Why we're cooler than other bands
If you were a high school musician who didn't want to practice for long hours each afternoon to play three-movement symphonies while forming pinwheels on the fifty-yard line, you had the right idea. That kind of nonsense doesn't interest Columbia Bandies either. We have a different view of what a marching band should be.
A brief history
See, in the 50s, our great country was going through a lot of changes. Disco was at its peak, little Shirley Temple was charming the hearts of Americans everywhere, Jesus was walking the earth, and Ronald Reagan was pushing hard for the new Women's suffrage movement. The Columbia University Marching Band, which had always been slightly wacky, took a good look at itself. "How," we asked ourselves, "could we make being in a marching band even more fun?" Well, we decided that the whole marching around and forming rhombi thing had gone out of style with World War II. So we introduced the world to the "scramble band" concept - so named for the way bandies would scramble from one interesting formation to the next.
At precisely 11:59pm the night before the Organic Chemistry final exam the band storms Butler Library in our semi-annual drive to lower the curve in Organic Chemistry while consummating the world’s largest simultaneous Orgo! The band’s favorite tradition started about 35 years ago when we decided to practice a new method of stress relief in the form of stand-up comedy in Butler 209. Since then the tradition has evolved into a comedy show and musical performance, followed by the band parading around various locations on campus – including but not limited to Van Am Quad, the President’s House, and Barnard Quad.
Recently, because of administrative skullfuckery, the Band has been barred from entering Butler on the night of Orgo Night. Since then, we have performed directly outside the library to make sure no one misses out – especially the Vice Provost.
Maintaining a safe environment
We in the band are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe environment for our members.
- Band Expectations and Standards
- Bored Procedure for Supporting Members and Maintaining a Safe Environment
If you cut off the last two letters of the word "trumpet", you will find the last name of our current president - which is poetically fitting, because our high brass section has a collective ego the size of a certain tower on 5th Avenue. It's difficult to debunk the high brass section’s myth of self-importance, though, because they have the melody in practically every song we play. But we can take comfort in the fact that, unlike our current president, they have a decent sense of rhythm and the best interests of the Band at heart.
Do you know what a euphonium is? No? Well neither do we, so it’s a non-issue. However, you should probably know what a baritone horn is if you play the Fat Trumpet, what a trombone is if you play the Advanced Tuning Slide, and what a sousaphone is if you play the Lowest Farty Toot Toot. We in the Low Brass Section seek only the best (read: anyone we can get), and our arrangements allow members to fulfill their dreams of playing rhythms shorter than quarter notes. Join us and you too can make “tromBONER” and “baritone HORNY” jokes, cry about barely fitting through the turnstiles with your sousa, poke people with your slide, never sing “Roar, Lion, Roar” again, and find friends who admit that they only picked up trombone because glisses looked like fun. We got HONK.
Our drummers are unlike any drummers you’ll find in the Ivy League. They’ve got spunk, they’ve got pizazz, and, in the words of George Gershwin, they’ve got no rhythm. As a de facto extension of the miscie section, most of our drummers found their humble beginnings in makeshift percussive instruments, what we like to call gateway drums. At any given rehearsal, you can find them not watching the drum major, not playing their instruments, and scrambling to the beat of their own drums.
There are two general types of woodwinds: flutes and reed instruments, and this section is for both!
There is no doubt in our minds that our saxes are the saxiest in the Ivy League. Just check out their Facebook Page. They battle other bands and win, they battle each other and win, and they continue to be as mopey and delayed as they damn well please!
Merriam Webster defines a flute as “a keyed woodwind instrument consisting of a cylindrical tube which is stopped at one end,” “something long and slender,” or “a rounded groove.” If you play any of those, this is the section for you! Benefits of being in the flute section include being able to carry your instrument in your backpack (suck on that, trumpets!) and being able to poke people easily from a long way away.
Our clarinets are also pretty cool – and sometimes, when all six are playing, you can even hear them!
Have you ever wanted to be a part of something but thought yourself "not qualified,” sort of how Penn would like to join the Ivy League? Then the miscie section is for you! Non-instrumentalists are welcomed onto the field with the instrumentalists and are known as miscies (i.e. miscellaneous instruments). The miscie section is made up of people who consider themselves too cool for real instruments, and keep the true spirit of CUMB and g(tb)^2 alive. Some examples of these non-traditional instruments that miscies play include a wet floor sign, toilet seat, and trash can lid. Rumor has it that some miscies can play traditional instruments, but if you can play a traditional instrument and don't, that's asshole.
Our uniform is as follows:
- CUMB t-shirt
- White pants
- You MUST have white pants. White sweatpants are NOT white pants. Pale blue jeans are NOT white pants. White skirts ARE white pants. If you do not have white pants, the band will have a tailor come in to fit you early in the fall. He usually thinks that everyone is shorter and fatter than they really are – don't miss it!
- Blue and white rugby
- Up until 1995, we had Turbo-Acrylic sweaters, complete with a classy racing stripe on the left sleeve (hence the "Turbo"). Although they were totally water resistant, and really easy to wash, they were also really ugly and failed to provide any sort of warmth. But then we got 100% virgin wool sweaters (well, almost-virgin), available for sale or rental to band members. Yes, we no longer looked the pariahs of yesteryear.
- Now, with the advent of the new millennium and BARBARIAN sportswear, we've developed a fabulous line of blue and white striped rugby shirts. Warm in winter, cool in summer, and survives years of abuse from building pyramids and amateur grappling.
Columbia Fight Song
One day when I was chillin' in Kentucky Fried Chicken Just mindin' my business, eatin' food and finger lickin' This dude walked in lookin' strange and kind of funny Went up to the front with a menu and his money He didn't walk straight, kind of side to side He asked this old lady, "Yo, yo, um...is this Kentucky Fried?" The lady said "Yeah", smiled and he smiled back He gave a quarter and his order, "Small Fries, Big Mac!" You be illin'
Today you won a ticket to see Doctor J Front row seat, in free, no pay Radio in hand, snacks by feet Game's about to start, you kickin' popcorn to the beat You finally wake up, Doc's gone to town Round his back, through the hoop, then you scream "Touchdown!" You be illin'
The other day around the way I seen you illin' at a party Drunk as skunk you illin' punk and in your left hand was Bacardi You went up to this fly girl and said "Yo, yo, can I get this dance?" She smelt your breath and then she left you standin' in your illin' stance You be illin'
For dinner, you ate it, there was none left It was salty, with butter and it was def You proceeded to eat it 'cause you was in the mood But holmes you did not read it was a can of dog food! You be illin'