Band Celebrates 80 Years with Weekend of Festivities

More than 100 alumni of the Harvard University Band marched alongside current members at halftime during last weekend's rout of the Dartmouth football team, in commemoration the band's 80th anniversary.

Marching at the game was the highlight of a weekend celebrating the long history of the band and the lifelong friendships shared among its members. More than 150 band alumni returned for the festivities.

"Everybody is pretty much the same except now they're doctors and lawyers," said Band Foundation President James J. Nicklaus '90.

Nicklaus, who was a drill master during the '89 football season and played the trombone, recalls his band years fondly.

" I remember getting drunk with these people and the idea of these people in positions of responsibility is like, 'Oh my God!'" says Nicklaus, who was also a Crimson editor.

"It was a group that began somewhat ambiguously-talented (musically), out there for the love of it and to show a little school spirit," Nicklaus said.

The band set its own unofficial record at the weekend game with six conductors whose tenures span five decades, keeping time for the intricate half-time show.

"Over half a century there have been many constants and a few changes. In many ways the constants are more important than the changes," said former Band Foundation President Marlow Segal '52, who has played in at least one show every year since 1948.

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