Join the Bearcat Bands

Every prospective member must audition for placement purposes. Information that follows is specific to the Spirit Bands (Marching & Basketball). If you are interested in joining a Concert or Jazz Band, our Beginning Band for those that would like to learn to play, or to learn about other opportunities in the band program, email BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu or call 513-556-BAND to tell us about your interests and to introduce yourself.


Woodwind & Brass Auditions 2020-21

Every prospective member must audition for placement purposes. Information that follows is specific to the Spirit Bands (Marching & Basketball). If you are interested in joining a Concert or Jazz Band, our Beginning Band for those that would like to learn to play, or to learn about other opportunities in the band program, email BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu or call 513-556-BAND to tell us about your interests and to introduce yourself.

Wind Audition Requirements

To receive the required selections Cheer Cincinnati and the UC Alma Mater, contact the band office at BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu.

  • A full-range chromatic scale
  • A prepared selection of your choice
    • We suggest a piece you have performed for solo and ensemble, an etude, or an excerpt that you used to audition for All State or a similar ensemble
  • The UC fight song, Cheer Cincinnati
  • The UC Alma Mater

Wind Audition Submission Process

All prospective members are required to submit a video in one take of their performance of the requirements. Email a shareable link (cloud-based such as Dropbox or Google Drive) to BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu. Contact the Band Office at 513-556-BAND or at BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu with questions or to request copies of the required selections. Videos will be accepted until all spots are filled or July 17, 2020, whichever is first. If you are receiving this information after July 17, 2020 or have extenuating circumstances that prohibit sending a video, please email Dr. Krista Mulcahy for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!


Percussion Auditions 2020-21

Every prospective member must audition for placement purposes. Information that follows is specific to the Spirit Bands (Marching & Basketball). If you are interested in joining a Concert or Jazz Band, our Beginning Band for those that would like to learn to play, or to learn about other opportunities in the band program, email BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu or call 513-556-BAND to tell us about your interests and to introduce yourself.

Percussion Audition Requirements

To receive the required selections, contact the band office at BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu.

  • BOTH Battery AND Front Ensemble
    • Single, Double, Triple Exercise 
    • Check Patterns 1-4 @ 100 BPM
    • 16th note Moving Accent Exercise @ 120 BPM
    • 8th note Triplet Check @ 120 BPM
    • You may submit a solo if you wish
    • Send all of the above as entry #1.
  • Battery ONLY - march to everything
    • Triplet Roll exercise @ 140, 144, & 156 BPM (Only for Snares and Tenors)
    • Flam Jam Exercise @ 124-132 BPM
    • Down the Steps
    • Paw
    • Single, Double, Triple, and Moving Accent Exercise
    • Send all of the above as entry #2.
  • Front Ensemble ONLY
    • Check Patterns 1-4 @ 100 BPM
    • Scales & Arpeggios @ 120 BPM (All Major Keys)
    • Octave Scales @ 88 BPM (C Major, F Major, Bb Major, Eb Major, Ab Major, & Db Major)
    • Green Scales @ 80, 110, & 150 BPM (C Major, D Major, E Major, & F# Major)
    • Bearcat Jam (4-mallet) @ 106 BPM (C Major)
    • Send all of the above as entry #2.

Percussion Audition Submission Process

All prospective members are required to submit videos in one take each of their performances of the requirements. Email a shareable link (cloud-based such as Dropbox or Google Drive) to BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu. Contact the Band Office at 513-556-BAND or at BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu with questions or to request copies of the required selections. Videos will be accepted until all spots are filled or June 5, 2020, whichever is first. If you are receiving this information after June 5, 2020 or have extenuating circumstances that prohibit sending videos, please email Dr. Krista Mulcahy for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!


