It’s a great day to be a Cardinal! The Pride of Mid-America is so excited to share LaFollette Field with our incoming freshmen and can’t wait to show them the ropes. There is a lot that goes into prepping for our football games, homecoming, and any other events we do to support the cardinal red and white. With Early Week fast approaching, we want to make sure that everyone is ready. Here are our tips and tricks for the busy week!


 “Early Week,” as we call it here, is just like band camp in high school, except we bring the hype all day, every day! Below is a quick list of the essentials from us to you for prepping for our busiest week of the semester:

  • instrument*
  • drumline: snares and tenors must bring their own sticks
    • bassline will be provided with sticks
    • practice pad
  • color guard: white tape (for rifles) & black tape (for flags)
  • music (pregame, stand cheers & show)*
  • lyre & flip folder*
  • pencils*
  • athletic clothing & shoes*
    • bring lots to change into between breaks!
  • required spirit wear*
    • links to spirit wear will be posted soon
    • it’s smart to buy a couple t-shirts and gloves!
  •  sunscreen
  •  hats/sunglasses
  • rain jacket
  • band-aids/blister pads
  • ibuprofen/Tylenol
  • deodorant
  • hygiene products
  • trash bags
    • when it rains, you want to protect your belongings
  •  the BAND App & UDBapp Pro*
    • this can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play Store for free

*= mandatory…but the others certainly help! 😉


We’re always willing to lend a hand in helping you all with your music, drill, etc., but there are a few things we find it super helpful to have ready when you show up too. First off, you should pay your dues! The $85 fee, which allows us to afford music rights, is due July 15! You can click here to pay it, as well as order any required apparel for the season. Soon, you will receive an email from our band director that holds all the music you can start practicing now before Early Week even arrives! These include stand cheers, pregame music, and the music for all our shows! You really only need to have stand cheers and pregame music ready to go, but it’s never too early to start practicing! Don’t worry about the movement yet…Early Week is a real “go-with-the-flow” style.


Early Week is more than just basics, you know! This is an opportunity for you to really get to know the band and how we operate. At the end of each day, you should stick around for some exciting events. They are the perfect chance to bond with people not just in your section, but the entire band. We can’t say too much but know that you are in for a world of fun! You can look forward to dress-ups days (follow our social media to find the themes!), amazing speakers throughout the week, Snapchat takeovers (add us! @ballstatepoma), digital camera projects, our traditional scavenger hunt, and more!




Another important aspect of POMA is our POMA Pal program, a student led organization within the band. POMA Pals’ goal is to ensure that all incoming members of The Pride feel welcomed and comfortable joining us! All first-year members of POMA are partnered with a “crowd leader,” which is the term we use for upperclassmen. These upperclassmen will do anything and everything they can to make sure you’re settled into the band. They’ll be there to offer you advice on performing, how to prep for practice, or just about Ball State in general! If you ever hear the names “Mama Bird” or “Papa Bird,” just know that those are terms we use to refer to the POMA Pal organizers. This year, our Mama Bird is Faith Young, and Papa Bird is Ethan Atterson! If you have any questions, they are always there to help! Outside of organizing partnerships for the season, POMA Pals also helps organize activities and events that help build the community and companionship within The Pride. You can expect to hear from your POMA Pal mid-July, so keep an eye out for them!

Sometimes, people who don’t study music in college choose to finish their marching career in high school. But the most exciting part about POMA is that it is truly for everyone! You’ll find telecommunication majors in the baritone section, public relations majors in the clarinet section, or nursing majors in the color guard. You should never fret that you can’t handle the workload of rehearsals and games; you don’t need a degree in marching band to love it, do you? The goal of POMA is to bring pride and excitement to Ball State University through music and movement!



We are called the Pride for a reason. Our love for our university is strong and we wish to extend it to as many people as possible! We are looking forward to meeting all the amazing freshmen and new members joining us this fall. Make sure you follow all our social media (provided below) to keep up with events and announcements regarding dress-up days, spirit wear, and more!

We’ll see you soon!! As always, Chirp Chirp! & Go Cards!


Instagram: @ballstatepoma

TikTok: @ballstatepoma

Snapchat: @ballstatepoma

Twitter: @ballstatepoma

Facebook: The Ball State “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band

Written by: Olivia Sloniker & Faith Young

Photos by: The photographers of POMA