Instrumental Audition Information

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You may audition on more than one instrument if you choose. If you are intending to audition on a second or third instrument, you must submit an "Intent to Audition" for each instrument. Each instrument will require a separate audition and audition time. Warm-up rooms will be available and can be used at your convenience throughout the day. Report to the designated audition room 5 minutes before your scheduled audition time. Blue Band sousaphones, baritones, and mellophones will be available for those who do not own personal instruments. You may use personal instruments for auditions. The actual audition performance will take 7–8 minutes. Plan on about 30–45 minutes for the entire music audition process including warm-up and performance. If you need more warm-up time or anticipate having lots of questions, plan accordingly.


Blue Band is open to all students registered at the University Park campus by audition. Accepting 290–320 student members annually, the Blue Band is a select ensemble with talented musicians and band front performers auditioning in all sections. All prospective members, new and returning, must audition each year for membership; not everyone who auditions is accepted.

Students who have been accepted to Penn State, but assigned to a campus other than University Park, as well as students who are currently enrolled at a Penn State campus other than University Park may consider auditioning for a change of campus or an early transfer. For more information on change of campus early transfer auditions, please contact the Blue Band Office at 814-865-3982.


Woodwind and brass players should choose a standard solo or etude for their instrument. High school music teachers and/or private instrument instructors may have suggestions for an appropriate selection. Choose repertoire that will demonstrate your musicianship and performing ability at its best! All winds: We recommend you prepare at least 3–4 minutes of the selection(s) chosen. It is advisable to demonstrate both tone quality and technical development. You may choose to perform excerpts from the selection(s) you have prepared.


Blue Band Building
Services Road & University Drive
University Park Campus (campus map)
Pennsylvania State University


Sight Reading

All musicians will be provided with a short musical example and given time to study it. You will be asked to perform the example to the best of your ability. We are not interested in perfection, but we are interested in identifying capable readers.

Audition Scoring

Your audition score will be based on your prepared selection, sound quality, and sight reading. We are very much interested in good musicianship and good sound. Sight reading is an important part of the audition process because the Blue Band prepares a new halftime show for every home game.

Marching Fundamentals and Marching Auditions

All Blue Band candidates will be required to attend marching sessions at which the Blue Band style is taught. These sessions are used to assess marching ability and desire. Detailed information is provided in the auditions schedule you receive at the time of your music audition. You may want to consider some aerobic conditioning prior to coming to campus; the Blue Band marching style is a rigorous physical activity.

Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's programs, activities, and courses and provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access and an equal opportunity to participate. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable accommodations for the auditions for the Blue Band, please contact the Office for Disability Services, ODS, by phone at 1-814-863-1807(V/TTY) or in-person (ODS is located in 116 Boucke Building). Please provide adequate notice of this need so that appropriate arrangements can be made in time for auditions. For further information regarding ODS please visit their web site at


Go to the Intent to Audition Form


Any further questions can be directed to Wanda Hockenberry, Blue Band Administrative Assistant, Blue Band Office at (814) 865-3982.