Thursday, August 11, 2011

Syracuse University Marching Band: The Unsung Hero

By Ben Glidden
Photo Courtesy of Jason Rostkowski

We here at Orange Slice Sports believe that every sport on campus deserves credit. If you work your butt off for the good of an athletic team, we support you. One group on campus isn't considered an athletic team but still works its butt off for one. I'm talking about the Syracuse University Marching Band.

Not only is the band one of the largest student organizations on campus and one of the oldest collegiate bands in the country, but it also has been supporting the Syracuse Orange football team since 1901.

The band plays on the quad before the game and on the field before kickoff and at halftime. The group also sits up in the stands during the entire game to support the team and play music during stoppages in play. All of these performances are pleasing to the ear and they also get the crowd pumped for when the football team storms onto the turf.

Louis Milman, a recent Syracuse University graduate and hardcore Orange fan sees the benefits of having the marching band at football games.

"I think that any sports team, especially in college, and especially a sport as physically demanding as football benefits from cheers, noise and support emanating from the stands." he said. "The SU Marching band in particular does a great job of collaborating with the student section in particular, and helping to create the atmosphere that makes the Carrier Dome into The Loud House."

The marching band pumps the crowd up in a number of different ways. After a first down, the band plays a tune and the student section chants the letters S-Y-R-A-C-U-S-E in sync with the music. After a touchdown, the band plays the fight song to which the crowd sings the words. And after every game, the Alma Mater is played. At that point, the student section wraps their arms collectively around each other and sings loud and proud to honor the school.

What many people don't know about the SU Marching Band is all the preparation that goes into the season. The week before classes start, the group goes through band camp. Each day of camp lasts between 10-13 hours of music rehearsal, marching technique and preparation for future halftime shows.

The band is referred to as "The Pride of the Orange" and I can see why. With all the work they put in and the competitive edge provided by their music and enthusiasm, they deserve some serious credit.


  1. Love it! As an alumnus of the band, we're not really used to people singing our praises. It's often people whining about the band, so it's nice to feel loved once in a while! Thanks!

  2. When I heard about all the prep you put into your season, I had to write this. I love the SUMB and you deserve all this credit and more!

    -Ben G

  3. I'm so proud to see this group get the recognition they deserve! The hours and hours they put into practice, and the sacrifice of free time during the football season is to be commended. These young men and women are some of the finest people I've ever met!

    -Sharon G