Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.


Why join?

Alumni have often called the Queen’s Bands “the quickest way to make 100+ friends overnight”. We constitute a legacy that is more than a century old and get to travel around the province and beyond playing at all sorts of events. Plus, wearing a kilt is a big bonus.

What do the Bands actually do?

We represent Queen’s University by playing at events like sports games, parades, and functions. We also wear pretty neat uniforms.

Is there a skill requirement?

Brass, Pipes, and Drum Corps require an audition, but the other sections are strictly no experience necessary!

What if I can’t make an event?

All events are mandatory, and socials are optional. But you may be asking, “but what if I cant make it to a couple events or practices? This is where our strike system comes into affect. There are three types: Uniform, Behaviour, and Attendance strikes. These strikes vary in severity. If you strike out, you will have to meet with your section leaders to talk about how you’re doing.

Do I need my own instrument?

If you do not have your own, we have several which we can lend out. We can also point you towards Joe’s M.I.L.L (Musical Instrument Lending Library), where instruments are lent, free of cost, to people in need. Speak to your section leader for more information, and specific measures.

How Formal is Queen’s Bands?

The experience is quite formal and regimented towards the beginning of the year, but as frosh get into the swing of things around Mid to late October, it becomes much more casual. Bands is quite social when not performing. However, when we are performing, we represent Queen’s University, and thus must look the part. Bands is both a marching band and also a friend making environment!

What is the Time commitment?

The Bands sections typically practice once a week for an hour, plus an hour-long marching practice. In the fall, we play in an average of 1 event per week in the fall senester, and 1-2 events per month in the winter semester. We also have plenty of socials!

How many sections are there?

There are 6 Sections: Brass Band (which is technically a wind band), Pipe Band,Colour Guard, Highland Dancers, Drum Corps, and Cheer. (this is why we’re the ‘Bands’ and not the ‘Band’). For more info on each, head to the sections page.

Is the Queen’s Bands free to join?

Bands members must pay a yearly fee, which is typically around $150, as well as a uniform deposit, which they will receive back upon graduation. We also offer yearly bursaries.

Are there any leadership positions?

The Queen’s Bands make up the largest student-run marching band in the country. Our volunteer executive team ensures that the band will continue to represent Queen’s at home and abroad. Our executive is made up of an Operations Manager, Manager of Finance, External Relations Director, Fundraising Director, two Quartermasters, two Social Coordinators, two Marching Directors, a Drum Major, a head Colour Guard, two Brass Sergeants, a Drum Sergeant, a Pipe Major, a Pipe Sergeant, two Head Highland Dancers, and a Head Cheerleader. For more info on the current executive team, head to the executive page.

Are events just in Kingston?

Most of our events are in Kingston, but during the fall semester we get to travel to various universities for Football games. We also play at the Santa Claus Parades in Brockville and Bloomfield. We have occasional trips to the Calgary Stampede and Boston for St. Patrick’s Day.

When can I join?

Auditions happen mostly in the first few weeks of fall semester, however we also run auditions in the first weeks of the winter semester. Go to our auditions page for more info!