I was in section 31, row 60ish today and could barely hear the band during halftime. It seems a shame for them to do all that practicing and not be able to show it off during the game. Am I hard of hearing or could they stand to be a bit louder? Could be both, I suppose.
Why is the band so quiet at halftime?
It has something to do with the technique they play with vs the volume. Idk, maybe a band member can chime in.
I am a former MMBer.
It's a combination of things:
Direction of sound
A lot of reed instruments
Less people than some other bands.
Musicality (We didn't play all out much, concerned with pitch, being in tune, having more to give in spots that were supposed to be louder, etc.).
When I was in the band, we knew it was hard for some people to hear, but I didn't realize how much of an issue it was until I was out of the band and sat on the far side of the stadium, where you couldn't hear them at all.
I thought the band was louder this week than in week 1. I wish I could think of a solution, but other than doubling in size and putting half of them on the other end of the stadium (Go Homecoming Alumni Band!) I think there will always be dead spots all over the big house.
It's all relative to the intense crowd noise during the game.
marc, I have to disagree. ND's band was about 50% louder than ours. edit: though I now realize you might be making a joke.
Enginerd above makes some really good points, hadn't considered reed instruments as being a problem.
Obviously part of this is which way they're facing, but when ND's band played it was tough to hear our band from the student section.
I heard someone say ND has 425 band members there.
I think the MMB used around 300 for halftime.
In my seats you couldn't hear the ND band except during halftime and pregame.
They sounded louder than the MMB during pregame, but pregame for Michigan is so physical, it is hard to be that loud.
I thought they were both had comparable volume for half time.
Boerma became the director in my senior year, and it seemed that we were asked to play much more quietly, although with admittedly a greater emphasis on musicality, as mentioned above.
Though Boerma has improved in a lot of areas, it is unfortunate to see the band struggling to capture the attention of students in the stands, especially on things I, now as a fan in the seats, would like to sing along with. Now that there's music being pumped in (for better or worse, I haven't made up my mind. Seemed to get the crowd going a few times today) the band needs to assess what kind of interaction and relationship it wants to have with the fans, because they seem like they're playing a little second-fiddle right now, which is unfair, considering how much work I know they put in, having done it myself.
Yeah my thoughts exactly (see below). Nix saw the band in more of a "pump up" role and they are in kind of a strange position now.
Without sounding like too much of a grumbling old guy, as an Ex MMB-er, the band used to be louder under Nix (the previous director). My first year out of band was Nix's last year as director and though it was still tougher to hear then i expected, Pregame and halftime were never an issue. The directional problem is mostly during the game when the band sits in the stands.
Boerma (current director) stresses musicality over volume, Nix tried to stress both but had more emphasis on volume. I really wish Boerma would let the band open up the sound a bit more, musicality is all fine and good but when 70% of the stadium can't here you I don't see the point.
The new administration came in my senior year.
I'll put it this way: I never had kids coming up to me in classes when I'd wear an MMB t-shirt or who knew I was in the MMB and ask me why they couldn't hear the band anymore. Until my senior year.
3 years, not one "we can't hear you." Senior year, at least 3 times a week.
Coincidence? I think not.
I think it also has a lot to do with the music the MMB plays in the stands these days. It's changed quite a bit over the last two years, and not for the better.
I plan on writing a diary entry about just this later in the week. I'm beginning to see that a lot of the problems with our crowd, which Athletics has decided to fix with RAWK, have everything to do with the MMB.
I haven't been to a game yet. Has the band played anything new in the stands yet? Just wondering because there was that post in the summer from the MMB member asking for feedback, as the band was looking for new songs to pump up the crowd. I would assume this would have been the game to unveil those.