Illinois Bands today
The University of Illinois Band program is considered one of the most historic and significant college band programs in the world. The Band Division offers students several musical experiences through our multiple concert bands, the popular 375-member Marching Illini, our basketball bands, the Volleyball Band, and Summer Band, in its 110th season next year. Over 650 students participate in these ensembles each semester, and most all of our concerts are held in the beautiful Foellinger Great Hall, located in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts--a state of the art facility, which brings world artists to campus year round.
At the forefront of band music education for over a century, the University of Illinois produced the first college band program, setting standards for concert performance and marching band drill design, and producing prominent performers and music educators throughout the world. The concert program, led by the Illinois Wind Symphony, has maintained many years of musical excellence through its multiple recording projects, tours, premieres, and collaborations with world artists. Most recently, they performed at the 2019 national conference of the College Band Directors National Association. Our athletic bands provide tremendous support and visibility to the University and Illinois Athletics. The world-famous Marching Illini exemplify a tradition of excellence on the football field that is over one-hundred fifty years strong, and their indoor fall concert at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts entertains thousands each year in the Urbana-Champaign area. In November of 2015 they represented the state of Illinois in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Our Illinois Band Alumni number into the thousands, and we are proud of their continued support. On Homecoming weekend each fall, the Illinois Bands partner with Illinois Band Alumni to host the annual Alumni Marching Band. We also host an Alumni Concert Band every few years, with our most recent meeting having been in June 2018. And since 1910, local alumni and students come together each year in our Summer Band to perform the popular Twilight Concerts on the University Quad.
One cannot overestimate the international importance of this band program in both the education of students and service to our institution, in addition to the music profession. We invite you to visit in person to experience the true impact of the college band program that started it all as we continue to lead into the future.