Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join us?

Our ensemble is open to UBC students, alumni, and community members of all skill levels. We are primarily looking for members on the following instruments:

  • Piccolo/Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Alto, Tenor, & Baritone Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn/Mellophone
  • Trombone
  • Baritone/Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Bass
  • Percussion (Snare Drum, Quint Toms, Bass Drum, Cymbals, and Glockenspiel)

Even if you don’t play one of the instruments listed above, we still encourage you to sign up. Musicians with a good sense of rhythm can learn to play bass drums or cymbals, and pianists find glockenspiel easy to learn. You can even perform with us on a non-traditional instrument—we have had members play electric keyboard, drum set, oboe, and bassoon with us in the past!

Are there auditions?

In most cases, no auditions are required to join the TMB, but section leaders may hold informal auditions for part placement. If demand is high enough, we may require auditions for those wishing to play band-owned instruments (such as the drumline), but please don’t let that discourage you from signing up! We want you in the band, and we will do our best to find an instrument for you.

What if I don’t know how to march?

This is not a problem. We are an informal corps-style marching band, and our marching technique is easy to learn. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds: other high school and university marching bands, community bands, Air Cadet bands, as well as some who have never marched at all!

Does the band have instruments available for loan?

We have a limited supply of saxophones, trombones, sousaphones, and percussion instruments for our members to use. Depending on demand, auditions may be required to use these instruments. If you don’t own an instrument, email us and we will let you know what is available.

Does it cost anything to join the band?

We charge a small membership fee of $10 per year for UBC students, and $15 per year for everyone else.

Can I join other groups on campus?

Absolutely! Our members find more than enough time to participate and even hold leadership positions in many other campus groups, including AMS clubs, Concert Winds, greek life, residence life, undergraduate societies, co-op, and more. Our rehearsal schedule is set up to not conflict with participation in the Concert Winds and Wind Symphony.

When does the band rehearse?

We have a weekly rehearsal on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. If we perform a halftime show, we hold an additional three rehearsals the week of the show for members who choose to participate in the show; if we perform a parade, we hold an additional rehearsal prior to the parade for members who choose to participate in the parade.

How much commitment is required?

In addition to our weekly rehearsals, we typically perform at one UBC Athletics event per week (usually on Friday or Saturday), with a few extra community performances throughout the term. We understand that our members are students first, so it’s okay to miss a few rehearsals or performances as long as you let us know in advance! At some football games, the band performs a halftime show; participation in the halftime show is optional but those who wish to perform in the show are required to attend three two-hour field rehearsals the week of the show.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email us at info@thunderbirdband.ca, and we will get back to you ASAP!