Music Brochure Contents

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

Dear New Cal Poly Student:

Congratulations on your acceptance to Cal Poly.  We are pleased that you have chosen to continue your musical activities during your college career and 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 Building (#45)

  • Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band

    • Tuesday and Thursday – 3:10 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • University Jazz Band I

    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – 11:10 a.m. to Noon
  • University Jazz Band II

    • Monday and Wednesday – 3:10 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cal Poly Wind Orchestra

    • Monday and Wednesday – 7:10 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fall and 5:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Winter/Spring
  • Cal Poly Wind Ensemble

    • Monday and Wednesday – 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Fall and 7:10 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Winter/Spring
  • Various Chamber Ensembles

    • Jazz Combos
    • Brass Choir
    • Flute Choir
    • Clarinet Ensemble
    • Brass Quintets
    • Woodwind Quintet
    • Saxophone Quartet
    • Percussion Ensembles


The Mustang Marching Band was honored to perform in San Francisco in February for the Chinese New Year parade, performing before an estimated one million people along the parade route.

The Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra performed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and England during the summer of 2013. Other recent 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 University Jazz Band No. 1 recently played a swing dance in Sacramento (with an invitation for a return engagement at any time), and a performance at San Francisco's highest rated jazz club, the Savanna. The jazz bands have also performed on tour in Puerto Rico, Brazil, and China in the past several years.

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

New members are often worried about the interview and decide not to participate.  This is a big mistake!  The faculty makes 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 will provide one for you.  We also have lockers and practice rooms.

Wind Ensemble/Wind Orchestra

Please sign-up for your interview on the bulletin board just outside room 214-A in the Music Building during the Week of Welcome (WOW) or the first week of class.  Auditions are designed to give the directors the opportunity to know you on a personal basis, and to determine how to make you a better performer. It is also to decide which ensemble is best for you and to determine which chair position you will hold for the fall quarter.  For the audition please prepare a fast piece to demonstrate your technical ability and a slow piece to show your ability to be expressive. Musical excerpts should be no longer than 2 or 3 minutes. This 10-minute session will be relaxed and informal.

Jazz Bands

For information on the jazz band audition/interview, go to the Jazz Bands web page and select the “Auditions” link.   Sign up for an audition on the sign-up sheets posted on the door to room 129 in the music building (Dr. Paul Rinzler's office).


Organizational First Meetings

  • Mustang Band

  • Jazz Bands

    • On Monday, September 22, there will be two one-half hour organizational meetings (no instruments) of all who are interested in being in a jazz band.  You can attend at 11:10 a.m. or at 3:10 p.m.  The meetings will be in Building #45, Room 216 of the Music Building.
  • Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Chamber Ensembles

    • On Wednesday, September 25, there will be an organizational meeting from  7:10 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will be held in room 216 of the Music Building (#45).

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.

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


Andrew McMahan, Director, Mustang Band, Wind Orchestras, Wind Ensemble
Office: Music Building, Room 214-A
(805) 756-2556
Email McMahan

Christopher J. Woodruff, Associate Director, Mustang Band, Wind Orchestras, Wind Ensemble
Office: Music Building, Room 214-A
(805) 756-2556
Email Woodruff

Paul Rinzler, Director, University Jazz Bands
Office: Music Building, Room 122
(805) 756-5792
Email Rinzler