October 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s soccer controls its own destiny as conference tournament approaches -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass soccer deploys new formation with Keys, Jess -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass calling on young swimmers to continue strong start to the year -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WMU, Ohio, NIU pick up wins in busy MAC weekend -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A comprehensive guide to the Ebola virus -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trio of freshmen leading UMass hockey’s offense early in the season -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A guide to comic collecting in the Pioneer Valley -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Letter: What’s behind the curtains on Birthright trips? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FBI director’s fear-mongering view of data encryption is off the mark -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UMass Permaculture Initiative to add three new programs -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gov. Deval Patrick visits Amherst, awards $1.5 million grant for downtown development -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UHS offers more accessible vaccination clinics as flu season nears -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gamard: Is gluten really bad or just a fad? -

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three new students appointed as SGA special assistants -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Allymohamed scores game winner after suffering facial injury against Boston University -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loaded weekend against Marist, Keene State challenges UMass club hockey -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UMass football seeing improvement on both the offensive and defensive lines -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Remembering Derek Jeter: an appraisal -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yellowcard switches things up on “Lift a Sail” -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Campus Sustainability Day to take place Wednesday -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bleacher Report names Minuteman Marching Band among top in nation

Editor’s note: Figures used in this article were on an older version of the Minutemen Marching Band website and are currently not accurate.

(Courtesy umass.edu/band)

The University of Massachusetts Minutemen may not have finished near the top in football this year, but at least their band did.

Sports news web site bleacherreport.com’s Geoffrey Tanner named the Minuteman Marching Band among the six best college athletics bands in the nation.

Tanner lauded band director George N. Parks for his commitment to enriching students’ drumming aptitudes in founding the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, while going so far as to call percussion instructor and Drum Corps International Hall of Famer Thomas Hannum “legendary.”

“Their band director is well known for teaching thousands of high school drum majors how to lead,” wrote Tanner. “Their percussion instructor is legendary. They perform one show a year (they do play a few other shows each year, but concentrate on the main one) and perfect it to musical perfection. Every high school band looks up to them …”

The Minuteman Marching Band was ranked alongside some fairly steep competition.

The other five schools included on Tanner’s list were Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, Purdue University, the University of Texas, the University of California and West Carolina University.

The band, which is informally called “Power and Class,” performs at home football games throughout the fall, in addition to a weekly postgame set.

The band is composed of over 350 members and has performed at such prestigious events as presidential inaugurations in 1981, 1985 and 2001, in addition to performing at the Bands of America Grand Nationals, the premier marching band event in the nation, in 1993, 2001 and 2004. The Minuteman band also won college marching bands’ most prestigious award, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy, awarded to the band which has exhibited “the highest of musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas, and which has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a period of several years,” according to the band’s website.

The band has a legacy of excellence. It was organized in 1935 by Mr. Charles Farnum, though it was not actually the first band at UMass. The first band, according to the Minuteman Band’s site, was the Mass Aggie Band, organized by First Lieutenant Charles Morris in the late 19 century, when UMass was Massachusetts Agricultural College and students were all male and all enlisted in the military.

From there, the band evolved into something more like its current form, as by the 1930s the band contained broader instrumentation and incorporated coed drum majors.

George N. Parks has been the band’s director since 1977, leading it to numerous accolades and even helping the band become the subject of a documentary, “Building Power and Class,” a 1994 film by documentarian Tony Mussari.

The band contains 11 sections; flutes and piccolos, clarinets, tenor saxophones, alto saxophones, trumpets, mellophones, euphoniums, trombones, tubas, percussion and colorguard.

Flute and piccolo had 27 performers listed on its website, while there were 34 players in the clarinet section, 21 members of the tenor saxophone group, the alto saxophone site did not list a roster, there were nine trumpeters, calling themselves the “hogline,” the mellophone section did not list a roster, nor did the euphoniums, there were 24 trombonists, 20 tuba players, and the percussion section, comprised of snare drums, tenor drums, bass drums, cymbals and a front ensemble, had 35 members, among the largest groupings.   (see Editor’s Note at top of article)

While it may not rival some of its marching band competition on the gridiron, the band certainly finds itself in some good company. Ohio State’s band performs throughout the year and encompasses some 20 sections, while Michigan’s incorporates 14, playing a new song at every halftime show, Purdue’s band has the world’s largest bass drum, and Western Carolina infuses a “soul train” section into their band, livening up the conventional format of the marching band.

Last October 17, ground was broken for a new 15,000 square foot $5.7 million Minuteman Marching Band Building, which will permanently house the band, replacing their temporary home in Grinnell Arena.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at sbutterfield@dailycollegian.com.

Comments
7 Responses to “Bleacher Report names Minuteman Marching Band among top in nation”
  1. Joe Cool says:

    and go umass

  2. Chris says:

    “there were nine trumpeters”

    Hm. 9 = 71? Well, it’s a good approximation I guess.

  3. Nate Sullivan says:

    While I certainly appreciate the Collegian bringing this national aknowledgement to the attention of the UMass community, I REALLY wish they would do a little research before writing ANY article. Besides the fact that the nationally-reknown Drum Major Academy has NOTHING to do with drumming (but rather with creating confident, competitent student leaders,) and that marching band instrumentation is pretty-much standard nation-wide and thus doesn’t need to be listed, but to not even accurately represent the number of members in each section correctly?

    Please do not get me wrong, I love that you realize how important this ensemble is… I just wish you would spend as much time researching this article as you would for anything else you are writing about.

  4. Nick M. says:

    Congrats to the marching band! You guys certainly deserve it!

  5. Rose says:

    Nine trumpeters???… was that the first year of the band… My daughter graduated last year and was one of, I believe 68 trumpets. The band is 350 members strong.. Give a take a few..

  6. gracelynnn says:

    umm needs to tell more names of the people and all that crap):i love gatlin(:and i love and hate youuuuuu

  7. mashaee(: says:

    awwwwwwwwe congrats people:) i dont know you:P hahahaha:D i love youuuuuuu<3

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