Frequently Asked Questions


Who can join the Spirit of Houston?

Any student admitted to the University of Houston Main Campus, regardless of their major/area of study.

Band Service Grants at UH.  How do I receive one?

All members of the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band, Cheer, Dance, and Mascots in good standing will receive a Band Service Grant.  There is no application process, but you must have filled out the registration form to receive the award. Traditionally, band freshman receive a minimum of $500.00 for the year, with the amount increasing every year a student stays in the group.

Cheer, Dance, Mascots, and Twirlers all receive a base grant with additional stipends dependent on duties and status within each of their organizations. These service grants are sizable and communicated directly with those students after they successfully audition into their groups. They can be revoked at any point throughout the year based on failure to comply with the guidelines and processes for their service grants.

Is there an audition to join the Spirit of Houston?

Brass and Woodwinds: We do not require an audition for brass and woodwind members at this time. Piccolos, Clarinets, Trumpets, and Trombones audition for part assignments at the beginning of our Summer Band Week.

Percussion: Click Here for more information on the UH Drumline audition process.

Cougar Dolls Dance Team: Click Here for more information on the Cougar Dolls Dance Team audition process.

Cheerleaders: Click Here for more information on the UH Cheer audition process.

Mascots: Click Here for more information on the Mascot audition process.

Feature Twirlers: Click Here for more information on the Twirler audition process.

What instruments and performance positions does the “Spirit of Houston” utilize?

  • Flutes (Piccolo by audition only)

  • Clarinets

  • Alto Saxophones (No Tenor or Baritone Sax)

  • Trumpets

  • Mellophones

  • Trombones

  • Bass Trombones

  • Baritones

  • Sousaphones

  • Battery Percussion: Snare, Tenor, Bass Drums, Cymbals

  • Cougar Dolls Dance Team

  • Cheer Leaders

  • Mascots

  • Twirlers

Does the band provide or rent any instruments?

Yes. Due to the generosity of the University Student Funds committee (SFAC) and other funding resources, we are able to issue instruments to certain sections of the Marching Band. The number of available instruments grows each year. We provide the following instruments with no rental fee involved at this time:

  • Saxophone (18 instruments available)

  • Trumpet (12 instruments available)

  • Mellophones (26 instruments available)

  • Baritones (24 instruments available)

  • Tenor Trombones (12 instruments available)

  • Bass Trombones (2 instruments available)

  • Sousaphones (24 instruments available)

  • 30 Battery Percussion (Snares, Tenors, Bass Drums, Cymbals)

How do I sign up for the Spirit of Houston?

First, fill out the 2019-2020 Registration Form, so that we can enter your information into our database.  You will begin to receive information about membership, early-move in, and more information about SPIRIT WEEK over the spring and summer. You must also register for the official marching band (one credit hour) course through your MyUH account. Search for MUSI 1100.

How much does participation in the Spirit of Houston cost?

ALL Members of The Spirit of Houston (band, cheer, dance, guard, and twirlers) are assessed a $100.00 membership fee which is assessed as a part of their Tuition and Fee bill during the fall semester. This fee covers a set of items varying for each group, including member's clothing, performance attire, uniform maintenance, and food throughout the year. This fee in no way covers the entire cost of being a member of any of our groups, but it does work to offset costs for each individual student throughout the year.

Travel: The Spirit of Houston covers all group transportation and housing costs to and from away games and bowl games, including most (but not necessarily all) meals.  Any incidental costs on trips (extra food, souvenirs, etc...) are the responsibility of each member.  

What type of performance gloves and shoes do I need?

Gloves: The Spirit of Houston utilizes long white gloves throughout the year. All members receive three free pairs of gloves, and any additional pairs must be purchased from the band administrative assistant, Rhonda Pitts.

Shoes: All students will be provided a pair of white marching shoes for each season in the Spirit of Houston. If a replacement is needed during the year, the student must contact Mrs. Rhonda Pitts to order and pay for another pair.

Do I need a flip-folder?

We will issue you with a flip-folder during “Spirit Week” and it is your responsibility to stuff with your music starting in Spirit Week and throughout the year. All brass and woodwind members must have a flip folder at every rehearsal and performance to keep their music organized. We use flip folders in the stands during games but not at pre-game or half-time. You will need to purchase your own lyre for your instrument. These will be available for purchase during “Spirit Week” registration.

Do I need a dot book?

The Spirit of Houston uses the Ultimate Drill Book App for smart phones and tablets. ALL students will be expected download the app and have their phone or small device charged for ALL rehearsals. We will go over the registration process at the start of summer band. If any student has an issue providing a phone or tablet to use the app with, please contact Mr. Cameron Kubos at

When does marching band meet during the Summer?

Spirit Week 2019

SPIRIT WEEK 2019 will take place Sunday, August 11 – Saturday, August 17, 2019. Leadership, Color Guard and drumline may move-in earlier. This information will be updated soon.  Spirit Week is the first week that the entire Spirit of Houston comes together, and takes place the week before school officially starts.  During Spirit Week, the entire organization participates in rehearsals and meetings in order to prepare ourselves for the upcoming football season.  The Band Department covers the cost of early move-in for students who live in the dormitories during the year.  Information regarding early move-ins will be distributed as soon as it is finalized.  We work very closely with the head of housing to ensure that this works smoothly.  

When does the marching band meet during the Fall semester?

