Michigan Marching Band

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Michigan Marching Band
Michigan Wolverines logo.svg
SchoolUniversity of Michigan
LocationAnn Arbor, MI
ConferenceBig Ten
DirectorJohn Pasquale
Assistant DirectorRichard Frey
Fight song"The Victors"
Michigan Marching Band Uniform.png

The Michigan Marching Band (also known as the University of Michigan Marching Band or simply MMB) is the official marching band of the University of Michigan.[1] The band performs at all Michigan Wolverines football home games, select away games, and numerous concerts, pep rallies, and parades.[2] As a student musical ensemble,[3] the MMB evolved from the original Michigan Band of twenty-two players in 1896 to today's band of over 400 members.[4][5]


Though there is evidence of one or more bands formed at the University of Michigan between 1844 and 1859,[6] that evidence is scant and no direct tie has been demonstrated to provide a clear and continuous link between those early groups and the Michigan Marching Band of today.[7]

On November 13, 1896, twenty-two musicians from all across the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus responded to an invitation by Harry dePont and attended a meeting in Harris Hall with the intent of organizing a band for the university. At this meeting, Ray P. Warren was elected as the group's first conductor. In a bid to secure an adequate rehearsal venue from the university for the newly formed band, dePont volunteered the band to provide the music for the Law School's upcoming observance of Washington's Birthday. This was considered to be one of the most important events of the school year. Delivering on dePont's promise, the band's first public performance was on-stage in University Hall at that celebration on February 22, 1897. University president James Burrill Angell was satisfied with the band's performance and granted dePont's request for rehearsal space in Room A of University Hall. By 1898, the band was being referred to as the "University of Michigan Band" and had become an integral part of the Michigan tradition by playing at the football games.[8]

In these early years, the university provided no financial support for the band. The ensemble disbanded in early 1903 amid a series of leadership changes, but reunited that fall before performing in its first "snow bowl" at the game against the University of Chicago on Thanksgiving Day. The following year, on October 18, 1904, the band reintroduced the playing of The Victors at Michigan football games. Eugene J. Fischer became the band's conductor with the start of the 1906 season.[9]

After Michigan moved out of the Western Football Conference during the 1911 season, J. Fred Lawton and Earl Vincent Moore composed the fight song "Varsity," which became an immediate hit. Fischer made the song a standard part of the band's football game performances. George Olsen became the marching band's first drum major in 1914 and inadvertently started the "Goal Post Toss" tradition during the game against Syracuse University. During this time, the band was also changing its performance style to incorporate military drill techniques. Thanks to Fischer's prolonged efforts to secure university funding for the band, Wilfred Wilson was hired by the university in 1915 as the ensemble's new conductor.[9]

The Nu Chapter of the band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, was established to promote and serve the University bands in 1925. Around this time, the university purchased Morris Hall and allocated it as the band's permanent "home." By 1926, membership in the band had grown to nearly 100 musicians prior to Fischer's departure. Nicholas Falcone was appointed as his successor in 1927.[9] That same year, construction of Michigan Stadium was completed and dedicated.[10] The band became an adjunct part of the University in 1929.[9]

The 1920 Michigan Marching Band from the Michiganensian yearbook 1921.
Michigan Marching Band performs Yellow and Blue at halftime of the Chicago game, 1920

During the Michigan-Ohio State football game in 1932, the MMB performed the first "script Ohio." That field formation was subsequently embellished by the Ohio State University Marching Band, which continues to perform it today.[11] The band performed at the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago in October 1933.[12] Falcone was on medical leave in 1934, and Bernard Hirsch served as acting conductor. Falcone resigned in 1935 after a long struggle with hearing loss, and William D. Revelli, director of the award-winning Hobart, Indiana, high school band, was hired as his successor. In 1936, the term, "Marching Band" came into use referring to the portion of the band that played at football games. This group had previously been known as the "Varsity Band" or the "Fighting Band." Upon his appointment, Revelli required all male wind instrument majors at the university to participate in the Marching Band. To raise funds for a new band facility, Revelli oversaw an all-campus talent show known as "Varsity Night." This annual event would later evolve into the Band-O-Rama concert series.[13]

1949 Michigan Band performing a halftime show in Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor MI.

Revelli formally aligned the band with the School of Music in 1940. By this time, the band had been named as "All-American Band" by national sportswriters for two consecutive years.[14] The band was able to continue performing during the years of World War II despite frequent personnel substitutions resulting from military service activations and thanks to the band's integration with the ROTC program at the university. By the end of the war, the band's home had been relocated to Harris Hall in 1946 and membership in the band stood at 131 men in 1947. During that season, the band first appeared on television in the game against Michigan State on September 27. That was followed by the band's first appearance at the Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 1948[9] where a new, high-step style was introduced after seeing it used by the Ohio State University Marching Band in November. The Lambda Chapter of the band sorority, Tau Beta Sigma was established in 1948. In 1949, Revelli and his assistant director, Jack K. Lee, organized and hosted the first University of Michigan Band Day. This event featured twenty-nine high school bands invited from throughout the state of Michigan marching in combination with the MMB in Michigan Stadium, a tradition that continued for decades to come.[15] Assistant Director Jack Lee created the band's entry from the Michigan Stadium tunnel at 220 steps per minute, which is still incorporated in the pregame show. Lee also created the first dance routines for college marching bands, and this tradition continues to the present day. The band replaced french horns with alto horns in 1948.

