Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the Cyclone Marching Band?
A: The Cyclone Marching Band is made up of two ensembles:

  • The Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band (MUSIC 114A) - This group performs at all home football games (in the stands and on the field), typically one away trip each season, post-season travel, and the annual Band Extravaganza concert.
  • State Storm (MUSIC 114C) - This group performs in the stands during home football games. It serves as the pep band for soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, the annual Band Extravaganza Concert, and other special events.

One audition is used for both ensembles; you will be placed in one or the other based on your score.

There are also two Basketball Pep Bands (MUSIC 114B) and a Volleyball Pep Band, which have separate audition processes later in the year, but all require Varsity or State Storm membership.

Q: Where can I find audition information, the band camp schedule, and everything I need to know about the 2024 Cyclone Marching Band?
A: All that information will be included in the 2024 Summer Mailout (automatically sent to your email if you've filled out our future member application. Here's a quick rundown of dates, but check the packet out for all the details!  If you haven't received your packet by July 4th and have filled out the future member application, please contact

  • August 18, 2024: Leadership move-in & meetings.  Drumline and Guard (returning and new members) move in.
  • August 19, 2024: New Woodwind & Brass players move in. Drumline and Guard camp. Welcome meeting at 7 pm.
  • August 20, 2024: New Member, Drumline, and Guard camps all day.
  • August 21, 2024: Returning Members move-in. Woodwind & Brass auditions.

Q: How much time does the Marching Band take? Will I have the time?
A: For most weeks, the Varsity Marching Band rehearses five times a week for one hour and twenty minutes a day (5:10 – 6:30 pm) and on the day of the game for about an hour and a half in the morning.  State Storm rehearses Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 5:10-6:30 pm.  That being said, students rarely drop marching band because of time problems.  Our students see the marching band as their time to get outside and take a break from the lecture halls and labs, play great music, and be among close friends.  You can also visit our Schedule page for a breakdown of our performance and band camp schedules.

Q: How do I join?
A: Visit the How to Join section of the website! Drumline, Twirlers, and Guard have separate auditions for the band. Please check the calendar or their web pages for these dates and times. Incoming wind players will audition at the end of rookie camp in August. All new members should complete the Band Application form and attend the Band Orientation meeting during summer orientation.

Q: How do I register?
A: Tell your advisor you want to be involved in the Marching Band and sign up for Music 114A during course registration.

Q: What if I have a class conflict with the Marching Band?
A: If a class conflict cannot be avoided, don’t assume you cannot participate!  We understand that there are many lab and course conflicts with the marching band during the week.  If you have exhausted all other scheduling options, we permit first-year members to miss one rehearsal per week due to a class conflict (work and other personal conflicts are not permissible).  Returning members are allowed two class conflicts per week.

Q: As a Marching Band member, how much should I expect to pay?
A: There is a fee at the beginning of the semester (around $115) to cover the cost of uniform cleaning, 2 band shirts, an official band baseball hat, an official winter hat, a water bottle, and other miscellaneous items. There is also a small fee (around $15) to rent a locker in the Music Hall. All members will march in a shoe custom-made for the band, at an additional expense; these shoes can last years if properly maintained. There is an additional rental charge if you need to rent an instrument or equipment, including drumline, flags, and sousaphones. All charges will automatically appear on the student’s U-Bill. The university pays for all travel-related expenses.

Q: There are huge costs for the marching band. As an alumnus, parent, or friend of the band, how can I help?
A: We have a special program set up for just that! The ISU Department of Music and Theatre and the Iowa State Foundation are working together to offer the Adopt-the-Band program. Find out more about how you can help.

Q: How do I get into Basketball Pep Band?
A: More information about the Pep Band will be available during the Marching Band season.

For more information, contact: