Spirit of Houston
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|The Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band|
|School||University of Houston|
|Fight song||"Cougar Fight Song"|
|[[File:Scarlet red jackets with Albino white trim and navy blue side panels. Jackets feature a white interlocking UH logo on breast and "Houston" on shoulder, reflective crystal buttons, red and white shako hats with a white and silver plume, with navy blue or red pants|frameless|upright=1.25|center]]|
The Spirit of Houston is an umbrella term that represents the official spirit groups at the University of Houston. Included in the Spirit of Houston are the UH Cheer teams, the Cougar Dolls Dance Team, the UH Color Guard, the UH Feature Twirlers, the Mascots, the Cougar Brass, and primarily, the Cougar Marching Band. The Spirit of Houston is currently under the direction of Director of Athletic Bands and Spirit Groups, Mr. Cameron Kubos. The Cougar Marching Band is widely known for performances given in a wide variety of styles of marching band (corps, military, show, etc.). The CMB is also known for its characteristic tonal quality, following in the tradition pioneered by Bill Moffit, Robert Mayes, and David Bertman, three men who led the Spirit of Houston for over three decades between them. The band consists of more than 300 students, about one third of which are music majors. Other past directors have included Troy Bennefield and John Alstrin.
From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, the Spirit of Houston was under the direction of Bill Moffit, an innovator in the marching band field. Moffit is credited with creating the Patterns in Motion marching style made famous during his tenure at UH. Patterns in Motion quickly became very popular among many other collegiate and high school marching bands as the style quickly spread across the nation. He is also well known as an arranger of both traditional band tunes and modern popular songs.
Following the departure of Moffitt to Purdue University, Greg Talford became director. Talford, hailing from Michigan, moved the band toward drum corps style and required memorization of all music and marching patterns, held regular sectionals, and both challenged and raised the bar for the band. Robert Mayes followed Greg Talford, coming to UH after holding positions at Texas Tech and the University of Wyoming with a reputation for high-energy performances, was named the director of the Cougar Marching Band. Under his direction, the Cougar Marching Band continued to set a standard of music. Mayes led the band to become internationally known. During his tenure, the band traveled to Japan, England, Ireland, France, and Mexico.
In 2000, David Bertman was hired as the director of the Spirit of Houston He was charged with the task of maintaining the tradition that had been so firmly entrenched by the bands of Moffit and Mayes. Under his direction, the Cougar Marching Band continued its musical excellence and led the University of Houston in spirit is support of the Houston Cougars football team. Coupled with the team's success, the Spirit of Houston has contributed greatly to a growing excitement among students and alumni to see the Cougars return to the upper echelon of college football.
Following Bertman's promotion to Director of Bands, Troy Bennefield was hired to become the marching band director in 2011. Bennefield learned his craft with famous marching bands at the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma and promised to continue to increase the band's national reputation.
The UH Drumline is currently under the direction of Jamey Kollar.
The Spirit of Houston's primary repertoire includes the following:
- "Cougar Fight Song", the university's official fight song
- "Eat 'Em Up", a secondary fight song of the university which was originally written by director Bill Moffit, and subsequently used by most other college marching bands today
- "Deep in the Heart of Texas", a Texas folk song
- "The Horse"
The UH Cheer team has been under the direction of Coach Amy Weaston since the Fall of 2017.
The UH Cougar Dolls are under the direction of Khristal Harbert and Amanda Duran.
The UH Color Guard is under the direction of Joe Cataneo and Marcie Webb. In addition to performances with the Cougar Marching Band, the UH Color Guard competes as a Winter Guard International group known as Spirit Independent.
The UH Feature Twirlers are under the direction of Jennifer Garrison.
The Cougar Brass is the University of Houston's basketball band and is currently under the direction of Cameron Kubos.
- "Houston Bands March With Yamaha at Super Bowl XXXVIII". Yamaha. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Spirit of Houston set to perform with local band the Suffers". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
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