The University of Minnesota Marching Band (also known as UMMB, The Pride of Minnesota) is the marching band of the University of Minnesota. The band performs before, during, and after all home Golden Gopherfootball games and bowl games, numerous pepfests and events associated with the University of Minnesota, as well as a series of indoor concerts at the end of the regular football season. Members of the band also participate in smaller athletic pep bands that perform at other major sporting events. Here is a link to the Intro Video for the Pride of Minnesota.
The Pride of Minnesota gathers on the field after 4th quarter for their post-game performance.
The University of Minnesota Marching Band was founded in 1892 as the University Cadet Band.
The Minnesota Marching Band was formed with 29 members as the University Cadet Band in 1892.
The band performed its first field show in 1910. Among the formations included was the "Block M" that now serves as the University's logo. The "Block M" formation is still present in the band's pregame show.
In 1961, marching band director Dr. Frank Bencriscutto decided that, in addition to performing at football games, the band should also put on an indoor concert at which the band would be the sole performers, instead of taking a role secondary to that of the football team. This was the first concert of its kind; many other collegiate marching bands have adopted this practice since. The Indoor Concert has been continuously performed at the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium since its creation.
When it was originally formed, the band consisted of exclusively males. Women were first allowed to perform with the band in 1943-1945, when they were allowed to "fill in" for male members of the band that were serving in World War II. In 1950, a "Women's division" of the band was created, which lasted for several years. Women were finally allowed to be full members of the band in 1972. Molly Watters was selected in 2006 as the first female Drum Major in the history of the band.
The Minnesota Marching Band primarily uses the traditional "chair step" for performances, similar to other bands of the Big Ten Conference. The band's pregame show is performed almost entirely with this type of step. It consists of bringing the leg up so that the thigh is parallel to the ground and the shin is completely vertical and toes are pointed at the ground. The band is the only Big 10 marching band to do this chair step throughout almost all of pregame. Halftime shows are performed using a corps-style low step marching that allows for more musicality and forms that do not necessarily conform to a grid. "Run-Cadence" is the band's method of getting on and off the field for a show. It is essentially a double-time chair step, although the quickness of it necessitates that at times neither foot is in contact with the ground, as with the regular chair step. The Pride of Minnesota has a complete marching band instrumentation including flutes and piccolos, clarinets, alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, trumpets, mellophones, trombones, baritones, tubas, and a full Drumline.
The Minnesota Marching band performs one of the longest and most complex pregame shows of any band in the country. In its entirety, it is over 15 minutes long and includes over 75 pages of drill. Periodically throughout the season, band members audition for a spot in the pregame block. There are 243 marching spots in the pregame block.