As a successful season comes to a close for DJ Durkin and the Maryland Terrapins football team, the curtains are drawn on another fantastic season for the 263-piece ensemble, the Mighty Sound of Maryland.
The marching band (also referred to as MSOM) has long been a major part of the University’s culture. The group can find its roots in Maryland Agricultural College, when the college bugler brought together a 17-piece band to perform at military functions in 1908. From that point, the band began growing into the sizable and talented group we know today. The band has passed many milestones within this time period, with the inclusion the first UMD bandswomen in 1937, being integrated as a recognized ensemble in the School of Music in 1955, and even marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000!
Of course, MSOM could never live up to its name without the hard work of over 250 students. These individuals practice up to five days a week, and perform at every home football game. The band as we know it today is made up of 11 sections, which include drumline, clarinets, mellophones, low brass (aka KAOS), flutes and piccolos, trumpets,
saxophones, tubas, colorguard, the dance team, and a twirler. This is a far cry from the 17-piece band that was created over 100 years ago! In addition to participating in the ensemble, a select group of students are employed as band staff members who are truly the backbone of the band, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
The Mighty Sound of Maryland is truly one of the most unique and prized characteristics of the University of Maryland. We wish them luck as they travel to support the football team at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on December 26!
This is a post in our series on Terrapin Tales called UMD123! Similar to our “ABC’s of UMD” series in fall 2015, posts in this series will take a look at the university’s history “by the numbers.” New posts will come out monthly; on the Terrapin Tales blog, search “UMD123” or use the UMD123 tag. You can also check out Twitter#UMD123. If you want to learn more about campus history, you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.