Oregon State University Marching Band

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Oregon State University Marching Band (OSUMB)
The Spirit and Sound of OSU
OSUMB performing the "Great Beaver Spell-Out" in 2013
School Oregon State University
Location Corvallis, OR
Conference Pac-12
Founded 1890
Director Dr. Dana Biggs
Assistant Director TBD
Members 250+
Fight song "Hail to Old OSU"
Uniform Orange and black jackets with white stripes and the "Beavers" logo in the center of a white shield on the front, white gauntlets, black pants, and black shakos with mirrors and black feather plumes.
Website http://osumb.oregonstate.edu/

With over 250 members, the Oregon State University Marching Band, ("OSUMB"), is the marching band of Oregon State University, known as the "Spirit and Sound of OSU." It was founded in 1890 making it the oldest band in the Pac-12. The Oregon State University Marching Band is the primary athletic band at Oregon State. In addition to the Oregon State University Marching Band, other athletic bands include Basketball Band, Rhythm & Beavs, Rhythm & Beavs: Travel Band, the Away Game Pep Band (for select away games), Alumni Band (the band that covers any games occurring prior to the start of the school term), Gymnastics Band (the ensemble that performs at home gymnastic meets; this ensemble also include alumni members), and Bar Band (a small ensemble that tours local bars on the day before a home football game). All band members are required to participate in marching band before they may be eligible to participate in any of the other bands Oregon State offers.

The Athletic Bands program is based partially on the same program at Kansas State University.


  • 1890 - The Oregon State University Marching Band was found.
  • 1890 - Brass band organized in November; students had to procure their own instruments.
  • 1892 - Cadet Band played at first school athletic event, an all-school intramural "Field Day."
  • 1893 - Cadet Band played at the first school football game, held in Albany, Oregon.
  • 1901 - Self-sustaining Department of Music established.
  • 1914 - "Hail to Old O.A.C." is written by Wilkins.
  • 1917 - "Carry Me Back," is written by W. Homer Maris.
  • 1919 - "Carry Me Back," is adopted by OSU as the Alma Mater.
  • 2014 - Dr. Dana Biggs is named new athletics band director.


Staff Members[edit]

  • Dr. Chris Chapman, Director of Bands
  • Dr. Dana Biggs, Director of Athletic Bands, Associate Director of Bands
  • Dr. Bob Brudvig, Director of Percussion
  • Justin Preece, Marching Percussion Coordinator
  • Greg Smatlan, Drumline Instructor
  • David Schwarm, Dam Line Instructor
  • Kristin Heckers, Color Guard Instructor
  • David Manela, Assisting Staff Member
  • Kathleen Smith, Assisting Staff Member
  • Todd Shechter, Webmaster

Former Directors[edit]

Years Director
-2013 Dr. Brad Townsend

Student Leadership[edit]

Drum Majors[edit]

The drum major is the leader of the band, and is chosen from amongst the student body of the band.

Section Leaders[edit]

Each section has one, two, or three section leaders based on section size. Additional student leadership is provided by squad leaders. Section leaders provide student leadership in all aspects of the organization, while squad leaders provide additional leadership during marching rehearsals.


Membership is open to any Oregon State University or Linn-Benton Community College student. Students are welcome from all fields of study.


Rehearsals are three days a week, Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. and Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. as well as prior to any home games and bowls games during Fall term.

Game day[edit]

The Oregon State University Marching Band performs at all Oregon State University home and bowl games. During these game days, the marching band begins their day with a pre-performance rehearsal. During this rehearsal, the band will briefly rehearse the halftime show and the pre-game sequence. After rehearsal, the band will set up a parade block to prepare for the "Beaver Walk" (an event where the football team walks west on SW Ralph Miller Street. Prior to the start of the game, the band breaks into smaller bands (called "Orange Band", "Black Band", and "White Band") to tailgate. These smaller bands will tailgate at various locations near the stadium to play the school's Fight Song along with other arrangements before meeting inside Reser Stadium for an on-field pregame performance. The only exception to this is Civil War at OSU. Instead of tailgating, the band will meet with the Oregon Marching Band face-to-face for Battle of the Bands.

During the football games, the band plays music from their seats in the stands, and during halftime performs an on-field show.

At the conclusion of each home game, the band performs the fight song, "Hail to OSU", and the alma mater, "Carry Me Back to OSU". If the team wins, additional music will be played.