The rehearsal schedule for the Spirit of Houston is entirely dependent upon the football schedule.

Weeks with a Saturday game:

  • Monday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Brass and Percussion

  • Wednesday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Woodwinds

  • Friday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Full Band

  • Saturday - Football Game (times vary). Run-through/rehearsal typically 4-6 hours prior to kickoff.*

Weeks with a Friday game:

  • Monday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Full Band

  • Wednesday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Full Band

  • Friday – Football Game (usually around 7:00 PM). Run-through/rehearsal typically 4-6 hours prior to kickoff.*

Weeks with a Thursday game:

  • Monday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Full Band

  • Wednesday - 6:00- to 9:00 PM - Full Band

  • Thursday – Football Game (usually around 7:00 PM). Run-through/rehearsal typically hours prior to kickoff*

  • Friday – 6:00-9:00 pm - Full Band (if needed for a new show the next week)

 *Rehearsals are always held on game days prior to a home football games.  While we aim for consistency in scheduling these pre-game rehearsals at the same time each week, other factors sometimes change our ability to do so.  Any and all changes to the rehearsal schedule will be communicated to the members as soon as it is finalized by the staff.  The final schedule is at the discretion of the directors and staff as needed for the overall success of the organization. There are also various events that require additional rehearsals and preparation.  These events and rehearsals will be added to the calendar as soon as they are finalized by the staff.  


Does the Spirit of Houston perform at every UH football game?

The Spirit of Houston, including ALL “Spirit of Houston” members, performs all home football games. Either the entire “Spirit of Houston” or a pep band (small group) will attend 1-3 away games each year, depending on the schedule.


Does the Spirit of Houston perform at Bowl Games?

Yes. Bowl game travel is absolutely mandatory for every member and is decided once Houston’s bowl destination has been established (usually in early December). Typical Bowl Games center between December 15 - January 3. Please make plans around the potential bowl schedule as this is a requirement for all membership. We work to post this schedule as soon as it is decided by the Bowl Selection Committee.

Does the Spirit of Houston perform during student breaks/holidays?

From time to time, the Spirit of Houston will have performances during breaks/holidays.  Attendance at these events is MANDATORY for all members of the organization, so that we can have the most successful performances possible.  Please see below for three examples.

Before Thanksgiving Break
There is usually a Saturday game on the weekend before Thanksgiving, and school is always in session the Monday and Tuesday during the week of Thanksgiving.  Like any other home game on the schedule, the “Spirit of Houston” will perform and perfect attendance is the only way for us to remain successful.

During Thanksgiving Break
Additionally, when there is a game the day after Thanksgiving (in the 2015-2016 school year, the game was on Friday, November 27, 2015), the entire “Spirit of Houston” will perform. On years when this in an away game, the entire "Spirit of Houston" will travel to perform depending upon game location off-campus.  Please be sure to share this information with your families now so you can be proactive in planning your trip home and back as needed.  Students have successfully made travel plans based around game schedules for many years, and you can do the same with some creative planning.  The band staff is able to assist with this planning if necessary.  Absences from games the day after Thanksgiving not considered excused absences.

Bowl Games/Championship Games
The ENTIRE Spirit of Houston performs for Bowl Games and Championship Games.  The American Conference Championship Game took place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 -- if the University of Houston is selected to participate, the ENTIRE Spirit of Houston will attend the game, regardless of location.  Obviously, we cannot plan for this until the season is nearly over and we can predict whether or not this is a likely scenario for us.  All bowl games will take place during Winter Break, and if the team is selected to attend a bowl, the ENTIRE Spirit of Houston will travel to perform at this game.  Again, once the season is nearly over and we can start to predict different possible outcomes for where we will be traveling to, that information will be distributed to the students.

Does the Spirit of Houston have performance responsibilities in the Spring Semester?

Yes, though much fewer than in the fall.  The full Spirit of Houston participates in two Martin Luther King Jr. Parades (MLK Day), the annual Houston Rodeo Parade , Frontier Fiesta (mid-March), the Spring Football Game (April) and other events through organizations such as the March of Dimes (late April). We are in high demand on and off campus all year long. During the 2014 calendar year, the “Spirit of Houston” performed over 200 times. Many requests are met with smaller sized bands comprised of members in the “Spirit of Houston” Band, Cheer and Dance.

During the Spring Semester, we encourage all students to participate in at least one of the following groups: Cougar Brass Basketball Band (Men's and Women's Bands), one of our four concert bands (all ensembles are open to music majors and non-music majors alike pending auditions), or one of the two jazz ensembles at the Moores School of Music.


Is there a Band Booster group?

No. However, the “Spirit of Houston” is proud to be supported by alumni and friends of the program who make generous, tax deductible contributions each year. For more information or to contribute, please click here. Donations can be made to the Spirit of Houston Alumni Network or directly to the band program by selecting “Colleges and Programs” -> “College of the Arts” -> “Band” and then you can choose from “Band Gifts,” “Band Scholarships", and “Spirit of Houston Alumni Network". Gifts to Cheer, Dance, and Mascots can be made under the “Band Gifts” tab, but please contact UH Giving to ensure that the funds are earmarked for those areas.

How can I get tickets to football games?

UH Ticket Office Website: Click Here

Contact Info:
713-GO-COOGS (713-462-6647)
1-877-COUGAR-5 (877-268-4275)
713-743-9449 (FAX)

Hours of Operation
The ticket office is located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.