General Policies

Non-Enrollment Policy

All Cal Poly students are expected to enroll in the cource appropriate for the ensemble of which they are a member. Any exceptions to this rule must be discussed with one of the directors prior to the beginning of the academic quarter. Regardless of enrollment status, all members of the band must fulfill all requirements as stated in the course syllabus to avoid dismassal.

Music & Supplies

All sheet music must be brought to each rehearsal, or arrangements must be made to have it delivered so that it is available for others to use. A pencil is also required for each rehearsal.

Metronome & Tuner

Every member of the Cal Poly band program is expected to own and use a metronome and tuner when practicing. Tuners should be calibrated to A-440. Students are encouraged to bring their tuner to all rehearsals.

Winter & Spring Quarters

Because so much of what the Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Bands do in winter quarter serves as preparation for the Spring Quarter, it is necessary to make these ensembles a two-quarter commitment. There are no foraml Spring Quarter auditions. All exceptions to this rule (other than Winter Quarter graduation) must be cleared with the directors and discussed well in advance.


Participation in all university band ensembles is by audition only. Auditions will take place in September for the Fall quarter and November for the Winter/Spring quarters. Audition sign-up sheets will be placed on the bulletin board outside Room 214-A prior to the beginning of the audition period.

Lockers and Practice Rooms

If you need a locker and/or wish to sign-up for a reserved practice room time, please bring the Music Use Fee receipt to the Music Department Office (room 129), during a scheduled check-out time. The schedule for locker check-out during the second week of classes will be posted on the Music Department website. Please note that you must have been officially accepted into an ensemble before you will be allowed to obtain a locker.

Please measure your instrument and check out the smallest possible locker. We do not have enough large lockers to accommodate every large instrument. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Music Use Fee

All students who need an instrument, locker or wish to reserve a practice room will need to pay the $20.00 music use fee each quarter. Only students who have officially been accepted into/are enrolled in an ensemble are entitled to pay the use fee for lockers, instruments, and practice time. Students can pay for more than one quarter if they will be continuing in the group winter and/or spring.

This fee can be paid at the Cashier’s window in the Administration Building. Also, under the CP Portal Money Matters tab and through the “Make a Payment Now” button, a student may pay their music use fee online. The fee is viewed under “Music fees,” and can be paid for via “MUSIC USE FEE (QUARTERLY).”

Once the use fee is paid, students must forward the receipt to so that the Department records may be updated.

Please note that the Music Use Fee is not required of all students. Only those students who are able to acquire a storage locker, use a school instrument, or wish to reserve a practice room time are required to pay the Music Use Fee.

Concert Attire

Wind Ensemble & Wind Orchestra

Men: Black Tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie and cummerbund (or vest), black hosiery (socks) and black dress shoes.
Women: Long black dress or long black skirt or slacks and black blouse, black nylons, black shoes and discrete jewelry. Shoulders and knees must be covered.

University Jazz Bands

Concert attire for the UJB will be announced prior to each concert.

Mustang Band

Fall Quarter: Marching Band uniform unless otherwise announced
Winter Quarter: Pep jearsey unless otherwise announced

Travel Guidelines

The Cal Poly Bands travel on performances on a regular basis. This experience is invaluable and is an important part of the program. Participation in all elements of the itinerary is mandatory unless excused by the conductor in advance. It is important that we travel in an “all for one, one for all spirit”, and bear in mind that we represent the University community as well as the Band Program.

Basic Rules

  • Keep in mind that you represent the United States of America, California, Cal Poly, and our band program at all times. Illegal, dangerous, or foolish behavior will not be tolerated. If you are contemplating any activity that you think may fall into one of these three categories, you should consult with one of the directors first.
  • Any parents (or older non-student travelers) are not chaperones. Those 18 or over are adults and will be treated as such. While the directors are very protective of their students (regardless of age) and will provide wisdom and oversight throughout the trip, it is important that everyone understand that ramifications for illegal, dangerous, or foolish behavior will be the same as it would be for any adult.
  • Bearing witness to other travelers engaging in illegal, dangerous, or foolish behavior and not reporting it immediately to one of the directors is no different than having committed the act oneself. This is one of the great responsibilities that accompany being treated as an adult.
  • The “Alcohol Policy” and “Band Social Gathering Policies”, as described in the band handbook, are applicable at all times while traveling off-campus.
  • Never go anywhere alone. If you get separated from your group of friends, or if you are finding it difficult to find others with similar interests to your own, contact one of the directors immediately and we will help. We always have quite a few students on the trip with leadership experience (several WOW leaders, in fact) and there is no doubt that they can help make sure everyone has at least one or two traveling buddies.
  • All travelers are expected to listen attentively, act, and respond accordingly when the trip leader is providing information and/or instructions. This is particularly important while in airports or on the road.


Hazing is difficult to define because it covers a wide range of conduct, from the obviously serious to the seemingly innocuous. There is no single definition, and state laws differ. Hazing has also been defined as "any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers, regardless of the participants willingness to participate". If an individual or group has a complaint against a recognized Cal Poly student organization, they can file a formal complaint through ASI Club Services. The complaint will be routed to the Judicial Panel and University Police may be involved if there is an immediate need.

All bands operate as credited courses, thus students enrolled are bound by the Standards of Student Conduct. Mustang Band in particular also operates as a recognized student organization under ASI. As such, students are bound to bylaws guarding against hazing in student clubs and organizations.

  • In regards to all conduct, including adherence to the prohibition of hazing and nondiscrimination, student organizations must operate within the laws of the State of California and the policies and procedures of Cal Poly and ASI as stated in the Campus Administrative Policies (CAP).
  • This organization shall prohibit all members and officers from engaging in hazing or committing any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces any fellow student.
  • This organization shall comply with Title 5, Section 41301, Standards for Student Conduct.

Alcohol Policy

The use of alcohol during the period eight hours prior to a performance is strictly forbidden. After performances alcohol may be consumed only if legally allowed. At no time, and under no circumstances, is it permitted for an ensemble member to be visibly “ drunk.” If one drink will intoxicate you, then you must not drink at all!

With regard to tours and traveling, nothing can ruin a trip more quickly or more effectively than the inappropriate use of alcohol. The slightest amount of alcohol in the body can subtly impair one’s ability to function. It is recommended, not required, that the use of alcohol be totally eliminated along the entire itinerary. Please understand that road trips are not the time or place to experiment with alcohol or any other drug.

Any violation of this policy will be dealt with immediately and severely. Violators will be sent home at their own expense and penalties with regard to band participation will be imposed.

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Would you like to know more?

All prospective and current Cal Poly students interested in joining the Mustang Band should fill out our Online Interest Form.

We enjoy meeting new students and encourage you to send an email if you have any questions or plan to visit campus. Contact information for directors and all band faculty and staff can be found on our contacts page.