JANUARY 1, 2013 — JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — "We talked about making history," said an emotional Pat Fitzgerald as he addressed the Northwestern University faithful at the conclusion of the 2013 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. The head football coach and his team had just ended the Wildcat's 64-year bowl game victory drought with a win over Mississippi State University. "This is just the beginning," he said.
The coach then called for the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band to perform "Go U, Northwestern!" one more time. Brimming with excitement, he counted the tempo himself—at nearly double time. The band, however, kept up. The energy was palpable. Student musicians' faces were streaked with tears and wrinkled with smiles.
Meanwhile, long-time Voice of the Wildcat Band Pete Friedmann watched from the EverBank Field press box. He was also blinking back tears.
The Wildcat Band will be rehearsing tomorrow morning (New Year's Eve) at Atlantic Coast High School, 9735 R.G. Skinner Parkway, Jacksonville, Fla. [Map and Directions] The rehearsal will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET.
"It was really great to see a great turnout of fans at last year's open rehearsal in Houston," says Farris. "We're glad to welcome fans to our rehearsal."
DECEMBER 29, 2012 — IN THE SKIES ABOVE KENTUCKY — Nearly 200 students, a dozen professional and graduate staff members, hundreds of equipment cases and garment bags full of uniforms, crates of plumes, three full-size ladders, a podium for the drum majors (and their parade maces), a load of professional A/V equipment, portable public address systems, a set of yard line markers, a well-traveled folding chair for Director of Bands Mallory Thompson, and a large tote of SpiriTeam gear... including the requisite rubber chicken. It's a lot of people and stuff to move.
What does it take to transplant the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band to Jacksonville, Fla., for the 2013 Gator Bowl?
DECEMBER 28, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — Even as a few snow flakes float down outside Trienens Hall on the Evanston campus, the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band is warming up to make their fifth straight bowl game appearance in support of the Wildcat football team.
"This trip is very important on a number of levels," says Director of Athletic Bands Daniel J. Farris. "We're representing the team, the athletic department, the Bienen School of Music, and all of Northwestern. It's a real privilege."
NOVEMBER 24, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — On Nov. 23, 1912, Northwestern’s popular fight song, “Go U! Northwestern!”, premiered at a game against Illinois and has been sung by generations of fans ever since. One hundred years later, the University celebrated the song’s centennial with a contest soliciting creative and unique renditions of the song from students, alumni and fans.
After receiving numerous entries, a select panel of judges—director of athletic bands Dan Farris, WildPride spirit squad coordinator Pam Bonnevier and head football coach Pat Fitzgerald—chose the epic rendition submitted by the Boneheads, the trombone section of the Northwestern University Marching Band, as the contest winner. The Boneheads consist of students Andres Caneva, Motoki Mizoguchi, Michael Nowakowski, Adam Snyder, Phillip Smith, Ashley Doody, Tom Saxton, Michael Creatura, Neal Kfoury, Tim Perian, Megan Wines, Aaron Blow and Michael Fagan.