As we’re all aware by now, Dave Brandon and the athletic department have made it public that the University will not be sending the marching band to Dallas when the Wolverines take on Alabama.
I recently spoke with an anonymous source from the University of Michigan Marching Band to get their opinions on the news of the band not going to Dallas this fall.
Q: It’s obviously disheartening news to hear that you will not be able to participate in Dallas. What were your initial thoughts when you first heard the news? After you’ve had some time to think on it, what are you feeling now?
A: When I first heard the news, I was shocked. From all the talk and preparation for the Cowboys Classic, the last e-mail I expected from Dr. Boerma was one stating that the MMB would no longer be attending the game. I feel that if we are a part of athletics then we should be budgeted into the trip as well. I know a large group of people who go to the games to see the MMB just as much as the football team.
Q: Was the band preparing for September already?
A: In a way yes, we were working out a new summer band camp schedule and planning on starting early in order to get our new members where they needed to be by the time of the Cowboys Classic. Every one of the returning members were ready to sacrifice a few more days out of summer for the good of the band.
Q: Do you feel the marching band is a part of the team? What do you think the contributions that the marching band does to the Big House crowd on Saturdays?
A: I feel like the marching band is a part of the team. We practice daily, we watch film, we get “coached”, we perform. Brady Hoke even commended us this summer on our “Three-a-Days” saying that we were having longer practices than Team 132. I feel that the marching band brings tradition to the Big House on Saturdays, from the practice out at Elbel field, to the Step Show before the game, the parade to the Big House, to the entries out of the tunnel, all of it contributes to the tradition of the MMB and the Big House. The MMB is just as important as the football team to me.
Q: What’s next? Is the marching band preparing to protest or arrange some sort of fundraising event?
A: Well, a lot of the members of the marching band have been tweeting #MMBtoDallas on twitter and posting on Facebook as well. Members of the Million Dollar Band (Alabama) have started a Facebook group called “University of Alabama support Michigan Marching Band #MMBTODALLAS” to raise awareness and support. And concerned students, alumnus, faculty, fans, and supporters of the MMB will be hosting a rally at 2 pm at the Diag on 4/20 in support of the MMB. As well as donations, from strong supporters of the MMB and Michigan Football.
Q: If you could tell David Brandon and the other members of the athletic director why you and the marching band deserve to go to Dallas, what would you say?
A: I would say that the public has really spoken about the way they feel about the MMB no longer attending the Cowboys Classic. The band is a crucial part of Michigan Football and the game just wouldn’t be the same without the Victors being played after every score or Temptation after stopping Alabama on 3rd Down. And I would leave him with a quote from the great Bo Schembechler, “The next time I go into a war, I want my band with me!”.