Attending a four-year university in the United States is incredibly expensive for the average student. That is why universities and alumni groups often create scholarship funds to help provide students in need with additional money to attend school and earn their degrees.
Here is a list of marching band scholarships you can apply for:
|Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music
|Jennings Scholarship (for non-music majors)
|The Ohio State University
|100% TBDBITL scholarship campaign
|University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNC Charlotte)
|–The Vickie and Gene Johnson Marching Band Scholarship
-The Fischer Family Scholarship
The Williams Dahnert Marching Band Scholarship
–The Barnhardt Marching Band Endowment
–The Frank E Wampler, Jr. “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band Endowment.
|Northern Illinois University
|My Scholarship – Huskie Marching Band
|$12,000 in scholarships over a period of four years
|California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)
|– Lowe Family Mustang Marching Band Scholarship.
– Kawamoto Family Scholarship
– Mustang Band Alumni Association Drum Major Scholarship.
–Mustang Band Leadership Scholarships.
|Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band
|Southern University Marching Band Scholarships
|$1000 – $3000
|University of Oklahoma
|The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band scholarships
|Brigham Young University
|Talent / Service Award – For all Band Members
|Starting at $600
|student of the Mason Gross School of the Arts – For All Band Members
|University of Texas
|– The Carl T. Widen Memorial Scholarship.
– General D. Harold Byrd Memorial Scholarship.
– The James Johnson Memorial Scholarship.
– The Jane and Vincent R. DiNino Honorary Scholarship.
–The Moton H. Crockett Jr. Honorary Scholarship, and many more.
|The University of Alabama
|The Million Dollar Band Scholarship – For All Members of the Band
|University of South Alabama
|Jaguar Marching Band Scholarship
What is important to know about Marching Band Scholarships is that not every college in the US provides scholarships. Some universities only offer scholarships to music majors who are in one to two ensembles based on financial need, talent, or leadership work.
However, that doesn’t mean non-music majors are out of luck. Many schools offer renewable scholarships to members of their marching or athletic bands.
Note: Most of these scholarships require a student to be accepted to the university, audition for the marching band, make the block list, participate in the band, and be a full-time student (minimum of 12 hours of classes each semester).
This article is only a small list of Marching Band Scholarships that you can take advantage of to continue to march at a collegiate level, and it is in no way an exhaustive list.
If you are interested in marching with a particular school and want to know if a Marching Band Scholarship is available, be sure to Google or call the College of Music and inquire about any and all Marching Band Scholarships.
Many universities offer scholarships, but students are unaware they are available because the universities do not actively advertise them. Keep reading to find out about some wonderful Marching Band Scholarships and learn more about how to apply!
Scholarships for Music Majors (A Quick Note)
Suppose you intend to major in music (including music/choral performance, education, therapy, commercial music, etc.). In that case, there are many scholarships that you can apply to that are just for music majors.
Many of these scholarships require you to audition for the university’s College of Music and can be awarded based on talent and need without filling out any application materials. Other Music Major scholarships require both an audition and application, but all scholarship information and requirements will be provided to ensure you know what you need to do in order to potentially win a scholarship.
Most of these scholarships for music majors are not marching band specific, but participation in the marching band may qualify for consideration.
Marching Band Scholarships for Non-Music Majors/All Members
If you want to march for your university’s marching band but don’t want to be a music major, you can still earn a scholarship for participating in the band. Surprisingly, most collegiate marching band members are not music majors but represent almost all majors offered at the university.
Most university bands do not require their members to pay to be in the band (beyond registering for the course, which scholarships can cover the cost of), and there is no dues/fare share like there is in high school or as a member of a Drum Corps International band.
Many marching bands can travel to away games, receive per diem for meals, and have hotel accommodations covered by the university, which takes away the stress of worrying about being able to afford to travel with the band for games or participate in post-season bowl games.
You will likely have to buy gloves, baseball caps, a rain poncho, a game day bag, shoes, and an official uniform shirt once you make the block list, but the fees for these items and additional spirit apparel (i.e., hoodies, marching band mom/dad/alumni shirts, car stickers, etc.) are what is used to cover professional uniform cleaning services several times each season.
Note: At any point, if you are concerned about being unable to afford anything, including uniform parts, please reach out to your section leader, the drum majors, or even the band directors for assistance. There is nothing to be embarrassed about if you need additional financial help, and there are ways to receive what you need.
Organizations like TBS (Tau Beta Sigma) or KKPSI (Kappa Kappa Psi) can help band members in need and are designed to support band members in all capacities.
Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music – Jennings Scholarship
Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music offers the Jennings Scholarship for non-music majors who want to be in the following music ensembles:
- Titan Marching Band
- Collegiate Choir
- University Choir
- Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra
- Wind Ensemble
- Jazz Ensemble
- String Chamber Music
- Piano Accompaniment.
