With three different concert ensembles, the Department of Music offers wind and percussion performance opportunities for all Virginia Tech students, from music majors preparing for professional careers to non-majors who want to continue playing in a band in college. Auditions generally occur during the first week of each semester.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble - Under the direction of Jonathan Caldwell
The premier auditioned wind band at Virginia Tech. The ensemble rehearses three times weekly, presents at least three concerts on campus each semester, performs regularly across the state and region on tour and at music conferences. This ensemble made its first appearance at the Kennedy Center in 2011, and appeared at Carnegie Hall in April 2013. Ensemble participation is open to all students through audition each semester.
- The group performs about 6 concerts each school-year, at a variety of places in and around the Blacksburg area
- Ensemble Size: Approximately 50
- Meeting Time: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (Fall & Spring)
Symphony Band - Under the direction of Dave McKee & Polly Middleton
The Symphony Band, conducted by Polly Middleton (fall semester) and Dave McKee (fall and spring semesters) performs a variety of works from traditional wind band repertory to contemporary works. Ensemble participation is open to all students through audition each semester.
- The group performs four concerts on campus each year and regularly shares programs with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Campus Band.
- Ensemble Size: Approximately 60
- Meeting Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30–4:45 p.m. (Fall); 5:00–6:30 p.m. (Spring)
Campus Band - Under the direction of Polly Middleton
The Campus Band is a non-auditioned concert band that rehearses one night weekly during the spring semester. The ensemble provides an opportunity for students who wish to play in a concert band with a lighter time commitment than the other ensembles. The ensemble performs a variety of works from the wind band repertory, including contemporary and traditional wind band works, transcriptions, and marches.
- The Campus Band performs one concert on campus each spring
- Instrument Rental: Bassoon, bass clarinet, tenor and baritone saxophone, euphonium, and tuba may be rented for a small fee each semester.
- Ensemble Size: Approximately 60–80
- Meeting Time: Mondays, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spring only)
Athletic bands at Virginia Tech support the Hokies and thrill thousands of spectators across the country. The Marching Virginians and Hokies Pep Band play at all home football and men's basketball games, and travel to away games, ACC tournaments, and bowl games. Students from across the entire university participate in these nationally renowned musical organizations!
Marching Virginians - Under the direction of Dave McKee & Polly Middleton
- In the fall of 2014, The Marching Virginians will celebrate their 40th Anniversary of high-energy performances and exciting music to support the Hokies
- Since their creation in 1974, The Marching Virginians have performed for hundreds of nationally televised football games and parades. The MVs have received numerous compliments for outstanding performances at Virginia Tech's recent bowl games, including the 2008 and 2010 FedEx Orange Bowls and the 2012 Sugar Bowl.
- Members of the Marching Virginians include students from all walks of life and from majors across the university. Though none of the students who participate in the MVs will receive scholarships for joining this band, competitive auditions are open to all Virginia Tech students - even graduate students.
- Schedules and meeting times depend on the schedule of the football season
Hokie Pep Band - Under the direction of Polly Middleton
- The Hokies Pep Band joins the basketball Hokies as a spirited sixth man each season, keeping the Hokies and their fans intent on victory.
- The band is a select ensemble, with keen competition for each of the 70 non-scholarship positions.
- The superior musicianship of the band has been acknowledged numerous times, including being named "best pep band" in the Metro Conference by veteran sportswriter Jack Bogaczyk and being the only pep band ever invited to perform at the VMEA Conference
- Schedules and meeting times depend on the schedule of the basketball season
Regimental Band (The Highty-Tighties)- Under the direction of James Bean
The Virginia Tech Regimental Band is Virginia Tech's longest serving musical organization. In 1893, a cadet band company was formed as a permanent part of the cadet regiment. For almost 120 years, we have been known primarily as a field band with an unparalleled string of victories (including 129 first place trophies in 130 competitive parades!).