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CSU Marching Band leads the way

May 5, 2011

The Colorado State University Marching Band's emergence as a national leader has consistently gained the attention of regional and national media outlets and organizations as the group continues to receive accolades for a series of innovations and 'firsts' for university bands.

Recent award

The Colorado State University Band and Spirit Squads won the first annual Mountain West Conference High Five Award. The award was presented at the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships held in Las Vegas, Nev., March 9-12, 2011.

“I want to congratulate the spirit squads and band at Colorado State University for winning the first Mountain West Conference High Five Award,” wrote Dan Butterly, Mountain West Conference Associate Commissioner and 2011 Tournament Manager, in a letter to Paul Kowalczyk, Director of Athletics at Colorado State University. The award was given to CSU's Band and Spirit Squads as they were rated the best during the championships at five overall criteria: sportsmanship, performance, safety, spirit and cooperation. Watch a video.


In 2010 the award-winning CSU Marching Band continued their tradition of memorable half time collaborations by inviting Grammy-nominated swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to perform with the band at homecoming. The two bands performed some of the swing band’s hit songs along with solo sections featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s instrumentalists and vocalist. “We were so honored to have had an opportunity to perform alongside one of the most celebrated jazz groups of the last 25 years. This year’s homecoming performance was unlike anything the CSU Band has ever done, and certainly a monumental highlight of our season” said Director of Bands Christopher Nicholas.

In 2009 CSU received national headlines in the publication Halftime magazine for their collaboration with theSt. Bernard Project and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The CSU Marching Band partnered with the St. Bernard Project to raise awareness for the home rebuilding project for displaced New Orleans families affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “Our halftime show collaboration with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band was a capstone performance that our band students won’t soon forget,” said Marching Band Director Christopher Nicholas. “It was absolutely thrilling to be a part of, and one of the most rewarding experiences we could have ever hoped to provide for our band students and fans.”

Special performances and honors

The CSU Marching Band was also the first collegiate marching band invited to participate in the Denver 9News Parade of Lights. In 2009 and 2010, more than a million viewers enjoyed the holiday sights and sounds of the CSU Marching Band along the parade route and on live TV. Read more.

In April of 2010, the CSU Marching Band was honored by CSU College of Liberal Arts Dean Ann Gill as the recipient of the Advancement Award for their text fundraising campaign during the 2009 football season, as well as for their many high profile performances. Read more.

The 2010 season featured the CSU Marching Band in numerous high-profile performances, including a feature halftime show at INVESCO Field at Mile High for the Denver Broncos game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 14. This is the second straight year the band performed for the Denver Broncos faithful, following an appearance in 2009 at the Broncos vs. New England game and the Denver Broncos Football Club’s 50th anniversary celebration. Read more.

In March of 2009, the CSU Marching Band received national recognition from the College Band Directors National Association for contributions of excellence and creativity to the marching profession. Hundreds of university marching band programs from all college football conferences were eligible for the recognition, and CSU was chosen over submissions from conferences known for marching bands such as the SEC, Big 10, and ACC. Read more.

Join the CSU Marching Band

The Colorado State University Marching Band will hold an open sign-up period for new members through July 22, 2011. Membership is open to all CSU students.  In addition to musicians, the group also offers opportunities for visual ensemble members (color guard).

The CSU Marching Band features musicians from nearly every major on campus and perform annually for about 200,000 Ram football fans each year. The band travels with the CSU football team on selected road trips, including post-season bowl games. The group has performed in such cities as Memphis, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Diego, and Albuquerque.

Visual Ensemble auditions

In addition to musicians, the group also offers opportunities for Visual Ensemble members (color guard) and Golden Poms (CSU dance team).

  • Three Visual Ensemble Audition Days are scheduled on Saturdays over the next few months: April 30, June 11, and July 16. Please contact for more information.

About the School of the Arts

The School of the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603