Department of Music and Theatre

Band Program

As a part of the Chico State Department of Music, the band program provides goal-orientated students with a vehicle in which to reach their dreams. All students, both music and non-music majors, are given the opportunity to express themselves musically in a friendly yet challenging environment, and to bring out the talents and strengths of each performer. This atmosphere provides a social community where students can commune, creating a working environment that helps shape student's personal and social growth, making university life a more enjoyable, fruitful, and significant experience.

Chris Navarette
Phone: 530-898-5152

Chico State Bands

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is the elite performance group of the Chico State band program. Members of the Wind Ensemble are highly select and multitalented musicians who are challenged to create music at the highest of artistic levels. Devoted to the preparation and performance of the finest wind repertoire, the Wind Ensemble explores the variety and richness of traditional and contemporary music for the wind band. Members of the Wind Ensemble also have the opportunity to work with some of the world's finest guest composers, conductors, and soloists. In addition to its uniform series of campus and off-campus concerts, the Wind Ensemble tours and performs at professional music conventions. Auditions for this group are during the first week of each semester and are open to all students regardless of major. Check the band board for more information prior to each semester.

Symphonic Band

This exceptional concert organization offers its members an opportunity to expand their technical, intellectual, and musical horizons. Symphonic Band is composed of a balanced 80-piece instrumentation that includes musicians from all departments within the University, as well as community members, and select high school students. Exploring contemporary as well as traditional works for band, this ensemble offers an environment dedicated to performing. There are no auditions for this band, only chair placements. Each chair placement happens at the beginning of each semester and is open to all majors. Check the band board for more information prior to each semester.


A new resurgence of an old beast, the Chico State Pep Band, MSU 4111B, known as the Wild Cat Pride, rocks through the Basketball Season and other specialty events. The Pep Band is a highly energized group of
musicians that lends its musical abilities and school spirit to create a "home court advantage" for the Chico State men's and women's basketball teams. A great group if you want to have fun, play that funky music, and shake everything you got.  Open to all Chico State Students who play a wind or percussion instrument, no audition required.  Simply come to the first class meeting.

Other Information


We offer more that $45,000 in music scholarships each year. Auditions and/or interviews are required (contact Professor Winslow for details about application procedures). On-campus auditions (highly recommended) occur during the fall and spring semesters.

Leadership Opportunities

The Chico State band program offers several job positions, allowing qualified members of the performing ensembles to have an active role and voice in matters of great importance. Each student wishing to be heavily involved with the band staff must go though an interview process. All job positions are open to music majors and non-music majors alike, giving the staff a unique balance of talent and skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a music major to be in band or any other performing group?

No. Though many students playing in the bands and other performing ensembles are music or music education students, there are many students that are not. We enjoy having students who have varied majors because their talents outside of class add to the cohesiveness and diversity of the performing groups.

How will I have time for band?

Since you have made time in the past for music in your life, there is every reason to make time for music in college. In fact, you may find that there is more free time in college than you have ever had in your life. Each performing ensemble meets one, two, or three days a week for 50 minutes to two hours. Essentially, there is less time commitment for a college band than there is for a high school ensemble. Make the time; it’s worth it.

How many bands (performing groups) are there?

There are many large ensembles: Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Express. Some of the small ensembles include the Brass Quintet, Brass Choir, and Low Brass Choir, Clarinet Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, and Flute Ensembles. We also have excellent choral ensembles in which many of our instrumentalists perform.

Can I play in more than one ensemble and/or take private lessons?

All full-time music majors are eligible to have private instruction and are highly encouraged to participate in more than one group; however, it is not required. All students, regardless of major may participate in several performing ensembles. The more groups a musician participate in, the more rounded his or her musical experience is.