Spirit of Houston

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The Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band
Spirit of Houston logo.png
School University of Houston
Location Houston, Texas
Conference The American
Founded 1947
Director Marc Martin
Members 300+
Fight song "Cougar Fight Song"
Uniform 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
Website www.uhbands.com

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 Cougar Dolls Dance Team, the UH Cheer teams, and primarily, the Cougar Marching Band. The Spirit of Houston is currently under the direction of Marc Martin. The Cougar Marching Band is widely known for its performances that are 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 and Robert Mayes, two men who led the Spirit of Houston for over three decades between them. The band consists of more than 300 students, about half of which are music majors.


The 1951 Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band

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, Robert Mayes, 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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 Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band during a pre-game show at Robertson Stadium

In 2004 the Spirit of Houston was featured in the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.[1]

On November 14, 2015, the Spirit of Houston performed "Gwan" with the Gulf Coast Soul Band, The Suffers, during the football halftime show. [2]


The Spirit of Houston's primary repertoire includes the following:

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