The UC Marching Band is the most visible of our bands and performs at all home and select away football games as well as any bowl games in which the team may compete. In addition to football games the Marching Band also performs for events such as UC Convocation, marching competitions, and various performances around Cincinnati.
Marching season usually begins during the first full week in September in preparation for the first football game, which occurs shortly thereafter. The Marching Band is in full scale operation from the beginning of September until the last football game of the year (including a potential bowl game), although the performance schedule is much more intense near the beginning of the season.
Participants in Marching Band are largely undergraduate students at the University of Cincinnati from a wide variety of academic fields. The average number of participants each season is between 200 and 250 members who have the option of playing a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument as well as twirling a flag, rifle, or baton.
The UC Pep Band is the most versatile band within the Bearcat Bands. It performs for all home men's and women's basketball games as well as any Big East Conference or NCAA tournament games. In addition to basketball games the members of the Pep Band are often called upon to perform at various performances for the university and other organizations in the Cincinnati area.
Pep band season begins in the first part of November and coincides with the end of marching band season. It continues through the holiday break and into the beginning of March with the end of basketball tournaments.
Members of the Pep Band are members from the Marching Band. Participation in Marching Band and Concert Band is required for participation in Pep Band. Due to the large number of performances required of the Pep Band each year, responsibility for each performance is split up several ways among its members.
The UC Concert Band consists of two or more groups of students, with at least one being a traditional concert band arrangement and the other varying due to available instrumentation. Annual performances of the Concert Band include the Memorial Day Ceremony in Eden Park and an end-of-year concert usually held at the end of Spring Semester in CCM. Some members of the Concert Band participate in the performances of other area ensembles.
Concert band season begins the first week of Spring Semester and continues through the end-of-year concert. Overlapping with the second half of pep band season, Concert Band rehearses one evening per week playing various classical and contemporary tunes as well as marches.
The members of Concert Band are largely the same members from Marching Band and Pep Band. On certain occasions older members of the university participate in Concert Band but may no longer have the interest or ability to participate in the more physically demanding aspects of Marching Band and/or Pep Band. The composition of the one or more concert bands each year depends on the number of participants and the available instrumentation.
The UC Jazz Band is a voluntary group that forms during Spring Semester. They practice weekly and perform at various gigs around the city including Coney Island. The group gives students an opportunity to play instruments such as jazz guitar, bass guitar, drum set, keyboard, and various saxophones and clarinets.
Members of the UC Marching Band that perform in the color guard area given the chance to compete in winter guard. The group practices several times a week and compete in the Tri-State Circuit. Members of the band are also able to join the winter guard.