Enjoy watching collegiate marching bands? There will be an opportunity to see a Big 12 collegiate band and a recipient of the Sudler Trophy, an award recognizing the band as one of the top programs in the country.
The Pride of Oklahoma, from The University of Oklahoma, will make a visit to Warsaw at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. The Big 12 band, along with the Warsaw Marching Tiger Pride, will be performing at Fisher Field for a free performance. In case of inclement weather the 300-member band will perform in the Tiger Den.
John Elliott of First Source Bank has been working on this endeavor for almost a year, if not longer. This is the fifth time a nationally known band has been brought to the community through anonymous backers and the assistance of Elliott.
The Pride of Oklahoma will be coming to northern Indiana on the eve of their visit to the Oklahoma v. Notre Dame football game.
The band members will be arriving on Friday afternoon and will receive a police escort from South Bend Airport to Warsaw courtesy of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. They will be treated to a dinner organized and hosted by Warsaw Area Career Center. The culinary students will use their skills for a first hand experience and as a fundraiser.
The band will be staying at a local hotel with information about the area and goodie bags being put together by the Greater Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce and the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Following breakfast on Saturday the band will be escorted back to South Bend in preparation for the 3:30 p.m. Oklahoma v. ND game.
Other bands that have visited the area have been the U.S. Marine Band on two occasions and the Ohio State and Penn State bands.
“This is a great opportunity,” stated Elliot.
About The Band
Unlike many college bands, which began as military drill units, the Pride of Oklahoma had its beginning as a pep band. Townspeople of Norman and students of OU participated in a band that played for football games in the 1900s.
The first continuous student band was founded in 1904.
The band has had many accomplishments, from marching in inauguration parades for the state’s governor, participated and performed elaborate halftime shows for high school bands across the region. The halftime shows centered on themes, incorporating songs of the day, animated figures and half-time score formations. The band has traveled to bowl games, appeared on national television, performed around the state and traveled to Washington, D.C., for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
Several changes in the marching band’s performing style came in 1962 and again in 1971. The show style change in 1971 concentrated on the sound of the band. This is also when the signature strutting drum major was included.
The band continues its tradition of indomitable spirit and cutting edge performances.