University Bands

133 Fine Arts

16 Mt. Pelia Road

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7403


John Oelrich, Director of Bands


Click an FAQ below.


How can I get involved?

The UTM Bands include our Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Athletic Band and Basketball Pep Band. All of these ensembles are open to non-music majors.

Are there concert ensembles that I can play in at the start of the school year?

Yes. Both the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band begin rehearsing at the beginning of the academic year. This is balanced with marching band to minimize the impact on students' schedules. The concert bands begin rehearsing one day per week during the first few weeks of the semester. As the marching band season progresses, the concert ensembles' rehearsals increase and the marching band's decreases.

Is college marching band just like high school marching band?

No. According to our students the marching band at UTM is relaxed, fun, and a lot less pressure than high school marching band. The UTM Band rehearses efficiently so that it does not take a long time to learn a show. We march far fewer sets than competitive high school bands and always play plenty of high-energy music that everyone enjoys. In addition, we only rehearse five hours per week.

What are rehearsals like?

Productive and fun! Dr. Oelrich, Dr. Waterman and Dr. Gorman balance hard work and fun. They encourage the band to perform at the highest level possible. You will find band members to be relaxed, friendly, supportive, and sharing your love for music.

Do I have to be a music major or music minor to be in band?

No. Students in the UTM Bands come from all majors on campus. In fact, this is one of the great things about being in band: making music with a wide variety of people with a common interest.

Do I have to audition?

Yes, but you can choose your own audition music. You should prepare music that you have performed previously. Many students choose to perform a solo from a recent solo and ensemble performance, others use audition music from All-West or other honor groups. Choose music you believe will best show us your ability. We often hear students audition when they come for a campus-visit or during our annual Honor Band Festival. Call us ahead of time so we can plan for your arrival and help show you our beautiful campus.

Does playing in band in college take a lot of time?

According to students, band does not take a lot of time. Actually, the UTM Marching Band has one of the lightest time commitments of any college band. We do not attend away games and some of our home games are on Thursday nights. This schedule gives you many free weekends. The Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Jazz Combo have regular rehearsals each week. The only out-of-class commitments are in the form of performances or touring.

Can I get a scholarship for being in band?

Band scholarships are competitive and are awarded for the primary purpose of attracting key personnel to the UTM Band program. You do not have to be a music-major to receive a Band Scholarship. Scholarships amounts are based upon many factors including instrument need and performance ability.

What if I don't own an instrument?

UT Martin owns a number of instruments that may be checked out. Most low brass and percussion are provided. There are also a limited number of high brass and woodwind instruments if needed.

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

No. Lockers are available in the music building.

Does the band go on trips?

Yes. The Wind Ensemble does run-out performances at local High Schools in the Fall and a regional or national tour in the Spring. In addition, the Marching Band performs "in exhibition" at high school marching band festivals. In past years we have traveled to St. Louis to perform for the Bands of America regional competition in the dome used by the St. Louis Rams. We are currently working on an invitation to perform at a Tennessee Titans football game as well as various regional and state competitions.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Contact Dr. John Oelrich, Director of Bands - joelrich@utm.edu; (731) 881-7403

Dr. Bill Waterman, Director of Athletic Bands - wwaterma@utm.edu; (731) 881-7401

Dr. Kurt Gorman Director of Jazz Studies - kgorman@utm.edu; (731) 881-7404

Calendar of Events

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Learn about the UTM Band events.

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Community Band

Become part of UTM's community band.

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UTM Aviators Marching Band Housing Scholarship Application

Those students that applied for the Aviators Marching Band Scholarship will be notified by the end of May if they were or were not awarded the housing discount.

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UTM West Tennessee Marching Championship

October 26, 2019

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