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University Band Travels with Basketball Team

By JOE B. LERER, Contributing Writer

Harvard men’s basketball is on its spring trip—and with the team, so is the Harvard University Band.

Currently in Albuquerque, N. M., the band will support twelfth-seeded Harvard as it plays the fifth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores on Thursday.

“We’ll be playing our classic fight songs—‘Ten Thousand Men of Harvard,’ ‘Veritas,’ and ‘Harvardiana,’ as well as our normal repertoire of pop music—‘Bad Romance,’ ‘99 Red Balloons,’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer,’” said Drill Master Christopher M. Murray ’13, who plays the trombone.

The band—together with the basketball team, athletic personnel, and cheerleaders—took off from Hanscom Airfield in Bedford, Mass., at noon on Tuesday, bound for the New Mexico high desert.

The NCAA funds travel for twenty-nine university band members when their team advances to a tournament, providing them with free airfare, hotel accommodations, and coveted tickets to watch their team compete in the tournament.

Harvard band members are staying with the Harvard basketball players and athletic personnel, at the downtown Albuquerque Hyatt Regency.

“We were really excited to go to Albuquerque and we have been really honored by how inclusive the athletic department staff has been,” said Drum Major Elizabeth R. Moroney ’12.

“We got to watch the Selection Sunday show with the basketball team, and it has been great to enjoy spring break in a really warm place,” she added. “This has been a treat for us.”

While in Albuquerque, the band has been supporting the Crimson’s basketball players as they enter and leave the hotel throughout the day. On Wednesday, the band performed four times during the day for a total of six hours.

Yet band members said there has also been ample time for them to have fun outside of performances.

“We had the night off yesterday, and we went to a New Mexican restaurant,” Moroney said. “We also visited Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest.”

At tip-off on Thursday, the Harvard band will be seated underneath the basket closest to Harvard’s bench.

“This is a first for not only the basketball team—this is a big deal for the Harvard University Band,” said Murray. “We are having the time of our lives attending the tournament and we are very excited to support the Crimson tomorrow.”

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