Basketball Pep Band

Submitted by Tully Mars on January 18th, 2010 at 12:26 AM

I made it to my first bball game of the year today and that was certainly a fantastic experience. Having moved out of town it's been hard to get to the games, after having gone to 5-10 games a year for the previous 3-4 years.

Beyond the actual game being played, I thought that the band did a fantastic job today. Lots of great music, limiting the amount of piped in stuff and keeping the crowd energized. They were also loud and sounded good (which I imagine is easier in Crisler than the Big House). I also really liked the mix of Cheers (i.e. The Victors, Let's Go Blue, etc.) and Rock.

Anyone know if the band underwent a transformation of some sort (new director, more members, etc.) and have they been sounding this good all year?



January 18th, 2010 at 1:11 AM ^

i dont know about new direction, but they have been sounding great for as long as i can remember, and they have a very good pep band, it really adds to the whole atmosphere


January 18th, 2010 at 1:17 AM ^

Same director as last year (his 3rd year, I believe), approximately the same number of personal as last year. Freshmen matriculated, seniors graduated, everyone else got a year older.

The only difference I can think of, for this game specifically, might be because normally there is a different band for men's and women's basketball (though they share some members) and everybody in both bands ends up playing for some games of each sport. Because this was such a big game, there were probably a few more members from the women's band playing than than normal. The band did look a little more full than it normally does for basketball games.

The band didn't sound different than normal.

It's approximately 900,000 times easier to fill a 13,000ish enclosed space with sound than a 107,000ish outdoor space with sound. They can also use flip folders, which allows for a little more music and more people playing that music. No, the MMB should not start using flip folders again.

EDIT: Upon re-reading, this sounds rather offensive and condescending. I didn't mean for it to be so, I was just trying to convey information at 1 in the morning... :-(


January 18th, 2010 at 2:45 AM ^

The BBall band is a bit larger than it has been in years past primarily due to the team's success last year. We'll have to see if it persists to next season.

Also, I didn't think you sounded condescending at all, and as a bandsman I'm generally pretty quick to take offense at message board comments on the band ;-)

Tully Mars

January 18th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

I didn't mean to imply in the OP that in the past they sounded bad, on the contrary, I've always thought they did well. They just seemed to have more variety and energy that I remember.

I liked that they broke out temptation frequently (and opportunely), like at the football games.

Thanks for your info.


January 18th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

I agree, the band sounded awesome. Not sure I've ever noticed before, but is this the first time we had (1) someone playing a rock-style drum kit, and (2) that guy was mic'd up? If we've been doing it for years, that just goes to show how clueless I am.

Anyway, I loved the mic'd up drummer, who added a little bit of modernity without using the piped-in music. Unfortunately, it sounds like you're saying it would be impossible to do the same at the Big House, is that right? I know there were threads on this topic during football season, but I thought I would ask you since you seem to know....


January 18th, 2010 at 1:47 AM ^

that the pep band wasn't brought along when M started its championship run at the Omni in Atlanta in '89.

I was a student at Ga. State at the time; the GSU pep band was invited to sub.

I had recently written a piece in the student rag defending the GSU pep band against detractors (it became a petition w/o my name attached). In return, I asked if the pep band could smuggle me in to see the 1rst game, despite my bad feelings for the UM pep band.

They did, but I had to make a semblance of playing. I picked trombone, since I had done 3 of my 6 weeks in a course in Brass Methods on trombone (other choice was French Horn). I actually did play a few notes (maybe too many). If anyone hears some questionable trombone playing on their tape of the 1rst round of the '89 championship BB run, it might be me.


January 18th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

I agree with the OP that the band sounded great - as it always does. Usually, there are a couple of breaks from the band where Crisler has to fill the void itself, but not this time - the band was CONSTANTLY playing. Additionally, it felt like there were more back-to-back songs, not just one song and done. Whatever the reason, the band, the students and the rest of the fans sounded great! Very little "down" time where it was quiet - only during the run by UConn at the beginning of the 2nd half, but the students/band started getting rowdy after UConn had scored three consecutive baskets to get Crisler back into the game. The atmosphere was similar to the Duke game last year and the Fab Five games back-in-the-day. Go Blue!


January 18th, 2010 at 10:49 AM ^

My first notice of piped in music seeming out of place in a college atmosphere was in 2002 when Nebraska was playing the Rolling Stones "Sart Me Up" before every kickoff. I slammed Husker fan (I live in KC) without mercy for that and Herbie the foam Mascot Husker and Lil-Red. Two years ago at ND my best friend sat in disgust as the ND scoreboard employed animation and the "MAKE NOISE!" sign like some Monster Truck rally. Last years ND game was %99.99 perfect with the exception of the piped in music. Make the band louder, employ more cheers...ANYTHING before piped in music.

M Fanfare

January 19th, 2010 at 4:13 PM ^

It's nice to see the band program being supported around here for once. They're an integral part of the Michigan tradition and I will always love them.