Pitt Band

 

University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band




1911
The Pitt Band had its first performance at Forbes Field for the Pitt-Ohio Northern football game. This first marching band was organized under the leadership of Carl Sabad. Originally, all eight members of the Pitt Band were male and each of these men was outfitted in a scarlet cap with blue tassels and used borrowed instruments.

1918
Mario S. Rocereto beings his tenure as Director of Bands, which lasts until 1934.

1922
The Military Department takes over the job of training the band and the uniforms are changed to the standard cadet style with a few embellishments. To be eligible for membership in the band, students had to be enrolled in the ROTC program.

1939
Robert L. "Ace" Arthur, who had served as the assistant director since 1937, becomes the Director of Bands. His policy was to put "the best 120 musicians" on the field—no more, no less—and drill them hard. The "sameness of sound" that won recognition for the Pitt Band was achieved through sweat and hard practice. During his tenure, interest in the band was so great that a second band was formed, comprised of freshmen— hence the origination of the band's current name: the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band. Although he was named Director of Bands in 1939, his influence on the band truly began in 1945, upon his return from service in the Navy during WWII. While under Ace's tutelage, the Pitt Band was considered one of the "Big Three" bands of the 1950s—along with the University of Michigan and Ohio State University Bands. The University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band was widely referred to as the "Best Band in the East."

1946
Camp Kon-O-Kwee hosts the first of what now is a firmly established tradition of Pitt Band—Band Camp. Another tradition, Stadium Review, is staged for the first time at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

1958
The Pitt Band serves as the escort to Dwight D. Eisenhower at Fort Ligonier. Ike was favorably impressed and stated to the Pitt Bandsmen in a letter that, "Your famous marching band" more than lived up to its reputation.

1959
The tradition of the pre-game fanfare by the Herald Trumpets begins, reviving an old tradition from the 1930's of a trumpet fanfare prior to the ban's entrance into the stadium.

1960
The headquarters for the band is moved from its original location, the eight floor of the Cathedral of Learning, to newly dedicated headquarters in Pitt Stadium.

1964
At the first football game of the season, televised on NBC, the Pitt Band performs the longest televised halftime show in history—15 minutes and 11 seconds.

1968
The Pitt Band is the first ever to receive a standing ovation at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

1971
The Department of Bands is transferred from the Department of Athletics to the Department of Music. Ace is forced to retire because under the Music Department, retirement is enforced at age 65.

1972
Women, who had already been playing in the concert band for several years, are admitted into the marching band for the first time, an even so controversial that 40 band members quit and the new Director of Bands was pressured to resign. Donald However is chosen to serve as the new Director and holds the position until 1985.

1974
The Golden Girls are instituted as part of the marching band.

1981-1983
The band members do a lot of traveling, as the marching band accompanied the football team to three bowl games in a row—the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, and the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix.

1985
O'Neill Stanford arrives as the Director of Bands and serves until 1995. Upon his arrival, he institutes a new marching style and purchases new uniforms and instruments. The Color Guard is created and makes its debut performance at the West Virginia game that season.

1995-1996
Jack Anderson is chosen to serve as the interim Director of the Bands after the resignation of Stanford. Jack's participation in the band dates back to the days when he accompanied his father, Dr. Jack B. Anderson, the assistant Director of Bands, to games and carried Ace's suitcase around. He is officially appointed Director of Bands in spring 1996. During his first year, Jack instituted many changes harking back to Ace's era: a more military style of marching and a general increase in the pride that comes with being a member of the Pitt Band. The band's other achievements under Jack's direction include two standing ovations at the Ohio State university Marching Band Skull Session in 1996, the first ever given to a visiting band in 20 years, the nomination for the Sudler Trophy, also in 1996, and the movement of headquarters from Bellefield Hall back into the Stadium.

1997
The Pitt Band travels with the football team to Memphis, TN, to perform at the Liberty Bowl on December 31st, 1997. This was the first bowl trip in nine years for the University.

1997-1998
The Pitt Golden Girls, under the direction of E. Michael Bauldauf, win the Grand National Collegiate Majorette Team Championship trophy at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

1999
Pitt Band has the most ever marching members with a membership of 260. Pitt Stadium is demolished and the band moves to a new home in the basement of Trees Hall.

2000
Pitt football games are played in Three Rivers Stadium. The Pitt Band travels with the football team to Phoenix to perform in the Insight.com Bowl.

2001
Jack R. Anderson receives the Paula Crider Award, which is given 'to honor outstanding University Band directors who have distinguished themselves in the field of university bands. In addition, they have been supportive of Tau Beta sigma and its ideals." The Paula Crider Award is one of the national awards given by Tau Beta Sigma.

2003
Pitt Band travels to North Carolina to perform at the Continental Tire Bowl.

2005
Pitt band travels to Tempe, Arizona to perform at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 1st, 2005.

2007
The National Council of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity awards Jack R. Anderson, Pitt's Director of Bands, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal in the instrumental music education category. This is the highest honor able to be given by either Tau Beta Sigma or kappa Kappa Psi.

2011
Pitt Band celebrates its 100th birthday!

2012
Jack R. Anderson retires from of Director of Bands at the University of Pittsburgh after 17 years in the position and a lifetime of serving the Pitt Band.