The band performed at the Michigan-Army game in Yankee Stadium on October 14, 1950, winning rave reviews for its performance. Life Magazine featured the band's New York City performance in its October 30, 1950, edition that included the classic Alfred Eisenstadt photograph of children marching behind drum major Dick Smith.[16] During Homecoming Weekend in November 1950, sixty-five former Michigan bandsmen attended a reunion which resulted in the formation of the University of Michigan Band Alumni Association. [9] MMB classics "M Fanfare," "Temptation" and "Hawaiian War Chant," all arranged by Jerry Bilik, were introduced later that year. In 1953, the Alumni Band began to join the regular band playing and marching at the Homecoming pre-game and halftime shows.[17] George R. Cavender returned to the University of Michigan in 1952 as Assistant Director of Bands. The band was featured on a color broadcast of the "Today Show" with host Dave Garroway in October 1955.[18] The band performed in the 1951 Rose Bowl.

Several music albums recorded by the Symphony Band, but credited to "University of Michigan Band," starting in 1961 documented the continued, functional specialization of the various ensembles comprising the Michigan Bands at that time. The Varsity Band played at basketball games and campus affairs. The Symphony Band performed in more traditional concert settings. The Marching Band performed at football games.[6][19] The band received new uniforms, percussion equipment, and fiberglass sousaphones in 1962.[20] The annual Band-O-Rama concert was first held in November 1964.[21] The concert serves as a showcase for several University bands and plays to a capacity crowd in Hill Auditorium. The band first performed the "Floating Block M" formation in 1969 that is still used during the pregame performance. The band performed its acclaimed "Peace Show" at the nationally televised Michigan-Ohio State football game in 1969.[22] The band performed in the 1965 Rose Bowl.[9]

In 1970, Carl Grapentine became the "Voice of the Michigan Bands" and is now also the "Voice of Michigan Stadium."[23][24] The performance block had grown to 210 members.[25] Dr. Revelli retired from the band in the summer of 1971, succeeded by Cavender. Women were allowed to join the marching band starting in 1972. The MMB performed as part of the halftime show at 1973's Super Bowl VII.[26] A new facility, named Revelli Hall, was built to house the marching band. The MMB's practice field formally known as Wines Field was renamed Elbel Field. The band unveiled new uniforms during the 1975 season, and acquired new brass sousaphones for the 1978 season. With the growing success of the football team under coach Bo Schembechler, Band Day was discontinued. Cavender retired in 1978 and was succeeded that year by Glenn Richter.[9] The MMB performed at the 1970[25], 1972[27], 1977[28], and 1978[29] Rose Bowl games, as well as at the 1976 Orange Bowl game.

Eric Becher succeeded Richter as the MMB's conductor in 1980. Membership in the band continued to grow. The band appeared on the television special, A Bob Hope Celebration on October 22, 1981.[30] In 1982, the MMB performed in Super Bowl XVI[31] and was selected as the inaugural winner of the Sudler Trophy,[32] receiving the award during halftime of the 1983 Rose Bowl game. The MMB also performed at the final game of the 1984 World Series[33] in Tiger Stadium[34] and survived a mob attack in the riot that followed.[35] In 1989, Jerry Luckhardt became the MMB's conductor.[9] The MMB performed at the 1981,[36] 1983,[37] 1987,[38] and 1989 Rose Bowl[39] games. The band also performed at the 1981 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, the 1984 Sugar Bowl, the 1986 Fiesta Bowl, and the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl.

Dr. Gary Lewis became Director of the MMB in 1990. MMB Halftime shows during this time regularly featured the 225 members of its "performance block." The Elbel Club was founded by alumnus Donald Shepherd in 1990 with the goal of providing ongoing financial assistance to the band. On November 20, 1992, the MMB appeared as musical guests on the ABC television variety show, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.[40] The band received new uniforms in 1994. Jeff Grogan directed the band for the 1995 season. Dr. Kevin Sedatole was appointed as Director of the MMB in 1996, with Grogan remaining as Assistant Director.[41] Dr. James Tapia was appointed as Director of the MMB in 1999.[42] The MMB performed at the Rose Bowl in 1990[43], 1992, 1993, and 1998. The band also performed at the 1991 Gator Bowl, the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl, the 1994 Holiday Bowl, the 1995 Alamo Bowl, the 1997 Outback Bowl, the 1999 Citrus Bowl, and the 2000 Orange Bowl.

In 2001, long-time Director of Bands Dr. H. Robert Reynolds retired and was succeeded in that position by Dr. Michael Haithcock. Jamie L. Nix was hired as the 13th Director of the MMB that same year. Also in 2001, the MMB elected Karen England as its first female Drum Major.[44] On January 2, 2007, having performed at the Rose Bowl the previous day, The Michigan Marching Band attended the reception of President Gerald Ford's body in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The MMB honored President Ford's funeral procession with somber performances of "The Yellow and Blue" and "The Victors."[45] Dr. Scott Boerma succeeded Nix as director of the band that same year.[46] The MMB performed at the 2004, 2005, and 2007 Rose Bowl games. The band also performed at the 2001 Citrus Bowl, the 2002 Citrus Bowl, he 2003 Outback Bowl, the 2005 Alamo Bowl, and the 2008 Capital One Bowl.

