Becoming a Member

Learn about becoming a member of the East Carolina University Marching Pirates and what that entails.


Click the various headers below to learn more about membership in the Marching Pirates™.

Class Registration

All students participating in the ECU Marching Pirates must be registered for the class no later than August 1, 2023.

  • MUSC 1705 (CRN: 80103) for all undergraduate non-music majors
  • MUSC 1706 (CRN: 80104) for all undergraduate music majors
  • MUSC 6705 (CRN: 80479) for all graduate students regardless of major

Preseason Band Camp

All potential members of the Marching Pirates must attend the entirety of preseason band camp in order to be considered for membership in the ECU Marching Pirates. In addition to registering for the class, all potential members must register for Preseason Band Camp by submitting the Band Camp Registration Form by August 1, 2023. All necessary forms may be found on the Preaseason Band Camp page.


Membership in the ECU Marching Pirates is based on two factors: 1) Instrumentation and 2) Audition. Everyone planning to participate in the ECU Marching Pirates must complete an audition during preseason band camp to be considered for band membership. See the following information for specific audition requirements for each section:

Brass & Woodwind

Although there are no formal auditions to be a part of our woodwind and brass sections, students are expected to have all of their music for pregame and the first halftime show MEMORIZED prior to the start of band camp. Part assignments will be determined by Dr. Busuito and the section leader. Music will be available through the “Marching Pirates Virtual Library” and should be printed and placed in a clear page protector that will fit in a three-ring binder.


The ECU Marching Pirates Drumline is the rhythmic force behind the ECU Marching Pirates. The ensemble consists of up to 7 snares, 3 tenors, 6 basses and 9 cymbals, and includes students from many different majors, many of which are not music majors. Auditions will take place on August 13 and 14, the first two days of Preseason Band Camp. We will have group drumming auditions, to determine prospective members eligible for the final call back auditions. These final auditions will take place during preseason band camp, and be one individual at a time. Each individual will be asked to play 2 to 3 pieces of the required audition packet material along with a sight-reading excerpt. The results will be announced after everyone has had an opportunity to audition. All members are encouraged to audition on more than one instrument, to provide flexibility in placement, and set them up for success.

More information can be found at the ECU Marching Pirates Drumline website, and any specific questions can be directed to


Membership in the ECU Marching Pirates Colorguard is also determined by audition. Auditions will take place during preseason band camp, and members will be contacted regarding results. Information about auditions can be found on the Colorguard page.

For their audition, colorguard members will be expected to demonstrate their proficiency with drop spins, pull hit, crazy eights/stirs, double, forty-fives. For more information, please “like” the ECU Marching Pirates Colorguard page on Facebook for updates, and you’ll be encouraged to join the colorguard GroupMe chat. You may also contact Lynda Kachman at

Dance Team

Auditions for the ECU Dance Team take place each spring. Information regarding dance team requirements and auditions can be found on the Dance Team site.

Check-In Information

All first-year members, drumline, colorguard, and student leadership of the Marching Pirates should begin their arrival on campus on August 11 by checking in to the lobby of the A.J. Fletcher Music Center during the times listed in the letter and schedule. This building is located at the corner of 10th Street and College Hill Drive.

All potential Marching Pirates living in ECU residence halls for the fall semester who register for Preseason Band Camp by completing and submitting the “Band Camp Registration Form” prior to August 1 will be allowed to move in to the residence halls during their assigned camp check-in time slot. In most cases, these students will move into the rooms assigned to them for the academic year.

All students participating in early move in MUST complete and submit the “Band Camp Registration” Form before they will be allowed to move into their dorms. This form must be completed as soon as possible, and before August 1.

Uniform & Instrument Distribution

Instruments are distributed at check-in. Uniforms will be distributed to members of the ECU Marching Pirates according to their uniform assignment. These times are listed on your Preseason Band Camp schedule.


30 minutes of free parking for camp registration will be available in the lots surrounding the A.J. Fletcher Music Center during the scheduled registration time slots. All parking for residence hall move-in must follow the policies stated by ECU Parking and Transportation Services.

Band members parking on campus during Preseason Band Camp are subject to all policies and rules established by ECU Parking and Transportation Services. It is strongly encouraged that students living off campus car pool with someone who has an ECU Parking Decal and/or use the ECU Student Transit buses. A limited number of temporary parking passes for the “B Lot” across from College Hill Field may be available at camp check-in on a first-come-first-serve basis. Only those students who already have an ECU parking pass will be allowed to get one of these passes.

