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Three cheers for the MIT Marching Band by Sam M. '07

Is the band ready? You bet they are.

September 24, 2005

MIT had a football game this afternoon against Worcester State. The final score was 49-6. It’s apparently the worst loss in over 15 years. It was also my first football game as a member of the world-famous, nationally-renowned, often copied but never cloned, unforgettable (no matter how hard you try), super phat, super fly, one and only MIT Marching Band. Here are 10 things I remember:

1. Taking a good two minutse to cram four trumpets, a clarinet, two trombones, a snare, a bass, quads, and a sousaphone into an elevator in the student center, then playing “We Are The Engineers” on kazoo on the way down. The guy coming down from the fifth floor called it “the most memorable elevator ride” he’d ever had.

2. Making up the entire show 30 minutes before the beginning of the game. In high school it used to take us two weeks of seven-hour band camp days just to get the first half down. We practiced in a courtyard with two giant columns in the way of come of our formations.

3. The show itself, which consisted of running onto the field, catching our breath to humorous effect, playing two choruses of “We Are The Engineers” while spelling out M – I – T in the drill, and then taking large bows. I tried to remember slow backup technique from my Tournament of Bands days, but eventually just gave up.

4. The incredible and indefatigable MIT Cheerleading squad, featuring the bloggable Mollie.

mollie.jpg

For MIT students, they’re remarkably happy, and not too shabby at the high-flying stunts either.

5. Heckler: “Hey, Ref, you’re missing a good game!” Snare: ::rimshot::

6. Brian ’09 and his inspired cowbell solo in the opening bars of “Low Rider.” Just the idea of having a cowbell soloist when you’ve only got 11 members in the band is pretty cool in itself.

7. The entire band shouting at a photographer for The Tech: “BRYAN HEAMON! … Hi! … Take our picture! … Thank you!”

8. Ruth ’07 playing quads for the first time in her life and being an absolute rock star.

ruth.jpg

Turns out most of the people in the band are in the “I’m playing this for the first time ever” boat, so I’m not alone. We’ve got a former piccolist or something on trombone. We really don’t hold each other to very high standards of playing.

9. Apparently, we’re just going to add more songs to the show as the season progresses. We haven’t decided what though. Caroline ’08, trombone, suggested that we do “A Salute to Walking,” since we have sheet music for “Walk This Way,” “Walk Like An Egyptian,” and “Baby Elephant Walk”

10. Three cheers for the MIT Marching Band… concealed within the extended entry.

One somewhat risque…

“Hey, cheerleaders!”
“What?”
“Hey, cheerleaders!”
“What?”
“Shake your booty!”
“No way!”
“Shake your booty!”
“Okay!”
“Jump, shake your booty, jump jump, shake your booty!”

“Hey, band!”
“What?”
“Hey, band!”
“What?”
“Shake your booty!”
“No way!”
“Shake your booty!”
“Okay!”
“Jump, shake your booty, jump jump, shake your booty!”

“Hey, football players!”
“…”
“Hey, football players!”
“…”
“Shake your booty!”
“…”
“Shake your booty!”
“…”
“Screw you!”

One epic…

“Gimme an M!”
“M!”
“Gimme an A!”
“A!”
“Gimme an S!”
“S!”
“Gimme an S!”
“S!”
“Gimme an A!”
“A!”
“Gimme a C!”
“C!”
“Gimme an H!”
“H!”
“Gimme a U!”
“U!”
“Gimme an S!”
“S!”
“Gimme an E!”
“E!”
“Gimme a T!”
“T!”
“Gimme another T!”
“T!”
“Gimme an S!”
“S!”
“Gimme a space!”
“Space!”
“Gimme an I!”
“I!”
“Gimme an N!”
“N!”
“Gimme an S!”
“S!”
“Gimme a T!”
“T!”
“Gimme an I!”
“I!”
“Gimme a T!”
“T!”
“Gimme an U!”
“U!”
“Gimme a T!”
“T!”
“Gimme an E!”
“E!”
“Gimme another space!”
“Space!”
“Gimme an O!”
“O!”
“Gimme an F!”
“F!”
“Gimme one last space!”
“Spaaaace!”
“Gimme an T!”
“T!”
“Gimme an E!”
“E!”
“Gimme an C!”
“C!”
“Gimme an H!”
“H!”
“Gimme an N!”
“N!”
“Gimme an O!”
“O!”
“Gimme an L!”
“L!”
“Gimme an O!”
“O!”
“Gimme an G!”
“G!”
“Gimme an Y!”
“Y!”
“What’s that spell?”
“MIT!”

…and one classic.

“I’m a beaver,
You’re a beaver,
We are beavers all.
And when we get together,
We do the beaver call.
e to the u, du / dx
e to the x, dx
Cosine, secant, tangent, sine
3.14159
Integral, radical, mu dv
Slipstick, slide rule, MIT!
GOOOOOO TECH!”