This scholarship is for $1,000 and requires an application to the university and an audition to be considered for the scholarship. For more information about how to apply for the Jennings Scholarship, please visit the link below:
The Ohio State University – Multiple
The Best Damn Band In The Land offers several scholarships to its band members. In 2017 the 100% TBDBITL scholarship campaign was designed to help provide members of the marching band with scholarship support because the band understands the 20-30 hours a week spent in rehearsals and performance on top of managing coursework and studying can leave little time for full/part-time jobs or paid internship along with managing any student loans.
The Ohio State University Marching Band is proud that its members give 100% to the program, and the fund sets aside millions of dollars that can be given to all band members based on need and talent.
The exact amount of funding per member per year varies, but everyone is eligible for some form of Marching Band Scholarship. Another unique scholarship offering the Ohio State University Marching Band has is two awards for the head and assistant drum majors.
Ever since 2002, the head drum major of the marching band has received a full in-state tuition scholarship. This means that whoever is the head drum major for that academic year does not have to worry about paying tuition out of pocket. It is covered by the university to recognize the achievement and responsibilities of the drum major.
This drum major scholarship is the largest scholarship amount any member of the band can earn, and it is the largest scholarship for drum majors across the United States.
The band also offers The Lynnwood Battle Jr. Scholarship to the assistant drum major. The exact amount of this scholarship is not listed, but it was the predecessor of the Drum Major Scholarship, so the amount is likely relatively high.
To learn more about the audition process and eligibility for scholarships, please visit the link below:
University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) – Multiple
The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, offers multiple Marching Band Scholarships to the members of the “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band.
There are awards for music majors, music minors, and non-music majors. Non-major scholarships are awarded in both the fall and the spring and are based on available funding. These awards can range from $500 to $1,500 per semester.
Non-music majors, including members of the drumline, color guard, and twirlers, will receive information about scholarship application requirements during the pre-season band camp.
The school offers the following scholarships to active members of the marching band:
- The Vickie and Gene Johnson Marching Band Scholarship
- The Fischer Family Scholarship
- The Williams Dahnert Marching Band Scholarship
- The Barnhardt Marching Band Endowment
- The Frank E Wampler, Jr. “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band Endowment.
The Johnson Scholarship, the Fischer Family Scholarship, and the Frank E. Wampler, Jr. Endowment are open to all students in the marching band. The Williams Dahnert Scholarship will rotate between members of the clarinet section and the drumline, while the Barnhardt Endowment is available to all woodwind players.
For more information about how to join the band and scholarship requirements, please visit the link below:
Northern Illinois University – Huskie Marching Band Scholarships
When you audition to join the Huskie Marching Band at Northern Illinois University, you also audition for a scholarship.
The band offers $12,000 in scholarships over a period of four years. These scholarships are unique because you can either select a scholarship or a financial waiver.
First-year members are eligible to earn a $1,000 scholarship or a $1,000 housing waiver.
Second-year members are eligible to earn a $1,000 scholarship or a $3,000 housing waiver.
Third-year members are eligible to earn a $1,000 scholarship or a $4,000 housing waiver.
Fourth-year members are eligible to earn a $1,000 scholarship or a $4,000 housing waiver.
In order to earn these scholarships, a student must apply to and be accepted into Northern Illinois University, complete the online application for the Huskie Marching Band Scholarship via MyScholarships, submit a letter of recommendation from your high school band director, and complete the marching band audition.
To learn more about audition requirements and additional information about scholarship opportunities, please visit the link below:
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) – Multiple
Cal Poly Mustang Band has been active since 1916. Since then, they have established multiple scholarships to help members of the band with demonstrated dedication and enthusiasm to continue to serve.
The first scholarship offered is the Lowe Family Mustang Marching Band Scholarship. One or two of these scholarships are awarded annually and require a minimum of two years of service in the Mustang Band as well as maintaining a minimum GPA requirement.
The second scholarship is the Kawamoto Family Scholarship which is available to a junior or senior member of the band in the French horn section. This is a single award that is given annually and also requires a minimum GPA for eligibility.
The third scholarship is the Mustang Band Alumni Association Drum Major Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one member of the drum major team and requires maintaining a minimum GPA along with being a drum major.
The final award is the Mustang Band Leadership Scholarships. Five of these scholarships are awarded annually, and along with a minimum GPA requirement, the award is available to members of the Mustang Band drum major team and the band’s leadership team. For more information about these awards and the Cal Poly Mustang Band, please visit the link below:
Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band – Multiple
To be eligible for the Human Jukebox’s scholarships, a student must be an incoming freshman or first-year student at Southern University, and they must schedule an audition with the band’s Business manager.
Scholarships and auditions are based on musical skill, and a student must be enrolled in 12 hours of coursework each semester and maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA. A student is eligible for consideration for a scholarship if they receive a score of 20 or higher on their audition (the audition scale ranges from 1-30).
There are three different tiers of scholarships based on audition scores. The first tier requires a score between 20-25; the amount awarded is $1,000. The second tier requires a score between 23-26, and the amount awarded is $2,000.
The third and final tier requires a score between 27-30 and is the largest amount awarded at $3,000. The scholarship committee does ask for recommendations from the band director in situations in which a student might not have met the requirements of the scholarship but shows considerable potential. To learn more about these scholarship opportunities, please visit the link below:
University of Oklahoma – Non-Major Scholarships
The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band offers scholarships to non-major band members of the band. To qualify for these scholarships, a student must “Demonstrate musical excellence on their instrument at a level that places the student among the top of all OU Band students.
Participate in “The Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band in the fall semesters of their collegiate career. Finally, a student must participate in a large concert ensemble in the spring semesters of their collegiate career.”
The awards are based on a student’s demonstrated musical abilities as determined through audition, performance history, and the current instrumentation needs of the band program.
Once a scholarship is awarded, it is retained by the student as long as they are making “satisfactory progress toward their degree and meet all requirements of their scholarship contract.” For additional requirements and information about scholarship eligibility, please visit the link below:
Brigham Young University – Multiple
The Brigham Young University Cougar Marching Band offers all of its members a talent/service award that will begin at $600.
The amount of scholarship funding is determined by the instrumentation needs of the band, prior membership, and leadership roles. BYU offers a unique opportunity to earn additional scholarships for members of the marching band who are concurrently enrolled in an audition-required concert band and/or if the student is a music major.
If offered a scholarship, a member of the Cougar Marching Band must sign a contract and follow the terms of the contract. Some of these terms include upholding the band’s code of conduct, participating in pre-season leadership training (if applicable)/pre-season training, memorizing show music, attendance at all rehearsals and games, being registered for at least 12 hours of course credits for undergraduate students, and 8.5 hours for graduate students including Marching Band (Music 323R), and a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Your scholarship can increase by $200 in the fall and spring semesters if you audition for and participate in a concert band while being a marching band member. To learn more about the scholarship opportunities for members of the Brigham Young University Cougar Marching Band, please visit the link below:
Rutgers University – Multiple
Rutgers University offers a few different scholarships for members of its marching band. If a member of the band is a student of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, they are eligible for a scholarship for every year they are members of the band.
Members of the marching band also qualify for the Marching Band Scholarship. All second-year students and above in the marching band receive a stipend at the end of the season, regardless of major.
The band offers additional scholarships to students they select for their work effort, which are awarded at the end of the season. For further information about the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights and the scholarship opportunities for members, please visit the link below:
University of Texas – Multiple
The UT Longhorn Band offers General Scholarships as well as Honorary and Memorial Scholarships to members of the band. As of Fall 2019, almost ⅓ of the members of the Longhorn Band have received a band-related scholarship.
The organization is committed to eventually being able to offer scholarships to all members of the LHB. General Scholarships are given based on leadership and contributions to the band, academic achievements, and financial needs.
Multiple Honorary and Memorial Scholarships are offered based on academic excellence, leadership capabilities, and a demonstrated financial need. Some of these scholarships include The Carl T. Widen Memorial Scholarship, General D. Harold Byrd Memorial Scholarship, The James Johnson Memorial Scholarship, The Jane and Vincent R. DiNino Honorary Scholarship, The Moton H. Crockett Jr. Honorary Scholarship, and many more.
For more information about the scholarships available to members of the UT Longhorn Band, please visit the link below:
The University of Alabama – Multiple
New incoming students to the Million Dollar Band are offered scholarships based on musical ability and the needs of the band program.
Regardless of major, all incoming members are eligible for scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 annually. Million Dollar Band Scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as the student auditions, is selected, participates in the band, and maintains a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
For more information about the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, please visit the link below:
University of South Alabama – Multiple
The USA Jaguar Marching Band provides scholarships to all of its members. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years, and must be enrolled in at least 15 hours of coursework each semester and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
The starting scholarship amount for wind players is $1,600, which will vary based on the audition, instrumentation needs, leadership responsibilities, or other applicable factors.
Members of the Color Guard and Drumline are able to receive a $2,100 annual renewable scholarship. Color Guard and Drumline scholarships will increase by an additional $250 per year for up to four years of service.
Two drum majors from the band will be awarded a $7,500 yearly scholarship that can be renewed for up to four years. To qualify for this scholarship, a drum major must have marched for at least one year as a member of the Jaguar Marching Band.
The band also offers a $7,500 scholarship to the feature twirler. The band’s feature twirler is selected nationwide from a pool of video applicants. In any given year, the USA Marching Band “reserves the right to select no finalists and/or no feature twirler if no applicant is deemed an appropriate candidate.”
The USA Marching Band also offers ten scholarships for the ten members of the Marching Band management team. The management team is responsible for the logistics, transportation of equipment, and other necessary tasks per season. The ten team members receive a $1,500 scholarship and are considered full band members.
This role and scholarship are not available for the performing marchers of the bands. This role gives students who do not make the block an opportunity to be still involved with the marching band. For more information about the USA Jaguar Marching Band and its scholarship offerings, please visit the link below:
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