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Eastern Kentucky University Marching Colonels practice during a 13-hour rehearsal. On Tuesday, the university’s School of Music announced it will be discontinuing the marching band in its current form. A new athletic band model for music majors and non-majors will debut in the fall and be overseen by the Division of Student Success and Life with sponsorship and support by School of Music faculty.

The Colonels are marching again.

Thanks to $50,000 in scholarships for participating students and $20,000 from institutional sources and donors, one of Eastern Kentucky University’s greatest traditions – its marching band – has been resurrected. It had been announced earlier this year that, because of budget constraints, the Marching Colonels would be discontinued.

“The faculty and I have been pleased and touched by the outpouring of support for the program,” said Dr. Sara Zeigler, dean of EKU’s College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences. “While there are still significant needs for new instruments and formal uniforms, the community response shows a strong commitment to our students.”

Alumni or any others interested in supporting the Marching Colonels can make a contribution at https://goo.gl/jZgyaq.

Participation in the Marching Colonels “provides leadership opportunities for students and helps them to grow through working in an ensemble,” Zeigler said. “They learn work ethic, collaboration and discipline, skills that will serve all of them well.”

All EKU students of good standing, regardless of major, are welcome to join the Marching Colonels. Any student who participated in band in high school is eligible and encouraged to participate as woodwind, brass, percussion or color guard members in the group. For most, it is a free elective credit, and each member receives an annual scholarship of $500. Placement auditions are required for the drumline.

The marching band performs at every home football game and at other University functions. 

Dr. Tim Wiggins has been named director of athletic bands at EKU, while Dr. Andy Putnam will serve as director of bands.

“I am thrilled to continue the rich tradition of music and movement here at EKU,” Wiggins said. “The Marching Colonels not only provide distinctive entertainment for athletic and spirit events, but also collaborative experiences for members, and leadership and teaching skills for future educators across the Commonwealth. This reboot of the ensemble provides a unique opportunity to fuse tradition and innovation through community, local high school and University collaboration.”  

Interested students must enroll in MUS 256 (CRN 10237), a course that meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. during the fall semester, and will have the opportunity to move in early this fall. A membership information form, along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions, is available at https://ekubands.eku.edu/eku-marching-colonels.

For more information, contact Dr. Wiggins at timothy.wiggins@eku.edu.

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