In Defense of the Band

(The CRIMSON invites all men in the University to submit signed communications of timely interest. It assumes no responsibility, however, for sentiments expressed under this head and reserves the right to exclude any whose publication would be palpably inappropriate.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

Dear Sir:

At the beginning of the football season a year ago, the University Band began the practice of performing maneuvres, complicated or otherwise, to add to the Saturday afternoons an element that would please the crowd. The maneuvres of the Band were not meant to please everybody. You can't please everybody. If you could, we'd call this place heaven and look further for ideals in bands--and editorials.

I have always been aware that there are persons who do not care for the so-called "gyrations". As a rule, I find that they are the very ones who would come home after seeing maneuvres performed by another band than their own, and say, I don't see why the Harvard Band can't do things like that;"--if the Harvard Band had not already beaten the others to it. The very fact that college bands throughout the country have copied our maneuvres shows how favorably they have been considered in sectons of the country outside of our-own little eastern cozy-corner. May I venture to add that some of these bands are among the finest in the country?


"The complicated maneuvres with no apparent end--marching and countermarching to the monotonous rhythm of beating drums" which the CRIMSON critic declares gave the crowds in the stands five minutes of "weariness if not of disgust", took exactly two minutes and a half and elicited tremendous applause. If the majority of the people in the stands were suffering, they used a queer method of expressing pain.

I have always heard of Harvard Loyalty, and have always thought of it as something sacred. It grieves me to see it thus displayed. I don't believe that any Harvard organization turns down good constructive criticism, but I know that it finds beneath contempt an intolerant attitude which constitutes not criticism but an ill-considered attack. And I believe that while no Harvard organization wants to be patted on the back all the time, neither does it care to eat the vituperation of a dyspeptic critic.

The program of the Saturday performances of the University Band is arranged, and will be followed through. At some games there will be formations; at others there will not. ADDISON SIMMONS '24   Director   The Harvard University Band.