First Year Freak-outs and Common Concerns
posted July 25, 2014

War Eagle everyone! It’s Adam again! (And now there’s only 2 weeks until Preseason Camp starts!!!) So, this week, the Blog is going to be all about common concerns and questions that we get from freshman and other first year Auburn students trying out for the marching band. Coming to college is such an incredible experience, but I know everyone has their share of freakouts. But NEVER FEAR your R.A.T. leaders are here!! I’m going to cover a lot information but no question is too random to email us and ask! (Besides, we need to be challenged every once in a while anyway).  I’ll start out with some marching band questions to ease you into it, and then move into housing, involvement on campus, and classes. Let’s get it started!

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

Lucky for you, the Athletic Department 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
  • Gloves-$3
  • 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?

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 absences, 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 (It was for me!). Alternates are members not marching for a particular show. These alternates will “shadow” another marcher 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 UGA and stay the night in Atlanta that Friday and also to Alabama! (How exciting!?) The pep bands that will go to the other away games (Ole Miss, Miss State and Kansas State) are made up of 50-120 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 7th. Everyone else will be joining you on August 9th. Camp lasts from then until August 17th, 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! In a few weeks the blog topic will be all the R.A.T activities!! 

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. Y’all Northerners- the humidity ain’t no joke. 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! I’ve known people every year that 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! The best (and most common) advice anyone can give you is to GO TO CLASS. I am not 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. Once again, the key is time management. Plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to go to class AND do all the work involved in it. If you do that starting out, your college experience will be a breeze. I am going to stress that if you’re not a morning person, don’t try to be in college. I promise that wont change. Haha! You have the freedom to choose what time your classes are for the most part. So if its near impossible to wake up for an 8am 3 days a week, then don’t!

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 afternoon of the final day of Preseason Camp off, so you’ll have some time to go and find your classes. You can use this campus map 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. For this RAT activity, the bookstore in Haley Center opens at night for an AUMB-only sale. You can get your books, supplies, and merchandise at a great price, all while getting some free food and hanging 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!!


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