Color Guard Auditions 2020-21

Color Guard Audition Requirements

  • Supply videos of the following:
    1. UC Fight Songs
    2. Flag Tosses
      • Submit video of tossing skills on flag. Include: 
        • Pole/Pull Hits (single & double)
        • Single/Double Flag Tosses 
        • Horizontal Tosses 
        • 45 or Angle Tosses
        • Any additional Release moves
      • Please show skills on BOTH HANDS and display strong variety and proficiency.
      • Send all in one take as entry #2.
    3. Flag Routine Example
      • Submit a 1-2 minutes sample of a favorite combination or routine, great work from a show you’ve performed, or something you’ve created. Showcase your Flag skills with a strong variety of moves, performance qualities, and your love of our sport. Smile!
      • Send in one take as entry #3.
    4. Weapons - optional
      • If you are interested in Rifle or Sabre, send a video demonstrating your weapon skills: a short segment with exercises to show basics and proficiency with spins or technique exercises on Rifle. Include a segment with Rifle Tosses (doubles, triples, quads, fives, horizontal & angle releases). You may also showcase a short Weapon Routine showing skills, equipment work and tossing, either on Rifle or Sabre.
      • You DO NOT need to send these weapon videos if you are not interested in the weapon line.
      • Send in one take as entry #4.

Color Guard Audition Submission Process

All prospective members are required to submit the videos in one take each of their performances of the requirements. Email a shareable link (cloud-based such as Dropbox or Google Drive) to BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu. Contact the Band Office at 513-556-BAND or at BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu with questions. Videos will be accepted until all spots are filled or June 15, 2020, whichever is first. If you are receiving this information after June 15, 2020 or have extenuating circumstances that prohibit sending videos, please email Dr. Krista Mulcahy for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!


Feature Twirler Auditions 2021-22

Prospective new twirlers audition in a two-step process, all virtual. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited experience it afforded, veterans interested in returning are exempted from this process for 2021-22 only. We anticipate returning to our normal, live process in 2022-23.

About the role of Feature Twirler at the University of Cincinnati

The twirlers are a section of the Bearcat Spirit (Marching and Basketball/Pep) Band. By virtue of their role as highly visible and--to a degree--soloistic performers, they are honored by having their names announced at public performances along with the band directors and drum majors. Their mission is to visually represent the musical excellence of our band and entertain our fans through the traditional craft and innovative art of twirling.

  • Required skills of a UC Feature Twirler
    • 5 Spin - Gym
    • 4 Spin Left
    • 4 Spin Backhand
    • 4 Spin Catch Back
    • 1 Spin Double Illusion
    • Double Walkover
    • Grand Jete Walkover
    • Low Contact Body Work
    • Strong Body Work
    • Entertainment Skills
  • Other intangibles
    • Commitment to be present at every function of the Bearcat Marching and Basketball Bands made known to you
    • Well spoken, verbally and in writing
    • Mannerly
    • Well groomed
    • Mature and befitting cognitive and emotional capabilities
    • Emphasis on the good of the team and band over self-interest
  • Willingness to learn, if new info
    • How to read drill charts

Step 1: Candidate Review and Video Prescreening

  • Due: March 26, 2021
  • Provide a twirling resume and headshot. The resume should outline your competitive twirling career and performance experience, current and former coaches, and awards.
  • Include
    • Full Name
    • Address
    • Mobile Phone Number
    • Personal, not School, Email Address
    • Current acceptance status at the University of Cincinnati and major, if declared
    • Three references for contact. Ideally, one each of a school administrator, band director, and coach.
  • Include a YouTube link (or other cloud-based format) of a live performance from a competition or non-competitive setting or, ideally, a combination of both. We are looking to see your highest skill set and your ability to perform for a crowd.
  • Send all of the above in one email to BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu.
  • Once materials have been received and reviewed, selected candidates will be invited to submit a final audition video. All prospective twirlers will receive a response by March 31, 2021.

