University of Kansas Marching Jayhawks
|University of Kansas Marching Band|
|School||University of Kansas|
|Director||Paul W. Popiel|
|Members||approx. 270 (2011)|
|Uniform||Black "cake-box" hat with black plume, red and blue jacket with a Jayhawk on the front, short cape, black slacks, and black shoes.|
The University of Kansas Marching Band, known to fans as "The Marching Jayhawks", is an 270 piece marching band consisting of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and colorguard. The band performs at all home football games and occasionally travels to away games. They also send smaller ensembles to pep rallies around the Kansas City area. The band marches in parades on campus and in downtown Lawrence. The volleyball and basketball pep bands play at all home games and will often travel for post-season play.
In 1887, Stuart O. Henry put together a small, 12 member brass ensemble at the University of Kansas. The band, however didn't really take off until the early 20th century when, in 1906, the band obtained uniforms, and in 1907 got a director, Joseph C. McCanles, who was a member of the faculty. In 1972, women became a regular part of the band. In 1989, the University of Kansas Band was awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy for marching bands. In 1994 Sports Illustrated named the Jayhawk band as one of the top ten college marching bands.
Directors of Bands
Directors of Athletic Bands
- 2003-2006 James Hudson
- 2007-2011 David Clemmer
- 2011-present Matthew O. Smith
The Songs of the University of Kansas
At home football games, the Marching Jayhawks perform both an opening pregame show and a halftime show that changes throughout the season. The pregame show consists of many of the KU fight songs as well as the National Anthem and the infamous Rock Chalk Chant. Many of the elements and formations of the pregame have been present for decades. The band runs in from the tunnels in the "bowl" behind the north endzone of Memorial Stadium. The band also forms a large sunflower (the state flower of Kansas) on the field to the tune of "Sunflower Song". "I'm a Jayhawk" is the official fight song of KU and is played through several times. The halftime shows often include popular music or commemorate events such as September 11th or Veteran's Day. The formations for these shows are more free-form than the regimented pregame show. They are also shorter, consisting of three songs or medleys.