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The Pride of the Hilltoppers


Big Red Marching Band in Stadium
The Pride of the Hilltoppers

The Big Red Marching Band is the largest and most visible performing ensemble on campus with over 250 students representing 60+ majors.  The BRMB performs for all Hilltopper football games, at campus and community events as well as select area marching contests. Membership in the Big Red Marching Band is open to anyone who has previously participated in a marching band regardless of academic major. The Big Red Marching Band rehearses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the fall semester from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. with additional dress rehearsals on performance days. Every student who enrolls in the marching band is eligible for at least a $1000 stipend for the fall semester. For more information about the Big Red Marching Band at Western Kentucky University, contact Dr. Gary Schallert or Dr. Matthew McCurry.



Why Join?
Why join us?

The members are the ones who make the Big Red Marching Band!  We have a place for you on the field and in the stands.  If you have marching band experience, we want you!  Check out what our students say.




BRMB History
BRMB History

The Big Red Marching Band has a rich history of traditions and fantastic performances that spans over a century.  Take a look at the history of the BRMB.




BRMB Faculty & Staff
Meet our Directors & Staff!

It takes a great team to make the Big Red Marching Band the well-oiled machine that it is. Click below to meet our fantastic band directors and staff.



BRMB Staff

How to Join
How to join

Membership in the Big Red Marching Band is open to any student at WKU with previous marching experience.  If you are interested in being a part of the BRMB, fill out the intent form by clicking below. We are so glad to meet you!


How to Join


The Big Red Marching Band Pre-Season Camp is held the week before school begins.  Band students are allowed to move into their housing before other students and have the opportunity to get settled into their new spaces before classes begin.  Pre-Season Camp typically runs from 8:30a - 9:30p each day with breaks built into the schedule.  Arrangements have already been made for first-year students who are attending orientation sessions. 

The 2023 Pre-Season Camp is scheduled for AUGUST 10 - 17, 2024.  Colorguard and percussion clinics will usually start a day or two before.  Once you have signed up for MUS-347 Marching Band, you will recieve the Pre-Season Press with all the information you need for Pre-Season Camp.


2021 Band Camp Schedule   - *Sample Schedule - The 2024 Camp Schedule will be sent to registered students in late July.

2022 Band Camp Info   - The 2022 Preseason Press


COUNTOWN TO THE FIRST DAY OF PRE-SEASON CAMP!  Have you filled out the intent form yet?


One of the perks of being a member of the Big Red Marching Band is the Early Move-In before band camp begins.

The 2024-2025 assigned dates for band members are:
August 7 - Percussion, Colorguard, and Leadership Members
August 9 - All Returning Band Members
August 10 - All New Members / Returning Band Members

You will receive an email from Housing and Residence Life (HRL) about early move-in sign-ups and procedures. Please follow those procedures to request your early move-in date.  Early Move-In requests should be available for returning band members by JUNE 1. You will only be able to register for early move-in once you have registered for the class (MUS 347) and your name has been approved by Dr. McCurry.  Please allow some time for this approval process to take place.  We promise you will be able to move into your dorm room in time for band camp. 

Enjoy this perk of being a BRMB Member!  We look forward to seeing you back on campus!

Thank you for your interest in the Big Red Marching Band Drumline - there is no better place to celebrate the SPIRIT of WKU than drumming with the BRMB!


Excellence in the BRMB Drumline is defined through the following (Harris’s/Hannum’s four A’s):

  • Attendance (being present and fully engaged at all times)
  • Attitude (we have a GREAT time – we drum, we work, we laugh, and we play)
  • Mental Ability (knowing what you need to know, and when you need to know it)
  • Physical Ability (chops – both in your hands and your feet)

In addition, the BRMB Drumline strongly supports a working environment where everyone has a voice (input and creativity is encouraged), and celebrating a culture of mutual respect – of each other, the process, and performance – is present at all times.  


Playing/Performance Expectations

  • Battery members must be able to carry their instrument for extended periods of time
  • Front Ensemble members must be able to push and/or lift keyboard equipment
  • Experience on battery percussion or mallet instruments is highly recommended
  • Knowledge of fundamental strokes, playing positions, rudiments, scales, and reading (particularly on your preferred instrument) is highly recommended
  • Be prepared to mark and play at tempos of up to 180 BPM
  • Be prepared to learn, memorize, and perform new music weekly
  • Most importantly, be prepared to work hard, perform well, and laugh often!