Step 2: Auditions for Invited Finalists

  • Due: April 9, 2021
  • Submit another video using the same method as in Step 1.
    1. A 2-to-3 minute routine choreographed to music of your choice utilizing your strongest assets as a twirler. Body work, variety of catches, floor coverage, multiple baton work, musicality, and overall performance skills will be judged. Note the list of required skills available on the band's website.
    2. Down the field strut to a march (which can be school fight song) or other martial music. There is no time limit, but you should cover the length of a standard gym. This should include tosses with movement underneath them that you would use during a parade and moving across the football field.
  • A virtual interview will be scheduled with you to discuss your collegiate goals and desire to perform at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Final results will be announced by April 16, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, all 2020-21 auditions are video submissions. Please see the various requirements in the prior sections of this webpage.
  • Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, all 2020-21 auditions are video submissions. Please see the various requirements in the prior sections of this webpage.
  • Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, all 2020-21 auditions are video submissions. Please see the various requirements in the prior sections of this webpage.
  • Due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, all 2020-21 auditions are video submissions. Please see the various requirements in the prior sections of this webpage.
  • No. Most of our members are not music majors, although some are!
  • It depends. Basketball Band requires Marching Band participation (and vice versa). Concert and Jazz Bands do not require Marching Band participation, though most students that are in a Concert or Jazz Band also tend to be in Marching Band. Some people start by doing a Concert Band, making friends, then auditioning for Marching Band later. Most will start with Marching Band their first year and stick with it along with participation in other bands: this is absolutely the best way to maximize your first year and make irreplaceable friends and memories! (Yes, you have the time.)
  • All Marching Band members are expected to participate in a Concert or Jazz Band during the Spring semester.
  • Jazz Band participation generally requires at least a semester of Concert Band participation first.
  • This isn't like many high schools where the band is the band: Marching, Concert, Jazz, and whatever else. In college, each ensemble is its own class.
  • Regardless, if you participate in only one of the Bearcat Bands you are part of the family!
  • We all get the same 24 hours in a day. How you utilize that time is a personal matter. If someone wants to do something badly enough, they will usually find a way to make it happen. Don't make the mistake of not doing it your first year and missing that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Joining later, although a great decision, can never replace the friendships and memories you will have missed. Most of our bands require much less of a time commitment than high school. Generally speaking, yes, almost everyone has the time for college band if it is something they want to do. Try it and find out!

No, Bearcat Bands classes are not assessed tuition and fees. See the list available here: https://www.uc.edu/bursar/fees/special-course.html

  • We require members to enroll in the corresponding class. We allow students from local colleges to join us as well. UC has the only collegiate marching band in the immediate tri-state area which allows students at all neighboring institutions to participate and receive credit through the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection. Go to www.gccollegiateconnection.org for more information.
  • Woodwinds: Piccolos, B-flat Soprano Clarinets, Alto/Tenor/Bari Saxes
  • Brass: Trumpets, Mellophones, Trombones, Baritones, Sousaphones
  • Percussion: Snare Drums, Multi-Tenor Drums, Bass Drums, Crash Cymbals, Front Ensemble including some electronics
  • The UC Marching Band has a contemporary Color Guard section and Feature Twirlers. Both units require annual auditions.
  • Yes, there is a camp required of all UC Marching Band members.
  • For 2020, pre-season camp for percussion and color guard will begin Friday, August 07, all other new members will begin Wednesday, August 12, and everyone will conclude by Saturday, August 22 for the full ensemble. Specific dates with a timeline of events will be released by July.
  • A number of our Marching Band members participate in some of the most storied programs in pageantry arts (drum corps, WGI, etc.). We are entirely supportive of this and make necessary concessions depending on the calendar and member summer availability. That being said, the Bearcat Marching Band will also be a significant commitment in your life. We expect all members to communicate with the directors and other staff of both groups in advance and with utmost professionalism. Generally, we already know the directors and staff members of your other ensembles, too! We have longstanding agreements and understandings with these professionals. Rarely are we unable to find some kind of compromise unless you wait too long, handle the communication poorly, and/or be shady.
  • The University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands program offers a variety of performance opportunities including Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, Beginning Band, and an assortment of other small ensembles. The UC Alumni Band hosts an annual summer Community Band that is also open to current students. There are also non-major choirs and an orchestra at the internationally-acclaimed College-Conservatory of Music just down the street!
  • Please email or call us: BearcatBands@ucmail.uc.edu or 513-556-BAND (2263). Be ready to give us as much information as possible so we can answer your question thoroughly.