First Year Freak-outs and Concerns 
posted July 21, 2015

War Eagle everybody! This time it’s Robert bringing you the fourth blog of the summer! Only two more weeks until Preaseason camp so I hope all of you guys have been practicing! Since we are so close to camp, the Blog this week is going to be all about common concerns, worries, and questions that we get from freshman and other first year Auburn students trying out for the marching band. Starting college is such an amazing experience but most people are going to have their fare share of concerns. But don’t worry, that’s what all of your R.A.T. Leaders are here for! This post will cover a lot of information including marching band, campus involvement, and classes. Let’s get started!!

How much money do I have to pay to be in the AUMB?

The Athletic Department is so good to us and covers the money for most everything we need, like our uniforms, transportation, and meals and hotels on away trips. There are a few things members are required to pay for on their own. You’ll need to pay for your own marching shoes, gloves, and flip folders (if you don’t have one already). These will all be available at registration; so don’t worry about having to buy them beforehand.

Marching shoes-$35


Flip folders-$5

Extra flip folder sheets-2 for $1

There will also be other items that you will have the option (but are not required) to pay for throughout the season. Kappa Kappa Psi, the honorary band fraternity, will have AUMB merchandise (hats, sweatshirts, car stickers, and lots of other AUsome apparel) available for sale at registration. Most sections and the drum majors usually design and sell t-shirts (prices will vary) and those will be made available as the season progresses.

Will I march with a school-owned instrument, or do I need to provide my own?

Saxophones and clarinets should bring their own instruments. Other members will march with a school-owned instrument. All these instruments will be distributed at registration for Preseason Camp at NO COST. Just bring your mouthpiece!

Will I be guaranteed a spot marching on the field? What are alternates?

Typically, every member of the AUMB gets to march a halftime and a pregame show at least once during the season. There are decisions about who will march that will be made every week. These decisions are based on attendance, memorization, attitude, and overall ability to march and play the music. Most high schools don’t have an alternate system so this may be a new concept for you. Alternates are members not marching for a particular show. These alternates will “shadow” another marchers during rehearsal and will march that spot in the event that that person cannot march the show that week. Alternates are extremely important to our band, because we don’t march ‘holes’; every spot is always filled for every show, for every game.

Am I required to attend all the away trips?

The full band does travel to major away games and a smaller pep band travels to all other away games. This year, the full band will travel to LSU and stay the night in New Orleans that Friday and also to the Chick-Fil-A kick-off game in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome! GET PUMPED. The pep bands that will go to the other away games (Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Arkansas) are made up of about 50 members chosen based on seniority and ability. The full band also makes trips when Auburn goes to the SEC Championship, or any bowl game. These games happen sometime during late December or early January and are also required, but so much fun! 

What is the schedule for Preseason Camp?

All new members, along with Tiger Eyes and Drumline, will begin Preseason Camp on August 6th. Everyone else will be joining you on August 8th. Camp lasts from then until August 16th, the day before classes start. The hour-by-hour schedules for camp are available online. All you have to do is go to the main Preseason Camp page and click on the schedule that applies to you! 

How can I prepare myself for Preseason Camp?

Keep in mind that we will spend the majority of the days during camp outside, in the heat, participating in physical activity. One of the best things you can do to prepare is to start drinking water…like right now- immediately. You should also try to acclimate your body to being active outdoors. Running, jogging, or even walking outside every day is a great way to prepare yourself for the Southern, summer heat we get during camp- ESPECIALLY if you aren’t from the South. For anyone who lives up North, the Southern, summer heat and humidity is very real and very intense. But don’t worry too much we get plenty of breaks during rehearsal at camp. Also, you can also get yourself musically prepared by practicing your instrument throughout the summer.

Preseason Camp is the same week as Sorority Rush…Can I participate in both?

Of course you can! Plenty of people every year have participated in sorority recruitment while going through preseason camp. You can visit Auburn’s PanHellenic recruitment website for more details.

With all of this other stuff to do, how am I ever going to deal with classes?

College is a great time to become involved, but don’t forget why you’re here! Your parents pay a lot of money for you to come here so don’t waist the opportunity! The best (and most common) advice anyone can give you is to GO TO CLASS. You are actually paying thousands of dollars for these classes so it really is a disservice to you not to go. You can ask any of my friends and they will tell you I am by no means a morning person, but trust me on this one, it just makes everything else easier if you drag yourself out of bed and get to your 8 a.m. I am going to stress that if you’re not a morning person, don’t try to be one in college. I promise that won’t change. You have the freedom to choose what time your classes are for the most part. So, if it’s near impossible to wake up for an 8am 3 days a week, then don’t schedule one. If that was your only option, unfortunately, then I feel for you, but there will always be next semester.

The key to college is time management. Plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to go to class AND do all the work involved in it. Don’t wait until 9 o’clock the night before a test to start studying for it. This is not high school. Most of your tests in college will require at least a week of studying in advance if not more. If you get in these habits starting out, your college experience will be a breeze!

Preseason Camp lasts up until the first day of class, so when can I find out where my classes are and get the supplies I need for them?

I’m glad you asked! You will actually get the morning and part of the afternoon of the final day of Preseason Camp off, so you’ll have some time to go and find your classes. You can easily find campus maps online if you need some help finding building names and locations. If you’re nervous about back-to-back classes (or about navigating the Haley Center, which is a legitimate concern--I still get lost), you can walk through your schedule to see how long it takes you to get from one class to the next so you’ll know how much time you’ll need.

As far as supplies go, you can shop during your afternoon off OR you can come to the University Bookstore night we will have during Preseason Camp. (You guys, please come!! This is my favorite RAT activity!) For this RAT activity, the bookstore in Haley Center opens at night for an AUMB-only sale. You can get your books for 10% off, supplies and merchandise for 25% off, and some free food and time to hang out with your friends!

OK, I hope this helped answer some of your concerns, but remember, if you have any more, the leadership love getting emails!!

TWO WEEKS TO GO! See y’all soon!!

– Robert

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