The Chippewa Marching Band

In Fall 1923, Music Department Head J. Harold Powers enlisted sixteen players and, with the assistance of Registrar and Dean of Men Charles C. Barnes as honorary Drum Major, formed a new Central Normal Band to lend spirit to Football Games. According to the Chippewa Yearbook that year:

The band helped immensely to add color to the games and to keep the spirit of the spectators, as well as the team, at a maximum. Let us hope that the band will continue to give added zest to the social and athletic endeavors of Central and that the bands of later years will continue to maintain the high standards set by the present organization of splendid musicians.

Into our second century

Looking forward to our 102nd season, the Chippewa Marching Band (CMB) has maintained a tradition of excellence and innovation, summarized in our motto, Concordia ad astra ("Together to the stars"). One of the most recognizable public faces of the University, the Band is an invaluable collection of musical ambassadors for CMU. On the field each year are students from every college of the University and who represent over 100 academic programs. Join us for an exciting anniversary year in 2024!

2024 Season Schedule

2024 Band Day

A picture of combined marching bands from the 2019 CMU Band Day.

The CMU School of Music is pleased to invite you and your students to join us for our SEVENTIETH Band Day on Saturday, September 28, 2024. We’re sharing preliminary schedule and repertoire information to aid you in making fall travel plans. This year’s show will feature selections from The Backstreet Boys!

Because it’s proved successful, we’ll again form an ALL-STAR MASSED BAND to perform at halftime. We invite you to bring as many of your students as you like to join us on the field. Any consideration toward balanced instrumentation is at your discretion. Try to bring at least as many tenor and bass voices as upper woodwinds. Alto voices and trumpets shouldn’t pose a problem in any number. Our primary concern is that your students have a chance to participate. Please do what you can to help with balance while bringing as many students as possible.

We once again invite you to bring members of your color guard, in any number, to be featured with the CMU Guard at halftime. We will help your students with VERY SIMPLE FLAG WORK for one of the featured numbers and The Central Fight Song. We’ll continue to write for flags only, though you may bring any other auxiliary performers as you like. As in previous years, additional students may attend without performing, at your discretion. ALL students must be in uniform to be admitted to the game. Please select an appropriate alternative to your usual “full uniform,” should we face unusually warm weather. We’ll stay in touch as the event approaches in case we need to make that call. Directors, drivers, and chaperons will be issued tickets as well, courtesy of CMU Athletics.

We hope you and your students can join us for this colorful event. Our fans and the CMU student body are always a fantastic audience, and coach Jim McElwain is looking forward to another very exciting season for our Chippewas. All in all, it should be a day to remember. Please complete the online form at Final arrangements and additional information will be mailed in August so you can finalize your itineraries as quickly as possible. We hope you and your students can join us for a day of musical pageantry and Chippewa Football!

Click here for Schedule and Music ordering information.