CU Boulder Wind Symphony students in concert


Welcome to bands at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music! The CU Boulder band program provides various performance opportunities for students, whatever their level or major field of study. 


CU Boulder Wind Symphony

The CU Boulder Wind Symphony comprises the College of Music’s most outstanding wind, brass and percussion students. Founded in 1978, the group is committed to performing the finest wind repertoire, regardless of era or ensemble size—ranging from recently performed works by Ida Gotkovsky and the college’s own Carter Pann to additional diverse works by Carlos Simon, Omar Thomas, Joan Tower and Xi Wang. The Wind Symphony also values the importance of collaboration by working with various faculty and guest artists. Performances on campus and across Colorado, as well as at conferences and abroad, have earned the ensemble international acclaim.

CU Boulder Symphonic Band

CU Boulder Symphonic Band musicians are selected by audition from the finest performers on campus. Although most members are music majors, students studying in other fields often qualify for this ensemble. Since its formation over 50 years ago, the Symphonic Band has performed at major national conventions, including the Music Educators National Conference and the College Band Directors National Association. Concerts presented both in Colorado and out of state have won the acclaim of band directors and composers for the interpretive performance of outstanding works for the symphonic band medium.

CU Boulder Concert Band + CU Boulder Campus Band

The CU Boulder Concert Band and CU Boulder Campus Band comprise both music majors and non-music majors. Exploring traditional and contemporary works for band, the ensembles are known for their consistently high level of performance. Participating musicians are offered the opportunity to share in the excitement of the creative process as they broaden their musical experiences. These bands maintain an active schedule.

During the fall semester, the CU Boulder Concert Band is open to all students who have experience playing one of the standard wind band instruments (flute/piccolo, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass, percussion). This group meets weekly on Monday evenings.

In the spring, the CU Boulder Campus Band is open to all students who have experience playing one of the standard wind band instruments. CU Boulder Campus Band meets weekly on Monday evenings. For participation in Concert Band, please complete this form. To ensure a balanced musical ensemble experience, certain instrument sections may be capped as determined by the director based on an assessment of a brief playing demonstration. 

Wind instruments: For placement into CU Boulder Concert Band, please submit an unlisted YouTube link of yourself playing both of the following:

  1. As many octaves as you can—concert b-flat major, e-flat major, a-flat major, chromatic scales in eigth notes at 120 bpm, or as close to it as you are able. Instrument-specific music
  2. 45-60 seconds of any excerpt of your choosing that demonstrates your playing ability (i.e., instrument-specific etudes, prior honor band audition materials, excerpts from prior band/orchestra music). 

Percussion: Please contact Assistant Director of Bands Branden Steinmetz directly at CU Boulder Concert Band meets on Monday/Wednesday 4:40-6:40 p.m. during the spring semester.

Students will be notified on or by the final day of the fall semester of their placement in spring semester “CU Boulder Concert Band” EMUS 1317/3317. If a student is not placed in CU Boulder Concert Band, they will be notified on or by the final day of the semester; students not placed in CU Boulder Concert Band are welcome and encouraged to register for “CU Boulder Campus Band” EMUS 1017/3017. Any changes to spring ensemble enrollment should be made immediately following the audition result notification.

marching bandCU Boulder Golden Buffalo Marching Band

The CU Boulder Golden Buffalo Marching Band is recognized as one of the premier college marching bands in the United States. Comprising approximately 250 student musicians from across the country, the band remains an integral and exciting part of the tradition and spirit at the University of Colorado Boulder. The band employs an extremely versatile marching style and consistently performs the latest in contemporary show design. The ensemble has appeared on national television many times and has performed in numerous NFL football games. The Golden Buffalo Marching Band has further appeared at the Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl and Orange Bowl. While there is currently no audition requirement for the marching band wind sections, the drumline, colorguard and feature twirlers are selected by audition only. MORE

CU Boulder Buff Basketball Band

The CU Boulder Buff Basketball Band—an auditioned ensemble—is an organization of 95-100 musicians who perform for at-home basketball games in the Coors Event Center and travel to the PAC 12 Basketball Tournaments, NIT Tournaments and NCAA Tournaments. Additionally, to become a wind member of this group, you must be a current Golden Buffalo Marching Band member. Drumset and electric bass are open to all students on campus. Auditions are held every October.


Matthew Dockendorf
Associate Director, CU Boulder Bands
Director, CU Boulder Golden Buffalo Marching Band

Branden Steinmetz
Assistant Director, CU Boulder Marching Band

Lauren Milbourn
Master’s Conducting Student

Logan Sorey
Doctoral Conducting Student

Eli Gillespie
Master’s Conducting Student

CU Boulder bands and orchestras personnel also include percussion instructor Mike Tetreault, who coaches during student ensemble rehearsals. Few collegiate music programs have an educator of his expertise coaching large ensembles.