In 2013, Dr. John Pasquale became Director of the MMB. He replaced Dr. Scott Boerma, who announced his resignation as director following the 2013 Outback Bowl to take the position of Director of Bands at his alma mater, Western Michigan University.[47][48] Dr. Andrea Brown was hired as the band's Associate Director, becoming the first female Associate Director at the University of Michigan.[49] The MMB performed at the 2011 Gator Bowl, the 2012 Sugar Bowl, the 2013 Outback Bowl, the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the 2016 Citrus Bowl, the 2016 Orange Bowl, the 2018 Outback Bowl, and the 2018 Peach Bowl.

Performance Block[edit]

The Performance Block is the subset of the MMB that performs pre-game and halftime. An additional subset is called "halftime only" which adds to the performance block for halftime. The halftime block usually consists of an additional 6 piccolos, 6 alto saxophones, 12 horns, 3 bass drums, 4 snare drums, 4 tenor drums, 6 cymbals, and 6 to 12 sousaphones (depending on the drill requirements).

The rank leaders along with the MMB staff decide which members in block are to be challenged for their position in block. This method lessens tension in the band as a member does not need to challenge an individual member of the performance block for their position. There are no minimum or maximum requirements for challenges, and some members may not be challenged every week.

Challenges are typically held after rehearsal on Fridays for the following game. Challenges consist of a halftime marching audition while playing a musical excerpt from the weekly show, followed by performing a portion of the pre-game show. Results are posted the following Monday.

Students who do not make the performance block, called reserves, spend the week rehearsing marching fundamentals on an adjacent practice field while the performance block learns the show to prepare for the game. The reserves are no less a part of the MMB, as they still march to and from the stadium, perform in the stands during football games, and are often involved with the halftime shows.

Band Week[edit]

Every summer during the two weeks before the first home game, the MMB holds its "Band Week." New members, rank leaders, drumline, and flags arrive first to rehearse marching styles and traditional music. New members learn marching fundamentals from the Drum Major and Rank Leaders. The returning members join a few days later and the music audition is held to determine the players' chairs. After the returning members have been through a couple days of marching rehearsal, "First Look" is held. During First Look the entire band performs glide step and a pre-game portion which are both observed and scored by the staff. These performances are given in groups of 8. After the initial performance block is set, it devotes the remainder of Band Week to rehearsing the performance of pre-game and halftime for the first home game of the season. The reserves spend the remainder of Band Week practicing for the next challenge.



Dr. John D. Pasquale is the current director of the Michigan Marching Band.[47]

Past Directors of the Michigan Marching Band:[9]

  • Scott Boerma (2007–12)
  • Jamie L. Nix (2001–06)
  • James R. Tapia (1999-2001)
  • Kevin L. Sedatole (1996–99)
  • Jeff Grogan (1995–96)
  • Gary J. Lewis (1990–95)
  • Jerry Luckhardt (1989–90)
  • Eric A. Becher (1980–89)
  • Glenn Richter (1979–80)
  • George R. Cavender (1971–79)
  • William D. Revelli (1935–71)
  • Bernard Hirsch (1934-35)
  • Nicholas Falcone (1927–34)
  • Norman Larson (1926–27)
  • Captain Wilfred Wilson (1915–26)
  • Eugene "Ike" Fisher (1906–14)

Associate Director[edit]

Dr. Richard Frey is the Associate Director of the Michigan Marching Band. He succeeds Dr. Andrea Brown in the position after her departure to assume the Assistant Director of Bands position at the University of Maryland. Dr. Frey was most recently the Assistant Director of Bands at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from Michigan State University in 2011.[50][51]

Graduate Students and Instructors[edit]

Working directly under the directors are graduate student instructors. Graduate students in the music school or former MMB members that are graduate students in other University programs are hired to help direct the MMB and also to oversee student staff positions. The MMB also has a color guard instructor, Joan Noble-Pruett, and a percussion instructor, Chuck Ricotta, that each oversee their respective sections to ensure the visual and rhythmic elements of the band are perfect.[52]

Drum Major[edit]

Recent Drum Majors[53]
Years Name
2018–19 Kelly Bertoni
2017 Kevin Zhang
2016 McKenna Thayer
2015 Matthew Cloutier
2013–14 Jeff Okala
2011–12 Jeffrey McMahon
2009–10 David Hines, Jr.
2007–08 Cody Martin
2006 Iden Baghdadchi
2004–05 Dennis Lee
2002–03 Matt Cavanaugh
2001 Karen England
1999–2000 Gregg Whitmore
1996–98 Ramon Johnson
1995 Jason Wuellner
1993–94 Matthew Pickus
1992 Greg Macklem
1990–91 Rodney Weir
1988–89 Jeff Stokes
1984–85, 1987 Andy Purvis
1986 Kevin Ross
1981–83 Steve Roberts
1978–80 Guy Bordo
1975–77 Jeff Wilkins
1972-74 Albert Ahronheim
1969-71 Mark Brown
1966-68 Dick Follett
1965 Lynn Cooper
1965 Dave Smith
1960-64 Bill McCann
1958-59 Gary Kocher
1954-57 Gurdon "Champ" Patton
1954 Vic Walton
1953 Floyd Zarbock
1950-52 Dick Smith
1948-49 Fred Briedenbach

The Michigan Marching Band has one drum major, commonly referred to as the "Man Up Front" or "Woman Up Front," for the entire ensemble. Like in most Big Ten bands, the MMB drum major is not a conducting position. The drum major provides whistle commands to provide song tempos and parade instructions. While it is not required of the position, most drum majors perform twirling routines during the halftime show. The drum major is also responsible for teaching proper marching techniques during Band Week. The drum major is best known for the back bend performed during pregame.

