Through These Doors: The History of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, 1863-2003

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9780974755304: Through These Doors: The History of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, 1863-2003
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"And now, taking the field for your halftime entertainment, please welcome the Power and Class of New England: the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band!"

Seconds later, 380 brightly uniformed students race across the football field to their starting positions. Sunlight reflects on brightly polished brass instruments, colorguard members toss sparkling flags, and the excitement that is the halftime show begins to fill the air. The director lifts his baton and the music swells and consumes the 10,000 member audience as the band plays and moves in ever changing patterns across the field. As the final electric chord hangs in the air, the crowd lifts to its feet with a thunder of applause:

"This group is THE Power and Class of New England!"

Although this scene is a common one at football games, the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band is far from being an ordinary group. In 1998, the UMass Marching Band was awarded the coveted Sudler Trophy as the best collegiate marching band in the United States. In January of 2001, the band marched for President George W. Bush in Washington D.C. at the Presidential Inaugural Parade. And in November of 2001, the band traveled to the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships and received five standing ovations in front of 60,000 highly knowledgeable marching band fans. The Minuteman Band, and its director, George Parks, is a beloved performer at New England Patriots and New York Giants halftime shows and has performed in three Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies. Indeed, the group is one of the most visible and effective ambassadors of the University of Massachusetts, and students come from all over the country and from across the world to be a part of the Minuteman Marching Band. But what is the proud history of this colorful and illustrious group? Have they always been this big, this intense, and this exciting? Readers will learn about the evolution of the band from its earliest beginnings in the 1870s as the Morris Drum Corps of the Massachusetts Agricultural College through to its current incarnation as "The Power and Class of New England" Minuteman Band of the University of Massachusetts.

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From the Publisher:

"Through These Doors" begins in 1863 with the founding of Massachusetts Agricultural College and its six-member Morris Drum Corps. Over the years, the school and its marching band grow and, by 2003, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and its 320-member Minuteman Marching Band are known nationally for their excellence. This 240-page book chronicles their history in black&white photographs and color plates, while exploring the stories of those individuals who shaped and developed the university and its band program.

About the Author:

Kerstin H. Becker graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a bachelor's degree in music education and a bachelor's degree in communications. She began her music education career as director of the Nauset Regional High School Band in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A former drum major with the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, Becker most recently was director of the award-winning Northampton High School Blue Devil Marching Band, Concert Band, and Jazz Bands. She resides in Massachusetts.

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Kerstin H. Becker
Published by Old Chapel Press (2004)
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Kerstin H. Becker
Published by Old Chapel Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0974755303 ISBN 13: 9780974755304
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