Instrumental Ensembles/MHU Bands

The Mars Hill University Band program provides professional training for both music majors and non-majors alike. The MHU Wind Symphony is the premiere instrumental ensemble on campus. The Mountain Lion Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. J.T. Womack and Dr. Brian Tinkel, contributes to an exciting gameday environment at all Lions home football games.

The ensembles provide high-level artistic experiences for our students and audiences through engaging programming and performances. Our ensembles successfully prepare the next generation of professional musicians and accomplished music educators, while also providing performance opportunities for interested non-music-majors.

Music majors who have participated in the MHU Bands have gone on to have successful careers as notable music educators throughout the country, completed graduate study at prestigious conservatories and schools of music throughout the country, perform professionally, and hold positions at colleges and universities. Non-majors use the skills and experiences they gained in college band to impact their leadership and professional success on a daily basis.


To foster artistic experiences of the highest level that inspire, build community, celebrate diversity, and develop exceptional musicians through engaging and representative programming that connects our students and audiences while serving as a resource to local music educators and school band programs.

We seek to:

  • Provide opportunities for excellence
  • Create a community where every voice is heard and valued
  • Connect and engage with the local community
  • Celebrate tradition while fostering innovation
  • Champion new music that celebrates experience
  • Maintain a regional and national professional presence




Summer Music Camp


If you are interested in learning more about Instrumental Ensembles/MHU Bands, start here!


Several of our students receive scholarships or performance grants. The first step in obtaining additional funding for your education is by expressing interest in joining the band. You can do so using the link above and we’ll be in touch!

Mars Hill University Wind Symphony


The Mars Hill University Wind Symphony is the principal instrumental ensemble in the Department of Music. The Wind Symphony performs concerts both on and off campus and on an annual concert tour. The ensemble has a notable performance history and has been featured at conferences of the North Carolina Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division.

The MHU Wind Symphony performs a wide array of compositions from standard wind repertoire and transcriptions to a variety of contemporary and representative works, including commissions and world premieres.

Admission to the Wind Symphony is by audition and is open to music majors and non-majors.


Wind Symphony Auditions

Auditions are held the first week of classes. Auditions will consist of major scales and excerpts selected from the concert repertoire.

Instrumental Ensembles

The Instrumental Area hosts a wide variety of other small/chamber ensembles. These include Jazz Ensemble, World Percussion Ensembles, and small ensembles specific to particular instrument families.

Mountain Lion Marching Band (MLMB)

J.T. Womack & Brian Tinkel, directors

The Mountain Lion Marching Band is the sound behind the MHU Lions football gameday experience. In addition to performing at all home football games, the MLMB occasionally performs on tour and in exhibition.

The MLMB is a fun and exciting performance opportunity that brings energy to Meares Stadium while providing unique experiences for our students. Ours shows connect with the audience through unexpected, fun, and entertaining ways that redefine what a college marching band can be.

A unique component of the MLMB is the focus on student leadership, student teaching, and a focus on developing successful music educators. Students are provided ample opportunities to work behind the scenes to develop the band, including assisting with design and instruction. Involvement and leadership at this level is a critical component in teaching future music teachers and is an important mission to our commitment to experiential learning within the Mars Hill Bands.


The MLMB is family that is there for you before you even arrive on campus! We have a culture of caring and commitment to each other. This means we welcome students of all backgrounds who seek to be a part of organization greater than any one person.

We create memorable experiences and special performance that will challenge, grow, and inspire you. We seek your involvement in making the MLMB your band. And at MHU, that’s not just a catch phrase, it defines everything we do.

Mountain Lion Marching Band



Detail defines excellence and our commitment to each other and the band ensures we perform at the highest level. Our approach provides a show experience and gameday atmosphere unique to any other college around. For music education majors, the hands-on learning opportunities are second-to-none when learning to teach and run a marching band. We embrace the experiential nature of a liberal arts campus like Mars Hill.


  • Flutes/Piccolos
  • Clarinets
  • Saxophones
  • Trumpets
  • Mellophones
  • Trombones
  • Baritones
  • Tubas
  • Percussion (Drumline, Front Ensemble)
  • Color Guard


Drum Major | Lizzie Peterson
Percussion Captain/Visual Captain/Uniform Warden | Judah Barak
Instrument Warden | Gus Emrick
Librarian | Wesley Owen
Color Guard Instructor | Sarah Fowler