Give to the Bearcat Bands

Gifts enable us to further provide every student with the best possible experience. Much of our external support comes from monthly and annual givers in a variety of amounts. No gift is too small; all are significant. Just a few options are listed below. Call us at 513-556-BAND (2263) or email us at to learn more. Thank you for your support!

Bearcat Bands is a unit of UC’s Division of Student Affairs, and maintains partnerships with Athletics and the College-Conservatory of Music. Students receive little to no scholarship support for their participation in the band. The band relies on funding from student fees and the generous support of donors.

"Charge Into the Next Century" Instruments Campaign

Inspired by the Marching Band’s 65+ year traditional CHARGE! down the Nippert Stadium steps at home football games, Charge into the Next Century is the Bearcat Bands’ initiative to put a quality instrument in the hands of every band member.

The Bearcat Bands include nearly 350 students participating in the spirit band program (marching band, color guard, twirlers, and pep bands); multiple concert bands; jazz ensembles; various brass, woodwind, and percussion ensembles; beginning band; and educational clinics.

The vision of Bearcat Bands is for the University of Cincinnati to be the most musical campus in America.

Replace | Repair | Endow

Our goals are to

  1. Provide a one-time sweep of the Bearcat Bands’ instrument inventory,
  2. Allow for additional instrument purchases to accommodate the growth and popularity of the band,
  3. Endow a fund for ongoing instrument maintenance.

Many students in the band currently use their own personal instruments in all weather conditions. A good number of instruments in the school-owned inventory are much depreciated and even irreparable.

It is uncommon for peer-institution band programs to have an arrangement such as ours, where students are heavily depended upon to provide and repair their own instruments.

The success of this fundraising campaign is critical to ensure the band is inclusive and accessible to students, and for the uniformity of the band’s sound and appearance resulting from the consistent use of high-quality, matching instruments:

  • Students would not be turned away from participation in the band because they do not have an instrument.
  • Repairs to personal and school instruments would not need to be substantially or wholly subsidized by students.
  • All students would have access to an instrument for use in all weather conditions.
  • The band director would have increased capacity to ensure the band sounds and looks as it should.

Instrument Level Giving in the following amounts provide the funding to purchase each instrument, including the case, mouthpiece, accessories, and ongoing sanitation and repairs:

  • Piccolo: $1,900
  • Clarinet: $1,500
  • Alto Saxophone: $1,900
  • Tenor Saxophone: $2,200
  • Baritone Saxophone: $5,900
  • Trumpet: $2,100
  • Mellophone: $2,300
  • Trombone: $2,400
  • Baritone: $2,700
  • Sousaphone: $10,000
  • Marching Snare Drum: $3,100
  • Marching Tenor Drums: $5,400
  • Marching Bass Drums (variable sizes): $3,200 to $4,300
  • Crash Cymbals: $1,900

Help Bearcat Bands celebrate its Centennial in 2020 and Charge into the Next Century by replacing and repairing its instruments!

There is no part of the human soul that music cannot touch, and I hope to never turn away a student who comes to us. Experiences in band go far beyond the already substantial demands of the rehearsals and performances: students significantly develop their humanity and abilities to multitask, self-discipline, and work together. We are positioned to leverage this incredible power for the betterment of our campus, city, and society.

Christopher Nichter 14th Director of the Bearcat Bands


Once upon a time at a band camp "long ago," the Associate Band Director came up to me and asked me why the neck of my tenor sax was out so far--that's how far out it was. The instrument was so out of tune that the only way to keep pitch was to let out the mouthpiece and the neck as far as they could possibly go (and still allow the octave key to work). I could never afford my own instrument and relied on what the band had, so I'm glad to do my part to make sure that no one will ever have to do that again. - a band alumnus

Unrestricted Gifts

Gifts to the Bearcat Bands Annual Fund afford the Director the ability to spend for whatever areas of the program are in greatest need at any given time.

In recent years, an annual total of $20,000 in unrestricted gifts is used for operating budget supplementation.

Recent projects funded by donations include a Bearcat Marching Band performance at the 2018 BOA Super-Regional in Indianapolis, annually outfitting the Color Guard and Feature Twirlers, compositions for Concert Band, professional audio/visual archival recordings of performances, and providing students with complimentary meals as a celebration following performances.

Sponsor a Feature Twirler

The University of Cincinnati is very fortunate to have nationally and internationally ranked Feature Twirlers each year.

To assist with, and in some cases eliminate, numerous expenses each of our twirlers would otherwise have to fund themselves, we offer the option to sponsor a UC Feature Twirler for one academic year. You will receive public recognition of your sponsorship at the band's home football pregame concerts on Sigma Sigma Commons and the band's end-of-season "Sounds of the Stadium" concert. From your sponsored twirler you will also receive personal thanks, ongoing communications, and performance video.

Full Sponsorship Amount: $4,200

If a partial sponsorship is desired, that can also be discussed according to the process described in the following paragraph.

To intitate sponsorship, please contact Assistat Director of Bands, Dr. Krista Mulcahy at 513-556-1362 / for discussion and a brief explanation of the process. If you have a specific twirler to sponsor in mind, please share that individual's name at that time. (The intended sponsorship recipient must already be an auditioned, accepted, and enrolled Feature Twirler in the Bearcat Bands at the time of this discussion. Sponsorship inquiries will not occur prior to auditions and the announcement of results.)

Sponsor a Halftime Show