Spirit of Northwestern 2021-08-25T12:24:42+00:00

Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band

The “Spirit of Northwestern” Marching Band is a focal point of pride at athletic events, in parades and at other University functions throughout the year. On the street or on the field, their regal purple and white uniforms reflect the class and spirit of one of the South’s oldest and finest educational institutions. Music and marching formations are a unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles. The development of leadership skills through excellence in musical performance, marching performance, scholastic achievement and social opportunity is merely one of the fringe benefits of membership. Band members have consistently won recognition on campus, are active in many campus organizations, and have traditionally had the highest grade point average among campus organizations.

Our ‘SON’ Marching Band boasts well over 300 members annually. Membership in the “Spirit of Northwestern” is open to all students, regardless of major. Approximately 60% of the members are not music majors. Other university bands open to membership are the Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, and numerous chamber groups.

Band-Picture

Concert Bands
Wind Symphony
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. The Wind Symphony meets both in the fall and spring semesters and rehearses MWF, 12:00 to 1:50PM. This ensemble presents several concerts on campus, as well as often performs off-campus at conferences, on tour at high schools, and around the globe. The Wind Symphony was selected to perform at the 2019 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in Buñol, Spain and hosted and performed at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association Southern Division Conference.

Wind Ensemble
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the conductor. The Wind Ensemble rehearses MWF, 3:30 to 5:20PM, and presents several concerts on campus during the spring semester. The Wind Ensemble participated in a presentation given by Allan McMurray at the 2020 College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association Southern Division Conference.

Magale Concert Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. The Symphony Band rehearses TR, 2:00 to 3:30PM and presents several concerts on campus during the spring semester.

Fredericks Concert Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. The Symphony Band rehearses TR, 3:45 to 5:20PM and presents several concerts on campus during the spring semester.

Jazz Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. Members of the Jazz Ensemble are required to adhere to all attendance, performance and conduct rules of the University Bands.

Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Director. Spirit of Northwestern rehearsals are held on MWF, 3:30 to 5:20PM. During the fall semester, band students should also enroll in MUS 1300-45N (Pep Band) to receive credit for pre-school rehearsals.

Pep Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. Members of the Pep Band are required to attend all NSU Men’s and Women’s Basketball games and rehearsals as announced by the Conductor.

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NSU Audition Information

NSU Audition Information for 2021-2022

I am so pleased to hear that you are interested in the colorguard at Northwestern State University.  Our Demon Heat Colorguard is an active part of the Spirit of Northwestern marching band, and select members represent the university in winterguard competitions throughout the spring semester.  Scholarships are available for both marching band and winterguard.

Auditions for the Demon Heat colorguard will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Registration is on site the day of the audition.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
8:30am-4:30pm
LSMSA Gym
326 Caspari Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 

Audition candidates are not expected to prepare a routine of their own. We teach a movement combination as well as a flag combination that day, then we assess candidates based on their learning ability and both technical and expressive performance of those two combinations. There is not a separate weapon audition at that time-we select our weapon line from students who are on the team in August during band camp. Candidates should wear basic black fitted dance clothes.

Individual auditions prior to the full team auditions are available upon request for a variety of situations that render a candidate unable to attend our full team auditions.  To be considered, candidates should electronically submit a video demonstrating 1) a movement phrase, 2) flag basics including a minimum of drop spins, carves, vertical tosses, and pitch tosses, and 3) a flag phrase set to music demonstrating rhythmic proficiency, expressive qualities, and a combination of flag and body in tandem.  Videos or video links should be emailed to murre@nsula.edu.

Scholarships begin at $1000 per semester, and 100% of performers who make our team are given at least the minimum scholarship.  We also provide out-of-state tuition fee waivers for all colorguard members not from Louisiana.

If you have any additional questions, I can be reached via text or call at 817-965-4935 or via email at murre@nsula.edu.

Thanks! And GO DEMONS!!

Dr. Estelle Gravois Murr
Demon Heat Coordinator

For More Information:

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Conductors

Mr. Dan McDonald
Interim Director of Bands
Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 112A
Phone: 318-357-6722
Email: mcdonaldd@nsula.edu

Dr. Oliver Molina
Assistant Director of Bands
Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 120
Phone: 318-357-5989
Email: molinao@nsula.edu

Dr. Estelle Gravois-Murr
Director of Demon Heat Colorguard
Email: murre@nsula.edu

Mr. Michael Lomeka, MFA
Director of Demon Dazzler Danceline
Office: CAPA – Theatre, Rm. 109
318-357-5788
Email: lomekam@nsula.edu

Dr. Jeffrey Mathews
Director of Wind Ensemble
Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 112B
Phone: 318-357-4450
Email: mathewsj@nsula.edu

Mr. Kenneth Green
Associate Professor of Percussion
Associate Director of Bands

Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 114B
Phone: 318-357-4520
Email: greenk@nsula.edu

Teresa Tilley
Administrative Assistant
Bldg. 025A-Rm. 110
Phone: 318-357-4522
Email: tilley@nsula.edu

If you are a high school or junior college band student looking for a truly outstanding college band with which to continue performing, now is the time to consider joining the “Spirit of Northwestern” Demon Marching Band! Please feel free to use the link below to request additional information.
Sign-up now for the SON Demon Band Newsletter!

