Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm with the Band: Illinois

Band: Marching Illini
University: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Founded: 1907
Current Director: Barry L. Houser
School Song: "Illinois Loyalty"
Fight Song: "Oskee Wow Wow"

The Marching Illini boast many firsts: the first college band to use Sousaphones, the first to play a halftime show, the first to sing acapella on the field, etc. Not surprisingly, any band in America which has ever earned any form of praise from J.P. Sousa himself is eager to trumpet the fact. The great band leader once called the Marching Illini the "World's Greatest College Band."

This is Professor Houser's first year directing the organization. Amazingly, he is only the eighth director of the Marching Illini in its 104-year history. There's nothing quite like tenure to get someone to stick around.

Illinois has not one but two school songs. "Illinois Loyalty" is the main school song but "Oskee Wow Wow" is the one they play after touchdowns and such. I couldn't find composer info for "Illinois Loyalty" but "Oskee Wow Wow" was written by Howard Green and Harold Hill (he of The Music Man fame?) in 1911.

All This and Football, Too

My Picks for the Week: 15/20 (tied for 1st out of 3 players)
My Picks for the Season: 28/40 (3rd out of 3)

I picked three underdogs this week: Hawaii, Cincinnati and Michigan. Michigan was the only one that won, though it didn't help me too much as the other two guys picked them, too. Once again, I would have done better just to pick all favorites.

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