The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Getting involved with music on campus

If you have a passion for music, the University of Illinois was an excellent pick for your college years. Not only does the University itself supply many musical opportunities for students, but the Champaign-Urbana area has a vibrant music scene.

Whether you’re a vocalist, a classical musician, a jazz fan or just somebody looking for good places to attend concerts around town, The DI has you covered with a list of ways to get involved with the music community here in Champaign-Urbana.


Getting involved with campus music groups

The University has endless opportunities for students wanting to get involved with music. The best part about it? You don’t need to be studying for a music degree to get involved! All of these ensembles are open to everyone. 

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    If you participated in concert band or orchestra in high school and don’t want to give up your instrument just yet, look no further than the Illinois band program. 

    With five concert bands, there’s plenty of room for musicians of all skill levels to participate. The University’s three bottom bands — Campus Band, University Band and Hindsley Symphonic Band — are intended for nonmusic majors and even community members who want to keep playing for fun.

    The University’s top two bands — wind symphony and wind orchestra — are intended for music majors, but still available to students studying other degrees. All bands are audition only, but there’s always a seat for everybody in at least one of the groups. 

    The University additionally has three orchestra ensembles available for strings players, with limited horn spots available as well. 

    For singers, the University has a number of musical groups available. A capella, lyrics theater and a variety of choirs are all available for any student to take part in after auditioning. 

    Students can choose between the black chorus, university chorus, women’s glee club, varsity men’s glee club, chamber singers and assorted other vocal ensembles to stay involved with singing on campus.

    Anyone interested in performing jazz at the University has their choice of smaller instrument specific ensembles, big bands, a latin jazz ensemble or small jazz combos. 

    Along with more formal musical ensembles, the University has a variety of athletic bands for volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and of course, football. Students of all fields of study are welcome to join the Marching Illini or any other athletic band the school has to offer. 

    With the exception of athletic band auditions taking place throughout the school year — Marching Illini auditions are held in May; basketball and volleyball band auditions are held in the fall — all auditions for musical groups are held during the first week of the semester. 


    Getting involved with music in Champaign-Urbana

    Outside of official on-campus musical ensembles, Champaign-Urbana provides an abundance of musical opportunities for students and community members alike.

    There are several venues that bring live music to the area on a regular basis. The Canopy Club provides a vibrant music scene right on campus, while the Rose Bowl Tavern brings live music to downtown Urbana every night of the week.

    Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is another venue located in the middle of campus that brings a huge variety of music and art to the area. A more complete list of Champaign-Urbana’s many music venues can be found here.

    Additionally, house shows are a very popular way of sharing music among students. The performances are a great way to make new friends on campus and meet some other musicians or music lovers like yourself. 

    The RSO Punchline organizes frequent concerts and house shows near campus, and can be found on Instagram


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    About the Contributor
    Maaike Niekerk, buzz Editor
    My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
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