U of M Marching Band becomes first group to move into TCF Bank Stadium Saturday morning
Media Note: Marching Band director Tim Diem and other band personnel will be available to conduct interviews and give tours of new space at approximately 9:45 a.m.; unloading begins at 9:15.
When: Saturday, July 25, 9:15 a.m. (first unloading) to around noon. Media tours/interviews available at 9:45
Where: Outside Pope County entrance at TCF Bank Stadium (enter at 23rd Avenue)
Contacts: Ryan Maus, University News Service, (507) 649-0160, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly O'Brien, College of Liberal Arts, (612) 624-4109, email@example.com
July 21, 2009
For the first time in its 118-year history, the University of Minnesota Marching Band finally has a home it can call its own. On the morning of Saturday, July 25, the “Pride of Minnesota” will move into its own space in the new TCF Bank Stadium. The band is the first group to officially move into the stadium, joining only a few operations administrators, as they prepare for the 2009 football season opener Sept. 12.
Starting at approximately 9:15 a.m., Marching Band members past and present will begin unloading the 323 instruments, 315 uniforms (comprised of 18 pieces each), 150 flags and poles and hundreds of thousands of pieces of music that make up the marching band’s operation, bringing them from the band’s longtime Northrop Auditorium space to their new 20,000 square-foot home down University Avenue.
Northrop has been the band’s rehearsal home for the past 79 years. And while its large stage and locker facilities met basic needs, the facility was never ideal.
“If anyone came to town to perform in Northrop Auditorium, they would take the stage and we were outside, regardless of the weather,” said Tim Diem, director of the Marching Band. Having their storage and rehearsal facilities in the same building they perform in will provide savings in money, time and carbon emissions: students would spend at least an hour each day traveling back and forth from Northrop to the band’s rehearsal field near Dinkytown, and it took nine buses, at a cost of $3,000-$4,000 per game, to move the band and its instruments to the Metrodome.
Minnesota is now believed to be one of only two Big Ten school marching bands to be housed within their respective football stadiums, joining Ohio State.
“The new space really brings us into the 21st century,” said Diem. “We’ll have audio and video recording abilities there, so we can have nearly instantaneous review of our rehearsals and performances. That means that the band will tighten up new shows much faster than in the past.”
With only five days to learn many of their shows, these technology aids will make a significant impact. The 20,000 square foot facility includes a main rehearsal hall as well as two smaller rehearsal spaces, a music library, an archive room, uniform and equipment maintenance and storage rooms, and sufficient locker and shower facilities for the 320 or so musicians who perform at every home game.
Marching Band Moving Day: By the Numbers
Time of first unload: About 9:15 a.m.
Movers: 50+ marching band members past and present
Items to move:
323 instruments including:
38 alto saxophones
25 tenor saxophones
20 flutes and piccolos
150 flags and poles
315 regular uniforms (each consisting of 18 parts)
100’s of thousands of pieces of music
Assorted PA’s, ladders, file cabinets, pep band jerseys, etc.
What is saved by moving into TCF Bank Stadium:
- $3,000-4,000 for each football game the band no longer has to bus to at the Metrodome
- Environmental effects of driving the 9 buses needed to move the marching band and their equipment to the Metrodome
- Five hours each week, at least, that every student will save time now that they don’t have to travel between instrument storage at Northrop and the practice field near Dinkytown.
315 (on average) perform each week
100 new members join each year
200-240 return each year
All are currently registered U of M undergraduate and graduate students
Marching Band miscellany:
- This is the band’s 118th season.
- The rotating ‘M’ and other popular elements of the half-time shows will continue in the new stadium, but all routines need to be re-written to move in the opposite direction.
- The Marching band produces a new show for every football game, which means that some shows are mastered in only five days.
- At 18 minutes, U of M Marching Band’s pre-game show is the longest of any in the country.
- Show themes this season will include an opening day celebration (featuring a favorite of the 1982 season, the last one on campus before moving to the Dome), Halloween, Stevie Wonder, and Queen, among others.
- Spat Camp (training camp) begins August 21 for leaders, August 25 for entire band.