Frequently Asked Questions

The Vanderbilt Athletic Bands are comprised of the Spirit of Gold Marching Band, the Anchor of Sound Basketball Band, and the Dore Slam Drumline. Those who have participated in the Vanderbilt Athletic Bands count their experience as one of the most enriching and enjoyable times of their college life. The responsibility and dedication of being in the Athletic Bands brings the rewards of camaraderie and lifetime friendships. Membership in the Athletic Bands is a good way to find your 'niche' in a large university. With the national and international reach of Vanderbilt University, members of the Athletic Bands build a "family" and find a community of peers who become a support system in and out of the classroom.

  • What performance opportunities are available?

    SPIRIT OF GOLD

    The Spirit of Gold Marching Band (SOG) is a fall semester ensemble that performs at all home Vanderbilt football games and typically travels to at least one away game per season.

    In addition to football games, the Spirit of Gold also performs at several Vanderbilt soccer games and community events throughout the semester.

    ANCHOR OF SOUND

    The Anchor of Sound Band (AOS) is a fall and spring semester ensemble that performs at all home Vanderbilt men's and women's basketball games and travels to SEC and other post-season tournaments.

    In addition to basketball games, the Anchor of Sound also performs at several Vanderbilt lacrosse games and community events throughout the spring semester.

    DORE SLAM

    The Dore Slam Drumline is a fall and spring semester ensemble that performs at all home SEC Vanderbilt men's and women's basketball games.

    In addition to basketball games, Dore Slam may also perform at several community events throughout the spring semester.

  • Do I have to be a music major to join the Athletic Bands?

    No! The majority of the Athletic Bands are comprised of non-music majors, representing most majors from across all colleges and schools.

  • Do I need to provide my own instrument?

    We provide piccolos, tenor saxophones, mellophones, baritones, sousaphones, percussion, and guard equipment that students can borrow for the season.

  • Does the band travel?

    SPIRIT OF GOLD

    The Spirit of Gold Marching Band typically travels to at least one away game each season (if the game is held in Knoxville, we will travel to the Tennessee game).

    The Spirit of Gold will also travel to any post-season bowl games.

    ANCHOR OF SOUND

    The Anchor of Sound Basketball Band travels to both the Men's and Women's Basketball Southeastern Conference Tournaments. The Anchor of Sound will also travel to post-season tournaments (such as the NCAA Tournament and the NIT).

    DORE SLAM

    Dore Slam does not travel at this time.

  • How much does the athletic band cost?

    SPIRIT OF GOLD

    Members get paid to be a part of the Vanderbilt Athletic Bands! While there is an initial nominal fee to join the Spirit of Gold Marching Band (which covers uniform cleaning, t-shirt, band banquet, and some social events) students receive a Service Award at the end of the season (during the '22-'23 academic year, students received $750). Additional items for purchase include extra gloves, black marching band shoes, and maintenance of your personal instrument. All other uniform items and travel costs (hotels, meals, etc.) are provided free to all members. 

    ANCHOR OF SOUND

    There is no fee to join the Anchor of Sound Basketball Band. Members receive a Service Award for every game they play (during the '22-'23 academic year, students received approx. $400 for the season)!

    DORE SLAM

    There is no fee to join the Anchor of Sound Basketball Band. Members receive a Service Award for every game they play!

  • Are there athletic band scholarships available?

    While there is not a scholarship, all members receive a Service Award at the end of the season.

  • Can I receive academic credit for participating in the athletic bands?

    Not at this time.

  • Is it possible to balance being a member of the athletic band and academics?

    Absolutely! In fact, it probably takes much less time than your high school marching band. Being a member of the Athletic Bands helps you to meet many of your classmates before the semester begins and participate in study groups with other members of the ensemble.

    SPIRIT OF GOLD

    Rehearsals are held three times a week:

    • Tuesday 4:30pm-6:30pm
    • Thursday 4:30pm-6:30pm
    • Friday 5:30pm-7:30pm

    An additional rehearsal is held on Saturday mornings the day of home football games (exact timing varies depending on kickoff time). Check out our entire Game Day schedule here!

    Practices are held at either McGugin Athletic Fields, the indoor field house in the Student Recreation Center, or on Dudley Field at FirstBank Stadium.  

    ANCHOR OF SOUND

    The Anchor of Sound holds 3-4 rehearsals prior to the start of basketball season each semester. These rehearsals are approximately 60-90 minutes in duration.
    While the Anchor of Sound plays at every home basketball game (Men's and Women's), students in the Anchor of Sound are divided into the "Black Band" and "Gold Band" (making the schedule much more manageable). Each band performs at roughly the same number of Men's and Women's Basketball games.

    DORE SLAM

    Dore Slam holds 3-4 rehearsals prior to the start of basketball season in the fall semester and holds 3-5 more rehearsals throughout the spring semester.

  • What if I have a class conflict with rehearsal?

    Band members are asked to schedule all classes outside marching band rehearsal times. In most cases, alternatives to conflicting classes can be found.  However, any conflicts of an academic, religious, health, or family emergency nature must be approved by our staff. Please contact Dr. Morin to resolve any conflicts.

  • When is band camp?

    Band Camp is traditionally held the week before classes begin in the fall. Attendance at camp is mandatory for all Spirit of Gold Marching Band members.

  • How do I audition for the athletic bands?

    All enrolled students are welcome to join the Athletic Bands. Everyone is accepted. To properly balance ensembles and parts, each new member should submit a Placement Assessment.

  • Can I join the Athletic Bands as an incoming first-year?

    Yes! All first-year students are welcome to sign-up for the Vanderbilt Athletic Bands!

  • Can I join the Vanderbilt Athletic Bands as a non-Vanderbilt student?

    Yes! The Vanderbilt Athletic Bands are made up of current students attending not only Vanderbilt University but also other universities and colleges in the Metro Nashville area (such as Belmont University, Lipscomb University, Nashville State Community College, and Trevecca Nazarene University).

  • Do I need to have marching band experience to join the Spirit of Gold?

    No! Students with and without marching experience are welcome and encouraged to sign-up. We teach our marching styles and technique to all students at the beginning of each season during Band Camp. Many students with limited or no prior marching band experience have eventually earned leadership positions within our ensemble.

  • How do I obtain more information?

    Contact us today through our web form, by phone (615-343-2263), or by email. We would be happy to help you schedule a campus tour and visit with us to discuss all of the wonderful opportunities the athletic bands offer.