Auditions for this position are held yearly in a two-phase process. The first phase is held in front of the MMB staff which narrows the field of candidates. The second phase is held at the band's spring meeting and the final vote is decided by the current members of the MMB.

Section Leaders[edit]

Section leaders are the heads of their sections and are responsible for the music performance. They hold weekly music rehearsals for their section. Section leaders are determined by the staff and generally announced at the "Spring Meeting," traditionally held on the last day of Winter semester.

Rank Leaders[edit]

Rank Leaders are determined in phases. Generally each year during the final stages of the winter semester, band members are invited to nominate people in their own section to be considered for a Rank Leader Candidate spot. Rank Leader Candidates are then selected by the staff and announced during the Spring Meeting or sometimes later. Rank Leader Candidates then participate in a retreat to learn how to teach the marching technique before Band Week begins. Rank Leaders help the incoming members learn the marching techniques, then have two days of review with all other returning members and the incoming members. Band members are then given the chance to fill out Rank Leader evaluations. The staff then narrows down the potential candidates to the actual Rank Leaders for the year, taking the evaluations into account.

During the season, Rank Leaders are in charge of the marching position and style of 12 members on the field. They are given full drill charts to ensure that their rank members are in formation. To save paper, regular members are given coordinate sheets to give their position on the field by numbers rather than graphically.


Saturday Morning Rehearsal[edit]

The Michigan Marching Band practices on Elbel Field in the morning prior to each home game. Practice typically begins at 7:00 AM for a game with a noon kickoff. The band begins rehearsal with music warm-ups and a review of the halftime music. Next, it rehearses transition elements of the pregame performance. Lastly, the band reviews the drill for the halftime performance. Music is either sung or played at "half volume" during this portion of the rehearsal to preserve the band members' embouchure for the game.

Step Show[edit]

Revelli Hall

The Michigan Drumline performs the Step Show on the steps of Revelli Hall about an hour and a half before kickoff. The group runs through warm-ups, some pieces arranged specifically for the drumline, the parade cadence series, and closes with "Temptation" and "Hawaiian War Chant."

March to the Stadium[edit]

Following the Step Show, the Michigan Marching Band lines up on the steps of Revelli Hall for inspection by the drum major before stepping off to the stadium. Once this is complete, the band begins parading to the stadium by moving out onto Hoover Street. The parade route goes down Hoover Street, turning left onto Greene Street and then into the Michigan Stadium parking lot. The band then stops in the parking lot among tailgaters and performs a shortened version of "The Victors" the band commonly refers to as "Parking Lot Victors." Once finished, they progress to the mouth of the tunnel of Michigan Stadium where "Let's Go Blue" and the trio of "The Victors" is played in the direction of the tunnel.

Pregame Show[edit]

The reserve members leave the parade formation, run down the tunnel onto the field and move into the stands to watch pregame. The remaining band members then enter the tunnel and arrange themselves into "entry lines" for the start of the pregame performance. The drum major then proceeds to the lower mouth of the tunnel signaling to the stadium announcer that the band is ready. The Michigan Stadium and Michigan Marching Band announcer, Carl Grapentine, announces the entrance of the band in his signature baritone: "Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the Michigan Marching Band! Baaaand, take the field!"[24]


Band members doing "Ups" during Entries

A style of marching used by the Michigan Marching Band that is not meant to be used while playing. This style is characterized by fast exchanges of the legs, with the knees making a 90-degree bend or less. Using this marching style, the band then 'pours' out of the tunnel onto the field to the "Entry Cadence" at approximately 220 BPM in "entry lines" which then fold out into the "Fanfare M" formation, consisting of 192 musicians. After the last game against a non-Big Ten team, in addition to Entries, members would raise their arms up in a follow-the-leader fashion at a 45-degree angle, known as "Ups". Right before the band folds out into the "Fanfare M" formation, the band would the drop their arms in a follow-the-leader fashion at double the pace of "Ups". Despite the name, Entries are also used at the end of pregame and halftime shows as a quick, organized, and efficient way to get members off the field as soon as possible.

"Tunnel" formation used in the Pregame show for the football team entrance.

"M Fanfare"[edit]

While in the "Fanfare M" formation, the band plays the "M Fanfare." The "M Fanfare" was composed by longtime Michigan Marching Band arranger and composer Jerry Bilik, consisting of portions of "The Victors," "Varsity (fight song)," and "The Yellow and Blue." The band's twirlers and drum major are introduced during the "M Fanfare."

The Back Bend[edit]

At the climax of the "M Fanfare," the drum major performs a signature move. The drum major moves from the middle of the band to the north end 20-yard line. He/she then takes off their hat, turns to face the south end zone, and bends backwards to touch his/her head to the ground. This is done every game. Originally, drum majors kept their hats on and touched their plumes to the ground.

Michigan Drum Major Back Bend

The first drum major to do a back-bend as part of the Michigan Band's pregame show was Mark Brown in the late 1960s. Brown was extremely flexible and could touch the plume to the ground between his heels.

Albert Ahronheim was the next drum major after Mark Brown, but did not incorporate the back bend into his pregame routine. Instead, he used his gymnastic skills and performed handsprings and back flips.[54]

The back bend returned with Jeff Wilkins in 1975.