Preseason Band Camp Costs

Preseason Band Camp Meals

Students will be responsible for their own meals during Preseason Band Camp. Todd Dining Hall will be open throughout camp, but all students must pay for their own meals until the Campus Living meal plan starts on Tuesday, August 17 at dinner. On that date, students on a meal plan may start using their plan rather than paying for meals while students NOT on a meal plan may continue paying for individual meals. Meals may be paid for in cash or credit card. Prices including tax are as follows: breakfast- $7.22, lunch- $9.10, and dinner- $9.36. For information about meal plans and the ECU dining halls, please visit

Required Uniform Accessories

Each band member is responsible for the purchase of their own black ECU marching shoes (dance shoes for Colorguard), black stretch gloves, lyres and music flip charts. All wind players must have their own flip chart with at least 17 windows and a lyre made specifically for each instrument. (Piccolo players are not required to have a lyre and percussionists are permitted to use 3-ring binders for their music). Students who need to purchase and/or order any of these items will be able to do so at camp check-in.

Required Uniform Accessory Price List

All uniform accessory purchases must be paid for at the time of preseason band camp check in and must be in cash or check payable to “Kappa Kappa Psi.” Approximate prices for these items are below:

  • Shoes – $38
  • Gloves – $8 (2 pair)
  • Flip Charts w/17 windows – $15
  • Lyres – $10*

Preseason Band Camp Etiquette

Members of the Marching Pirates are expected to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism both when together at an official performance, trip, rehearsal, or event and even in their own personal lives. This is explicitly laid out in the ECU Marching Pirate Handbook, which will be emailed to each member before band camp begins. Particularly with the age of social media and instant news, the way we carry ourselves throughout the season, on and off the field, will determine our public and university image. As such the following expectations must be met:

Alcohol & Illegal drugs

The use of alcohol or any illegal substance that impair an individual’s ability to represent the Marching Pirates, School of Music, or East Carolina University in a positive manner will not be tolerated. Violators may be dismissed from the Marching Pirates and/or may face legal or university ramifications. This applies to every band member and is not limited to activity that takes place only during official Marching Pirates performances, trips, rehearsals, or events.


Smoking is not permitted during any rehearsal or performance even if the band is on a break. Anyone smoking in uniform or during a rehearsal may be dismissed from the band.

Attendance & Punctuality

All members of the Marching Pirates are responsible for adhering to the camp schedule. Rehearsal attendance will be taken precisely at the time stated on the schedule. All students should arrive to the respective rehearsal/performance sites at least 15 minutes prior to call time to ensure punctuality.

Students participating in Maynard Scholar or Honors College sessions, Teaching Fellows Meetings, & School of Music Ensemble Auditions will be excused from rehearsal as needed provided that notice is given to their section leader and Dr. Busuito prior to the event. These students will be responsible for obtaining all information given during their absence. It is strongly encouraged that you miss as little rehearsal time as possible. Too many absences for any reason can affect the final band block placement of that individual.

Time Management

It is imperative that members of the Marching Pirates manage their off time such that they have adequate time to travel to each rehearsal/performance site, gather and assemble proper equipment and warm up. Except for extreme, unforeseeable emergencies, no excuses for tardiness or absences will be accepted


Any Tardiness or Absence from ANY scheduled Preseason Band Camp activity or event may result in dismissal as a member of the Marching Pirates.

Preseason Band Camp Health

Preseason Band Camp takes place during one of the hottest months of the year and requires high levels of physical, mental and emotional intensity. As such, it is important to follow these guidelines to lessen the chances of harm or illness.

Camp and Rehearsal Apparel

As we will be outside on the practice field for most rehearsals, it is required that all band members wear comfortable clothing (dependent on the weather) and TENNIS SHOES (NO DRESS SHOES, SANDALS, FLIP-FLOPS, CROCS, etc.). A ball cap or wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are also strongly recommended.


Proper hydration should begin the week prior to camp so each member should drink as much water as possible (males should drink 1 gallon of water per day; females should drink 3⁄4 gallon of water per day) at least five days before physical activity begins. Furthermore, sugary and alcoholic drinks should be avoided during the duration of camp. Please bring your own Nalgene bottles, thermoses, etc. pre-filled to start off rehearsal. There will be NO cups available during camp so each member will be responsible for his/her own. Students are recommended to use hydration backpacks during camp. These can be purchased at various sports stores and websites. When outdoors, we will work in short segments with brief water breaks between each one. Make sure to hydrate at each break, even if you do not feel thirsty.

