Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the band rehearse?

  • The Bulldog Marching Band rehearses 3:00 - 4:50pm Monday, 7:00 - 8:50pm Wednesday, and Friday 3:00 - 6:00pm. There is also rehearsal on game day that is determined in advance and is usually 2-3 hours long. Percussion members should anticipate one additional block per week for sectionals.

 

Does the Bulldog Marching Band compete against other college marching bands?

  • No, the BMB is purely about excellent performance and quality entertainment. The BMB does host and perform at the Sierra Cup Classic band competition each fall and will occasionally make appearances at other high school band competitions in the area.

 

Are instruments available to borrow, or will I need to provide my own?

  • Limited instruments are available in the instrument shop at Fresno State. Members are encouraged to use their own instruments if they have them. The fee to rent an instrument for the season varies. Tuba players and percussionists do not need to provide their own instrument, but are required to pay the instrument fee.

 

Are scholarships available for band members?

  • Scholarships are awarded to members in Bulldog Beat. Members of the BMB that are not in Bulldog Beat will receive a stipend at the end of a full committed season.

 

When do auditions take place?

  • Auditions for Bulldog Beat are held in the spring. These are not auditions to become a member of the BMB, only Bulldog Beat. Bulldog Beat members receive a scholarship for their extensive performance schedule and responsibilities.

 

How long can I be a member of the band?

  • You can be in the band for as long as you'd like, as long as you're a student. We have had members who devoted over six years of their lives to the BMB. According to older members, the current record is nine years as a member of the BMB family. The BMB promotes a “school first” attitude and does not endorse bad studentship.

 

How much does the band travel? What can I expect on a typical trip?

  • The BMB typically attends one Fresno State away football game each season. In recent years the band has traveled to San Diego, Reno, San Francisco, and San Jose. If the football team achieve a 6-6 record or better, they are eligible for a College Football Bowl game which the band from a full to limited capacity will be expected to attend. In recent years, the band has traveled to Honolulu, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque. If the football team achieves the best record in the West division of the Mountain West Conference, they will play in the Mountain West Conference Championship football game, hosted by the team with the higher national ranking (meaning it could be home or away). In 2014, the Bulldog Marching Band traveled to Boise for this event. On marching band trips, all transportation, lodging, and food (sometimes in the form of per diem) will be covered by the BMB (band fees), Athletic Department, or other charitable donor. Lifelong memories, great football, and a once in a lifetime experience await members on a trip with the Bulldog Marching Band.

 

How much does it cost to be member of the BMB? Can I afford it?

  • Total band fees vary from season to season. (Usually around $50)

  • Continuing and Global Education students must pay an amount determined each season.

  • Additional costs may include: marching shoes (ordered through uniform manager), flip folder (available by librarian), gloves (available by uniform manager), wristbands (battery, talk to section leader), instrument rental, equipment upkeep.

    • These shoes and gloves should always be clean and and performance-ready (ie. polished, dusted, unstained, and free of excessive scuffs, holes, or tears). Members are responsible for maintaining and/or replacing their own gloves as needed.

 

What kind of clubs and organizations are there on campus?

  • By definition, the BMB is the largest student organization on campus, but there are hundreds of other organizations on campus that one can take part in during their time at Fresno State; ranging from clubs dedicated to certain majors, to hobbies, to sports, and fraternities and sororities. Many members of the BMB are involved in these organizations. To find out more information about these groups, first year members are encouraged to reach out to returning members of the BMB.

 

Are there any groups geared towards music/band specifically?

  • There is a fraternity and a sorority dedicated to serving the band program at Fresno State. Kappa Kappa Psi is a National Honorary Band Fraternity dedicated to serving the collegiate bands. Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority, is devoted to serving the collegiate bands while promoting women in the field of music. Both are co-ed organizations, and their membership is spread across all levels of leadership in the band. These two groups work jointly to serve the bands and to provide fun social activities for band members. To find out more information about these two groups, please speak with a member of either organization. They bear the Greek letters KKΨ and TBΣ.

  • The fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a fraternity for women, are two organizations who advocate for the enrichment of life through music. They both put on social events within the music department. If you would like more information about these groups,  please talk to a member of either organization. They bear the Greek letters ΦMA and ΣAI.

 

How do I become a section leader, band council members, or drum major?

  • The Director of Athletic Bands holds an application process for section leaders and band council near the end of the fall season. Drum majors have an audition period in the spring. These positions are filled with those that the Director of Athletic Bands feel are most qualified. Be sure to be a leader by example during the season and inquire with current student leaders.

 

I'm interested in becoming a Graduate Assistant. Where can I get more information?

  • Please contact Steve McKeithen.

  • Graduate Assistants will be responsible for a number of tasks spanning the entire academic year.

 

As a parent, what should I expect of the band? Is my kid taken care of?

  • Your student will definitely be taken care of! The band is designed to provide nothing less than an enriching, exciting, and fun atmosphere for all of its members. Many band alumni, if asked, will say it's the greatest group of people they've ever known.

  • New members are always welcomed by others in their own section and throughout the rest of the band, and they are made to feel like part of the team from day one. Veteran members are great about encouraging new members to hang out with their sections, and typically a new member will have found a core group of new friends by the end of band camp.

 

Will my kid feel like part of the band as a new member? Will they be hazed?

  • The Bulldog Marching Band has a strict “no hazing” policy. If any member feels uncomfortable they are encouraged to follow the chain of leadership or speak directly to the Director of Athletic Bands.

  • During the first week of band camp alone, members will take part in a number of band-sponsored social activities designed to promote meeting other members and making new friends. Some of these include sports, dinner at local restaurants, and so much more.

  • Bonding is very important to our members, and no one is ever purposefully excluded or forced to participate in any activity that is not in direct coordination with the expectations of all members.

As a parent, how can I take part? Is there a band booster club?

  • You can be a part of the band experience with the Friends of the Bulldog Marching Band, our marching band’s version of the parent booster club. It is much different than a high school booster club and is much more relaxed. For more information regarding the FoBMB, including how to join, please click here.

If you have further questions not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact Director of Athletic Bands, Steve McKeithen at smkeithen@csufresno.edu.