In 1993, Matthew Pickus became the first drum major to remove the hat and touch his head to the ground. This feat was first performed during the pregame of the 1993 Michigan-Notre Dame game. Matthew used the hat-less back bend for the rest of his career as drum major. Since approximately 2003, the hat-less back bend has become the standard for Michigan drum majors.

"The Victors"[edit]

During the pregame performance, the band plays the pregame version of "The Victors" while marching across the field to the north end zone. Before the trio starts, an added drum transition occurs, allowing the band to change formations from "sweep lines" to the "hollow block M" formation. During the transition, Carl Grapentine announces, "All the Maize and Blue faithful join in a rousing chorus of 'The Victors!'" These words were introduced during the Becher era.[55] Prior to that, the announcer would say, "Let's all join and sing for a big Michigan victory!"[56] For the Ohio State game, he would add another "big" to the announcement. The trio of "The Victors" is then played while marching to the south end zone.

The Goal Post Toss[edit]

During "The Victors", the drum major marches down to the north end zone goal post and tosses his/her mace or baton over the cross bar. Superstition says that if the drum major catches the mace without dropping it, the football team will win the game.

The Lock Step / High Step[edit]

For the past 15 seasons, while playing the break strain of "The Victors," the Michigan Marching Band performs its lock step (formerly known as high step). This is done for 16 counts at half tempo. In this technique, the "post leg" remains perpendicular to the ground while the "free leg" makes a right angle with the shin being perpendicular to the ground and an extreme downward toe point. The transition to the next step is made by snapping the free leg down and thrusting the post leg up. This style juxtaposes the more fluid, traditional step.

The Traditional Step[edit]

In contrast to the strong, snappy lock step, the traditional step is a more fluid and elegant. With the knee of the free leg only making a 60-degree angle, as opposed to the 90-degree angle, this marching style is used during the majority of the pregame show.

Visitor's Fight Song[edit]

Immediately following "The Victors," the band plays the visitor's fight song to the south end zone. The upper section of the south end zone is where a large portion of the visiting fans sit. Playing the visitor's fight song is a strong tradition among all Big Ten marching bands.


Following the visitor's fight song, the band transitions into the school's 1911-1931 fight song "Varsity." The band once again forms "sweep lines" and marches back to the middle of the field and then folds out into another "Block M" formation similar to the "Fanfare M" formation.

"Blues Brothers"[edit]

The "cake" formation.

Originating in 1985, once a year, generally at a game without a visiting band, the Michigan Marching Band performs the Otis Redding hit "I Can't Turn You Loose," made famous in the movie The Blues Brothers, at midfield. The band forms concentric circles on the field and during a vamp in the music, collapses the circles into what is commonly referred to as "the cake." The entire band fits into a 10-yard diameter circle, centered on the 50-yard line. Once this is complete, the band members scramble back to their "Fanfare M" positions. "I Can't Turn You Loose" was first performed during the 1980 season during the "Saturday Afternoon Live" field show, a spoof of Saturday Night Live, after which it quickly became popular. "The Cake" formation was added in 1985. The song is now also regularly played during the pause in between the third and fourth quarters of football games.

Michigan Wolverines football team enters the field with marching band in tunnel formation

"Let's Go Blue" and Team Entrance[edit]

Time permitting, the band plays "Let's Go Blue" to the south, east, north and west sides of Michigan Stadium. "Let's Go Blue" was written in the mid 1970s by Joseph Carl, a tuba player who was also in the Hockey Pep Band, and Albert Ahronheim, a drum major who also served as a music arranger for the marching band.[57][58] The band then splits the diagonal lines of the "M" formation to allow room for the "Go Blue, M Club Supports You" banner to be raised for the team's entrance, also known as the "Tunnel Formation". The team runs onto the field as the band plays the trio of "The Victors" twice.

"The Star-Spangled Banner"[edit]

Since September 22, 2001, the team has been on the field for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The band uses the Henry Fillmore "trumpeting arrangement" of the "Star-Spangled Banner" further arranged by alumnus Robert Longfield.[59] The band then collapses the split "M" formation back to the solid "Block M" formation. Following the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," the marching band marches to the north end zone while playing the trio of "The Victors" and, once finished, marches (to the "Entry Cadence") off the field.

Postgame Show[edit]

After every home game, the football team runs to the northwest corner of the stadium and joins the band and students in signing "The Yellow and Blue" and a trio of "The Victors". The band then returns to the field and performs "The Victors" as written, or in its entirety. They also play selections of the halftime performance. The performance closes with "Temptation" "Hawaiian War Chant," "The Yellow and Blue," "The Victors" (trio), and the "Entry Cadence." When the football team wins, the band members wear their shakos backward during the post-game performance. Visiting bands are invited to join the MMB on the field for a shared postgame show, alternating between musical numbers. After the performance, the band forms into parade lines and marches back through the tunnel and then back to Revelli Hall. When the drum cadence begins, the band chants, "Go Michigan, beat [whichever team is next on the schedule (e.g. "The Fighting Irish")], followed by "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine!"

"Temptation" & "Hawaiian War Chant"[edit]

"Temptation" and "Hawaiian War Chant" are percussion features that have been played by the MMB for over 50 years. The cymbal line is highly featured with their acrobatic routine. "Temptation" is also played after the defense stops the opposition on third down and forces them to punt. Usually every Homecoming game, during the halftime show, both songs are played. "Temptation" is played first, followed by "Hawaiian War Chant," which is introduced by PA announcer Carl Grapentine saying, "Because you can't have one without the other, the 'Hawaiian War Chant!'" During the post-game band show, when it comes time for "Temptation," the Drum Major will walk into the band, as the front lines of the formation part, to bring the percussion section forward. This always causes band fans to cheer in anticipation.



