Category:Cougar Marching Band

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Cougar Marching Band performs during half-time

Overview

The ground shakes as 225 players in blue and white storm the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The crowd cheers them on as they transform halftime into an event in its own right. This is the 'Power of the Wasatch.' It's not the football team, but Brigham Young University’s Cougar Marching Band.

The Cougar Marching Band takes its nickname from the Wasatch mountain range, a stretch of the Rocky Mountains that passes through Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, and provides the beautiful backdrop for BYU's campus.

Creating the Power of the Wasatch

BYU Marching Band in Founders Day Parade, 1914.

The band’s music has resonated off the Wasatch Mountains since it first took the field in 1908 under the direction of Robert Sauer, who led the band for 35 years.

In its early years, under the direction of Sauer and then John R. Halliday, the band functioned largely as an ROTC marching unit and performed in parades - which were quite popular at the time. By the time Halliday took over in 1943, the band had moved from the old Academy Building on University Avenue to the East Room of the Social Hall on the main campus.

It wasn't until Norman Hunt took over as director of bands between 1950 and 1953 that the band began to function in the way that it is best known today - performing at football games. This new role changed the organization of the band, and in 1953, Richard Ballou was hired as the first full-time marching band director. Under his direction the band became known as the "Incomparable Cougar Marching Band."

In 1965, the band found a new home when the Harris Fine Arts Center was completed. A year later, in 1966, Ballou became director of bands and Grant Elkington took his post as marching band director.

Over the next two decades, the band advanced under the direction of four directors - Elkington, Bruce Bastian (1971-1977), Dan Bachelder (1977-1980) and David Blackinton (1983-1985). Bachelder and Blackinton were co-directors of the band between 1980 and 1983.

During these years, the band proudly supported the BYU football team as it played in the Fiesta Bowl, the Tangerine Bowl, seven Holiday Bowls and the Florida Citrus Bowl.

In 1986, Donald L. Peterson joined the faculty and was also assigned to lead the Cougar Marching Band, which he did for the next 21 years.

Fred McInnis took over as director of the band in 2007.

Centennial Celebration

For a century, the Cougar Marching Band has captivated audiences with spectacular performances. The Band, which consists of 225 dedicated musicians from all over the world, performs during pre-game and half-time at every home football game. The Cougar Marching Band also proudly features a dynamic and highly accomplished Drumline Battery, as well as an excellent Color Guard, Flag and Rifle Line.

In 2008, in recognition of the Band's centennial, a new practice facility was constructed at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This long-awaited facility gives band members a dry spot to rehearse in when inclement weather threatens, while also providing technology to enhance the marching routines.

Over the last century, the band has been housed in numerous campus locations, from the College Hall next to the old Academy building, to the Harris Fine Arts Center, and most recently, under the blazing sun or tumultuous skies covering the Marriott Center parking lot.

The two-floor structure, which can be seen on the underside of the west bleachers, was funded entirely by donors. In addition to storage space, the facility includes band offices, instrument lockers and video screens that assist in rehearsals.

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References

Pages in category "Cougar Marching Band"

The following 13 pages are in this category, out of 13 total.

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