Pep Band FAQs
Who are we?
The Pep Band is a highly spirited organization that supports the athletics department and other student events at Northeastern. The band is under the direction of Assistant Director of Bands John Leonard, and is fully supported by both the Athletic and Music Departments. Additional support is provided by co-advisors Chris Marshall (Assistant Director of Marketing) and Allen Feinstein (Director of Bands), and a Student Council elected each year by the band membership. The purpose of this organization is to serve the NU community through its support of the athletic teams and through its participation in non-athletic University and community events. The Pep Band consists of members of the NU community who are dedicated to the quality of the music and a fun atmosphere.
When do we play?
The Pep Band is committed to performing at all home Men’s & Women’s Basketball and Men’s & Women’s Ice Hockey events. The group also performs occasionally at Men’s & Women’s Soccer, and Volleyball events. On special occasions, the band has performed additionally at Field Hockey events, pep rallies, comedy shows, and other NU events. In recent years, the band has performed at Fenway Park for the 2009 Baseball Beanpot, and the 2010 Frozen Fenway games. The band also travels with the teams for special games and tournaments. This includes such events as the annual Beanpot hockey events, and the Men’s CAA Basketball Tournament held each year in Richmond, VA.
That sounds like a large time commitment. What if I have a busy schedule?
Each member is not required to play at every event. Ideally, most people will play less than half of the total number of events. We are of course understanding of any events that conflict with your class schedule. People without a good attendance record will not be allowed to run for student council positions. For tournaments and other performances with limited seating, priority will be based on a combination of factors including seniority in the ensemble, attendance, and instrumentation needs.
When does the band rehearse?
For the majority of September we rehearse twice a week. In October we rehearse only once a week. There may also be a rehearsal or two called in January to welcome new students, or learn new music for the Spring semester.
Are there auditions?
There are no auditions to gain membership to the Pep Band. We hope Pep Band allows you the opportunity to further your musicianship as well as gain new experiences!
What instruments are used in the pep band?
Standard wind instrumentation including: Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet, Mellophone, Trombone, Baritone, and Tuba. We also utilize a Bass Guitar, and Drum Set for all Basketball and Hockey games. For certain special Hockey events, and outdoor performances, drumline instrumentation is used instead of a drum set. No music is currently written for any other instruments, (keyboard, guitar, violin, etc.), but if you are an amazing player, and are committed to joining the ensemble, contact the director John Leonard and set up an audition!
What is the NU Drum Line?
The NU Drum Line (NUDL) is the marching percussion section of the pep band. It is not a separate student group, but a section within the pep band. Performance opportunities include playing before, after, and during (halftime/intermission) special Basketball and Hockey events, as well as some separate NUDL-only gigs. Members must attend all pep band rehearsals, as well as separate NUDL rehearsals. All drum set players in the pep band are strongly encouraged to join the NUDL, although it is not required. Any wind players in the pep band who are also interested in joining the NUDL are also encouraged to do so. All talent levels are welcome!
The NUDL WILL hold auditions for placement. All percussionists in the pep band must also attend special rehearsals to learn the parade cadences for Homecoming and Memorial Day, whether they are members of the NUDL or not.
It’s the middle of the semester, can I still join?
Yes! We accept new members at all times throughout the year.
Does NU have a Marching Band?
Northeastern does not have a marching band, although the Pep Band performs in a few parades each year as a service to the community. We have had several NU Bands members who have also performed with marching bands at other local colleges (such as BC and BU) and various nearby DCI/ DCA drum corps (such as East Coast Jazz and Spartans.) They have been able to participate in both NU Bands and the other group. NU also has a Winter Color Guard (no instruments) through the Club Sports program. Check out the Campus Recreation website.
How do I join?
Send an email to our secretary, Erika Towne and she will get you set up with information on our upcoming events. Her contact information can be found on the Contact Us! page.
Who can join NU Bands?
Membership in the two organizations is open to anyone affiliated with the University: students (undergraduate and graduate, full-time and part-time), alumni, faculty and staff. Community members and students at other local schools may also join– for example, past members have included students from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and Emerson College. Only full-time NU undergraduates may vote or hold office.
Do I need to be a music major?
You do not need to be a music major! Typically, we are about 50% science majors, 25% music majors, and 25% other majors. All six of NU’s colleges are represented in NU Bands. We all play for fun, but there are opportunities for more advanced musicians such as composition, solos, wind ensemble, and conducting.
Do you offer band scholarships?
Yes, we do! Go to our band scholarship page for more information.
I haven’t played in a while, can I still join?
We have musicians of various playing abilities and experience – NU Bands exists for the benefit of everyone! Our goal is to provide the opportunity to continue to play or expand your horizons and learn new instruments.
I don’t have an instrument, or it is too large to bring to college. Does the band have any available?
There are a limited number of band-owned instruments, which can be used on a first-come, first-served basis. You can use them at rehearsals and performances, and sign them out for practice or personal use by special arrangement with a council member.
My instrument does not fit in my dorm room, do you have any storage space?
We have our own secure closet. It is specially designed to protect your instrument from temperature and humidity. You may access the closet before an after rehearsals and performances, during office hours, or by special appointment with a council member.