How do I become a member of the Trojan Marching Band?

In order to join The Spirit of Troy, you must contact the recruitment manager, and provide your contact information. You will need to complete the form on the “Apply Now” page. If you feel more comfortable submitting this information verbally, you can call 213-740-6317 and leave the information with one of the band office staff members.


What is Band Camp?

To find out when Band Camp is, please check out the Calendar of Events.


Band camp is held on campus one week before classes begin. The leadership of the band spends the first day with just the freshmen in order to facilitate greater learning for new members. For the remaining five days, directors, teaching assistants, section leaders, and squad leaders help members work on their marching, musical, and unity skills. The band’s unique “Drive-It” style of marching is taught and reviewed, and the Band’s traditional sound is perfected by Dr. Bartner and fellow faculty.


Most meals for Band Camp are provided. Students who have USC Housing and are unable to move in early will stay in a hotel for a nominal fee (at the same rate as the USC Housing early move-in rate). You will have a break on the morning of Move-in Day so that you may check into your university housing. Band Camp is traditionally held the week before classes start. Percussion and silks report two days early for auditions and additional practice. This summer look for letters from the band which will explain when you need to arrive on campus and how to sign up for early housing.


Will my grades suffer?

A Trojan is faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious. The TMB has Trustee, Presidential, and Deans scholars who maintain their GPAs while remaining active members of the TMB. TMB members span nearly every club at USC and are routinely Phi Beta Kappa honor society members, members of professional honor groups, and graduate school admits. The TMB has had members from every major and minor USC has to offer who excel in their academics. Not only is it possible to maintain good grades while in the TMB, many students find they actually get better grades during marching season.


Do I need to be a music major?

As TMB members span nearly every major offered at USC, only about 15-30% of our members are music majors. We have countless former drum majors, section leaders, and long-time members who don’t plan on making music their vocation but just love to play their instrument!


What trips will I get to take as a freshmen?

No band in the country travels as much as the Trojan Marching Band! Our trips are primarily awarded on the basis of seniority, but also take into account the type of trip at hand. The whole band–including all freshmen–travel to San Francisco each year for the weekender, Chicago every other year for the Notre Dame trip, and the bowl game. Depending on the year’s schedule, Sophomores usually travel to Arizona or Oregon, while Juniors typically travel to Oregon or Washington. Seniors get first pick at away games and normally travel to the non-conference games — past senior trips include Atlanta, Hawaii, New York, Kansas City, Washington D.C. and Virginia. Additionally, a group of band members travels internationally every other year. Recent trips included Italy (2015), London (2012), and Brazil (2008).


What if I have a class that conflicts with a band trip?

The TMB is just like the football team; we receive excused absence forms from class. Your academics are a priority for the TMB. If you have a test on that day you can either arrange with your professor to take it early or have one of our staff proctor the test at the hotel. If all else fails, we have a bus drive up to the Weekender later in the day for those students who can’t miss class.


What if I have a class that conflicts with band rehearsal?

If you have a class that conflicts with the band practice schedule you have several options:

  • Choose another section of the same class
  • Try taking a different class in the fall and shift that class to the spring semester
  • If all else fails, talk to your section leader about arriving a few minutes late to practice or becoming a reserve.


We know that there is a chemistry and physics quiz section for many freshmen that conflicts with band. It usually only meets four times per semester and we usually have those students arrive late to practice on those days.


What if I need a job?

The band office offers work study positions for those with work study in their financial aid package. More information will become available during Band Camp. However, even if you do not have work study, most of our members find time to work on or near campus, even during marching season.


Can I join another group on campus?

We encourage our members to be active participants in the USC community. Most of our members are part of activities outside the band including athletics, sororities, fraternities, professional societies, religious activities, JEP, Thematic Option, honor societies, Film/television crews, internships, resident advisors, and about anything else you can name on campus. Remember: a Trojan is faithful, scholarly, skillful, courageous, and ambitious. Be ambitious and jump
right into USC!


Should I bring my own instrument?

Yes, all freshmen who own a personal instrument should bring it to band camp. Instruments will be issued prior to our first football game according to section and part. These instruments will remain yours throughout the fall semester. During the spring and summer semesters, these instruments have very limited availability, so having your own instrument is a must. If you are interested in our Tuba (Sousaphone) section or Drumline, these instruments will be provided.


