University of Vermont

Department of Music and Dance

UVM Concert Band FAQ's

University of Vermont Band

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a music major or minor to play?

NO! Students who play in Concert Band come from all majors across campus. We often have students studying diverse subjects like Animal Science, Biochemistry, Business, Education, Engineering, History, Nursing, Political Science, and Social Work. In fact, that's a great thing about Band: students from all majors and colleges coming together to make music.

Do I have to audition?

Yes, but it's really not that scary! In fact, it's called a "placement" because the result will generally determine where you sit, not whether you are accepted (although we do need a balanced ensemble, so we can't take 30 alto saxophones....).

When does the Band rehearse?

The UVM Concert Band meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 4:55 in the Ballroom (Room 301) of Southwick Hall, Redstone Campus. 

What if I don't own an instrument?

Then borrow one of ours! The Band owns lots of instruments, including bari saxes, trombones, euphoniums, and tubas that can be borrowed for the semester. You can even sign them out for the summer!

Do I have to carry my instrument back and forth from my dorm room?

No, lockers are available in the Music Building from Prof. Toner for most instruments at no charge. And while we've not had a probelm in the past, it's always a good idea to make sure your instrument is covered by insurance (such as a parent's homeowner's policy) before you bring it to school.

Who is the conductor?

Prof. D. Thomas Toner is a graduate of UMass/Amherst, Yale, and the Eastman School of Music (where he was a member of the renowned Eastman Wind Ensemble). He is Principal Percussionist of the Vermont Symphony and can be heard on many CD's, including those by the Vermont Symphony, Counterpoint Choir, and Trey Anastasio.

What is the atmosphere like during rehearsals?

Prof. Toner tries to balance hard work and fun, so you will be encouraged to play better - not screamed at. You'll find Band members to be relaxed, friendly, supportive, and sharing of your love for music.

Can I take Band for credit?

Yes, by registering for MU 121 - Concert Band, and Band can be repeated for credit each semester. Many BA students in the College of Arts and Sciences play in three semesters of Band to fulfill their Fine Arts distribution requirement. Also, music majors and minors need a certain number of ensemble credits that can be fulfilled by Band.

What kind of music does the Band play?

Everything from Sousa Marches, Concert Band "classics" like the Holst Suites, "Incantation and Dance" or "Variations on a Korean Folksong" by John Barnes Chance, and newer pieces like Danza Barbarica (written for the UVM Band by David Myers), Constancy and Change (written for the 100th Anniversary of the Band by UVM Professor Patricia Julien), and Sierra Encantada by Italian composer Paolo Ciacci (and which the Band did the American premiere of in 2009).

How many Concerts do you play?

The Band plays two full concerts per year in the UVM Recital Hall. One of the highlights of each year is our performance to a standing-room-only crowd at the annual Music Department Homecoming/Family Weekend Concert, but the Band has also played at UVM events, such as the last two presidential installation ceremonies. The Band has done two European concert tours: January 2007 in Slovakia and Germany, and January 2009 in southern Italy.  Tentative plans are underway for a January 2016 trip to Spain and Portugal.

Can I take private lessons?

The Music Department offers private lessons on most instruments and voice. Since this is a one-on-one situation, there is an additional fee for the lessons, however, the Band has some funding for scholarships (see Prof. Toner for more information). More lesson information.

What about Marching Band?

Sorry, the Marching Band was disbanded (get it?) in the 1970's along with the UVM Football team.

So, is there at least a Pep Band?

Yes, and a good one at that! The UVM Pep Band plays at all home games of the men's hockey team and also at other athletic events. Recently, the Pep Band traveled with teams to playoff games in Indiana, New York, and Massachusetts. The Pep Band rehearses from September until the end of the hockey/basketball season and can also be taken for academic credit.

But do I have to play in Pep Band if I play in Concert Band?

No, some students choose to do both, others choose one over the other.

What additional ensembles does UVM have?

The Music Department also offers many ensembles, so you are sure to find one that reflects your musical interests. Each ensemble has distinct audition requirements and policies that are posted in the lobby of the Music Building at the beginning of the semester.

What if I have more questions?

You can contact Prof. Toner in his Office (303 Southwick) at 656-7774, or e-mail him at

Come join us,
We know you'll find Band just as rewarding and enjoyable as we do!

Return to the Band home page.

Last modified June 11 2015 02:17 PM