Kent State Bands

With nine diverse concert bands, athletics bands and jazz ensembles, we have a place for you! Each ensemble is open to all Kent State undergraduate and graduate students.

Request Information Kent State Youth Winds

The Kent State University Bands offer our students the chance to make music in nine performing ensembles to meet your skill and scheduling needs. Music majors and non-music majors have the opportunity to create and perform in athletic bands, jazz ensembles, and concert bands taught by outstanding and engaging faculty. Whether the goal is to become a performer, teacher, or to simply stay active and enjoy music, we have a place for you!

Marching Golden Flashes | Kent Wind Ensemble | Jazz Ensembles | Flasherbrass Pep Band | Kent Symphony Band | Kent University Band 

Athletic Bands

Kent State's Athletic Bands Offer the Unique Opportunity to Be Part of the Game Day Excitement and Pageantry

Marching Golden Flashes

The Marching Golden Flashes serves as the most visible musical ambassador of the Athletic Department, the Glauser School of Music, and Kent State University. Membership is open to all Kent students regardless of major. As the largest student organization on campus, the Marching Golden Flashes represents virtually every school on campus. The recently announced "Marching Golden Flash Award" is a $1,000 scholarship for all new and returning members of the group. 

Auditions begin in the spring semester for twirlers and continue through the summer for the color guard, wind and percussion sections. Details are typically announced in March. 

Take Me To Learn More About the MGF

Directed by Dr. Darin Olson

Flasher Brass Pep Band

Flasher Brass Pep Band is Kent State University’s pep band which performs at all men’s and women’s home basketball games, post-season MAC and NCAA tournament games, and a variety of other Kent State athletic and community events. 

Auditions typically are held in the fall semester with rehearsals beginning shortly thereafter. Keep checking here for additional details!

Directed by Dr. Darin Olson


Call: 330-672-0800

Concert Bands

We offer a variety of Concert Bands to fit your schedule and skill level!

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble of the university's finest wind and percussion musicians. Consisting primarily of undergraduate and graduate music majors and talented non-majors, the group performs traditional and contemporary wind repertoire of the highest quality.


  • When: Tuesday and Thursday from 1:10 - 3:05 p.m.

Joining the Wind Ensemble

  • Auditions are typically held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester
  • Visit this page for more information.
  • Registration: MUS 45223 (Slashed with MUS 55223 and MUS 75223)


Dr. Wendy K Matthews

Symphony Band

The Symphony Band is an auditioned ensemble of student musicians from across campus regardless of major who have demonstrated an outstanding level of musicianship and commitment to musical excellence. Consisting primarily of undergraduate and graduate music majors the group performs a broad range of works, representative of all historical periods and styles. 


  • When: Tuesday and Thursday from 3:20 - 5:15 p.m.

Joining the Symphony Band


Dr. Darin Olson

University Band

The University Band, also known as the "Communiversity Band," is open to all university students and community members who wish to continue performing traditional band literature.


  • When: Tuesday from 7:15 - 9:45 p.m.

Joining University Band

  • No audition required! Show up to the first rehearsal of the semester, instrument in hand.
  • Can be taken for credit or for no credit. Visit the Community Ensembles page for more information regarding the non-credit option.   
  • Registration: MUS 45225 (Undergraduates) or MUS 55225 (Graduate Students)


Dr. Darin Olson


Jazz Ensembles


Through our Jazz Minor and BA in Jazz Studies curriculum and ensemble performance, students are provided the opportunity to improve individual musicianship, create a personal voice, learn from and be inspired by the rich history, understand the evolutionary process and modern trends of Jazz, while becoming musical leaders and positive contributors to the Kent State University experience.

Instrumental Ensemble Offerings

Jazz Orchestra

The Jazz Orchestra rehearses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30 - 6:55 p.m. in the Kent State Center for the Performing Arts in E112. Directed by Bobby Selvaggio. Membership is open to instrumentalists and solo vocalists. 

Jazz Workshop Ensemble

The Jazz Workshop Ensemble rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 6:55 p.m. in the Kent State Center for the Performing Arts in E112. Directed by Chris Coles. Membership is open to instrumentalists and solo vocalists. 

Jazz Combos

Jazz Combos are coached by members of outstanding Jazz Studies faculty. Membership is open to instrumentalists and solo vocalists. 

How to Join 

Sign-up: Follow this link

The Audition (Instrumentalists)

  • Prepare the appropriate music for your instrument (posted two weeks before the audition date)
  • Play scales (depending on your jazz theory knowledge, you may be asked to play major, minor, diminished, or whole tone scales)
  • Sight-read
  • Option: Perform an improvisation.

The Audition (Vocalists)

  • Prepare a standard of your choice for the audition.
  • Play scales (depending on your jazz theory knowledge, you may be asked to play major, minor, diminished, or whole tone scales)
  • Sight-read
  • Option: Perform an improvisation.


Bobby Selvaggio 
Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz Orchestra

Vocal Ensemble Offerings

Nova Jazz Singers

The Nova Jazz Singers was founded in 2012 by Dr. Christopher J. Venesile, now-retired Associate Professor of Choral Music Education, to bring the disciplines of advanced choral singing and the language of jazz together. 

Nova Jazz Workshop Singers

This ensemble was founded in the fall 2019 semester to support Kent State's growing vocal jazz program as well as the music education program. It is directed by Maria Jacobs-Schaber. 

Learn more about Nova Jazz Singers here.


Samir Al-Hadid
Nova Jazz Singers

Maria Jacobs
Nova Jazz Workshop Singers

Bands Faculty & Staff

Learn more about the directors and leaders of the kent state bands and jazz ensembles

Dr. Wendy K. Matthews

Director of Bands
Music Education, Wind Ensemble
Learn more about Wendy

Dr. Darin Olson

Director of Athletic Bands & Associate Director of Bands
Marching Golden Flashes, Flasher Brass, Symphony Band, University Band

Learn more about Darin

Bobby Selvaggio

Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz Orchestra, Saxophone
Learn more about Bobby


  • Instrumental Ensemble Auditions

    Instrumental Ensemble Auditions

    Welcome to the Audition Center for all our instrumental ensembles from bands to orchestra to jazz.

  • Kent State Youth Winds

    Kent State Youth Winds

    A new ensemble for high school woodwind, brass and percussion players held at the Glauser School of Music