Letter to Students Interested in the Jazz Bands, Mustang Band, Wind Orchestra and/or Wind Ensemble

We are pleased that you have chosen to continue your musical activities during your college career! You can be assured that the band program at Cal Poly will be a meaningful experience that will enhance your overall education and provide a great deal of fun and excitement.

Our band program consists of the following:

(Academic credit is provided for all ensembles – see Class Schedule) Rehearsals are in Room 216 of the Davidson Music Center.

The Mustang Marching Band is honored to perform in San Francisco's annual Chinese New Year parade — which it has done almost every year from 2014-2020 — for an estimated three million people along the parade route.

The Wind Bands performed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and England during the summer of 2013. Other performing tours by the Wind Ensemble include performances in the Disney Hall (Los Angeles) in 2010, Carnegie Hall in 2003, and central Europe in 2006 (which included performances in Budapest, Vienna, Schladming, Salzburg, Munich, and Prague). The Wind Ensemble has also performed at several regional and national conventions, with the most recent being the 2022 College Band Directors National Association conference, hosted in Tacoma, Washington.

The University Jazz Band I recently returned from a performance tour in London, England, playing at some of its top-rated jazz clubs. Before that, the band had traveled internationally to Puerto Rico, Brazil, and China, as well as performing at gigs regionally in California.

Please be aware that only 10-20% of the members of the Cal Poly Bands are music majors.  Because of this, our performing ensembles are carefully designed to be compatible with the heavy academic demands of students—like you—from other areas of the university. With our very limited rehearsal schedules, you will have ample time to participate.

Membership in the Cal Poly Band program will give you:

  • An "escape" from the books
  • An opportunity for meaningful musical expression
  • Challenges that college students seek: leadership, creativity, team work, personal growth and the opportunity to experience the rewards and sense of pride that go along with outstanding achievement
  • Instant friends (many for life!)

Interview / Audition

Your faculty make every effort to accommodate anyone who would like to participate.  If you were a member of your high school band, you are already an experienced musician and are ready to participate in a college band. We do have a place for you in the university bands!  If you do not have an instrument, we can provide one for you. We also have lockers and practice rooms.

Wind Ensemble/Wind Orchestra

Please sign up for your interview and audition. Auditions take place during the Week of Welcome (WOW) or online by following the instructions located on the Wind Ensemble/Wind Orchestra audition page. Auditions are designed to give the directors an opportunity to learn more about you on an individual basis, as well as to determine how we can help make you a stronger musician. Auditions are also used to determine the best ensemble and chair placement for fall quarter. Additional information, including audition repertoire, schedule, and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the Wind Ensemble/Wind Orchestra audition page.

University Jazz Bands

For information on the jazz band audition/interview, go to the Jazz Bands Auditions website. To sign up for an audition, click on the Signup Genius link.

Organizational First Meetings

It is very important that you attend one or more of these meetings. If you are undecided about your participation, please come and learn more about our program and meet current and other prospective members.

We look forward to meeting you. If there is any way that we can help you, please feel free to contact us. Have a great summer!


Christopher J. Woodruff, Director of Bands
Office: Davidson Music Center, Room 210
(805) 756-6856
Email Woodruff
Website of Mustang Band

Website of Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble


Nicholas P. Waldron, Associate Director of Bands
Office: Davidson Music Center, Room 210
(805) 756-2658
Email Waldron


Arthur White, Director, University Jazz Bands
Office: Davidson Music Center, Room 121
(805) 756-5792
Email White
Website of Jazz Bands