  • Forever Valiant (2017)
  • This is Michigan (2011)
  • 2008 Season Highlights (2009)
  • Gameday Faves: Michigan Wolverines Classics (2009)
  • Maize (2008)
  • 2007 Season Highlights (2008)
  • 2006 Season Highlights (2007)
  • Blue (2005)
  • 2005 Season Highlights (2005)
  • The Victors Valiant (2003)
  • 2002 Season Highlights (2002)
  • It's All About Blue (2000)
  • Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue (1998)
  • A Saturday Tradition (1994)
  • Fire Up... It's Saturday (1985)
  • 1983 Rose Bowl Highlights (1983)
  • Halftime Classics (1978)
  • "Revelli's Michigan Stadium Echoes" 1935 — 1971 (Unknown date after 1970)
  • Outdoor Sounds of the Michigan Marching Band (1972)
  • The Yellow And Blue / The Victors March (1926)

Other Album Appearances[edit]

While not exhaustive, the list above has been compiled from several different resources.[60][61][62]



  • The Band Director (1975)[63]
  • Marching For Roses (1971)[64]
  • Pow Pow (1960)[65]
  • Football Saturday in Ann Arbor (University of Michigan Television, 1958)
  • Here Comes the Band (1951)[66]

Soundtrack Contributions[edit]

  • Love, Simon: "Bad Romance," "What Is Love" (2018)
  • Deliver Us from Eva: "The Victors" (2003)
  • Bicentennial Man: "The Washington Post" (1999)
  • The Waterboy: "Entry Cadence," "Temptation," "Hawaiian War Chant" (1998)
  • The Sixth Man: "Let's Go Blue" (1997)

While not necessarily exhaustive, the list above has been compiled from several different resources.[67]