Instrument Placement
Instrument placement for the battery and front ensemble takes place during a percussion clinic prior to band camp. Members will be assigned instruments based on personal interest, ability, and ensemble balance. WKU will supply all percussion instruments as well as sticks/mallets (students do not need to bring any personal equipment). ALL members and instruments are essential for success in the BRMB Drumline.


2024 Percussion Move-In – Wednesday, AUGUST 7. Move-in day will include moving into your assigned Fall 2024 residence hall and an opening percussion meeting.


Sample Music
Below are sample parts from the BRMB cadence “Big Red in the House!” as well as fundamental exercises for front ensemble/mallet players. Most show music, pre-game, exercises, and stand tunes are similar in design and difficulty.


Questions?: contact Dr. Scott Harris, scott.harris@wku.edu; more information will come throughout the summer months in preparation for August and Fall 2024. Go TOPS!

Snare Drum Bass Drum Tenor Drums Cymbals

The BRMB Front Ensemble is one of the newest and fastest growing sections!  With so many performers participating in Indoor Drumlines and Indoor Concert Percussion Ensembles, the BRMB Front Ensemble is thriving!  Do you have experience on keyboard instruments or percussion racks? Then the BRMB Front Ensemble might be for you! As the section that is always at the front of the band, the Front Ensemble is a major part of the visual excitement and musical precision of the BRMB.

Big Red Front Ensemble

The Front Ensemble instrumentation is set at band camp, but can include:

  • Marimbas
  • Xylophones
  • Bells
  • Electronic Keyboards
  • Electric Bass
  • Rack Percussion
  • Impact Drums
  • Tam-Tam
  • Electronics
  • and much more!
Sample Front Ensemble Exercises

If you have an interest in the BRMB Front Ensemble, contact us today!

Thank you for your interest in the Western Kentucky University Colorguard, also known as The Big Red Rubies!

As a member of the Color Guard and the Big Red Marching Band, you are a valuable and visible representative of not only the WKU athletic teams, but also our University and the great state of Kentucky. The Colorguard performs at all home football games for both pregame and halftime in addition to various special events like parades, exhibitions, and the Topperwalk as part of the Big Red Marching Band. The rewards from participating in this type of organization cannot be measured. Imagine the excitement of performing at major Conference-USA (C-USA) events, performing at some of the regional and conference away games, and traveling to various venues around the country. Earning a position with the Big Red Rubies at WKU will allow you to make friendships that last a lifetime and create some of the most memorable experiences of your life!

In order to be successful, prospective members should be familiar with the following techniques:

Basic Flag Skills

  • Cones
  • Drop Spins on both sides
  • Pop Toss
  • Standard Double
  • Standard 45

For members auditioning for Rifle and Sabre:

  • Drop Spins on both sides
  • Double Time
  • Tosses through quads



  • A healthy and positive attitude is the most important thing to bring with you!
  • Please wear form fitting athletic clothing and athletic shoes.  No jewelry, jeans, or sandals.
  • Clinics will be held over two saturday's in July with a video clinic option for those who cannot attend the in-person clinic.
  • Clinics will consist of a dance line combination as well as equipment fundamentals and combinations on flag, rifle, and sabre.
  • All members are required to spin flag, but are not required to be versed in other areas.

What to Bring:

  • Large water jug and snacks.
  • Rifle and/or sabre if considering this type of equipment


2024 CLINIC DATES - More information will be sent to those who fill out the intent form

June 1 - Clinic Day #1
July 27 - Clinic Day #2

If you or your friends are interested in becoming a Ruby for the 2024 season, please fill out the intent form.  Addiditonal information regarding events will be sent to those who have completed this form.  We would love to have you!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jessie Price, Colorguard Director at jessie.wilson85@gmail.com.

Instagram - @BigRedRubies
Facebook - WKU Colorguard 2020


The position of Feature Twirler is a highly coveted position in the Big Red Marching Band as the band fields only one of these positions.  The Feature Twirler is one of the most visual and awe-inspiring members of the BRMB.  The Feature Twirler will be one of the among the best in the nation and will be continually activie and highly competitive in the art of twirling, having competed and performed at the highest level.

