On the Field: The Michigan Marching Band

Alumni Marching Band also performed at homecoming

The vibrant sounds of the 360-member University of Michigan Marching Band were bolstered Saturday at Michigan Stadium by the Alumni Marching Band, which drew 350 former marchers from around the country to the homecoming game against the University of Iowa. Enjoying the bands is more than just a musical sensation – it’s also a visual feast. Here are some of the moments, patterns and colors of the day from the camera of local freelance journalist Lynn Monson.

Michigan Marching Band drum major David Hines, Jr.

Michigan Marching Band drum major David Hines, Jr., coils low before springing up to lead the band out of the tunnel and onto the field before the game. (Photos link to larger images.)

Michigan Marching Band horn leader

Arms and mellophone raised, the leader of a line of horns sets the standard as he charges across the field during the pre-game program.

Michigan Marching Band trombones

A trombone section flashes a line of blue legs and silver slides as it steps its way down the field in the pre-game program.

Michigan Marching Band Director Scott Boerma

Michigan Marching Band Director Scott Boerma exhorts the band and at the same time energizes the sea of maize-clad fans in the stands who pick up on the high-energy chants, cheers and cadences that the band plays throughout the game.

Michigan Marching Band horn section

Horns and tubas gleam in the fading light of late afternoon. The pink-clad fans behind the band were part of a group that formed a pink Block M as a breast cancer awareness message during the game.

Michigan Alumni Marching Band

This member of the Alumni Marching Band demonstrates that he still has the smile, high step and arched-back form necessary for leading the band.

Michigan Marching Band trombone player

A Michigan Marching Band trombone player aims high as he sends notes toward the far reaches of the crowd of 112,784 at Saturday's game.

Josh Albee of the Michigan Marching Band

Josh Albee, a junior from Clarkston, flashes his cymbals overhead during a Michigan Marching Band drum line presentation on the field during a break in the game.

Audrey Cook, Lynn Koch, Jerry DeShaw

There's no time for snacking for Alumni Marching Band member Audrey Cook, who holds an apple in her mouth so she doesn't miss any drum beats on the sideline during the third quarter. Cook, a resident of Whitmore Lake, is sitting next to Lynn Koch of Troy and Jerry DeShaw of Holland.

Becky Wortmann, Michigan Marching Band

Becky Wortmann, a freshman from Dexter, whips her maize and blue banner through a post-game routine with the flag squad as spectators empty the stadium.

Michigan Marching Band exits Michigan Stadium

The 360-member Michigan Marching Band closes ranks as it heads up the tunnel to exit a nearly-empty Michigan Stadium at mid-evening Saturday, after Michigan's 38-28 loss to Iowa. Since starting practice at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, band members logged nearly a 12-hour day by the time they filed out of band headquarters at Revelli Hall later in the evening.


  1. By Bob Martel
    October 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm | permalink

    So nice to see one aspect of Football Saturdays that we can still do as well as ever!

  2. By Sue Shine
    October 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm | permalink

    Great images, Lynn!

  3. By Mark
    October 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm | permalink

    I appreciate the MMB, but I do wish they would cater their selections more toward their audience. I don’t like to hear “It’s a Small World” at Disney World, and certainly do not want to hear it at a football game.

    It’s a football game. Play things that someone at a football game would want to hear. Know your audience.

  4. By Matt
    October 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm | permalink


    Trust me, we weren’t wild about the musical selection this week either, but the University “requested” that we do a tribute to the Peace Corps this week as part of their kickoff to its 50th anniversary celebration. Combine that with the fact that it’s homecoming and Dr. Boerma has to consider the alumni band when make musical decisions for the show. You can see how it was a little difficult to make this week a world-beater of a halftime show.

  5. By Jay
    October 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | permalink

    To add to that, we do have a board of students that spends a lot of time thinking about that exact thing. There is a lot that goes into deciding what goes into a show, such as the ease of getting the music, what group of people we are targeting with particular music, and the vast amount of tastes our audiences have. We try to accommodate all tastes, but of course that is next to impossible. Playing something like Lady Gaga appeals to the student body, but it may not appeal to the many Alumni at the game, whereas something like Van Halen may not appeal to the younger student section. And ultimately, if Michigan Athletics asks us to do something, like the Peace Corps show, we try our best to fulfill their wishes.

  6. October 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm | permalink

    thanks! These photos almost make up for not being there at Homecoming.

  7. By Casey Hans
    October 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm | permalink

    Love the photos, Lynn. Good to see you published here.

  8. By Sarah Prince
    October 21, 2010 at 7:56 am | permalink

    Sweet shots, Lynn. My favorite is the horns & pink shirts one. :)

  9. October 22, 2010 at 9:57 am | permalink

    These photos go beyond great. I think the MMB is spectacular. That Drum Major is terrific!

  10. By Lenadams Dorris
    October 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm | permalink

    The MMB is the best part of a day in the Big House. Hopefully this week we’ll get photos from the magnificent performance they, the Symphonic Band and the Concert Band gave at the Band-O-Rama Saturday evening. Go Blue Music Makers!