About NUMB

Rise, Northwestern!

The “Wildcat” Marching Band has long been recognized as one of the most impressive in the nation. Composed of 177 university students, this great, time-​honored organization is known for its high-​energy approach to football entertainment. The combination of tremendous spirit with quality playing and sizzling arrangements creates excitement unmatched in any other arena.

NUMB performs for all home football games and at least one road trip to a Big Ten opponent. An all-​expense-​paid preseason band camp on the Evanston campus brings band members together for about seven days before Wildcat Welcome, the week-​long orientation for new students. It provides them with an opportunity to meet their new classmates and friends while learning and polishing the skills necessary to qualify as a member of the “FINEST BAND IN THE LAND.”

NUMB serves as Northwestern’s representative of tradition and excellence to hundreds of thousands of people each year, from welcoming the team on game days with “Walk with the Cats” to thrilling Chicagoland professional sports fans with performances at Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears events.

The band’s tradition of excellence has also attracted world renowned artists including Gene Krupa, Maynard Ferguson, William Ludwig, and Fredrick Fennell.

Highlights of the season include home game appearances, a regular season road trip to a Big Ten opponent, the Homecoming Pep Rally and Parade, and the annual NUMB awards banquet. NUMB is open to all students with previous band experience, providing great fun and excitement in a dynamic Big Ten setting.

NUMB Facts

Membership
177 men and women representing all undergraduate schools at Northwestern

Instrumentation
Wind instrument block of 139, 23 percussion, 11 color guard, a feature twirler, and 2 drum majors

Specialties
The “Wildcat” Marching Band has long been famous for its blending of marching and playing perfection, a variety of captivating musical arrangements, and clever routines, as well as for its a capella singing of the Alma Mater, fantastic spirit and energy, and entirely volunteer membership.

Uniforms
The “Wildcat” Marching Band unveiled an entirely new uniform for 2011 homecoming game, replacing those first worn at the 1996 Rose Bowl game. The uniform features a predominantly black background with the Northwestern University colors represented in a diagonal purple overlay. A modified West Point shako, high white plume, white gloves and spats complete the uniform. The drum majors wear a white and silver variation of the uniform.

Guard
Since 1948, the “Wildcat” Band has been fronted by the colors of the Big Ten Conference universities. Purple and white drill flags were added in 1975. On the field, the flag corps provides color, flash, and visual enhancement of half-​time drills and concert numbers.