Frequently Asked Questions for New MVs
What is the best part about The Marching Virginians?
THE PEOPLE! Many of the people you will meet both during the audition process and your time in The Marching Virginians (MVs) will become some of your closest friends in college and throughout life. It's the only place on campus where you can walk in as a freshman and have 329 friends right from the start of the semester! Even better, those people have your same love of band and come from every single college within the University with diverse interests and majors!
Do I have to be a music major to join The Marching Virginians?
No! Over 90% of The Marching Virginians represent majors OTHER than music! Members of the MVs have majors from across many departments. From architecture and business to engineering and dairy science, you'll most likely meet a member of the band who is currently pursuing the same major you are (or want to be)!
Will I be able to fit The Marching Virginians in my schedule?
Absolutely! The MVs rehearse on weekdays from 5:30 to 7:00 PM during the fall semester. This is a time when most classes have concluded for the day. Most students have this time free and small conflicts with classes are worked out. Even engineers can be MVs (nearly 1/3 of the band consists of engineering majors each year!). Remember, we want you to excel in your classes, enjoy your time in the MVs making music, and cheer on the Hokies!
Is this an academic class?
Yes, it is! You will receive one credit of MUS 3314 for your participation in the MVs during the fall semester! This class will also fulfill some of your Pathways classes required of every student at the University. All band members are required to be enrolled in the course.
Do The Marching Virginians ever do exhibition performances?
The Marching Virginians have been featured in exhibition across the Commonwealth over the past few years. During their exhibition tour in 2015, the MVs performed for over 7,000 high school band members and band fans!
How many shows Do The MVs Perfor in a football season?
Unlike the majority of high schools, we do a different show for nearly every home game. In the past, our shows have featured a wide range of musical genres from Aerosmith to Broadway musicals. We provide variety, excitement, and a fantastic musical and visual product for the fans in Lane Stadium. This year, the MVs will perform 6 different halftime performances and one pregame performance (on Saturday, November 22).
Our pregame performance is very special to everyone in the band and at Lane Stadium. Many of the most recognizable pictures for the VT faithful come from this performance (VT Logo, Double Tech spell-out, "H-O-K-I-E-S" spell-out, and the outline of the Commonwealth of Virginia).
Being in the MVs doesn't just mean playing halftime. We perform in the stands, at various gigs on and off campus, and if the team makes it to a bowl game, we'll probably be going with them!
There are no college marching band competitions, so for us the performance is all about the football game. We have a great time performing for a fantastic and support crowd of 66,000 Hokie fans!
Do The MVs travel to Bowl Games?
If the Hokies are selected for a bowl game, The Marching Virginians will be right there with them! The MVs have performed at the Sugar, Chick-fil-A, Gator, and Orange Bowls (just to name a few). In addition, if the Hokies win their division in the ACC, the band travels to the ACC Championship Game.
Do you have a Color Guard?
We have a 36-member flag corps in the MVs that is taught by our two fantastic flag instructors, Lisa VanDyke and Sarah McHugh. Both work with the flags during the year and develop new routines for each show along with the flag corps student leadership. Learning new routines for every performance is probably a bit different than your high school experience, but it's fun, exciting, and has a lot of variety throughout the year!
How hard is it to Make The Marching Virginians?
You'll never know unless you try! Many incoming freshmen make the band their first time trying out. The percentage varies depending on the year and the section.
What is the instrumentation of the MVs?
We march Piccolos, Clarinets, Alto and Tenor Saxes, Trumpets, Mellophones, Trombones, Baritones, Sousaphones, Snare Drums, Tenor Drums (sextets), Cymbals, and Bass Drums.
*Note: we refer to our Mellophones as "Horns" and Sousaphones as "Tubas".
How do I get more information about The Marching Virginians?
The first thing you should do is fill out our interest form! That will provide us with some basic information about you, so we can contact you and answer your questions. It will ask for your anticipated high school graduation year, as well as your email, mailing address and a few other bits of information.
If you are interested in auditioning THIS YEAR, register for band camp and read the attached information!
What kind of audition will I have for The Marching Virginians?
It depends on what you are auditioning for, so here's a brief description of the audition process for each component of the band:
Wind Instrument Auditions: Music, marching, and attitude are the three components of the audition for the wind sections of the MVs. The student leadership in your section (rank captains-marching and section leaders-music) spend three days with other prospective members working on marching and music to evaluate each auditionee. If cuts are made, they are announced at the conclusion of the Thursday evening rehearsal at the Marching Virginians Center (MVC) during Band Camp.
Drumline Auditions: Prospective drumline members arrive on campus a week before classes begin on Monday morning for two days of drum instruction and evaluation. The drumline is selected in the late afternoon or early evening on Tuesday. Prospective members spend time playing in both a full drumline ensemble setting as well as numerous breakout sectionals (snares, tenors, basses, and cymbals). We encourage members who are auditioning for the drumline to audition on as many instruments as they feel confident on!
Flag Corps Auditions: Auditions start the Monday of Band Camp for flags and consist of four days of instruction and evaluation before performing a set routine as a final audition on Wednesday evening.
Twirler Auditions: If you are interested in twirling, you must first contact Dr. Polly Middleton, Director of The Marching Virginians, to express your interest as well as indicate your twirling background. The audition deadline and parameters will then be given over email along with a deadline date for submission. The deadline for video submissions is generally in June!
What kind of fees will I have to pay to be in the MVs?
There is an annual activity fee of $75. Virtually everything is provided for you including…
Food at Home Game
Travel and Per-diem for away games
Official MV Attire (T-shirt, hats, etc.)
Travel and Per-diem for bowl games
Uniform and uniform cleaning
An instrument for EVERYONE in the band
The apps we use for learning drill and reading music
The only clothing items we ask you to bring are black marching shoes (Dinkles, Drillmasters, etc.). We will have gloves available for purchase at Band Camp.
Do you provide instruments for the football season?
Yes! ALL of the instruments used on the field are owned by The Marching Virginians. You'll need to supply your own mouthpiece and reeds, but all instruments are provided!
Are there other musical ensembles that I can perform in along with the MVs?
Absolutely! The Department of Music offers a multitude of ensembles that are open to music majors and non-majors alike. In addition, a minor in music might be something you are interested in pursuing as well.
In addition, if you are looking for a lighter time commitment and wish to keep playing your instrument in a concert setting, the Symphony Band and Campus Band might be a great fit for you. Let us know if you have any questions!
Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Polly Middleton (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Chad Reep, (email@example.com). Definitely come visit us when you’re on campus for orientation—Squires Student Center, 241A!