Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm with the Band: Purdue

Band: Purdue "All-American" Marching Band
University: Purdue University
Founded: 1886
Current Director: Jay Gephart
Fight Song: "Hail Purdue"
Today's Home Game: Eastern Michigan, 12 p.m.

Photo via Purdue

Purdue's band started out as just a five-man drumline and stands today at 373 strong.  Purdue claims to be the first band to form block letters on the field.

Halftime 11/19/11:

"Hail Purdue:"

They also claim to possess the world's largest bass drum (a common claim among the nation's marching bands, I have found).

Photo via Purdue

In addition to all of the usual football duties, Purdue has also been the host band of the Indy 500 every year since the race began in 1927.

Purdue allows me a wonderful seque.  The most famous alum of the band is none other than astronaut Neil Armstrong, who played euphonium for the AAMB in 1952.  Armstrong passed away last month, a true American hero if ever there were one.  I always figured he had the ultimate one-up retort at parties.  First man on the moon trumps pretty much any other life accomplishment one could claim.

Photo via AeroSpaceGuide

Understandably, the band takes great pride in its association with Armstrong:

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