- Band of the Fighting Irish
bandname=Band of the Fighting Irish
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
director=Dr. Ken Dye
uniform=Blue pants, a white and blue shako hat with a gold "ND"
monogramin front, a half-white, half blue-and-gold jacket with golden lyre buttons in front and a large golden "ND" monogramon the back, an official trademarked and copyrighted green, blue, gold, red, and black plaid, white "ND" gloves and gauntlets, white spats, and black shoes. Special "shamrock awards" are also worn on the front of the uniform by those veteran band members with perfect attendance.The Band of the Fighting Irish is the marching bandof the University of Notre Dame. The over 380 members of the band represent nearly every field of study, and include students from all fifty states as well as from overseas. Band members are consistently seen as distinguished members of the university community and serve as ambassadors of the unique "Spirit of Notre Dame" through their music and pagentry.
The band performs at all home football games and pep rallies. A typical home game schedule commences on Friday afternoon when the band marches out from the Main Building to their rehearsal field for a final-run through of their field show, to the delight of onlookers. Following practice, the band marches from the Band Building to the
Edmund P. Joyce Centerto perform for the pep rally, energizing students and fans alike.
Saturday morning commences with an early morning march about campus as a traditional way to "wake-up" students across campus in preparation for game day festivities. Once arriving at the Loftus Indoor Sports Facility, the band practices their field show once more and thereafter convenes for lunch, often performing various songs for special banquets held in the South Dining Hall at this time.
The day continues with a "Concert on the Steps" at Bond Hall, the Architecture Building, as the band performs traditional tunes as well as the half-time field show music in stand-still performance for the large crowds surrounding the building. Directly following this performance are the traditional "Drummer's Circle" in front of Bond Hall as well as "Trumpets in the Dome" performances.
Next, approximately half-an-hour before kick-off, the band steps off from in front of the Main Building for their traditional march to the stadium, led by the Cheerleaders and
Irish Guard, the band parades down the streets, lined by fans clapping and cheering the Irish onwards to victory.
After performing for pre-game festivities, their half-time show, and the post-game show, the band makes a triumphant march back to the band building after the game, and awaits preparations for the upcoming game day and the next opportunity to support their Fighting Irish football team.
Kenneth W. Dye, is Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the
University of Notre Dame. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, where he holds a Doctorate in Music Education and a Master's in Business Administration. He has also earned degrees of Master of Arts in Music from California State Universityand Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California. [http://www.nd.edu/~ndband/directors.html. URL last accessed 2008-02-05]
As a composer/arranger, Ken Dye serves as a staff writer for several publishers and most recently served as composer/arranger for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Band and pops arranger for the
Dallas Symphony. His writing activities have produced over 800 works for Band and orchestra performed throughout the U.S. and overseas. The Concert Band has performed a “sold out” Concert in the Sydney Opera Houseand last spring celebrated Mozart's 250th birthday with a special performance in the Mozarteum, in Salzburg, Austria. Most recently the Notre Dame Band performed with the Band “ Chicago” at Notre Dame Stadium. [http://www.nd.edu/~ndband/directors.html URL last accessed 2008-02-05]
The Oldest Band in the Land
There has always been a close and affectionate tie between the Notre Dame Band and the rest of the Notre Dame community. Rev.
Edward Sorin, C.S.C., who founded the University in 1842, is strongly rumored to have been a clarinet player. And while it is possible that the Notre Dame Band and musical studies originated with the University that same year, the earliest reference to the band is in 1846 when it played at the first graduation ceremony. The importance of music on campus also caused a Music Hall/Auditorium to be built as the third major building of the new school after the classroom/dormitory building (The Golden Dome) and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Indiana. The legendary football coach, Knute Rockne, played flute for Notre Dame, and former Athletic Director Edward Moose Krausespent some years studying music before putting his clarinet on the shelf and devoting himself to athletics.
University of Notre DameBand is the oldest college band (in continuous existence) in the United States and was honored as such by being declared a "Landmark of American Music" by the National Music Council, the Indiana Music Educators Association and Exxon Corporationduring the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial.
The Band of the Fighting Irish has a long tradition of providing music and pageantry for the Notre Dame football games. It was on hand for the first game against the
University of Michiganin 1887 and has not missed a single home game since. It should be noted that the Notre Dame Band was celebrating its forty-first anniversary when that historic first game was played.
The Notre Dame Band has always been a very active organization. It's early purpose was apparently to lift the spirits of students and provide entertainment on special occasions. The Band has also been on hand to witness many highs and lows in American history. It played at the University's "Main Circle" as students left to join the armies both North and South during the
Civil War. The Band played at the circle whenever students left to fight in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and played a benefit concert for the victims of the Great Chicago Firein 1871. [Kryk, John. "Natural Enemies: Major College Football's Oldest, Fiercest Rivaly--Michigan vs. Notre Dame," (Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publications), 247.] The band has played around the country and around the world for countless concerts, masses, graduations, civic functions, bowl games, parades, athletic contests and many, many national championships. [http://und.cstv.com/genrel/102204aac.html. URL last accessed 2008-02-05] [http://music.nd.edu/about/news/cymbal_of_love/index.shtml. URL last accessed 2008-02-05]
* [http://www.nd.edu/~ndband/index.html Official Site]
* [http://www.nd.edu/~ndband/alumni.html Alumni Band Site]
* [http://und.cstv.com/trads/nd-m-fb-band.html CSTV Traditions Site]
* [http://music.nd.edu/ Notre Dame Department of Music]
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