Food & Energy

The type of activity that occurs during Preseason Band Camp requires much more energy than is expended during normal daily activity. As such, each member must eat more than they do on a normal basis. Preseason Band Camp is NOT a time to begin dieting or extreme changes in eating habits.

All band members are to eat a solid meal during every meal break and in the morning before rehearsals begin. Members are also encouraged to bring good energy snacks to eat during their short breaks.

Good foods are those high in carbohydrates (pasta, rice, granola bars, etc.) but low in fat and sugar. Eating fruit high in vitamins will give you much more lasting energy than you would get from a candy bar.

Sunscreen & Insect Repellant

The use of sun screen and insect repellant is strongly recommended.

Sleep & Rest

Students should get between seven to eight hours of sleep per night through the duration of camp. Furthermore, all meal breaks should be used as a time to eat, rest and recharge for the next rehearsal session.


The ECU Marching Pirates will have medically trained emergency personnel available at most but not all rehearsals and events. Any students experiencing physical or heat-related illnesses will be taken to the ECU Student Health Service for any necessary treatment.


It is each student’s responsibility to take charge of his or her personal health. If you need to carry an inhaler or EpiPen at all times, please make sure you do this and that your section leaders and staff members are aware of this. If you have other medication needs or requirements, please make sure that you bring these to school and that you use your best judgment in when to take them.

Preseason Band Camp Checklist

To Do (As soon as possible, before you arrive on campus):

Mandatory Items to Bring:

  • Athletic Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Khaki Shorts
  • Water Bottle (Hydration Backpacks are highly recommended)
  • Money/Check for uniform/supplies
  • This Preseason Band Camp Guide

When you arrive at ECU

  • Check-in at AJ Fletcher Music Center
  • Pay for any materials you need to purchase (make check out to Kappa Kappa Psi)
  • Check out an instrument (if applicable)
  • If living on campus, go check into the dorm during your assigned dorm check-in times

Performance Schedule

Please note the following:

  • The final schedule for performances will be distributed at Preseason Band Camp. This schedule is subject to change.
  • The away game trips are only potentially occurring, are subject to negotiations made by the athletic departments of both schools and may include only taking a pep band.
  • All performances are required, and only very specific circumstances will be granted for excuse from performance (death in the family, the wedding of a close family member, exceptional circumstances as determined by Dr. Busuito). A Family vacation is not a valid excuse to miss a performance.
  • All Times are TBA

Saturday, September 9, TBA
Marshall University vs. East Carolina University (High School Band Day)

Saturday, September 16, TBA
East Carolina University at Appalachian State (Volunteer Pep Band)

Saturday, September 23, TBA
Gardner-Webb vs. East Carolina University (Paint It Gold, Family Weekend)

Thursday, October 12, TBA
Southern Methodist University vs. East Carolina University (Military Appreciation)

Saturday, October 14, TBA
ECU Marching Pirates Exhibition at Compass Classic (West Johnston HS)

Saturday, October 21, TBA
UNC-Charlotte vs. East Carolina University (Paint it Black)

Saturday, November 4, TBA
Tulane University vs. East Carolina University

Saturday, November 18, TBA
East Carolina University at Navy (Full band will travel)

Saturday, November 24 or 25, TBA
University of Tulsa vs. East Carolina University (Senior Day)

Saturday, December 2, 12 p.m.
POSSIBLE AAC Conference Championship (Potential host or away game)

December 18, 2023 through January 8, 2023
Potential Bowl Game Commitment

AAC Aligned Bowl Games include (these are not the only options for bowl games):

  • December 2023 – TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl vs. SEC
  • December 2023 – PUBG MOBILE New Mexico Bowl vs. Conference USA or Sun Belt
  • December 2023 – Fenway Park Bowl vs. ACC
  • December 2023 – Boca Raton Bowl vs. Group of Five or Army
  • December 2023 – Myrtle Beach Bowl vs. Conference USA, MAC, or Sun Belt
  • December 2023 – TailgreeterCure Bowl vs. Group of Five or Army
  • December 2023 – Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl vs. Group of Five or Army
  • December 2023 – SoFi Hawaii Bowl vs. Mountain West
  • December 2023 – Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl vs. Conference USA
  • December 2023 – UnioniHome Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl vs. ACC, Pac-12, or SEC
  • December 2023 – SERVPRO First Responder Bowl vs. ACC, Big 12, or Pac-12

Interested in joining the Marching Pirates?

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