It's That Time of Year...

Photo by Cathy Marszalik

Photo by Cathy Marszalik

I grew up attending private school my whole life. That is, until I began attending The University of Georgia in August 2012 where I participated in a 450-member marching band. High school me couldn’t contain the excitement and being a part of a marching band this size was a dream come true.

I went to Woodward Academy, a moderately sized high school that was pretty diverse. I started playing tuba in 7th grade and continued throughout middle and high school. I joined the marching band in high school, and while I did enjoy my time there, the music we played was never satisfying enough. I liked loud, in-your-face bands with dances, chants, and most importantly songs that allowed you to blast the hell out of your horn (but still sound good). Not all of our songs had to be like this, but it would've been nice to just have a few. We played tracks like “Hey! Baby!,” “Go Big Red” and other old, outdated songs. However, the band was pretty small (about 40 people), which limited what we could and couldn’t do as an ensemble.

Because of this, I had a great interest in pretty much any college marching band. Whether the band was affiliated with the PAC-12 or an HBCU, every single band I would see had 200+ members and was playing loud and proud. Also, they would regularly change some of their music to please the crowd and give themselves a fresh sound. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of marching band videos that appealed to that loud band sound I wanted to be a part of so badly in high school. Here are some of my favorite arrangements from a variety of college and professional bands.

Let’s Go Wildcats by Bethune-Cookman University

Ironically, I first heard this in one of the NCAA Football video games. Ever since then, it’s been stuck in my head.

Throw Sum Mo by Southern University

Southern University is one of the most well known college bands. This was one of my favorite songs they played when they visited UGA.

Hello by Southern University

This is another one of my favorites by Southern University. It’s absolutely deafening and so beautiful at the same time.

The Horse by The University of Wisconsin

I actually played this in high school, so I have a bit of nostalgia with this song. I only wish that we played it more.

Ranger Hook by The Virginia State University Tubas

In my sophomore year at UGA, the tuba section tried to play this. We never got it to work out, but I’ve been hooked to this since.

Transformers/Earthquake by The Auburn University Tubas

This is a popular arrangement for tuba sections and many schools (even high schools) with large enough tuba sections play this.

Neck by Bethune-Cookman University

Another bumpin’ tune from BCU. While there are some controversial lyrics to “Neck” (made popular by LSU), I’m purely a fan of the instrumentation and tubas in this song.

Canon (Sanctus) by Phantom Regiment

UGA’s band plays an almost identical arrangement of this piece. While only performed on game days, the first time I heard it, I knew it was a piece that I would cherish forever.