If you're headed to the Homecoming/Reunion Weekend football game Saturday night (6:30 p.m. kickoff), you'll get to see a real success story on the field....and I'm not just talking about Coach James Franklin's Commodores.
The Spirit of Gold Marching Band is now approximately 200 members strong with both Vanderbilt students (with no doubt several coming from the relatively new Blair School of Music) as well as musicians who attend other colleges and universities in town such as Belmont, Lipscomb, Fisk, Trevecca and Nashville Tech. Being open to all local students is a long standing tradition for the group.
And besides the Spirit of Gold Marching Band there's also a Pep Band that performs during basketball games; a Symphonic Wind Ensemble; a Jazz Band and a Comnmunity Concert Band. The program has a very active alumni group several of whom return to campus every year and even in fill-in during the holidays when students are away.
Things have come a long way from when we first came to campus in 1969, and the Band had just losts its headquarters building on campus to the wrecking ball. Classmate Scott Morrell told me the story in a recent e-mail:
> Here's a piece of VU band trivia which may be of interest to a few of
> our classmates. In calling my assigned group of classmates, who were
> Vanderbilt Band members, one of them admitted to me that he had taken
> the sign that was in front of the old band building and he still has
> it. That building, which we used our freshman year, faced 24th Avenue
> South. It was torn down right after marching season to become the
> parking lot for Towers 3 and 4, which were under construction.
> Here's a picture of the sign. The source tells me he salvaged it from
> the wreckage, so it was probably going to be thrown away. Here's a photo of the old building..
The band program was called the> Joint University Bands at the time, and many Peabody students played > with us - many were music majors, and that helped us a lot!
Thanks for sharing, Scott!
The Band currently has its headquarters on 28th Avenue South within easy walking (or marching)distance of Vanderbilt Stadium.
With a 3-2 mark this year and 7 games to play, we're on pace to do it again. But beating the Missouri Tigers, now a fellow member of the Southeastern Conference is critical.
Anchor Down! Go Vandy! Beat the Tigers!
I hope to continue to post stories on the blog as well as photos over the weekend. Please feel free to e-mail me anything you want me to put up.
Thanks and see you soon!