What if I do not own an instrument?

If you desire to play on an instrument that you do not own, please make certain to notify our General Manager of your need for an instrument prior to band camp and every effort will be made to accommodate you.


What instruments and auxiliary are used in the Trojan Marching Band?

  • Flutes
  • Clarinets
  • Alto Saxophones
  • Tenor Saxophones
  • Mellophones
  • Trumpets
  • Trombones
  • Tubas (Sousaphones)
  • Percussion (snares, quads, bass drums, cymbals)
  • Silks (tall flags)
  • Featured Twirlers


What if I play an instrument that does not march in the TMB?

Although we do not march euphoniums/baritones, double reeds, bass clarinets, bells/other sideline percussion and (obviously) strings, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you in the TMB! Many musicians with a background on one of these instruments switch to another instrument as a means to join the TMB. Baritones usually switch to trombone, horn, or tuba, while double reeds usually switch to another reed instrument such as tenor sax, alto sax, or clarinet. Have prior experience on an instrument we march, but also interested in learning something new? Great! Even if you played a certain instrument in high school, we encourage you to learn a new instrument here. Altos may want to try tenor sax. String or piano players can try something new. Sideline percussion are encouraged to audition for marching percussion or try prop crew. And if you don’t play an instrument at all, you are welcome to join the prop crew, our logistical support team, or any section other than percussion. Any student who loves USC and wants to support our athletic teams is welcome in our program!


Do I have to register for MUEN 222/322 (Trojan Marching Band) to be in the Band?

Band members are encouraged but not required to register for the band as a class. You pay the same tuition whether you take 12-18 units. If you’re already at 18 units, you don’t need to pay for the extra unit, but if you have units to spare, go ahead and take band for elective credit. Music majors should consult with their academic advisor about Ensemble Credit for MUEN 222/322.


Are scholarships available to members of the Trojan Marching Band?

The Trojan Marching Band does not provide scholarships to students, but Band Grants are available for members who meet the criteria. Members who are interested in receiving a Band Grant must come to the Band Office and fill out the appropriate paperwork after Band Camp.


How much does membership in the Trojan Marching Band cost?

The Trojan Marching Band raises over $1 million per year. This money is used to pay for instruments, airfare, hotels, meals, uniforms, and other band expenses. Transportation and hotels are provided on trips. Most meals on trips will be provided, but sometimes the band members need to provide their own food.


Your only expense for joining the band is the Spirit Pack, which you will purchase during Band Camp your freshmen year. It will be about $65 and includes a red gig bag, TMB hat, long sleeve basketball shirt, and two short sleeve TMB gig shirts. You will also need a pair of plain, completely black marching shoes and sunglasses. The TMB has in the past received free sunglasses from NIKE and Oakley.


How much time does the Trojan Marching Band require?

Membership in the TMB requires a minimum commitment of 8 hours per week, plus 4-8 hours on Saturdays.

■ Rehearsals during the football season take place Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays on Cromwell Field from 3:45 pm to 5:45 pm and from 7 am to 11am on Saturdays (Saturday rehearsals may change depending upon the game time).

■ Percussion and Silks have an additional rehearsal on Tuesdays from 7 pm to 11 and 9:30 pm respectively. Normally, the drumline will also stay after the full band rehearsal on Friday until 8:00 pm for extra rehearsal as well. There is NO extra Silk practice on Friday evenings.


When are auditions held?

Twirler Auditions – March or April, usually around the same time as Drum Major tryouts
Percussion Auditions – August, usually two days before Band Camp starts. There are NO auditions for Silks.


All other section auditions – Informal auditions are held each August during Band Camp. Musical ability is judged according to range and style and will determine your chair or part assignment within your section. Marching ability is based on ability to acquire and integrate basic marching fundamentals and patterns of motion, along with music memorization and collegiate spirit.


To find out when Band Camp and other audition times are, please check out the Calendar of Events.


Are there requirements for potential members in the TMB?

All members are required to attend Band Camp. Other than that, the only requirement of the Trojan Marching Band is Spirit!