Why Should I Join?

Some of the many benefits of joining Fire of the Carolinas

  • Close-knit family atmosphere
  • Low Time Commitment – much lower then most colleges and high school. We rehearse just twice a week, so it is no more than a normal two-day a week class (plus no tests!). This allows you to experience all Elon has to offer without stressing your schedule!
  • Scholarships
  • Pre-season camp is the best way to get started on campus. At the star of camp you get to move into your university housing for NO additional charge and the band provides you funds to offset the cost of your meals. We are the only group that moves in that day, so there are no crowds and no lines! Also, you arrive on campus with a large group of new friends who share an interest, many of which are upper classmen who can teach you everything you need to know about Elon. You will be settled in and feel like a veteran Elon student before most students ever arrive on campus!??
  • It’s A LOT of FUN! College bands do not compete, so our goals are to support our team and entertain our fans with as much energy and spirit as possible. We do lots of different shows every year and play a huge variety of music, so you will never get bored!

One of the most common concerns for new members is whether or not you will have time to do band, get good grades, and still take advantage of everything Elon has to offer. The answer is ABSOLUTLEY! FOTC has an extremely low time commitment compared to most marching bands. As proof, our 2015 FOTC students:

  • Had one of highest average GPAs of any group of its size on campus, and our members regularly appear on both the Dean’s and President’s lists.
  • FOTC members were active in 83 other organizations or ensembles on campus this fall, including everything from Greek life, to club sports, service organizations, student government, tutoring, academic research, etc.
  • Our members often hold high ranking positions within organizations including being the President of the campus Safe Rides program, holding seats on the President’s Leadership Advisory Council, serving on the SGA, etc.
  • Many students are RAs and Campus Guides.
  • Every FOTC member participated in at least one other activity, organization or ensemble on campus in the fall.
  • FOTC members are often Honors , Education, Communications and other Fellows Program participants.
  • FOTC members are highly active in academic research with members regularly presenting the research at conferences all over the United States.
  • A current member is also a Lumen Scholar, one of the highest academic honors on campus.
  • The list goes on and on and on ...

What our members say about why they love Fire of the Carolinas

“There is such a melting pot of students involved that you are almost guaranteed to find at least one person who is a good friend, not just based on convenience like the people who live in your dorm, but because there is a common cause of music that ties us all together.” – Arya Boris (Pennsylvania), colorguard

“Everything! There is such a melting pot of students involved that you are almost guaranteed to find at least one person who is a good friend, not just based on convenience like the people who live in your dorm, but because there is a common cause of music that ties us all together.” – Rachel Hopkins (Ohio), trumpet

“Marching band is a place where you build friendships, find an Elon family, learn to be responsible, and gain confidence - all while having fun! My favorite thing about marching band is the sense of community that it creates.  When I'm sick, the people I can count on to take me to the health center, buy me medicine, or bring me food are from the band.  When I need someone to grab lunch with or for a life chat, I know that multiple band members will be there within 15 minutes if I need them to be.  Over the years, band has become my Elon family.” – Lindsay Luhn (Maryland), Drum Major

"Not only do you get to move in early and get to know a great group of people before classes start, you get to make music with some of the funniest, craziest, generous, loving group of people. And on top of that, you have the privilege of learning from Dr. Adam Kehl, one of the kindest, brilliant, and enthusiastic directors I have even known. This organization is truly a gift to be a part of! (I’m not exaggerating or just trying to get on your good side. I strongly believe everything I have said!)" – Samantha Childers (North Carolina), pit

“The thrill of performing and being the spirit of the home games.” – Lauren Venresca (Virginia), color guard

“…it is one of the closest and most rewarding groups I've encountered at Elon. You'll make great friends, and you get to give back to the Elon community in the form of performance and entertainment.” – Sarah Clark (Maryland), color guard

“FOTC is a place where you could meet your next roommate, best friend or jam buddy. You get to know everybody quickly because we're a smaller band but that's what makes us close. You work together on the field for drill and bond over the struggle of getting things right. It's a community and a resource because you get to meet people in different fields of study and different class years.” – Kellie Blackburn (Toronto, Canada), trombone

“It makes the transition to college a lot easier, getting to know a concentrated amount of people before you're thrown into the chaos of orientation week.” – Lillian Engel (Connecticut), trumpet

