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Any questions about the Cougar Marching Band or any of the other musical organizations in the Music Department can be directed to Dr. Jon Sweet by emailing


For incoming freshman attending New Cougar Orientation sessions: CMB staff members, along with a couple of current band members, will be available at the Activities Fair on the 2nd day of each orientation session.


The Marching Band Office is in Kimbrough Music Building, Room B41 




How big is the Cougar Marching Band?

The Cougar Marching Band has approximately 200 members including winds, drumline, and color guard. 

Who is eligible to participate?

Membership in the Cougar Marching Band is open to all registered students at Washington State University, Spokane Falls Community College, or Lewis-Clark State College, regardless of the student’s major field of study. Students can register here. Students must be enrolled in MUS 444 (Section 2 for Percussion, Section 1 for all others). To get more information about the Marching Band, fill out this interest form, or contact Dr. Sweet at 

Do I have to be a music major/minor?

Not at all! In fact, only about 15% of the CMB consists of music majors. Members represent over 70 different majors!

Do I have to audition?

The band has an OPEN admission policy for winds and color guard – anyone with high school instrumental music experience is welcome to participate in the Cougar Marching Band. During band camp, some individual playing will take place to ensure your best part placement. 

Percussionists who wish to march in the drumline must audition for placements. Requirements for drumline auditions are found HERE 

When do I have to be here for band camp?

Band camp for Woodwinds and Brass begins on Sunday, 8 days prior to the start of Fall Term classes. Drumline and color guard report one or two days earlierRehearsals continue all day, every day throughout the week before classes. All students intending to perform in the CMB must attend the pre-season rehearsals. Specific information is delivered to members over the summer once they have registered. 

Does being in the band cost anything?

There is a small course fee (approximately $75) to participate in the Cougar Marching Band. This money goes towards some clothing items, instrument rental, sticks/cymbal pads (if you are on the drumline), and the Ultimate Drill Book software. There may be some additional small costs for percussion, guard, and twirler, and optional clothing items. You are also required to purchase black (non-patent) marching shoes. 

Other costs, such as food and travel, are covered by the Cougar Marching Band. 

Are there pep bands?

Yes, we have pep bands that play at all home men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball games. 

Performance Requirements

How many different half-time shows are performed each year?

The Cougar Marching Band performs a different half-time show for each home game. 

Does the band memorize the music/drill?

Memorization is required for performances. We work hard so that all students feel prepared for each performance. 

What is the rehearsal schedule like?

On performance weeks, the band typically rehearses Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On weeks without a performance, the band rehearses Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The drumline occasionally holds sectionals on Wednesdays which will be communicated with all members before the semester starts. 


On gamedays we have a rehearsal in the stadium. 


Generally, there is no rehearsal commitment beyond the typical schedule. 

How much time is required of me during a typical week?

The time commitment is generally far less than most competitive high school marching bands. For a detailed description of weekly events, see the Events Calendar. 

Where does the band rehearse?

Most rehearsals are at Grimes Way Field, but we often also rehearse in Martin Stadium. In some circumstances (such as inclement weather) we rehearse in the Kimbrough Music Building or the Indoor Football Practice Facility. 

Are there other Marching Band performances other than home football games?

Besides home football games, the Cougar Marching Band travels to Seattle, WA every other year for the Apple Cup game and will attend any bowl game or post-season travel! The CMB also performs at campus pep rallies, our marching band competition, and other selected functions. A schedule of all activities and obligations will be sent to all CMB members during the summer and can also be found here. 

Is there band friends and family seating at football games? How do I get home football tickets for my family?

The directors will distribute a promo code that will allow band members to purchase special tickets online


Instrument Information

Is instrument storage available?

Students may check out lockers from the School of Music during the first week of classes.

I don’t own an Instrument, or I don’t want to use my personal one outside. Can I rent one?

Yes, all students can rent instruments through the CMB for free. Although you can use your own piccolo, clarinet, saxophone (alto or tenor) or trumpet, ALL students use WSU-owned mellophones, trombones, baritones, and sousaphones. 


Academic and Attendance Information

Can I get academic credit for playing in Pep/Marching Band?

Students receive one hour of credit for their participation in the Cougar Marching Band by registering MUS444 during the fall semester. Also, students can enroll in the Pep Bands (MUS 444) for one hour of credit during the spring term.

I have schedule conflicts during band camp, what should I do?

All conflicts must be approved by Dr. SweetPlease contact him at with concerns or conflicts. 

I have a schedule conflict during rehearsal time throughout the semester, what should I do?

Students are permitted to miss up to two hours of rehearsal a week for classes with unavoidable conflicts. All conflicts, and those beyond two hours, must have permission from Dr. Sweet. 

Stipend and Scholarship Information

Do I get paid to be in the band?

The Cougar Marching Band offers graduated stipends. First-year members receive $200 stipend and this amount increases by $100 each year, capping at $500 for seniors and above. Section leaders and drum majors receive an additional $250 stipend. 

Additionally, stipend members of the pep band receive an additional $350 for each pep band they perform with. 

Does my stipend count against my financial aid for work study?


Are there scholarships available?

Returning members are eligible to receive one of numerous $1000 scholarships through the Lloyd Cyr Endowment. Additionally, the CMB Alumni sponsor two Randal Spicer Scholarships worth $1500 each.

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