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University of Minnesota Marching Band


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History the Pride of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Marching Band was founded in 1892 as the University Cadet Band, with 29 members. In 1910, the first formations and halftime “show” were presented during the Gopher football season. Included in the formations was the first “Block M”. The current Block M is now a symbol of the University.

The band has gone through many changes over the years. The first significant change was merging with the local Army band to form the First Regiment of Minnesota Band in 1918. A Second Regiment of Minnesota Band also existed briefly in 1918, until the Regiment was decommissioned later that year. Following the War effort, all students in either band were invited back to a separate University Band, which had dropped the word “Cadet” from its title.

Another change from the band’s early beginning was the slow but continual introduction of women into the band program. Women first entered the Concert band in 1934. During the WWII years (1943-1946), women could be found “filling in” in the marching band, much like in other activities, such as manufacturing and also in baseball. In 1950, a new “Girls’ Band” was formed at the University, which later was called the “Women’s Division” of the marching band and remained for a number of years. Women were finally added as full members to the University of Minnesota Football Marching Band in 1972.

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