The Marching Illini is a 375-member historic marching band composed of students from all majors, backgrounds, and walks of life. This fall (2021), I will have the privilege of being a music section leader for the trumpet section! So, let’s talk a little bit about this organization that has had such a profound impact on my life.
A little bit about the organization’s history…
What do we do now?
The Marching Illini does a lot around campus, the state, and across the world!
For starters, the Marching Illini is an essential part of football gamedays here in Champaign-Urbana. You’ll find us doing a concert in Grange Grove, marching from the Armory to the stadium before the game, playing our historic pregame show and at halftime, cheering on the Illini from the stands, and after the game, we parade from the stadium to the education building where we do a post-game concert every week.
We also do plenty of performances around campus during the school year! We do a concert at Foellinger Auditorium every Quad Day, march in the homecoming parade, play in Krannert for the homecoming concert, and make appearances at other various important events throughout the semester!
We do a lot of traveling - a couple of years ago we played at halftime for a Bears game in Chicago; we went on a road trip to East Lansing to play at Illinois’ incredible comeback game against MSU, and later that season we traveled to San Fransisco to play at Illinois’ Redbox Bowl game! In the spring of 2022, we’ll be flying to Ireland to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade - a Big Ten tradition that Illinois started and has been doing for over 25 years!
What is the commitment like?
The Marching Illini is a big commitment. Between daily rehearsals and gamedays, expect about 15 hours of committed Marching Illini time a week. This might sound daunting at first, but that time is spent making great friends, memories, and having a lot of fun! More information about the organization, including frequently asked questions, can be found at http://marchingillini.com/