Western Mustang Band
The Western Mustang Band (WMB) is the award-winning marching band and pep band for the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Its legacy began in 1938 with music faculty alumnus Don Wright (for whom the faculty is now named) and has evolved since then into the band of today.
Through the 1950s and 60s, the band was a "quick-step" organization with 54 playing members, a majorette corps of 7 and a colour party of 9. Its routines were modelled on those of the Michigan State Marching Band but on a much smaller scale. The band played both pre-game and half-time shows for Mustang football games and was known as "the football band" by the Athletic Dept. at Western from which it received some financial support. Routines and music were selected in the spring of the year and an arranger was contracted to write the shows during which the band seldom stopped moving from the time it stepped off one goal line until it arrived at the other end of the field. Musicians were required to learn the marching routines and all music by the time of the first league game in mid-September. No music was permitted on the field so that players could watch the routine moving about them and "keep the line".
The band today comprises brass, percussion, and woodwind instruments played by students from every faculty on campus, and is led by a colour guard and drum major. In the 1950s and 60s there were no woodwinds and no female musicians, a situation which began to change as the band "evolved" in the 1970s.
Unlike many American universities, it is not common for Canadian universities to have marching or pep bands and as such, the Western Mustang Band is a unique asset to the University. There are only two other university-level marching band in Canada, the Queen's Bands of Queen's University, and the McMaster Marching Band. These bands often meet head-to-head every football season, and at the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
The Western Mustang Band plays at every home football game at TD Waterhouse Stadium providing musical interlude between plays, playing half-time and pre-game shows, as well as leading the crowd in the Western Song when the Mustangs score. The band also provides music at many basketball and hockey games. During Homecoming, the WMB leads the Homecoming Parade through the streets of London returning to Western for the Homecoming football game.
Other band activities include a variety of Santa Claus parades, orientation week activities, and social events for the University and the community at large.
- Raptors' Half-Time Show March 2010
- MuchMusic Video Awards Red Carpet June 2009
- London Knights home playoff games Spring 2009
- NHL exhibition game September 2008
- On stage with Let's Go To War at the Virgin Festival in Toronto September 2008
- Montréal St. Patrick's Day Parade with Award for Best Out-Of-Town Unit March 2008
- On the set of Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader? October 2007
- NHL exhibition game September 2007
- Raptors' Half-Time Show March 2006
- Montréal St. Patrick's Day Parade with Award for Best Band March 2006
- Children's Wish Foundation Parade October 2005
- Raptors' Half-Time Show March 2005
- Montréal St. Patrick's Day Parade March 2005
- Children's Hospital Fundraiser November 2004
- John Williams & More Concert February 2004
- Grey Cup Parade 1988
- Can-Am Bowl Halftime show. Tampa Florida 1978
- Played both pre-game and half-time shows at the first "College Bowl" (later Vanier Cup) in
- Grey Cup Parade 1963 (the "fog bowl" game)
- "Western Mustang Band - Constitution". Western Mustang Band. Retrieved 19 February 2012.