Notre Dame Band - obnoxiously good

Submitted by DealerCamel on September 8th, 2013 at 1:01 PM

So now that UTL II is over, Michigan's won (HELL YEAH) and we're all basking in the pleasant glow of victory, one thing I noticed during the game was how loud Notre Dame's band was.  I mean from the student section you could hear them from the opposite corner of the stadium.  I could barely even hear our band even though I was seated almost right behind them. 

You heard the contrast in the halftime show, too.  When Notre Dame was doing their number I remember thinking to myself, "Huh.  I can actually hear the songs they're playing."  Of course they got booed as they entered the stadium, and again to a lesser extent as they started their halftime performance, but after they were done I actually heard applause for them.  I joined in.  Hey, they earned it.  They were good.  (I feel okay saying this since we won.)

Anyone else, or am I Irish-crazy?



September 8th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

row 10.  The visiting band is always annoying.  I did see them using sheet music most of the time.  However, I have seen every opposing band use sheet music so I am not sure that is a good measure.

I hear our band about as equal volume as the opposing band that plays abot 15 feet in front of me.  I will say that the ND fans were much like Husker fans: polite and respectful.  There was only one instance where I was annoyed.  This was when when we had an injury time-out and they took the opportunity to cheer "Lets Go Irish".  I thought some of our fans were going to jump a Blue Haired Couple sitting next to me as they joined in the chant.  They did not stop when it was mentioned that we have an injured player on the field.


Feat of Clay

September 8th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

Christ almighty I am sorry to hear your placement.  Two years ago we were about five rows behind you.  The lack of a visibility, plus the incredible obnoxiousness of the ND band, made it very hard to convince my kid we should stay for the second half.

Luckily we moved, stayed, and the rest is cheerful history.  But I don't think I could stay in your seats for the ND game.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

Their band was not at a college level, their formations are simple and poorly executed. Could not make a straight line all night. You were probably just facing them, I only heard them once in section 37 and it was very quiet.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

Love our band but it can't be heard and its a shame because there good. This is the 4th game I've been able to get too in the last two years and I've felt the same. Our band should be the biggest and loudest and I hope efforts go that way.

Doc Brown

September 8th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

yeah that is due to physics. the band is playing away from you. what you are hearing is a combo of the sound diffracting off the horns and reflecting off the opposite side of the stadium.

if you watch the YouTube video the mmb posts you will notice an improvement over boerma.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

I was never in the band, but I'm pretty sure quality is based on a lot more than volume... Plus you not being able to hear our band is based on acoustics, not how loud they are.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:40 PM ^

There is a very large difference between playing loud and playing well. Most college bands play very loud and sound awful. We are typically both. It also depends on where you are sitting as many have said here. Finally not all music is supposed to be played at one volume. Being able to have a contrast in volume within particular parts of a song makes it better musically.

The last part applies more for the half time show, but you may not know the band continues playing The Victors during the extra point try.

Doc Brown

September 8th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

thank you. Boerma's issue was volume. you are completely right. there is a balance between volume and quality. two games in the season, it appears Pasquale has found the right balance. the drill and marching has also improved. Pregame looks much more crisp compared to a year ago.

Shop Smart Sho…

September 8th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

The volume issue has most definitely NOT been addressed.  I sit in Section 12, below the handicap seats, and still can't hear them when they are on the field.  I was able to clearly hear the ND band before the game, but our band was nearly inaudible, even when they came to the South endzone.  This is not an artifact of the night game, as it was an issue for CMU as well.  I know you are a huge MMB fan Bando, but it might be time to stop being an apologist.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:13 PM ^

My cousin was in the band and I asked her this same question. She told me Michigan has more 'classical' instruments which is why they are quieter. Other bands are also bigger than Michigan's.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

I was sitting right next to the student section as well, and that has a lot to do with it. Notre Dame's band was pointed right at us essentially, and our band was facing directly away from us. Same thing happens every game, with every visiting band.

As far as them getting applause for the halftime show, they finished with "God Bless America", which is a tough song to boo heavily without seeming like a freedom-hating commie.

They were alright, but it was nothing that wouldn't have happened with any other band.


September 8th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

Often, I would agree with the OP. I have frequently thought that the band is not loud enough. But that is more due to the nature of having woodwinds, not position in the stadium. Brass bands are inherently louder, and more suited to stadium environments.

However, last night's performances did not make me wish we had their band. Their sound was not nearly as crisp, particularly their drum line. Even in the pregame show, when all ND was doing was walking in blocked, straight lines, their "straight" varied easily by 3 yards.

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing ND's band had going for them is the kilted color guard.


September 8th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

All I'm saying is I've played in UM commencement bands that played The Victors and the traditional music with more precision and tone quality, and I know that the MMB can be better. It's not 1997 bad but it's not where it could be.


September 8th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

We get one rehearsal to put together the music, and the ensemble is 80 musicians. So, it's not exactly small, but we are music majors as a rule.

1997 bad is elevation of volume over all other sound qualities like intonation, balance, and blend.

1:17 - Splatter.
2:05 - Awkward breath on the 2nd "Hail."
7:55 - Good effort but it doesn't come together until the 2nd "Hail."
8:44 - again, another awkward breath in the middle of a phrase, chopping a half note this time.