“I love the camaraderie.” – Lindsey Sacco (Maryland), piccolo

“I really love performing during football games and the rush that I get right before the performance.” - Chris Tarpley (South Carolina), drum major

What recent FOTC alumni say about their time in band

“The best part of FOTC is the family environment you get when you join. Everyone there has come together for their love of music and excitement to cheer on the Phoenix. In my four years at Elon, I was never part of such a close group of people. I met some of my best friends through FOTC. You go through so much together (from band camp, to hours of practice, to game days), that the bond really forms and everyone can truly connect and come together. It's truly an experience that can not be replicated by any other group on our campus.” – Jenny Sekulow, ’15 Media Arts and Entertainment

“FOTC provided me with a core group of friends that I could depend on throughout my time at Elon. It was great to be able to make great music with such great friends! When I visited Elon for Spring Orientation weekend, I wasn't sure if I was going to continue doing marching band in college. However, the people at the FOTC table were so kind, welcoming, and willing to answer any of my questions. This really is a fantastic, kind, and welcoming group of people. I have never regretted my decision to join FOTC, and we would love to have you as a part of this amazing band!” – Angela Shuback, ’15 Psycology

“The people are amazing, the music is fun, our announcement at halftime is fire, and I have made lifelong friends. I joined my junior year and if I had one wish it would be that I joined from year one. You have an opportunity to be a part of one of the best groups of people on campus and whether you stay for one season or four, it is going to be one of the greatest things you do in your college life. Go Phoenix!” – Dillon Lynch, ’15 Computer Science

“The people I met in FOTC were my first and best friends at Elon. Joining FOTC was, hands down, the best decision I made in college.” – Melissa Martlock, ’15 Biology

“FOTC was my family all throughout Elon, and they remain my family today. My best friends from college were all affiliated with FOTC in some way. You have friends from day 1, you meet your best friends, and you meet your family. No matter which section or what role you play, you'll never feel alone and will have unending love and support through the roughest times for the rest of your life.” – Ashley Combs, ’15 Psycology/Neuroscience

… being a part of band at Elon provided me with a place to be myself and to do what I love which is playing music. Being apart of the FOTC has led to irreplaceable experiences like traveling for away games or going to the tournament with pep band. Also, I made lifetime friends through band and it made my time at Elon better.” – Laura Minchew ’13 Business Administration

“Games, friends, spinning, team bonding, getting to move in early. I met the best friends I've ever had in FOTC. We've been in each others weddings, traveled the world together, and spent countless "average" days and nights with each other. I can't imagine my life without them. They have been a wonderful support system and kept me going through some really tough times. FOTC created my family on campus, and I wouldn't have had the experience I did at Elon without marching band. It would not have been as great.”  – Brooke Dyson ’12 Education

“If you like working hard and having fun, this is the choice for you. There's nothing like working hard to put together a great show with friends, celebrating that success, and earning course credit at the same time!” – Wesley Rose ’14 Music Education

What other people are saying about Fire of the Carolinas

“Just a note to tell you how much we all enjoyed hearing the marching band at Saturday's game and our thanks for providing the tickets. Her grandparents are 84 and 86 years of age and have been looking forward to the weekend all semester. She is their only grandchild and it was comforting for them to see how happy she is at Elon and especially with the band family.” – Current FOTC Parent

“We attended the parent’s weekend football game and, aside from the exciting win for the Phoenix, we were extremely impressed by the Fire of the Carolinas marching band.  The music was great but after three years we’ve come to expect that.  What impressed us most was the incredible display of school spirit and dedication shown by the FOTC musicians, color guard and cheerleaders.  With the cold and constant rain, the conditions were miserable but the band stuck it out to the end.  Their uniforms were soaked, their sheet music is ruined and they must have been freezing (we certainly were!) but they played with enthusiasm all the way through the victory celebration.  The football players are expected to play in all weather conditions, but the band, color guard and cheerleaders went above and beyond all expectations.  They deserve some of the credit for the win. “ – Current FOTC Parent

“Our band was awesome, representing Elon University in a magnificent manner.” – Elon Fan

“The Pep Band sounded great at the CAA Tournament! The basketball team and the whole school should be proud of your support!” – Elon Fan