Thanks for the laughs, guys. See you next week.

13 responses to “Three cheers for the MIT Marching Band”

  1. sum1 says:

    The MIT band sounds great. Really laid back but lots of fun. So does the band include the crowd (assuming a good number of techers attend football games) in cheers a lot? Or is the band just an isolated group cheering at cheerleaders and football players the entire game?

  2. Ruth says:

    My feelings are that the crowd consists of 85% alumni and parents, and about 15% ATO/DKE brothers of the players. Last week the ATO/DKE crowd started giving requests and sang along. The cheerleaders and band work together a good bit. The adults just kind of laugh at us, but I guess that’s the desired effect. We enjoy it, anyway.

  3. Jeez Mackenzie, it’s a friggin’ song! You try fitting in more digits and making it rhyme at the same time!

    In other news, your band sounds awesome. I hope I get in to MIT so’as I can join and demonstrate my 733+ 54x0ph0||3 5k177z.

  4. Being a part of Alpha Tau Omega from a distance away I take offense to the use of a backslash to pair our name with DKE’s Ruth. Are you telling me that I need to come up there and set those ATO boys straight?

  5. I’m a little amazed that the marching band isn’t a little more involved/bigger. You seriously only have 11 people? I mean I love band and I want to do it in college, but maybe the concert band would be better for me. (I’m kind of a band fanatic, our whole high school is actually, we have about 200 kids, 170 of them in band)

  6. Mackenzie says:

    “I’m a beaver,

    You’re a beaver,

    We are beavers all.

    And when we get together,

    We do the beaver call.

    e to the u, du / dx

    e to the x, dx

    Cosine, secant, tangent, sine

    3.14159

    Integral, radical, mu dv

    Slipstick, slide rule, MIT!

    GOOOOOO TECH!”

    …pi to only 5 digits? those wimps!

  7. Jessie says:

    There’s a verse that I’m very partial to missing on the Engineers’ Drinking Song on that webpage – the one Zoz wrote for How to GAMIT 2004 in honor of events from the previous year:

    “Some engineers were working on the Dome to pull a hack.

    The CPs picked them up as they were done and heading back.

    The cops detained, the deans complained, the hackers went to trial,

    but Professors Hal and Gerry paid their fine in true Tech style!”

  8. Ruth says:

    Sorry there, Charles. I’m going on the word of a football playing freshmen on my floor who was offered bids from his football buddies – half from ATO and half DKE. But the other football player on my floor pledged ATO, so there you go.

    Sam: when are you going to update?

  9. nakki says:

    XD if I get into MIT, I am soooo going to join the band! You guys are awesome and have so much fun!

  10. zoogies says:

    Wait, did I read that correctly? – MIT’s Marching Band has all of eleven people? … Eleven!? …

    I’m curious as to how much time marching band takes up, i.e when it practices and such. Although judging from this post, I have to wonder if it ever practices aside from thirty minutes before showtime XD

    I’m with nakki in that if I get into MIT, I’m definitely going for marching band, even though I prefer concert band ^_^ do you guys have cool uniforms with feathery hats? I want a feathery hat.

  11. MIT has a Marching Band. COOL! I am not a serious trombone player, but I would love to be in a marching band. I wouldn’t mind the small size. My high school’s band has a 120 people marching on the field. It gets very crazy learning new sets. For me, the smaller the better. (There is a limit though to that statement.)

  12. Sam says:

    Dear Sum1: Ruth is quite accurate in her analysis of the crowd.

    Dear Mackenzie: I’ve not yet found an engineering application where I’ve been dealing with more than six signifcant figures anyway. The error with 5 decimal places is negligible. It’s just a time-saving measure. I don’t have a lot of free time.

    Dear Charles: Good to hear from you, Chase. You’ve been promising to come up here for the past three years now. Our ATO is kind of a bodybuilding fraternity, if you can believe that. I don’t know how that compares to your own chapter, but I doubt if you’d really be able to “set straight” the guys up here.

    Dear Tyler: Well, we had 13 people at rehearsal today. The cool thing is that at least half of the people are different at every rehearsal. I was in a super-competitive band in high school that practiced like twenty hours a week and finished second in ten states, but I still enjoy playing in MIT’s more modestly-scaled band. Concert Band (student-run) and Wind Ensemble (a class) are cool, too, if you’re so inclined.

    Dear Zoogies: There’s a lot of sight-reading. Like, at the actual football games. Yeah. We’re kind of ina rebuilding phase right now, so maybe if people like you join, we’ll eventually have enough members to spell out the letters MIT all at the same time! That’s our major goal. We have no feathery hats as of yet, but we do have matching T-shirts.

    Dear Jahshan: “Not a serious trombone player” sounds perfect for the MIT marching band. Totally.

  13. Jeff says:

    If I get into MIT, you’ll be able to add another sousaphone. I’m loving the quads picture though. Ha.

    Jeff