My Experience with the Western Marching Band

Picture of Clarence leading the Western Marching Band.Written by: Clarence Wang, Flag Sergeant Western Marching Band  
Photo by: Nyren Mo 

Hi, my name is Clarence Wang, and I am the Flag Sergeant of the Western Marching Band (WMB). The WMB is the official marching band of Western University. We perform at home football games and other athletic events, with a blend of brass, percussion, and woodwind instruments, led by our flag corps and drum major. I wanted to share my journey with WMB in hopes of inspiring you to find your place on campus.

My Journey with WMB 

“Being in the marching band can be a life changer, if not a lifesaver", that's exactly how I felt when we wrapped up the 2023 marching season. This is my second year in the Western Mustang Band and my first year being promoted to a colour guard section leader. In my two years with the band, I've spun and tossed flags at football games and holiday parades, but my journey here was anything but conventional. As an international student from a country with no marching band culture, my accidental entry into this community all started with a curious interaction at a recruitment booth. I remembered it was a simple question - "What instrument do you play?" – and I replied very offhand, "Guitar," that really set the stage for an unexpected experience for me.  

Special memories 

Looking back at my first year, from the only flag alone to my transformation into a Flag Sergeant leading colour guards this year, I've come to realize what makes marching band so special to me. It gave me a place at school where I felt at home and a safe and comfortable place to make friends. One of my favourite moments is the Homecoming game. The hype for the march to the stadium and in the stadium is unreal and when it comes to performing in front of thousands, it was honestly such a thrill and I mean you can just feel the intensity of each second on the field. This experience has not only been about music and performance, but also about growth, community, and finding unexpected opportunities in my life. 

Balancing Band and Study 

Juggling rehearsals, performances, and study is not easy. But the marching band has taught me the art of balance and prioritization, valuable skills that extend far beyond the field. I’ve gotten used to managing my time to make sure that I get my work done around the time commitment of marching band. I have to look ahead at deadlines to plan how to get my work done in time. In one word, it’s the “chance” to push myself to be more organized because that’s what it takes to be part of something bigger. 

Find your place at Western 

As I look forward to what the future holds, both for myself and for WMB, I'm filled with excitement and anticipation. The band is a platform for students to grow and we have a solid foundation right now which I can see the potential of the band is big. No matter the circumstance, it is a place where everyone belongs. 

We welcome students to try out from all walks of life on campus, if you play an instrument and are interested in getting involved, come to our recruiting booth for the fall orientation and connect with us via email at

From my experience, I would recommend you explore your interests on campus as there are many different teams, student clubs, etc. to get involved with and find your sense of belonging. 

I hope to see you next fall at a game or around campus, go stangs!

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