MARCHING ILLINI AUDITIONS FOR THE 2024 season are now open.

Audition process

The Marching Illini is seeking outstanding students with excellent baton twirling skills who seek to be a part of “The Nation’s Premier College Marching Band.” This student performs at all Illinois home football games with the Marching Illini and serves as a significant ambassador for the University. We are looking for candidates that are versatile and exciting!  Auditions take place on an annual basis and returning members must audition each year. If you are interested in auditioning for the feature twirler position, please follow the guidelines listed below.

Instructions for Submitting a Marching Illini Video Audition

  • Create your audition video FIRST – be sure you can upload it to the audition platform OR if you have multiple videos, edit them and submit your video audition in 1 link either through YouTube or GoogleDrive
  • Submit our on-line audition registration form
  • Upload a video in the audition form OR copy a link to your video in the field provided – if you submitted the audition registration form already without your video audition, send Professor Houser ( an email with a link to your audition video
  • Submit the audition registration form

Round One Video Audition Requirements for feature twirler

  • Apply to the University of Illinois
  • The first round audition is a video submission with a deadline of February 1
  • Include routines and performances that best represent your talents and demonstrate your potential to twirl at the collegiate level in a large stadium atmosphere – should include 2 Live performances that highlight the twirler’s abilities
  • Include advanced skills [multiple illusions, 3+spins, walkovers, cartwheels, etc]
  • Include a complete resume of performance history & accomplishments along with your contact information
  • Include reference letters form applicant’s twirling coach or coaches, Band Director if applicable, and an academic teacher
    • reference letters should address applicant’s personal integrity, work ethic, ability to work as a group while performing as a soloist, performance level
  • Videos should be shared electronically through Google Drive or youtube link via email to Prof. Barry Houser
  • Videos will be evaluated and from these results, candidates will be selected and invited to a second audition on campus per the audition schedule
  • Finalists will be notified by March 1 and invited to campus for an in-person audition and interview in April
  • Watch this video about The Audition Process
  • Round 1 Video submissions due February 1 at 11:59pm

Final Round In-Person Audition Requirements for feature twirler

  • Prepare a 2-4 minute routine utilizing more than one piece of equipment choreographed to your choice of music.  Use multiple batons, hoops, etc.  Fire batons cannot be used.
  • This audition will either take place outside on the Marching Illini practice field or in the indoor practice facility.
  • Showmanship, speed, difficulty, poise and balance, variety, and performance will be evaluated.
  • A sound system will be provided for you.
  • You should be able to choreograph a short routine on the spot to a piece of music chosen by the panel of judges.
  • Finally an interview will take place with our panel of judges which include Marching Illini Directors and Staff and an outside expert. As a significant ambassador for our program, personality, charisma, effective communication, and school spirit are musts!
  • Overall adjudication criteria includes creativity, technique, poise, execution, showmanship