The BRMB Feature Twirler will be front and center in the BRMB Pregame and Halftime performances as well as high-school exhibitions, away games, and parades. 

Madalynn Alt has held the position of Feature Twirler since Fall 2017. 

Feature Twirler Jacket

Feature Twirler Madalynn Alt

FT Madalynn Alt


When a Feature Twirler position in the BRMB opens, Auditions will be held in the Spring Semester.  There will be many applicants for this position, as such, the audition is a two-step process made up of an application and pre-screening video audition.  Finalists will be invited to campus for an in-person audition and showcase of skills in early April. 

AUDITION INFORMATION - Click here for the audition requirements and information.

Delta Omicron Crest

The Omicron Omicron Chapter of Delta Omicron is Western Kentucky University’s only professional honors music fraternity. We are a co-ed organization founded in 1909 that is diverse, accepting, and community-driven. Our mission is to promote and support music through excellence in music and musicianship. We do this by holding fundraisers and donating funds to local music schools, volunteering our help at WKU performances in the concert hall, granting scholarships to worthy musicians, and performing for the community each semester. Being a member of Delta Omicron is an unforgettable experience that not only promotes professional character growth, but it also gives musicians the opportunity to come together to create long-lasting friendships. 

If you are interested in learning more about our organization, please contact us!

Instagram: @deltaomicronwku
Chapter President: Noelle Fleek, noelle.fleek135@topper.wku.edu


Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Crest
Phi Mu Alpha is the world's oldest and largest secret national fraternal society in music. Western Kentucky University is home to the Iota Mu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia which has been around for 61 years! We are an all-male fraternity that focuses on the community around us and the welfare of all music students. We love giving back to the community through music, which is something we do every semester. We also love to help the music community around us by donating funds. which is something we also do every semester. Overall, the Iota Mu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is a place where all who are in it feel welcomed and loved by one another and together we strive to help those around us.
We'd love to get to know you, so please reach out to us!
Instagram: @phimualpha_wku
Chapter President: Cameron Taylor

Are scholarships available to members of the Big Red Marching Band?

  • YES! Every student that is in the Big Red Marching Band gets a scholarship!



  • First-Year Members - $1,000
  • Second-Year Members - $1,200
  • Third-Year Members - $1,400
  • 4th Year+ Members - $1,600

We also offer scholarships to students who serve in Leadership positions and that serve on the Uniform Crew.


All of these scholarships are in addition to any others that you may have been offered.  It really pays to be a part of the BRMB!

Type Event Date Location Time
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. Alabama [Travel Tentative] 8/31 Tuscaloosa, AL 6:00p
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. Eastern Kentucky 9/7 WKU Houchens Stadium 6:00p
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. MTSU [Away] 9/14 Murfreesboro, TN 6:00p
Pregame/Halftime WKU vs. Toledo 9/21 WKU Houchens Stadium 6:00p
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. UTEP [Thursday] 10/10 WKU Houchens Stadium 7:00p
Exhibition Band Exhibition Tour TBA TBA TBA
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. Kennesaw State [Wednesday] 10/30 WKU Houchens Stadium 6:30p
Parade Homecoming Parade 11/15 Downtown Bowling Green TBA
Pregame/Haltifme WKU vs. Louisiana Tech [Homecoming] 11/16 WKU Houchens Stadium 11:00a
Pregame/Halftime WKU vs Jax State 11/30 WKU Houchens Stadium 2:30p
Ballgame Performance C-USA Championship Game TBA TBA TBA
Bowl Performance Bowl Game TBA TBA TBA


This calendar, dates, times, and locations are subject to change.  Any changes will be reported to students as soon as feasibly possible. 



BRMB Members
Majors Represented
Member Receives Band Scholarship
Coach Buses to Away Games
8 min
High-Energy Traditional Pregame Show
Musical Experience


There are always questions when you are looking into a new program.  We love answering your questions, feel free to ask.
Check out some of the most frequently asked questions about the Big Red Marching Band by clicking below.

Frequently Asked Questions


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 Last Modified 5/31/24