and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Bergen County, N.J., a teacher of bands and orchestra in public schools and his graduate studies at the University of Illinois and the University of Georgia.
He said each member of the GSU Marching Band must be a current Georgia State student, unless his or her home school does not have a marching band, such as Georgia Perimeter College. All interested students are invited to audition this spring.
The instrumentation of the ensemble will include piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, sousaphone, snare drum with traditional grip, tenor drums, bass drum, cymbals and color guard.
Interviews for drum majors will begin Feb. 15-18 and other leadership positions will be held Feb. 22-24. Auditions for general membership are scheduled for March 29 - April 2.
Interested applicants must sign up for an audition and e-mail name, class rank and institution, and instrument played to firstname.lastname@example.org. Auditions will last about 15 minutes and applicants will be expected to play three major scales, a portion of a prepared solo and sight read music.
To try out for the color guard, students will be required to attend an audition camp from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 17. The location is to be determined. Students need to wear all black, form fitting clothing and minimal jewelry. Flags will be provided.
To try out for the percussion section, students will be required to attend a two-day audition camp on April 24 and May 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those signed up for an audition will receive a packet of exercises to learn ahead of time and should be proficient music readers.
A unique aspect of the Georgia State Marching Band will be the front ensemble. Instead of a mallet-based pit, the GSU's front ensemble will be a rock band of a lead guitar, rhythm guitar, electric bass, synthesizer and drum set. Applicants must be proficient music readers and tab readers should not apply. Auditions will be held on April 24.
Members of the band will be announced in May. Phillips said they are looking for as many talented musicians as possible. Band members must enroll in a credited course at GSU and will be expected to practice three days a week.
Some scholarships are available and will be awarded based on audition results and instrumentation needs. Band camp will be held Aug. 5-13 on and near campus.
Phillips and Ambrose are keeping the music of the half-time show under wraps for now. But the new Georgia State fight song has been written and is being played by the pep band at basketball games.
Joining the marching band will be like being part of a family, Phillips said.
"For the students in the band, it gives them an amazing family of friends and people they can work hard with and they can trust," Phillips said. "They don't even know it yet, but students will meet their spouse or their best friend for life in the marching band. They're going to make connections that open up doors and help them as a person by the work ethic that we will reinforce."
For a list of important dates and more information, visit www.music.gsu.edu/marchingband