The Golden Buffalo Marching Band offers scholarships for musicians in every section. See below for more information.

Commitments and Responsibilities

Regular rehearsals are held during the fall semester only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:40-6:40 p.m. (for Fall 2023) and on Game Days usually lasting between 1 to 2 hours. Weekly sectional rehearsals are also required and will be scheduled by Section Leaders. While this might sound like a lot of work, most students find the schedule quite flexible. Many band members are also able to work part time during the marching season. Naturally, your parents will be happy to hear that Marching Band will not require such a large amount of time that it will interfere with studies! In fact, most students find that participating in marching band assists them with time management skills.

Academic credit is necessary for participation in marching band. This applies to all curriculum electives. Students interested in participating in the Marching Band can enroll in EMUS 1287 for one hour of lower-division credit or EMUS 3287 for one hour of upper-division credit. These classes are cross-listed and both correspond to the same rehearsal schedule.

Financial Obligations include purchasing black shoes through the band office (unless a pair of black marching shoes are already owned and in good condition) and paying for the dry cleaning of your uniform during the season. Additionally, there is a $25 university instrument rental fee (if applicable) and a $30 uniform fee, which help offset the rising costs of repair and replacement. The good news is that the Marching Band will pay for your music, transportation, lodging on trips, meals on trips, and will provide you with several items of CU Marching Band Logo clothing.

Attendance is held to the highest standard in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band. Band Members are required to attend all rehearsals and all performances. Marching Band members are also eligible to audition for the Basketball Pep Band.

Band Camp is held Monday, August 20th-Saturday, August 26th. It is required for all members of the band to attend band camp. If you will be living in the residence halls, you will move into your assigned dorm room for the year on the evening prior to band camp, earlier than most other students. First year marching band members enjoy the Band Camp experience, since it gives them a chance to meet many new friends and find their way around campus before classes even begin!


Enrollment is open to all University of Colorado students regardless of major who have had previous instrumental music and/or colorguard experience. Previous marching experience is not a requirement. Only about 15% of the band members are music majors. The other 85% is made up of students majoring in various degree programs on campus, with engineering comprising the largest percentage of band members at about 25%. Auditions are not required, except for the Drumline, Colorguard and Feature Twirlers. More information about auditions for Auxiliary Groups will be sent to you once you complete the "Join Now" form.


As a Member of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band you will have the opportunity to be a part of an exciting musical organization which performs for over a half a million people a year and you'll meet 200+ new friends from all over the country that will become your second family. The band is a great way for a new student to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, which can be a very common occurrence at a university of more than 30,000 students. 

Band social life is one big reason many members return year after year. A great break from the everyday routine, the band regularly schedules picnics, parties, banquets and other events. Additionally, it has been found that the members of the CU Marching Band have traditionally maintained a slightly higher GPA than the average university student.

Have Fun With Us!

Most students at CU do not realize how much time the Marching Band spends together. This is because when you have close to 250 friends by the time school starts, you will never run out of things to do - when your studying is done, of course! Band members regularly go out to local hangouts together and share Game Day breakfasts! Many students find the marching band a very safe group to spend free time with. Sound interesting? The truth is that the Golden Buffalo Marching Band is much more than a Pep Band for football games. The band exhibits and expects a higher standard of friendship and support than many other groups on campus. If you would like to work hard and play hard with the Golden Buffaloes, click on the "JOIN NOW!" link to be taken to a sign-up form. Once the Marching Band has your info, we will contact you with all of the information you need to join us next fall!

Memorable Band Trips

Many students join the Marching Band for the outstanding travel opportunities that await band members. The full marching band travels to Denver for the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown and smaller pep bands are selected to travel to certain Pac 12 Conference away football games. Bowl Trips have included the 2016 Alamo Bowl, 2008 Independence Bowl, 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, 2004 Houston Bowl, 2003 Alamo Bowl, 2001 Fiesta Bowl, the 1999 Bowl, the 1998 Aloha Bowl. All trips are paid for by the Marching Band and included lodging, meals, and transportation (because getting there is half the fun!).

Scholarships & Service Awards

Colorguard Service Awards - Continuing in 2023!

Continuing in 2023, all students committing to join the CU Colorguard and who complete the entire CU Marching Band season by meeting attendance and participation requirements will be eligible to receive a $1000 Colorguard Service Award to help offset tuition expenses.*

No application for this award is necessary, however each colorguard member will be expected to complete a commitment form immediately following the colorguard selections.

*$1000 service awards will be divided into two $500 installments. The first $500 will be received at the beginning of the fall semester and the second $500 will be received upon successful completion of the marching band season activities (including any post season travel such as bowl trips).

Woodwinds, Brass & Drumline (2nd year and higher)

All students in their second year of membership or higher who successfully complete the entire CU Marching Band season by meeting all attendance and participation requirements, will be eligible to receive a $500 Returning Member Service Award to help offset tuition expenses.*

No application for this award is necessary, however each returning member will be expected to complete an "intent to commit" form at the conclusion of the prior spring semester in order to be eligible for this award.

*This $500 service award will be received upon successful completion of the marching band season activities (including any post season travel such as bowl trips).

Woodwinds, Brass & Drumline (1st year members)

At this time, financial awards are not offered for first-year members who play woodwind, brass or drumline instruments. However, some Incentive Scholarships may be awarded on a case by case basis to those students who select to play an instrument in a designated section of need. If interested in this opportunity, please contact the CU Marching Band Director.

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