Marching Band

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Big Purple Marching Band

Introducing the ACU Marching Band

The Big Purple Marching Band is one of the oldest and most storied organizations on the ACU campus. It is a vital part of campus life, performing at Opening Assembly, football games, parades, in exhibition at invitational and UIL marching contests, concerts, and more. Each student receives a participation scholarship and one P.E. credit, and no audition is required. Rehearsals are held MWF on the “Stompin’ Grounds” behind the Williams Performing Arts Center.

The camaraderie among Big Purple Band members is legendary on campus, offering great social opportunities and friendships that last a lifetime, as well as the pride of performing in one of ACU’s best-loved music traditions.

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Big Purple Marching Band     Big Purple Alumni

ACU Big Purple marching band waiting with instruments pointed down.


SCHOLARSHIPS for Big Purple members


Big Purple Student Leaders




PERCUSSION AUDITIONS Information for those interested in auditioning for Big Purple percussion

2024 BIG PURPLE FORM  (information and apparel order form)


GUARD GROUPS  Big Purple Colorguard and Acuity Winter Guard


ACU-Big-Purple-baton twirler


We could not exist if we demanded too much of your time. The band rehearses MWF, and has multiple weekends off during marching season. The truth about grades is this: if you don’t make good grades, it won’t be because of band commitments. Many times in the past, members of the band have been ACU valedictorians and salutatorians. Additionally, many members of the band each year receive generous scholarships and assistantships to graduate schools in their areas of study including music, business, psychology, mathematics, law, medicine and others.

Members of the band participate in the Student Government Association, as RAs and other positions in Student Life, and many other leadership organizations . Members of the band participate fully in other campus activities such as Freshman Follies, Sing Song, Greek Life, mission trips, special courses and academics honor organizations, and many other related opportunities.

Members come from every size school, homeschool, international students, and more with diverse levels of ability and experience, including students from military traditions and those with no marching experience as all!. If you can play your instrument, we can teach you the rest. We use “corps” style marching which can be learned quickly and easily. We welcome anyone who wishes to participate. There is no need to feel intimidated!

The band performs at home football games (usually 5). When possible we march in a local parade, and will perform in exhibition at high school marching contests. Several open weekends allow you plenty of time to go home and visit friends and family, for academics, social activities, and more!

There is no audition for marching band, with the exception of color guard members (to assess experience level), and percussionists (to place members on the correct instruments). Enroll in MPEI-301.01 (non-credit), MPEI-311.01 (1 hour credit) or MPEI 210.01 (1 hour P.E. credit). The non-credit option allows you to be a member and it not count towards block tuition.

If you have already registered and have a conflict with the MW 11:15-11:45, and F 11:50-12:45 slot, we would be glad to work with you to make band possible in your schedule. In most instances, we can take care of the scheduling change for you. With freshman level courses, there are almost always additional sections available of the courses you need. If you don’t have a conflict, simply contact your advisor to add the course. (Remember to inform your advisor and our staff of your preferred enrollment option.)

The grading policy is based almost exclusively on attendance and attitude. If you are at rehearsals and performances, it will be an easy A! If you are enrolled in one of the 1 credit sections, your grade counts toward your GPA. If you are enrolled in the 0 credit section, you receive a grade but it does not count towards your GPA.


ALL members of the Big Purple receive the Marching Band Participation Scholarship automatically. And all members are eligible for additional money from the music department and you do NOT have to be a music major to receive departmental scholarship money!

Please see scholarships and auditions for more information.

Please contact us for more information: 

Laura Dickson
Administrative Coordinator for Ensembles and Recruiting

ACU Box 28274
Abilene, Texas 79699-8274

2023-2024 Student Leaders


  • President – Lydia Copeland
  • Vice President – Patrick Slafko
  • Secretary – Amy Stephens
  • Historian & Social Media -Ashlynn Smith
  • Historian & Social Media – Autum Olivas
  • Chaplain – Macey Bridgeman
  • Fossil Rep – Matthew Darby
  • Senior Rep – Royal Carnes
  • Junior Rep – Creed Ezell
  • Sophomore Rep -Jesse Ratliff
  • Freshman Rep – TBA

Band Operations

  • Laura Evans
  • Lydia Copeland
  • Jason Miller


  • Lauren Graves

Drum Majors

  • Kierra Bacon
  • Matthew Darby
  • Karissa Ward

Section Leaders

  • Flute & Piccolo – Abigail Shields
  • Clarinet – Ryan Gussert
  • Saxophones – Cierra Zamora
  • Trumpet – Royal Carnes
  • Horn – Laura Gill
  • Low Brass – Brandon Cheever, Anahi Romero, Steven Meyer
  • Battery Percussion – Creed Ezell
  • Front Ensemble Percussion – Megan Denton
  • Colorguard Captains – Kylie McLeod

Guard Groups

ACU Colorguard member twirling a flag during halftime show.

ACU Colorguard

acuity winter guard

Big Purple Colorguard

Potential members should have at least one year of colorguard experience. Exceptions can be made on an individual basis, especially for those with experience in twirling, cheerleading or drill team.

Time Commitment
The colorguard is required to be present at all rehearsals and performances. The colorguard rehearses with the band three days a week and has a sectional once a week outside of the scheduled band time. Sectional days and times will be determined by the co-captains and members based on schedules.

All colorguard members are eligible for the Big Purple scholarship.

Schedule for 2023 TBD

For more information please contact us.

Laura Dickson at

Zach McKennon at

All members of the colorguard must be enrolled in band. Band can be taken either for credit, no-credit, or P.E. credit.

Acuity Independent Winter Guard

Acuity Independent Winter Guard is an ACU performing ensemble of flags, rifles, sabers, and dance that competes in the North Texas Color Guard Association, and is dedicated to sharing Christian values and service with over 1000 different high school and college level color guards from the state of Texas.

Time Commitment
The winter guard typically rehearses two days per week, beginning in December after marching season, through the beginning of April. The group competes in the Independent A class for the North Texas Color Guard Association. We typically attend four competitions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

A brief audition consisting of basic fundamentals of flag and rifle will be held during the fall semester before thanksgiving break.

Enrollment & Expectations
Unlike color guard in the fall, winter guard is not a class. It is an extra curricular activity, but attendance is expected at all rehearsals and performances.

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