University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band

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Cornhusker Marching Band
Nebraska Cornhuskers logo.svg
School University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Location Lincoln, Nebraska, US
Conference Big Ten
Founded 1879
Director Anthony Falcone
Assistant director Douglas Bush
Members 300
Fight song ""Hail Varsity" & "Dear Old Nebraska U" ("There is No Place like Nebraska")"
Nebraska Marching Band Uniform.png

The University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band (also known as the Marching Red or The Pride of All Nebraska) is the marching band of the University of Nebraska. It performs at all home football games. Founded in 1879, the Marching Red is one of the oldest and best-known collegiate marching bands in the United States. The band consists of 300 students from over 60 different academic majors from across the campus.[1] Thanks to the success of the Husker football program, the Marching Red is also one of the most traveled bands in the country having participated in all of the major bowl games. They have appeared multiple times at the Rose, Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Sun, and Alamo Bowls, and have made single appearances at the Bluebonnet, Liberty, Holiday, Citrus, Independence and Gator Bowls. On November 19, 2011, the Cornhusker Marching Band performed at Michigan Stadium in front of the largest audience ever to watch the band.

The Cornhusker Band has also made several international tours, visiting continental Europe and Ireland. The Cornhusker Marching Band has been the recipient of many honors over the years, including the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Trophy in 1996. The Sudler Trophy is presented biannually to a college marching band program that has demonstrated particular excellence over a period of years. A ballot of all NCAA marching band directors selects the trophy recipient. The Marching Red has been seen by millions of viewers on television, and appeared on the Kennedy Center stage as part of the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony. In 2005 the band was featured on the NBC prime time series Tommy Lee Goes to College and in 2007 on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

On October 13, 2007, a film crew from the comedy film, Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey filmed portions of the movie at Memorial Stadium including several shots of the marching band.


The Cornhusker Marching Band performing a half-time show in Memorial Stadium.

To become a member, each person must pass a music audition in the Spring or attend a mini-camp as is the case sometimes for percussion and color guard. After first cuts, a second marching and music memorization audition follows in the Fall semester.

Game day traditions[edit]

On football game days at home, the band rehearses for two hours in Memorial Stadium beginning five-and-a-half hours before kickoff. An hour-and-a-half before kickoff, the band meets in full uniform at Westbrook Music Building for warm-up and final instructions. Following is a free outdoor concert at Kimball Recital Hall and the traditional march to the stadium. It is customary before the playing of "Hail Varsity!" to sing "Band Song".

Pregame Spectacular[edit]

Throughout the history of the Marching Red, the Band has performed many fight songs at football games, most of which can be heard during the pregame performance. The band maintains the tradition of playing the opposing team's fight song during its pregame performance.

The Cornhusker Marching Band's "Pregame Spectacular" begins with a drum cadence, during which the band high-steps out from beneath each corner of the stadium. When the drum cadence changes pace, the band runs onto the field as the announcer exclaims "Now is the time for the Marching Red Experience – Presenting the University of Nebraska Cornhusker... Marching Band!"

As the band plays fanfares to the crowd, the announcer proclaims "This is the Pride of All Nebraska!" before introducing the drum majors and twirlers. "It's Football Saturday in Memorial Stadium, and there is NO PLACE LIKE NEBRASKA!"

The Cornhusker Marching Band's Pregame Performance contains:

  • "Dear Old Nebraska U" ("There Is No Place Like Nebraska")
  • The visiting team's fight song
  • "The Star Spangled Banner"
  • "Mr. Touchdown USA"
  • "March Grandioso" (sang by the student section as the "Bo Pelini Song")
  • "March of the Cornhusker"
  • "Hail Varsity"

Other fight songs[edit]



The band is led by Director Anthony Falcone and Assistant Director Douglas Bush. The UNL Director of Bands is Carolyn Barber.

Instructors and graduate teaching assistants[edit]

Drumline Instructor-Ben Coleman, previously filled by Nate Campbell until 2009 when he moved with his wife out of state.
Color Guard Instructor-Ashlea Jurgens-Woitzel[2]

During rehearsals, the directors are assisted by three graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). The GTAs are responsible for attendance, some rehearsal setup, and general drill cleaning and supervision. The GTAs also assist the director in conducting the pregame performance. A drumline instructor and colorguard instructor work closely with their specific sections.

Support staff[edit]

The band is supported by an administrative technician and a band office associate.

Student leadership[edit]

Three to four drum majors serve as the highest student authority in the band. The drum majors conduct the halftime performance and assist the directors and GTAs in conducting the pregame performance. The drum majors are responsible for overseeing the rest of the student leadership.

Each instrumental section is led by a section leader. The section leader is responsible for the musical performance of the section. Each section consists of one rank (except trumpets and trombones, which consist of three ranks each), and each rank is led by two or three rank leaders. The rank leaders are responsible for the marching performance of the rank and assist the section leader in sectional rehearsals and music memorization checks.


External links[edit]