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Horn Line Auditions
Auditions for membership in the “Spirit of Northwestern” may be arranged on an individual basis.   There are no set dates for auditions but students are encouraged to audition at the fall “N-Side View” (usually held in mid-November) or the spring “N-Side View” (usually held in early March).  Otherwise, auditions may be arranged on an individual basis by emailing Mr. Dan McDonald or Dr. Jeffrey Mathews

If you are planning on majoring in music, we prefer to arrange a “lesson” with the Northwestern State studio faculty member who is the professor of your instrument.  The faculty member will meet you for about 45 minutes to hear you play music that you have prepared and to explain the requirements for performing in his/her studio.  Students should be prepared to perform the etude or solo of their choice, as well as the 12-major scales and to sightread.

For future SON members who are majoring in an academic area other than music, a solo or etude that you feel demonstrates your finest performance is all that is required.  The playing of scales and sightreading is not a part of the audition process for non-music majors.

Band performance scholarships, as well as out-of-state fee waivers, are available to all students who qualify.  To receive the out-of-state fee wavier, students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA upon graduation from high school.

EXPENSES FOR MEMBERSHIP: All SON band members are expected to provide black marching band shoes, to purchase at least one set of “spirit socks” to be worn with the summer uniform and to pay an annual small “Social Fee” that provides soft drinks and food for some band parties.  Northwestern State University provides instruments and uniforms as well as paying for all transportation and meal expenses when the “Spirit of Northwestern” travels.

2021 NSU Drumline Auditions
Drumline audition clinics for the Fall 2021 season will be held on April 17 and May 1. The auditions will begin at 9:00 am in the NSU Band Room. All auditioning members are required to attend one of the the audition days but are encouraged to attend both dates. Register for the audition clinics here.

Audition materials can be found here.

Please Contact Dr. Oliver Molina at molinao@nsula.edu or 318-357-5989 for additional information.

Scholarships
Scholarships are available to all students who participate in the “Spirit of Northwestern.” Band scholarships amounts are based on an audition, high school achievement and letters of recommendation. Working with the Financial Aid office and the Office of Admissions, students may be eligible for additional help that would cover the majority of their college expenses. Out-of-state fee waivers are also available to students who maintain a 2.5 GPA. For more information, contact Dan McDonald, Interim Director of Bands, Oliver Molina, Assistant Director of Bands/Percussion, or Jeff Mathews, Director of Wind Ensemble.

2021 Demon Dazzler Auditions
Auditions for the 2021 “Demon Dazzlers” will be held on April 17, 2021 in the dance studio (Room 132) of the CAPA building at Northwestern State University. Please see Northwestern State Spirit Group Auditions page for more information. Please email Mr. Dan McDonald, or Mr. Michael Lomeka for immediate additional information.

Scholarships
Scholarships are available to all students who participate in the “Spirit of Northwestern.” Band scholarships amounts are based on an audition, high school achievement and letters of recommendation. Working with the Financial Aid office and the Office of Admissions, students may be eligible for additional help that would cover the majority of their college expenses. Out-of-state fee waivers are also available to students who maintain a 2.5 GPA. For more information, contact Dan McDonald, Interim Director of Bands, Oliver Molina, Assistant Director of Bands/Percussion, or Jeff Mathews, Director of Wind Ensemble.

Letter from the Director:

NSU Audition Information for 2021-2022

I am so pleased to hear that you are interested in the colorguard at Northwestern State University.  Our Demon Heat Colorguard is an active part of the Spirit of Northwestern marching band, and select members represent the university in winterguard competitions throughout the spring semester.  Scholarships are available for both marching band and winterguard.

Auditions for the Demon Heat colorguard will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Registration is on site the day of the audition.

Saturday, April 24, 2021
8:30am-4:30pm
LSMSA Gym
326 Caspari Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 

Audition candidates are not expected to prepare a routine of their own. We teach a movement combination as well as a flag combination that day, then we assess candidates based on their learning ability and both technical and expressive performance of those two combinations. There is not a separate weapon audition at that time-we select our weapon line from students who are on the team in August during band camp. Candidates should wear basic black fitted dance clothes.

Individual auditions prior to the full team auditions are available upon request for a variety of situations that render a candidate unable to attend our full team auditions.  To be considered, candidates should electronically submit a video demonstrating 1) a movement phrase, 2) flag basics including a minimum of drop spins, carves, vertical tosses, and pitch tosses, and 3) a flag phrase set to music demonstrating rhythmic proficiency, expressive qualities, and a combination of flag and body in tandem.  Videos or video links should be emailed to murre@nsula.edu.

Scholarships begin at $1000 per semester, and 100% of performers who make our team are given at least the minimum scholarship.  We also provide out-of-state tuition fee waivers for all colorguard members not from Louisiana.

If you have any additional questions, I can be reached via text or call at 817-965-4935 or via email at murre@nsula.edu.

Thanks! And GO DEMONS!!

Dr. Estelle Gravois Murr
Demon Heat Coordinator

For More Information: