College football certainly wouldn't be what it is today without the rich traditions and entertainment that university marching bands bring to millions every Saturday as part of the game-day experience.
From rubbing elbows with rock and roll royalty to a halftime show for muggles and wizards alike, here's just a taste of some of the most interesting sidenotes from this past week in college marching band.
Tar Heel surprise
After 2 long months, Dad finally came home...and what a surprise awaited him! Many Thanks to Jeff Fuchs and the UNC Marching Tar Heels for giving Gordon Hamrick the Homecoming of a lifetime! Get your tissues and make sure the sound is up! We were especially honored to meet Jack and Abby, recipients of the Band Scholarships Dad made possible.Posted by Dorothy Hamrick Sloan on Saturday, October 7, 2017
University of North Carolina alum Gordon Hamrick recently received a special surprise when a contingent of the Marching Tar Heels played their way into his backyard after he returned home after two months in the hospital and rehabilitation facilities. Drum major in 1952, Hamrick has been a longtime supporter of the band, establishing a scholarship through the university for music students and attending games whenever possible. “We wanted to bring a little of the game to him since he couldn't get here,” UNC band director Jeffrey Fuchs told the Shelby Star.
The Wizarding World of the Marching Chiefs
During Saturday's halftime show in Tallahassee, the Florida State Marching Chiefs paid tribute to the 20th anniversary of the publication of J.K. Rowling's first “Harry Potter” book and the worldwide phenomenon that has ensued. Before launching into a flurry of tunes from the film series, audience members were told to “grab a handful of Fizzing Whizzbees, hop on your Nimbus 2000, and join us as we journey into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”
Ohio State goes pro
With Ohio State football on a bye week, the OSU Marching Band headed north to bring its trademark Script Ohio to the pre-game of Sunday's NFL matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Badgers swing with rock and roll royalty
Yesterday during the Fifth Quarter we welcomed Steve Miller as a special guest conductor to direct us in performing the UW fan favorite and hit song he released 40 years ago this month -- Swingtown.Posted by Badger Band: The University of Wisconsin Marching Band on Sunday, October 22, 2017
As the University of Wisconsin Marching Band launched into the Steve Miller Band's “Swingtown” during its post-game performance on Saturday, behind the conducting baton was none other than Steve Miller himself. Miller, who is a 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and UW-Madison alum, was in town after a performance at the university on Friday.
A taste of Chicago in South Bend
Here is yesterday's halftime show featuring the band Chicago! A collaboration with a Hall of Fame rock group combined with a huge rivalry win made for an amazing night under the lights. (Footage courtesy of NBC Sports)Posted by University of Notre Dame Band on Sunday, October 22, 2017
Also playing host to Rock & Roll Hall of Famers on Saturday, members of the University of Notre Dame's Band of the Fighting Irish took the field at halftime with Chicago during their annual rivalry game against USC. The Fighting Irish have long held a special connection to the rock band. The late Notre Dame faculty member Father George Wiskirchen is often credited with encouraging founding Chicago member James Pankow's musical aspirations in high school.
Cornhuskers march 22 in 22
Members of the University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band this weekend wrapped up a fundraising campaign in support of the efforts of the Stop Soldier Suicide nonprofit organization. With their own take on the “22 in 22” campaign that raises awareness of the epidemic of veteran suicides, band members successfully marched 22 miles over 22 days.
Marching in memory of
In a touching tribute to North Dakota State University student Danie Thomssen who passed away after a car crash earlier this year, the Gold Star Marching Band has retired “A-17,” the drill number of the saxophone-playing freshman. “I know she'll always be on the field, and no one has her number now,” a bandmate of Thomssen told ABC affiliate WDAY in Fargo.
Green Machine a part of the rhythm nation
Mason Madness 2017 – Rhythm Nation
Our performance from #MasonMadness 2017 – Rhythm Nation! #ChooseMasonPosted by Doc Nix & The Green Machine on Monday, October 16, 2017
For those ready for the end of football season and for the focus to shift to the basketball court, take note. The George Mason University Green Machine, renowned as one of the nation's best collegiate pep bands, reminded us that the start of the NCAA basketball season is nearly here. The group recently made its annual headline appearance at “Mason Madness,” an over-the-top entertainment extravaganza that tips off the basketball season at the Fairfax, Virginia university.