Away Game Trips[edit]

The Oregon State Marching Band typically attends one away game each year, in addition to the Civil War if it is held at the University of Oregon. The entire band travels to any high-profile Bowl Games, while lower-tiered Bowl Games usually are accompanied by a smaller "pep band" from within the band.

Bowl Game Appearances[edit]


Types of Uniforms[edit]

The marching band has three different variations to their uniform; the uniform that the marching band wears will depend on the type of event. There are three different variations: full uniform, "Beaver Casual", and "Beaver Scuzzy". The full uniform is used exclusively during the fall season and only during special parades and most football games. "Beaver Casual" is used as the default uniform primarily for pep band events, basketball band, and other related events that do not require the full uniform; this uniform can be used year-round. The Beaver Casual uniform consists of the OSU Band baseball cap, orange polo, black slacks, and black socks and shoes. "Beaver Scuzzy" consist of the orange OSU band t-shirt and blue jeans and is normally used for informal events such as bar band.


The previous set of uniforms consistent of orange and black jackets with silver sequins, as well as black gloves and gauntlets, black pants and shoes, black shako, and black and silver tasseled plumes.

Historical Marching Uniforms (1989 and earlier)[edit]

Orange and white jackets, tall helmets, and large white plumes.

Other previous uniforms have included a version with shoulder-tassels and other regalia, black uniforms with orange half-capes and orange military helmets (used in 1941 season), and military cadet uniforms.

Past Featured Twirlers have historically worn uniforms mainly of white with short or no legs.


Orange and black jackets with white stripes and the "Beavers" logo in the center of a white shield on the front, white gauntlets, white gloves, black pants, and black shako with mirrors and black feathered plumes. The drum majors have an alternate version, substituting the jacket colors of orange and black with black and white, larger white plumes, and optional black gauntlets.


OSUMB is currently building funds to purchase new uniforms to replace the previous, outdated uniforms. The design of this uniform will include orange and black colors; in addition, the recently updated OSU Beavers logo will replace the previous logo in this uniform. Specific designs of this uniform (such as logo placement, color and shape arrangements, uniform components, etc.) is currently unknown.

Band Composition[edit]


The instrumentation does not include percussion typically located in the "Front Ensemble" or "Pit" (Bells and other instruments on wheels) due to the band's emphasis on performing for the crowd, as opposed to the drum corps style utilized by most high schools and by a handful of university marching bands.

  • Piccolo
  • Clarinet
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Mellophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Baritone
  • Sousaphone
  • Drumline

Color Guard[edit]

  • Flags
  • Rifles

Featured Twirler[edit]

The featured twirler is a member of the band who performs at every performance, and has included multiple people over the years.


The Fight Song: Hail to Old OSU[edit]

Main article: Hail to Old OSU

"Hail to Old OSU" is the fight song for Oregon State University. It was written by Harold a. Wilkins (Class of 1907) in 1914. The song consists of two verses and a chorus. It was originally called "Hail to Old O.A.C." and has officially remained unaltered except in the school initials as the school's name underwent changes to Oregon State College, and later, Oregon State University.

Alma Mater[edit]

The OSU Alma Mater, "Carry Me Back", was written by W. Homer Maris.

Within a vale of western mountains,
There's a college we hold dear.
Her shady slopes and fountains
Oft to me appear.
I love to wander on the pathway
Down to the Trysting Tree,
For there again I see in fancy,
Old friends dear to me.

Carry me back to OSU,
Back to her vine-clad halls;
Thus fondly ever in my mem'ry
Alma Mater calls.

Other Commonly Performed Tunes[edit]

The band also plays various popular music to rally the crowd during the games. These include:

  • Beer Barrel Polka
  • Land of 1000
  • Radar Love
  • Everybody's Everything
  • Hey Pachuco
  • Fat Bottom Girls
  • Black Dog / Kashmir
  • Holiday
  • Seven Nation Army
  • Rock and Roll (The Hey Song)
  • Cheer for the Beavers
  • Frankenstein
  • Iron Man
  • Low Rider
  • O Fortuna

Most items on this list are commonly played tunes. Other tunes (specifically, short tunes) are referred as "shorties".

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Founding members of The Crazy 8s, a popular college band in the 1980s known for its hit "Johnny Q."
  • George Bruns, noted music arranger for the Walt Disney Company