From Facebook and Twitter, to the blogosphere and printed newspapers (and even Wheel of Fortune!), here's the all buzz about the Northwestern Bands.

The Northwestern Concert BandFebruary 23, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — "Consider this an invitation to participate in Concert Band during Spring quarter," says Daniel J. Farris, director of the University's athletic bands, who also conducts the Concert Band.

By popular demand, the the Northwestern University Concert Band has been offered to students on a year-round basis during the 2011-2012 academic year, featuring performances each quarter. The spring concert will be on Sunday, May 25, at 3 p.m. in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

The Concert Band is one of ten music ensembles offered by the Bienen School of Music which is open to all qualified Northwestern students, regardless of their major, but it is the only band in the offerings aside from the "Wildcat" Marching Band.  Instrumental students may also join the Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Small Ensembles, the Baroque Music Ensemble, or Philharmonia (the University orchestra).  Several choral options are also available.

"This is a great way to keep up on your instrument and enjoy playing good music with a great group of people," says Farris. "It also involves a minimum of rehearsal time," with rehearsals scheduled for Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Additional audition information is available below in this article.

Pete Friedmann, Voice of the Wildcat Band February 20, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — This season a new voice welcomes the Northwestern University Women's Basketball team each time they hit the court in Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Yet, many Wildcat fans probably recognize the you-can-hear-the-smile inflections of rookie basketball announcer Pete Friedmann (C79). After all, he's been the Voice of the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band for more than three decades.

"Although I’m a professional announcer, voice over artist and former broadcaster, I’ve never really announced sports," says Friedmann.

Nonetheles, someone saw—or rather heard—potential in Friedmann. When the call for auditions went out, he tried out "like anyone else," he says. He got the job.

"My wife and I have been going to NU Women’s Basketball games for at least 20 years," he says. "I would be there for most games anyway, and I liked the idea of trying something new and challenging along the way."

Although Friedmann has been in the announcer's box at hundreds of Northwestern athletic events, he has always had the benefit of knowing ahead of time what the Wildcat Band planned for its performances.

"The excitement in being a sports fan is that you never know until it happens," he says. "The biggest challenge for me—besides not being able to cheer for the ‘Cats and sing along with NUBB [the basketball band]—is keeping track of everything when it seems it’s all happening at once, and trying to announce it in a timely manner."

While Friedmann works from a script with the marching band, often counting footsteps and drumbeats to time his announcements, the flow of a basketball game is a bit more frantic.

The Northwestern University 'Wildcat' Basketball Band Cheers at Welsh-Ryan ArenaJanuary 23, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — Dozens of band alumni will once again don purple shirts and ready their instruments to play in support of Northwestern basketball this Saturday, Jan. 28., as the Wildcats challenge Purdue at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcat faithful will perform alongside the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Basketball Band.

"Director [of Athletic Bands] Dan Farris has been kind enough to invite the NUMBALUMS to play with NUBB for one Big Ten game each season the past couple years," says Brittany Petersen (J09), Vice President of Publicity for the NUMBALUMS. "We're not about to let a good thing end!"

The NUMBALUMS organization, which includes alumni from all of Northwestern's band programs including the marching band, asks interested alumni performers to register on their website before midnight this Friday.

Splendid SouaphonesJanuary 12, 2012 — EVANSTON, ILL. — Photo loving fans of the Northwestern University 'Wildcat' Marching Band are discovering the ensemble's new photostream on Flickr.

"We launched it just after the last home game," says the band's Director of Web Media, Daniel M. Reck (GSESP08). "Over one hundred official photos from the Meineke Car Care Bowl trip are being posted over the next few days."

Many of those photos were taken by Tom McGrath (C03), the Wildcat Band's Director of Photography, who was assisted by Reck during the trip. Both are NUMBALUMS.

"I started working with NUMB several years ago," says McGrath, who is also owner of TCMcG Photography, which has provided professional headshots for Northwestern students launching their musical and artistic careers. His images and videos have been used to promote the band on campus and the band's website.

As more social networks emerged, it was time to find a "broader way to showcase and distribute Tom's work," Reck says. The new Flickr-based stream was selected for its easy accessibility and social features.

"Fans can go out right now and start commenting on photos," says Reck. "In fact, they can also contribute their own favorite shots."

A Clarion Call for NorthwesternDecember 31, 2011 — HOUSTON, TEXAS — "HEY BAND!" shouts the SpiriTeam of the Northwestern University 'Wildcat' Marching Band.

"HEY WHAT?", the 160 musicians reply.



For the fourth year running, and the second in a row in Texas, the Wildcat band is performing in at a college bowl game. At 11 a.m., Northwestern University will kickoff on the gridiron against Texas A&M University. The teams both have 6-6 records leading into the game, which will be broadcast on ESPN.

For the band and the team, the day will start much earlier. Early risers in Houston will see an impromptu parade of purple and white as the Wildcat band makes its way down the street from their hotel to greet the team.

"We'll find a spot to warm up and say 'Welcome to Northwestern' to some unsuspecting Texans along the way," says Director of Athletic Bands Daniel J. Farris.