University Bands

WIU Marching Leathernecks


The "Marching Leathernecks" include students from nearly every discipline on the campus of Western Illinois University. These students' total commitment to excellence has marked the legacy of Western Illinois University and the Marching Leathernecks.

The band is known for its powerful sound and unique innovations, which have impressed audiences throughout the Midwest. The Marching Leathernecks regularly support many local and regional events and are privileged to have a close bond with the campus community of Macomb, Illinois.

Their performances have included halftime shows for the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears of the National Football League, as well as exhibition performances at the Bands of America Super-Regional Championships at the TWA/Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri and at the Lucas Oil/RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. Western Illinois University also hosts the Marching Band Classic, a high school marching band competition that attracts bands from Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

The band's greatest sense of pride comes from performing for the Western Illinois University Leatherneck football fans. The Marching Leathernecks perform a pre-game concert (affectionately known as "Pre-game At The Ashtray") and Fighting Leatherneck fans join the band for this event to get ready for a Leatherneck victory.

Traditions are a part of any successful organization and the Marching Leathernecks are no exception. Georgia On My Mind has been an audience favorite since 1982, when Dale Hopper (then director) hid half of the band, which "magically" appeared right in front of the audience in the middle of the song. Also, following each performance, the Marching Leathernecks "circle-up" and perform You'll Never Walk Alone, which strengthens our commitment to each other as individuals and bonds our group as a true musical family.

Whether before, during or after the game, the Marching Leathernecks strive to support its team, entertain its fans, promote the university, and continue the Tradition Of Greatness.

For further information about the Marching Leathernecks or for information on becoming a member, please contact the band office by phone (309-298-1505) or by email (