Join the Band
Future Band MembersImportant Dates
Become a part of the “Band of the Fighting Irish!”
The Notre Dame Band has many musical opportunities: Marching Band, Concert Band, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Basketball/Hockey Band. There is definitely a place for you in the Notre Dame Bands. Students at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College are eligible to participate in the band.
Joining the Marching Band
The Band spells out "Irish" at the conclusion of its traditional pregame show.
The Band of the Fighting Irish is the premier musical ensemble of the Notre Dame Band program. With 380 members the band has students from across the nation representing every field of study. The marching band performs at every Notre Dame home football game and select away games. The band has traveled to Florida State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, USC, and Ireland. In addition to the home performances, the band has performed at Notre Dame’s neutral-site home games in San Antonio, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and New York City.
The Band Marches to Notre Dame Stadium
Time CommitmentMarching Band rehearsals are held Monday through Thursday during the Fall. Rehearsals are held in the early evening following classes and last approximately 60-90 minutes. Students find that balancing band and academics helps them organize their time more efficiently. The average GPA of the band is higher than the University average.
Auditioning for the BandStudents have both a marching and a music audition. All students wishing to participate in the Band must attend band camp two days prior to Freshman Orientation. Auditioning students move into their dorms on the Wednesday prior to the first day of class. Band camp does not interfere with freshman orientation activities.
How to AuditionThere are just three steps to auditioning for the Band:
1. Sign up to audition [Click Here]
2. Prepare music sent during the summer and submit a virtual audition (instructions will be sent over the summer)
3. Attend Band Camp and complete your audition!
The article below will cover each of these steps in some depth, but should you have any questions about the band, please take a look through all the areas of the Band’s website or contact us.
Important DatesSummer 2022 (tentative) - Sign up to audition (form here)! E-mail Sam Sanchez with any questions you might have.
August 17 – Auditioning students may move into residence halls
August 18 – Marching Band Auditions "Band Camp" begins
August 22 – 2021 Band of the Fighting Irish Roster posted
Band BuddyA “Band Buddy” serves as your mentor and introduction to the band. During the summer you will be assigned a band buddy who is a member of your section. You can ask your band buddy any questions you have about participating in the band, the audition process, or life at Notre Dame in general.
Prepare for the AuditionThere are two elements of the audition process for the Band of the Fighting Irish: a marching audition and a music audition.
Marching in Notre Dame’s traditional style is taught by returning band members. These band members will teach a brief audition routine to all prospective band members over several sessions throughout band camp. The audition routine includes all the fundamental motions used in the ND Band’s performances and thoroughly prepares the auditioning student to participate in the Band. Prior marching experience is not required and even individuals that participated in a marching band throughout high school require instruction. A positive attitude will go a long way in helping you throughout the audition.
The music portion of the audition is 5 minutes long. Incoming students are asked to prepare a short 1-minute musical solo or the Notre Dame Victory March, plus the concert Bb scale across the full range of your instrument. The auditions are heard by directors on the band staff, who understand that you may be nervous, and take that into account. You may be asked to submit a virtual audition by uploading a video of yourself playing the audition materials to a Google Drive folder.
Attend Band CampBand camp at Notre Dame is concise. Future band members get to move into their dorms two days before other students. Each day includes a couple of marching sessions and sometimes a music rehearsal. You will have plenty of time get acquainted with campus and attend all Freshman Orientation activities. Practice is mainly Thursday and Friday, with short sessions on Saturday and Sunday. You will receive instruction in the band’s marching style, marching audition routine, and music. During this brief time you make lifetime friends and become a part of the Notre Dame family.
The roster of who has made the Band of the Fighting Irish is posted in the Band Building Monday morning, the day before classes begin. That afternoon the Band has its first rehearsal and begins preparations for the first football game!
Joining the Concert and Jazz Bands
Concert Bands perform at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
Notre Dame is proud to offer three concert bands. Nearly all of the students involved in the concert bands are also members of the marching band, making it a great tandem of activities to stay involved with music through your time at Notre Dame. The three concert bands are Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and University Band
Symphonic Band and Symphonic Winds AuditionsStudents wishing to join the symphonic band or symphonic winds must audition prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Students auditioning for the marching band may use their marching band music audition as their audition for placement into one of the fall concert bands. Students not participating in marching band, or that play a non-marching instrument (bassoon, oboe, etc.) may complete their audition on the Monday before classes begin at Notre Dame.
Timpanist’s View of the Concert Band performing
Joining the University BandThe University Band is open to all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and Holy Cross students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all musical abilities. No audition is required for anyone who plays a standard band instrument. University Band meets once weekly on Monday evenings from 7:30 – 9:00 pm during both the fall and spring semester and performs once at the conclusion of each academic term. To participate in the University Band, click here to contact us!
Joining the Jazz Bands
Jazz Band auditions are done online during the summer months, up through the first week of the fall semester. Audition info and music is here. Please contact Larry Dwyer or Matt Merten for more information about auditions and meeting times.