Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band

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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.

This year, our “SON” Demon Marching Band boasts a total membership of 309. 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.

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Alumni Band
The Alumni Band was originally formed back in the 1970’s and was called the “Old Timer’s Band”. Over the years the Alumni Band disappeared, then re-emerged in 1990, when some alumni members got together to form an organization that would support the “Spirit of Northwestern” through scholarships. This band did not perform at any games and lived only a couple of years.

Concert Bands
Wind Symphony
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. The Spring Wind Symphony rehearses MWF, 12:00 to 1:50, presents several concerts on campus, as well as a tour of area high schools during the semester. In addition, the Wind Symphony participates in the NSU Conductor’s Conference in March. The Wind Symphony frequently performs for the NSU Commencement Ceremony.

Wind Ensemble
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the conductor. The Wind Ensemble rehearses MWF, 3:00 to 4:50 p.m., presents several concerts on campus, and participates in the NSU Conductor’s Conference in March. The Wind Ensemble frequently performs for the NSU Commencement Ceremony.

Magale Concert Band & Fredericks Concert Band
Open to University students by audition and with the prior approval of the Conductor. The Symphony Band rehearses TR, 2:00 to 3:50 p.m. and presents several concerts on campus during the 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.

Marching Band
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, 3:00 to 4:50 p.m. 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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Color Guard
Adding color and excitement to all Demon Band performances is the 40-member “NSU Color Guard”. Both flags and rifles, as well as other props, are used to enhance the performance of the “SON”. Auditions will be held for the Colorguard in the NSU Health and P. E. Majors building on April 22, 2017.  Click HEREfor additional information!

For additional information, please contact Dr. Jeff Mathews at mathewsj@nsula.edu or Estelle Gravois.

Demon Dazzlers
The Demon Dazzlers continue to serve as the official jazz line for Northwestern State University, performing for NSU Demon pep rallies, football and basketball games. The Demon Dazzlers blend the styles of precision movements to produce a unique style of precision-jazz dance. The audition date is April 22-23, 2017 and auditions will be held at the NSU Health and P.E. Majors Building.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Jeff Mathews at mathewsj@nsula.edu.

Conductors

Dr. Jeffrey Mathews
Director of Bands
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

Mr. Dan McDonald
Assistant Director of Bands
Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 114A
Phone: 318-357-6722
Email: mcdonaldd@nsula.edu

Mr. Oliver Molina
Assistant Director of Bands
Office: Bldg. 025A–Rm. 101
Phone: 318-357-5989
Email: molinao@nsula.edu

Estelle Gravois-Murr
Demon Heat Colorguard Coordinator
Email: estellemurr@sbcglobal.net

Sponsored Events

Summer Band Camp

Join us this summer for our music camps for high school and middle school students! Download Flyer

Classic on the Cane Marching Contest

Thank you to all bands for an outstanding event! Download the PDF

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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2017 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 Dr. Jeffrey Mathews or Mr. Dan McDonald.

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 white 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.

2017 NSU Drumline Auditions
Drumline audition clinics will be held in the spring semester.  Each clinic will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the NSU Band Room.  Prospective members are encouraged to attend at least one of the camps.  Please contact Mr. 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 Jeff Mathews, Director of Bands, Ken Green, Associate Professor of Percussion, or Assistant Director of Bands, Dan McDonald.

2017 Demon Dazzler Auditions
Auditions for the 2017 “Demon Dazzlers” will be held in the spring of 2017 in the dance studio of the CAPA building at Northwestern State University. Information concerning the auditions will be posted on this site in the future. If you need immediate information, please email Dr. Jeffrey Mathews (mathewsj@nsula.edu), Renee Oates or Mr. Dan McDonald 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 Jeff Mathews, Director of Bands, Ken Green, Associate Professor of Percussion, or Assistant Director of Bands, Dan McDonald.

2017 Color Guard Auditions
Auditions for the 2017 “Demon Heat” Color Guard will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 and Saturday, April 21, 2017 at the Health and P.E. Majors Building on the Northwestern Campus beginning at 8:30 a.m.  A complete packet of information will be posted on this website in the future with detailed information concerning the audition process.  Please contact Dr. Jeffrey MathewsMs. Estelle Murr or Mr. Dan McDonald for immediate additional information.

Letter from the Director:

Dear Prospective Demon Heat Color Guard Member,

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 wintergard competitions throughout the spring semester. Scholarships are available for both marching band and wintergard.

Auditions for the 2016-2017 Demon Heat colorguard will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 and Saturday, April 21, 2017. These auditions are for all students both new and returning who wish to participate during the 2016-2017 school year.

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.

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 audition. 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 estellemurr@me.com.

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 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 estellemurr@sbcglobal.net

Thanks!

Estelle Gravois Murr

NSU Demon Heat Director

Summer Newsletter 2016 will arrive soon!

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