ABC’s of UMD: Letter B

B is for BAND!

The first band, formed in 1908, consisted of 25 musicians: 2 clarinets, 4 cornets, 2 alto horns, 3 trombones, 1 baritone, 2 basses, 2 drums, and cymbals.This ensemble was an outgrowth of earlier mandolin and glee clubs the students had formed, beginning in the 1890s, and was designed to “beef up a slack Military Department,” according to the Reveille yearbook.

First MAC band, 1908.
First MAC band, 1908.

Today’s Mighty Sound of Maryland,one of the most visible embodiments of Terrapin spirite, is comprised of over 250 players and is joined by auxiliary units of silks, twirlers, dancers, and cannoneers. Over the years, the band has performed at countless football games and other athletic contests, marched in parades across the country, including four presidential inaugural parades and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000, and played for many special guests, including H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth.

You can find some of the band’s performances online this semester as part of our posts on UMD’s most recognizable songs. Halftime shows during football season often appear on YouTube as well.

You can also find more information about the history of the UMD marching band in the University Archives’ exhibit “Musical Milestones” on the first and second floors of McKeldin Library. Find more information about the display here.

BandPoster-1stFloor converted

This is the second post in our series on Terrapin Tales called ABC’s of UMD! Posts will come out twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, throughout the semester. If you want to learn more about campus history, check back weekly to see what we’ve picked to highlight, and you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

Do you have other ABC’s about campus? Let us know in the comments below!

Want more? Here’s the Letter C!


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