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 marching band


SCHOLARSHIPS for Big Purple members


Big Purple Student Leaders

Big Purple Concert Repertoire



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

2023 Big Purple Form Not available at this time

BAND HANDBOOK (2022 edition and subject to change)

GUARD GROUPS  Big Purple Colorguard and Acuity Winter Guard

NO! 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, psychology, mathematics, law, medicine and others.

YES! Many members of the band each year participate in the Students’ Association as council members, senators or class or executive officers. Several students have participated in Freshman Follies, Sing Song, Spring Break Campaigns, Habitat for Humanity, and many other related opportunities. Many Big Purple members also maintain active memberships and serve as officers in campus social clubs.

We have members from every size high school, with diverse levels of ability including those with little or no experience. At this time about 75% of the band members are non-music majors. If you can play your instrument, we can teach you the rest. We use “corps” style marching which can be learned quickly and easily. There have been a few members of the band that have had no prior marching band experience and some that come from military marching band traditions who have adapted quite well to our system. We welcome anyone who wishes to participate. There is no need to feel intimidated!

NO! The band performs at the home football games (usually 5) and often one out-of-town game. We usually march in two local parades and have a blast at our annual retreat during the fall. There are several open weekends that will allow you plenty of time to go home and visit friends and family or just “hang out” in Abilene!

There is no audition requirement for the marching band – with the exception of color guard members and percussionists (to place members on the correct instruments). Simply enroll in MPEI-301.01 (non-credit), MPEI-311.01 (1 hour credit) or MPEI 210.01 (1 hour P.E. credit). One-hour credit allows you to receive a grade toward your GPA and costs one hour of tuition. The non-credit option allows you to pay a nominal participation fee and though the grade appears on your transcript, it does not affect your GPA. Regardless of your enrollment option, grading criteria are the same for all members.

If you have already registered and have a conflict with the M, 11:50-12:45 and WF, 11:15-12:45 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 attitude and attendance. If you are at rehearsals and performances, it will be an easy A!


YES! Almost all of our Big Purple members receive some form of financial assistance. 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

2022 Student Leaders


  • President – Leighton Meyer
  • Vice President – Benjamin Briggs
  • Vice President – Emma Forester
  • Secretary – Alexis Dunn
  • Historian & Social Media – Abigail Kallas
  • Photographer – Hailey Randolph
  • Chaplain – Brian Lester
  • Fossil Rep – Nick Hernandez
  • Senior Rep – JC Gambill
  • Junior Rep – Emily Fulton
  • Sophomore Rep – Royal Carnes
  • Freshman Rep – TBA

Band Operations

  • Wyatt Long
  • Caleb Meyers
  • Alexis Dunn
  • Aidan Martin


  • Lauren Graves

Drum Majors

  • Kierra Bacon
  • Matthew Darby
  • Rachel Puckett

Section Leaders

  • Piccolo – Lily Jenkins
  • Flute – Naomi Benitez
  • Clarinet – Kaylee Bentle
  • Saxophones – Simon Browning
  • Trumpet – Benjamin Briggs
  • Horn – Caleb Myers
  • Trombone – Benjamin Kopfer & Matthew Whitwell
  • Baritone – Brian Lester
  • Tuba – Taylor Blankenship
  • Battery Percussion – Cameron Ohashi
  • Front Ensemble Percussion – TBA
  • Colorguard Captain – Leighton Meyer

Guard Groups

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

Becky Mathis at

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

Captain/Lieutenant Auditions
The auditions for colorguard captain are held in the spring. To audition for captain/lieutenant, one year of experience in the ACU color guard is required.

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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