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The Big Red Marching Machine perform on the field.

Bands

Concert, athletic, and jazz bands are general education classes open to any Illinois State University student wishing to participate. You do not have to be a music major to perform, though some require an audition.

Performances of the Illinois State University bands are open to the Illinois State University community and the public. Tickets are available at the Center for Performing Arts (CPA) Box Office or football tickets are available at GoRedbirds.com.

Concert Ensembles

  • Flutist plays in the wind symphony ensemble.

    Wind Symphony

    The Illinois State University Wind Symphony is the University’s premier wind band with a national and international reputation for exceptional artistic achievement. The Wind Symphony performs, records, and tours regularly each semester.

  • A member of the symphonic winds ensemble plays her french horn.

    Symphonic Winds

    The Illinois State University Symphonic Winds is comprised of some of the most outstanding wind, brass, and percussion players from across campus. They perform the highest quality wind band literature, on and off campus, each semester.

  • The percussion section plays during a Symphonic Band concert.

    Symphonic Band

    The Illinois State University Symphonic Band is comprised of talented wind, brass, and percussion players from across campus. They perform quality band literature at two concerts each semester.

  • A harpist drags her hands across the strings of her harp.

    University Band

    The University Band is comprised of non-music majors and music majors gaining experience on a secondary instrument. This ensemble provides students the opportunity to continue playing while devoting the major portion of their time to other academic disciplines.

Athletic Bands

  • The trombone section of the Big Red Marching Machine.

    Big Red Marching Machine

    The Illinois State University Marching Band, “The Big Red Marching Machine,” has a long and proud history of performances at major events at home and across the Midwest.

  • The pep band cheers in the stands.

    Pep Band

    The Illinois State University Pep Band performs at all Redbird Volleyball and Basketball games and campus events year round.

  • The BRMM Drumline marches in the Labor Day parade.

    BRMM Drumline

    The BRMM Drumline is the pulse that powers the Big Red Marching Machine, adding groove to game day on the field and in the stands.

  • The Basketball drumline performs on the court.

    Basketball Drumline

    The ISU Basketball Drumline rocks Redbird Arena with high-energy performances that electrify the crowd at Men’s and Women’s home games.

Jazz Bands

  • Student plays his trumpet in a jazz ensemble.

    Jazz Ensembles

    Our jazz ensembles perform a wide range of big band literature including all styles from historical to cutting edge.

Band Festivals and Competitions

  • The trumpet players of a marching band raise their instruments.

    Marching Band Championships

    The Illinois State Marching Band Championships is one of the oldest events of its kind in the state of Illinois. Over forty of the state’s finest high school marching bands compete in preliminary and finals competition.

  • Students practice together for the jazz festival.

    Jazz Festival

    The annual Illinois State University Jazz Festival is the highlight of the year for jazz on campus. In addition to a competition between numerous high school and junior high jazz ensembles, the festival features two evening showings of a collaborative performance by ISU Jazz Ensembles with a renowned guest artist.

Band Director Events

  • A band director conducts his band.

    Band Director Workshop

    Get new tools and resources to improve your skills as a band director.

  • A concert band performs on stage.

    Concert Band Recording Sessions

    The Illinois State University Concert Band Recording Sessions are held annually in February. The event hosts Junior High and High School concert bands from across Illinois for professional recording sessions in the Center for the Performing Arts.

Prospective Student Events

Faculty and Staff

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For more information about any of the Bands at Illinois State University, email isubands@IllinoisState.edu.

News and Events

See what is happening with Bands.

Illinois State University Bands Mission Statement

The mission of the Illinois State University Bands is to promote and foster the highest artistic achievement in music-making, music learning, and musical experience for our student musicians and our patrons. We will create a diverse educational environment that addresses the needs of our future performers, educators, and scholars with a commitment to the growth of each individual as an artist.

We will promote the growth of the wind band medium by carefully creating concert experiences for our students and audiences that uphold essential histories and traditions, but also innovatively look to future possibilities. We will support recognized and promising composers and seek out new opportunities for creative collaborations.

The Illinois State University Bands will strive to become a cultural destination for the university and its surrounding community by maintaining a welcoming environment for students across campus and the community at large. We will expand the impact of Illinois State University through outreach, service, and leadership at the community, state, national, and international levels.