University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Music and Dance

UVM Concert Band FAQ's

University of Vermont Concert Band

Conductor: D. Thomas Toner
Office: 303 Southwick
Phone: 656-7774

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. Recently, we've had Biology, Business, Education, English, Marketing, and Social Work majors, just to name a few. In fact, that's a great thing about Band: students from all majors come 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 4:05 - 5:30 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, and tubas which 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 for most instruments. There is no fee for these lockers, but you must register with Prof. Toner and you must provide your own lock. It is 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 the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, the Yale School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music (where he was a member of the world-famous Eastman Wind Ensemble). Prof. Toner is Principal Percussionist of the Vermont Symphony and can be heard on many CD's recently issued by Elektra and Arabesque Records (more information).

What is the atmosphere like during rehearsals?

Prof. Toner tries to balance hard work and fun, which is not always easy to do. 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, but you don't have to. Music majors and minors need a certain number of ensemble credits which can be fulfilled by Concert Band. Also, many Arts & Science College students use Concert Band to fulfill their Fine Arts distribution requirement.

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 usually plays two or three times per semester. 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. Also, we've recently done two European concert tours: January 2007 in Slovakia and Germany, and January 2009 in southern Italy.  Plans are now underway for a January 2015 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 has traveled with the team to playoff games in New York and Massachusetts. The Pep Band rehearses from September until the end of hockey season.

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

No, some students choose one or the other, some students choose both.

What additional ensembles does UVM have?

The Music Department also offers Catamount Singers, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensembles, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Each ensemble has distinct audition requirements and policies which 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 July 10 2013 02:52 PM

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