Is Bullets Marching Band like high school marching band?
Doesn't Marching Band take up too much time?
Is Marching Band a class? Will it take up room in my schedule?
What if I have a conflict?
Do I have to audition?
What is Band Camp?
Do I need to be in marching band to be in a concert band or jazz ensemble?

Q: Is Bullets Marching Band like high school marching band?
A: The college marching band experience is very different from that of a high school band. The Bullets Marching Band is not a competitive band, but combines the best elements of traditional college band and corps-style drill and music.  

For example, our Pre-game Show is a complete eight minute show in the traditional college band style. Good musicianship, performance excellence and fun are our major goals. We are a major source of crowd spirit at games and pride ourselves on a close relationship with Gettysburg College Athletics.

Q: Doesn't Marching Band take up too much time?
A: This seems to be the most common concern for the 1st year student. Perhaps the first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you want to end your association with band participation after so many years of dedication and training. Some students decide to "wait and see if I have time," and with few exceptions never perform again. Later, in their junior or senior year, they regret not having joined in with what was perhaps their final opportunity to perform.  Most reflect after their 1st year that they did have the time to participate in band, but felt that they "didn't want to start late" or "thought their technique had slipped too much."

The Bullets Marching Band rehearses on Monday evenings from 7:30 p.m. -9:30 p.m. and Friday afternoons from 4:10 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - less than 4 hours per week. The opportunity to participate in a highly respected college organization that offers social activity, musical enjoyment, and many personal rewards is yours and available uniquely to the members of Gettysburg Bands. The percussion section and color guard each hold a weekly sectional due to the nature of their role in the band's performances (scheduled during camp after consultation with members of the section). There are no extra rehearsals and you will not miss class by participating in the Bullets Marching Band.

Q: Is marching band a class? Will it take up room in my schedule?
A: All bands at Gettysburg are classes, but for 0.25 credit. This means that they do not count against the total number of courses you are allowed to take each semester. 

You do not need to register for the course in advance; members will be administratively added during band camp.

Q: What if I have a conflict?
A: Members are allowed an hour of course conflict each week. We understand that sometimes labs and degree requirements get in the way. These are approved on an individual basis in consultation with your professors.

Q: Do I have to audition?
A: Any interested student with basic performing abilities will automatically be accepted into the Bullets Marching Band.  The only auditions that take place are during band camp for placement on parts within sections.  Whether it has been a few months or a few years since you last played your instrument, it is never too late to pick it up again. We want members who want to be members; desire is more important than virtuoso performance.

Q: What is Band Camp?
A: The Bullets Marching Band has a week-long camp that takes place on campus prior to 1st Year Orientation and the start of Fall Semester. Visual Performers and Percussion come in a few days earlier due to the nature of their sections. Students are allowed to move into dorms early and all meals are provided. There is a band fee to cover meals, t-shirts and other supplies. Our camp schedule is relaxed, with periods of focused work and long breaks to rest and get to know each other. Learn more about Band Camp

Q: Do I need to be in marching band to be in a concert band or jazz ensemble?
A: No - you can be in any combination of ensembles that will fit your schedule and musical qualifications. Some of our students prefer to participate only in marching, concert or jazz ensembles. Others prefer to maintain membership in some or all these ensembles. Music majors, music minors and those on music scholarship should, however, consult with your advisor in the Sunderman Conservatory to make sure you understand any specific ensemble requirements associated with your degree.


Vic Firth LogoThe Bullets Marching Band is sponsored
by Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.