Loud and Proud, Band is Back for 85th Reunion

Jessica E. Schumer

Herman C. Quirmbach ’72 and members of the Harvard Band performed both Friday night and at the football game Saturday.

All throughout Lowell Lecture Hall there was a buzz, as old friends got reacquainted over their former love.

The band was back together.

For some of the attendees of the Harvard University Band’s 85th Reunion Weekend, it had been ages since they donned the crimson sport coats and hoisted their instrument of choice at a concert or football game. Despite the lapse of time, the memories forged during the alums undergraduate years remained as vivid as the day they left.

“I feel like it’s kind of a time warp,” David Horn ’65 said. “Inside my body I feel like it’s still 1964, but I look in the mirror and I see all the old alums around, and I’m like ‘shoot.’”

As the band alumni gathered in Lowell Lecture Hall on Friday afternoon for rehearsal, the time warp officially got underway.

Director of Bands Thomas G. Everett stepped up on the stage in the front of the room and attempted to reign in the group of well over 100 people that had already arrived.






“Let’s see what kind of sound we can get together,” Everett said. “B flat.”

Many were.

A round of frantic adjustments ensued.

After a brief warm up with scales, the group moved right into its first piece—The Star-Spangled Banner.

Alums and students flipped through their sheets looking for the right composition.

“Who needs music?” asked a helper scrambling among the rows of chairs.

The drums began to beat and the cymbals clashed. The rich sound of America’s national anthem filled up the hall and leaked out the windows. The message was clear.

The band was back together.

The scene shifted to Sanders Theater later that evening, as the band was performing at its 85th Reunion Concert. The group, now nearly 200 strong, would take the stage at the end of the performance, as The Harvard Jazz Band and The Harvard Wind Ensemble—which included the much anticipated playing of the world’s biggest tuba and an appearance by Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71—kicked off the evening’s events.

Downstairs in Loker Commons, alumni and students alike camped out waiting for their turn. Some passed the time checking e-mail while taking in parts of the playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, but most remained bunkered in the Loker classrooms making necessary last minute preparations.