Television Appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Shaw, Wilfred Byron; Donelly, Walter Arthur (1958), "Student Life and Organizations", The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, 4, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, p. 1873, archived from the original on 2010-01-01, Thus, in 1914, the Band gained official recognition and became a unit of the University.
  2. ^ Michigan Ensian, 93, Ann Arbor, MI: UM Libraries, 1989, pp. 288–289, In addition to preparing and performing new pre-game and half-time shows for all home games, the Michigan Marching Band plays numerous concerts, pep rallies, and parades
  3. ^ "Performance Opportunities | U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance". smtd.umich.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-06. Open to all U-M students, including those at Dearborn and Flint, the Michigan Marching Band has thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans with exciting performances for more than 100 years...
  4. ^ Dobos, Joe. "That Michigan Band - Chapter 3 "A Sincere Venture"". umbaa.org. Retrieved 2019-05-06. On the night of November 13, 1896, twenty-two musicians...
  5. ^ Mulholland, Mike (2018-09-23). "I'm with the Michigan Marching Band; follow along for a football gameday - mlive.com". mlive.com. Retrieved 2019-05-06. The band consists of about 400 members in all...
  6. ^ a b "Touchdown, U.S.A." Vanguard Stereolab. 1961. Retrieved 2019-05-08. ...in 1844 occurred the first known mention of the band... in 1859 a group of fifteen music-minded students organized themselves...
  7. ^ Shaw, Wilfred Byron; Donelly, Walter Arthur (1958), "Student Life and Organizations", The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, 4, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, pp. 1871–1872, archived from the original on 2010-01-01, Much of the early data on the Band has been lost, however... Unfortunately, all too little is known about the Band between the time of the Civil War and the turn of the century... According to a short history written by Henri P. dePont ('02), who played the cornet, the first genuine University Band was organized in the fall of 1896.
  8. ^ "About the Michigan Marching Band". mgoblue.com. Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. Retrieved 2019-03-06. By the fall of 1898, the presence of the band at the football games had become an integral part of the Michigan football tradition.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "BHL: Band (University of Michigan) records". quod.lib.umich.edu. Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  10. ^ "The Michigan Stadium Story". The University of Michigan. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  11. ^ "Script Ohio Controversy". OSU v Michigan. Ohio State University Archives. 2002-10-12. Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  12. ^ "Varsity Band Plans Concert at Exhibition". The Michigan Daily. 1933-10-24. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  13. ^ School of Music, Theatre & Dance (University of Michigan) Publications, UM Libraries, 1996, p. 13, retrieved 2019-05-06
  14. ^ "Marching Band Wins All-American Honors". The Michigan Daily. 1941-02-25. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  15. ^ "The University of Michigan Bands: The Man Behind the Legacies – Band Director Media Group". banddirector.com. Band Director Media Group. Retrieved 2019-05-06. He also helped organize the University of Michigan Band Day in 1949, in which 1,850 high school students from 29 schools participated. By the 1960s, the number had swelled to more than 14,000, a testament to both his teachings and the event’s popularity.
  16. ^ Eisenstadt, Alfred (1950-10-30). "A The Michigan Band: It Steps Fastest and Plays Best of the College Outfits That Provide Music and Spectacle on Football Fields". Life Magazine. pp. 108–115. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  17. ^ "School of Music, Theatre & Dance Programs". University of Michigan School of Music. 1996. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  18. ^ "NBC To Transmit From Ann Arbor In Color TV". The Michigan Daily. 1955-10-27. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  19. ^ "Kick Off, U.S.A.!". Vanguard Stereolab. 1964. Retrieved 2019-05-08. This fluid group divides itself into different units. The University of Michigan Marching Band plays at all the home football games and travels with the team to off-campus games.
  20. ^ "New Band Uniforms". The Michigan Daily. 1962-10-06. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  21. ^ "Band-O-Rama: True Blue! | Happening @ Michigan". 2018-10-21. Retrieved May 6, 2019. A tried and true U-M tradition, Band-O-Rama: True Blue! celebrates its 54th anniversary with a mixture of classic repertoire from many musical genres including traditional favorites for fans of all things blue.
  22. ^ "Michigan Marching Band Performs Peace Show at Ohio State Game". November 22, 1969. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  23. ^ Raskauskas, Stephen (February 20, 2018). "Classical radio host Carl Grapentine announces retirement from "dream job" at WFMT". wfmt.com. WFMT. Retrieved May 3, 2019. ...Carl has been the “stadium voice” of the University of Michigan Marching Band for forty-eight seasons – his voice being heard on national telecasts of sixteen Rose Bowls and numerous other bowl games. In 2006, he also assumed the responsibilities of game announcer at Michigan Stadium.
  24. ^ a b "Beyond Michigan football: Carl Grapentine is proud to be the voice of Michigan Stadium - mlive.com". mlive.com. MLive. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  25. ^ a b "U-M Band Is Tuning Up For Trip To Rose Bowl", Ann Arbor News, p. 13, 16 December 1969, retrieved 2019-05-01, For 210 band members, the trip to the Rose Bowl will take work and concentrated effort.
  26. ^ White, R.J. (February 3, 2019). "Every Super Bowl halftime show performer: From Maroon 5 to marching bands and everything in-between - CBSSports.com". CBSSports.com. CBS. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  27. ^ "Shuffling The Cards - Band Rivalry Mellows", The Stanford Daily, p. 17, 24 September 1973, retrieved 2019-05-01, ...the LSJUMB gained national notoriety at the 1972 Rose Bowl when several members of the Stanford band ran through the Michigan marching formations during a practice session, tossed footballs around and allegedly threw rocks at some of the Michigan bandsmen.
  28. ^ Music at Michigan, 10, The University of Michigan School of Music, March 1977, p. 18, retrieved 2019-05-01
  29. ^ Music at Michigan, 12, The University of Michigan School of Music, April 1979, p. 8, retrieved 2019-05-01
  30. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (2017). Bob Hope on TV: Thanks for the Video Memories. BearManor Media. p. 197. ISBN 978-1629332185. ...the high-stepping University of Michigan Marching Band plays its fight song and exits around Bob when he enters.
  31. ^ Pasche, Paula (15 July 2015), "When Silverdome hosted Super Bowl XVI reviews mixed", The Oakland Press, retrieved 2019-05-02, Diana Ross sang the national anthem and Up With People and the University of Michigan marching band performed at half-time.
  32. ^ "Past Sudler Trophy Recipients". sousafoundation.net. The Sudler Trophy Committee. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  33. ^ Aardal, Kristen (1985). Michigan Ensian. University of Michigan. p. 179. Due to their reputation for excellence, the band again performed at a Detroit Lions game at the Pontiac Silverdome and provided entertainment at Tiger Stadium the night Detroit clinched the World Series.
