FAQs


Can anyone join GW Bands?

Yes, anyone, regardless of skill level can join GW Bands.


Do you need to audition for GW Bands?

Yes, every member must audition. However, auditioning is only for chair placement and placement in the Wind Ensemble. Everyone, regardless of skill level, is welcome to join Symphonic Band and Colonial Brass.


I don't own my instrument. Does GW Bands have an instrument I can use?

Yes. As an organization, we want to provide everyone the opportunity to make music with us. We have a variety of instruments available for use in our ensembles, and the rental is included in band dues.


Do you have lockers where I can store my instrument?

Yes. We have lockers available to rent for a fee of $12.50 per semester.


When do we rehearse?

We rehearse twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. Each ensemble rehearses for an hour, with a break between Symphonic Band and CBrass.  Below is a typical schedule (subject to change).

5:30-6:30-Wind Ensemble 

6:30-7:30-Symphonic Band 

8:30-9:30-Colonial Brass 


Is everyone in GW Bands music major or minor?

No. A wide variety of backgrounds and schools are represented in GW University Bands. All majors are welcome. However, the class for GW University Bands (MUS 1083) can count for 3 credits  towards the music major or minor over 3 semesters.


Is Colonial Brass only for brass players?

No. Colonial Brass is open to almost all band instruments. We have all sorts of instruments from drummers to saxophone players. In fact, in recent years our flute and clarinet section has grown greatly.


Are there any scholarships available?

Yes. They are called activity awards so that they can be stacked on other university scholarships. The awards are for Colonial Brass members only and range from $500 to $2000 per semester based on seniority.


How big is GW Bands?

The Symphonic Band has roughly 70 members and is continually growing. Wind Ensemble has around 40 members. Colonial Brass has approximately 50 members and is always looking to add enthusiastic players.


Do I need to register for the GW Bands Class (MUS 1083)?

Yes. All members of the Symphonic Band and/or the Wind Ensemble must register for the class. Registration is how the University tracks participation in ensembles. For students who are not music majors or minors, the class may be taken for 1 credit with no fee or for 0 credits with a fee. See the Teaching Assistant or Officers to register for MUS 1083. Note that you can only register via an RTF form, which you will be able to fill out during rehearsal.


What is our attendance policy?

Successful participation in GW University Bands is dependent on showing up. As such, attendance is monitored by the Secretary. Students are allowed up to three absences per semeseter. Students with class conflicts can still join. In Colonial Brass, missing a significant amount of performances can result in a decrease in activity award amount. If you will be missing a rehearsal or performance, email band@gwu.edu as soon as you are aware of your absence.


Why do we have elected officers for a university class?

GW University Bands is both a class and a student organization. Some aspects of the Bands are defined by their academic origins (concert attendance, practicing, etc.), while others are more student organization-oriented (band outings, “bandquet”, socials, etc.).  The officers serve as a source of feedback for decisions made by the director and TA.


What are band dues?

Each band member must pay $20 per year to the Treasurer. This cost covers instrument rental, lockers (for wooden lockers only), “bandquet”, and other expenses. In our 25-year history, GW Band dues have remained constant at $20 per year.


Where can I buy reeds, oil, etc.?

The band office usually has these items. Please see an officers during their office hours or before band.


Where can I talk to a band officer?

TAs and band officers hold two office hours per week. The schedule of office hours is posted on the door to the band office, B-113 and under the Officers tab of this website.


Do I have to stay for commencement?

All non-graduating members of Wind Ensemble are required to stay for graduation band with no exceptions. Others may be invited to join based on instrumentation needs. There is no additional cost to stay on campus if you are playing in graduation band.


Do I have access to practice rooms?

Everyone registered for MUS 1083 should have access to the practice rooms. If you do not have access, see Carey Stipe in the Music Department (B-144) during normal business hours.


As a member of Colonial Brass, do I have to play away games or over winter break and spring break?

All Colonial Brass members are required to play home games for men’s and women’s basketball if they do not have a class conflict. There are no requirements over winter break, but you may feel free to join our alumni band (GWU Band Alumni and Friends) at select winter break games. We do not play regular season away games. 

Only away tournaments are required, i.e. the Atlantic-10 and NCAA tournaments. Spring Break often falls around the time of the tournaments, but you will be excused from classes for tournament travel and performance. All Colonial Brass members are required to play in the NCAA tournament regardless of Spring Break plans, provided that both teams make the tournament. Do not make Spring Break plans that are not flexible! 


How do we determine who goes to tournaments?

Most members get to go to at least one tournament. Tournament lists are determined by the director and the TA. The process is rather complex and includes factors such as playing power and accuracy, attitude, seniority, and attendance. Keep in mind that only 30 members can travel to tournament sites and that we have a specific instrumentation needs that must be met. 


How can I contact GW Bands?

The band office phone number is (202) 994-9041 and our email is band@gwu.edu. Emails are generally responded to within 24 hours. The band office is B-113 and can be visited during the office hours posted on the door. We are also on Facebook as “George Washington University Bands” and our Twitter handle is @GWBAND. We also have recently joined Snapchat at GW_Bands.