School of Music & Dance

101N Alexander Building
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
[email protected]

A person drumming on a large drum set.


Percussion Ensemble

Established in 1973, the Eastern Michigan University Percussion Ensemble has grown into one of the outstanding performing ensembles at the university. In addition to its activities on campus, the ensemble has been featured at the Michigan Percussive Arts Society State Festival, the Midwestern Conference on Music Education and performed at many middle and high schools throughout Michigan and Ohio. The percussion ensemble is a popular and dynamic group that provides benefits beyond the large ensemble experience including further development of students' artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence, and knowledge of repertoire and styles. Participation in the Percussion Ensemble is reserved for percussion majors and minors or by special department permission and audition.


  • Tues., Thurs. 3:30–5 p.m., Room 105, Alexander Music Building

African Ensemble

The 10-15 member EMU African Ensemble, established in 2001, is a group dedicated to the study and performance of the music and drumming of Africa using authentic instruments. Previous semester studies have included the music, drumming and traditions of the Akan and Ewe people of southeastern Ghana, dalari drumming from the Dagara people of northern Ghana, and the study of the embaire, a large xylophone from Uganda.

African Ensemble is currently offered only in winter semesters as a special topics course. Enrollment is open to all EMU students, but may include an audition. This ensemble is currently on hiatus but may resume in the future. Please contact John Dorsey for further information.

Rehearsals (Winter only)

  • Mon., Wed. Fri. 4–5:30 p.m., Room 106, Alexander Music Building

EMU Drumline

Sight-reading skills and the ability to march in place are prerequisites for Drumline membership. Although it is strongly recommended that students attend both audition dates, attendance at one of the dates is mandatory as part of the audition process. If there is an unavoidable conflict with both dates please notify us and we'll explore other options. All positions are open to every student and you may try out on as many instruments as you wish. All prospective members should thoroughly prepare for their first instrument of choice, though it is advantageous to review audition materials for all instruments, as we usually cannot accommodate everyone's first preference.


  • One Saturday in June, July and August. 
  • One-week Band Camp, typically the week before the Fall term.
  • Regular Marching Band: Mon., Wed., Fri. 4–6 p.m. 
  • Drumline Sectionals: Mon. 7–9 p.m.; Fri. 3–4 p.m.

Drumline Auditions

Auditions for the EMU Marching Band Drumline are usually held each year in late April or early May. Audition information and materials are posted in late March or April on the EMU Marching Band website.  Audition preparation sessions are usually offered in March and April. Please contact John Dorsey or  Jason Ihnat for further information.

Audition Procedure

  • EMU warm-up exercises and excerpts from previous shows
  • Snare drum: Your choice of a rudimental style 1–2 minute snare drum solo of an existing published work
  • Multi-tenors (Quints): EMU Tenor Audition Solo
  • Bass drum: EMU Bass Drum Audition Etude (duet)
  • Cymbals: EMU Cymbal Audition Etude (duet)

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