  34. ^ "1984 World Series Game 5 - San Diego Padres vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  35. ^ Blackwell, Katie (16 October 1984), "A great day for Tigers... ...but not for Detroit", The Michigan Daily, retrieved 2019-05-02, The crowd attacked the bus that carried the Michigan Marching Band, breaking every window.
  36. ^ NBC Coverage of the 1981 Rose Bowl (Television). Pasadena: NBC. 1 January 1981.
  37. ^ Cobb, Adam (January 17, 2017). "UCLA Band - Chapter 9 – 1982 to 1992". uclaband.com. UCLA. Retrieved May 3, 2019. 1983 The Rose Bowl... Following the Michigan Band’s performance at halftime...
  38. ^ Mike Powell / Allsport (January 1, 1987). Michigan Band (JPG) (Photograph). Pasadena, CA: Getty Images. 360994. Retrieved May 3, 2019. The Michigan band plays during their 15-22 loss to Arizona State at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
  39. ^ "The Victors", The Michigan Daily, p. 3, 5 January 1989, retrieved 2019-05-03, The drum section of the 225-member Michigan Marching Band warms up before marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
  40. ^ a b "Detroit comes a-LIVE! for Regis and Kathie Lee", Detroit Free Press, p. 34, 21 November 1992, retrieved 2019-04-30, ...Gifford entered the arena... with Philbin at her side and the marching band behind.
  41. ^ Nesbit, Joanne (1996-03-19), "Sedatole named Marching Band director; Grogan will assist", The University Record, retrieved 2019-05-06, Kevin Sedatole will assume the duties of director in July. Jeff Grogan, who has served the band as interim marching band director this past year, will become the assistant director.
  42. ^ Nesbit, Joanne (1999-09-07). "Michigan native Tapia returns to direct Marching Band". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  43. ^ Verdi, Bob (January 2, 1990), "BO`S LAST HURRAH NOTHING TO CHEER - Chicago Tribune", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 2019-05-01, Just as the Michigan marching band strikes up a preamble to impending victory...
  44. ^ Koivu, Lisa (2001-09-05). "Woman Up Front". michigandaily.com. The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2019-03-07. LSA senior Karen England of Greenville made her debut as the band"s first female drum major Saturday.
  45. ^ UM Marching Band honors President Ford (Video). Grand Rapids, Michigan: C-Span. 2007-01-02.
  46. ^ Bambery, Zoe (2007-11-01), "New Man on the Ladder | The Michigan Daily", The Michigan Daily, retrieved 2019-05-06, Nix left his post after last season to study for a doctoral degree at the University of Miami.
  47. ^ a b Stoppelmann, Danielle (2013-01-23). "Marching Band Gets New Leader". michigandaily.com. The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2019-03-06. John Pasquale, assistant director of bands and associate director of marching and athletic bands, was named Wednesday as the next director of Michigan Marching and Athletics Bands, the Band announced on its Facebook page Wednesday. Pasquale will replace Scott Boerma, who resigned from the position on Jan. 8. to accept a position as director of bands at Western Michigan University, his alma mater.
  48. ^ "John Pasquale | U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance". smtd.umich.edu. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  49. ^ Shenouda, Stephanie (2013-04-23). "Andrea Brown to be assistant director of Marching and Athletic Bands". michigandaily.com. The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2019-05-06. Brown is the first female in University history to be selected for this position...
  50. ^ "Richard Frey | U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance". smtd.umich.edu. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  51. ^ Wallace D. Loh (2018-03-12). "Welcome". twitter.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07. Welcome Dr. Andrea Brown, new Director of the 250-member Mighty Sound of Maryland (founded 1908), currently Assoc. Dir. of the U. of Michigan Marching Band. She'll be the 1st woman marching band director at #UMD and the 2nd in the Big Ten
  52. ^ Band-O-Rama: Victors Valiant!, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 2017, p. 11
  53. ^ "Drum Majors". umbaa.org. University of Michigan Band Alumni Association. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  54. ^ Smith, Leanne (2010-01-23). "Peek through time: Jackson native Albert Ahronheim gave U-M football fans the halftime of their lives". mlive.com. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  55. ^ Carl Grapentine (1983-10-15). Michigan Marching Band: 1983 Pregame (Video). Michigan Stadium: YouTube.
  56. ^ Carl Grapentine (1979-10-13). Michigan Marching Band Pregame, October 13, 1979 (Video). Michigan Stadium: YouTube.
  57. ^ Stieg, Bill (1984-05-21). "A Catchy Intro To A Cheer Became Music To The Ears Of Myriad Fans". si.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  58. ^ Smith, Leanne (2010-01-23). "Peek through time: Jackson native Albert Ahronheim gave U-M football fans the halftime of their lives". mlive.com. Retrieved 2019-04-29. 'He hummed it to me, and two hours later I had done a complete arrangement and copied parts for everyone,' he said. 'The next Saturday, we played it.'
  59. ^ "Michigan Marching Band Performs Star-Spangled Banner at 2005 Rose Bowl Game". 2005-01-01. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  60. ^ "BHL: Band (University of Michigan) records". quod.lib.umich.edu. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  61. ^ "Discogs: The University Of Michigan Marching Band". discogs.com. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  62. ^ "School of Music, Theatre & Dance Programs". books.google.com. Retrieved 2019-05-08. In December of 1925, the Michigan "Varsity" Band traveled to Detroit to record Varsity, Victors, and The Yellow and Blue.
  63. ^ ""The Band Director" Wins Two Awards", Music at Michigan, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan School of Music, 9 (1): 1, July 1975
  64. ^ Educational film/video locator of the Consortium of University Film Centers and R.R. Bowker, 2, 1986, p. 1953, retrieved 2019-05-01, Documents the University of Michigan Marching Band in its various stages of preparation for the 1970 Rose Bowl performance in Pasadena...
  65. ^ "Two Film Shows Set In Center Series", The National Jewish POST and OPINION, p. 2, 15 November 1963, retrieved 2019-04-30, “Pow Pow” produced in 1960 is a lark, through the rain, with telephoto lens, dissecting the University of Michigan marching band. The band’s purposefulness, high seriousness, and utter dedication are shown as never before.
  66. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series. books.google.com. United States Copyright Office. 1952. p. 18. Retrieved 2019-04-30. Summary: A behind-the-scene story which shows the practice and drilling required to train the University of Michigan's 150-men marching band for their performance at each football game.
  67. ^ "University of Michigan Marching Band - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  68. ^ "'Good Morning America' tours 'U,' state on broadcast". michigandaily.com. The Michigan Daily. 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  69. ^ Jerry H. Bilik (1974). THE MUSIC SHOP (Television production). Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Television Center.
  70. ^ The Michigan Alumnus, 62, Ann Arbor: UM Libraries, 1955, p. 81, Early risers on October 28 got an extra taste of stadium glory: Dave Garroway's "Today" television program featured the Michigan Marching Band...
  71. ^ a b "'U' Marching Band Ends Active Year". The Michigan Daily. Ann Arbor. 11 May 1956. p. 5. ...appeared five times on television within a period of one week. Making up the band's five TV appearances were two high stepping sessions on Dave Garroway's "Today" show, a short program on Arlene Francis's "Home Show,"...

External links[edit]

Media related to Michigan Marching Band at Wikimedia Commons