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New Scholarship Investments Bring Opportunities for Students Across ESU

Band, Spirit Teams Open to All Majors

Emporia State is proud to introduce the launch of a new series of scholarships aimed at making college more accessible and affordable to students in Hornet Nation.

The first announcement brings sizeable scholarships to students in Athletic Bands, which includes the Emporia State Marching Hornets, ESU Colorguard, Stingers Dance Team + Hornet Cheer. These new scholarships begin for new and returning students in fall 2024.

Fall Semester Scholarships:

  • Year 1 — $2,000
  • Year 2 — $2,500
  • Year 3 — $2,750
  • Year 4 and above — $3,000

Spring Semester Scholarships (no marching field events):

  • Year 1 — $1,500
  • Year 2 — $1,750
  • Year 3 — $2,000
  • Year 4 and above — $2,250

These scholarships are provided by Emporia State University and the generous donors of Hornet Nation, including the late Russell Davis.

“One of the reasons the Emporia State Athletic Bands is being chosen for this scholarship fund is that well over half of our ensembles are non-music majors,” explained Dr. Bill Woodworth, director of Athletic Bands. “Having these funds for these ensembles is benefitting the entire university.”

Three components of the band program require tryouts — Colorguard, Stingers and Hornet Cheer including Corky (ESU’s mascot) tryouts:

  • Colorguard: April 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Stingers Dance Team:
    • Workshop: March 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Auditions: April 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Hornet Cheer + Corky (ESU mascot): May 4, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Any students interested in Colorguard, Stingers Dance Team, Hornet Cheer + Corky — including current high school students planning to attend ESU — can complete online forms at this link:


The Marching Hornets has room for more members, no tryouts are required as of now. The program launched a new pep band in fall 2023 that plays at home volleyball competitions. Named “Volleyband,” this group does require tryouts and members receive an additional stipend of $500.

Any students, including high school students, interested in ESU bands or other music scholarships, can complete an online form: