September 21, 2011 — EVANSTON, ILL. — "Jump into the best band in the country," says Northwestern University's head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald.

In a video released today, the coach addresses the "Wildcat nation" and asks them to consider joining the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band. "When we show up to Ryan Field two-and-a-half hours before the game," he says, "the first group of students we get to see is the marching band."

Fitzgerald, who was a saxophonist in the sixth grade, says that when NUMB is playing, "the pagentry of college football is in full effect." It gets the team "pumped up to take on any of our foes," he says.

In the video, the coach also takes a moment to thank the current members of the band for their efforts. This evening, the Northwestern football team are hosting a social together with the band at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, just yards from where the band rehearses on the lakeside field hockey field.

"We will release [from rehearsal] early so that everyone can participate," says Daniel J. Farris, Northwestern director of athletic bands. "This is a huge event," he says.

"Here at Northwestern, we are one family," says Fitzgerald, referring to the team and the band. "From the start at band camp...all the way out to Pasedena, the band and the team are united together with one purpose, and that's to be champions."

—Daniel M. Reck (GSESP08)

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