AAMB’s ‘favorite’ bowl memories make great reading
On the record-setting occasion of Purdue’s fifth consecutive bowl trip, we asked current band members to share favorite memories - funny, nostalgic or otherwise - from the various bowl trips they've made with the “All-American” Marching Band. Some will make you laugh, others may bring a tear to your eye…..so read on!
- Robyn Andrews, “Girl in Black”
“There is nothing that can compare to the Tournament of Roses parade last year. There was so much going on and so many people watching, it was hard not to be overwhelmed. All the people wearing black and gold and singing "Hail Purdue" every time they saw us march down the street. It was an awesome sight and an experience I will never forget.”
- Erin Ansfield, “Golden Girl”
“Each trip I have been on has been extremely special in some way. The Alamo Bowl in San Antonio had all the atmosphere. Our hotel was on the famous Riverwalk, and you'd walk along it in the evenings and cheers would go up all along the route from fans of each team. There was a pep rally that older members of the band got to float on the river with the football team. Getting to tour through The Alamo was another high point of the trip. Then of course the last second victory against #4 Kansas State was, and still is, the most exhilarating sporting event I have ever seen.
The Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida was also a great experience. I established friendships on that trip that I am thankful for each and every day. The most exciting performance of that trip had to be the parade we marched through Ybor City. There were fans along the street and in the buildings above. It was a very short and compacted area and crowd was deafening.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena was an amazing, but hectic trip. The tradition and history that surrounds the game is hard to beat. We were constantly performing for this and that. It was a great deal of hard work, but turning toward the mountains in the parade and entering that stadium for pregame was simply breathtaking. To say I was able to be a part of the greatness, that is the Rose Bowl, made the 24-hour day of the game more than worth it. This year should prove to be the best trip yet, and I truly am having trouble containing the excitement that I'm feeling about getting to go.
- Lannette Armstrong, Clarinet
“Getting pulled over by the Santa Monica police when pushing the drum down the middle of the street in Santa Monica at the Rose Bowl. All he really wanted to do was hit the drum and ask us if it was really the largest.”
- Rob Ballard, Big Bass Drum
“I will never forget the Alamo Bowl in '98. Since most of the band had been there the previous year, they knew where to go. Yet as a freshman, I was totally clueless. One night my friends and I followed the Purdue crowd down the river walk. The river walk itself was completely amazing to me. We ended up at a huge pep rally by the river. There were tons of Purdue and Kansas State fans there. The team and some of the band floated down the river on barges. I will always remember hearing Hail Purdue in the distance as the band members on the barge came closer. The Alamo Bowl is my favorite bowl trip with the AAMB, at least it is so far!!”
- Ann Banta, Trumpet
“My favorite memory comes from the first Alamo Bowl when I walked down the Riverwalk chanting “Go Boilers” and listening to the fans chant back. I could not believe the pride and joy that the fans had for Purdue. I truly felt that I belonged.”
- Kim Benson, “Silver Twin”
“I'll never forget the signs people had written on the streets of Pasadena during the Rose Parade. They indicated that we had much farther to go than we actually had. I also remember the last few minutes of the '98 Alamo Bowl where the team came back to beat Kansas St. The place was going crazy.”
- Judson “J.T.” Brown, Trumpet
“One of the best times I had on a bowl trip would be the 1998 Alamo Bowl. In San Antonio, the main attraction is the river walk. It's lined with bars, shops, hotels, and restaurants. The entire time we were down there, the river walk was filled with K State and Purdue fans, which made for a great atmosphere. Not a moment went by where there wasn't a cheering match between a group of Wildcats and Boilermakers.”
- Mike Diaz, Mellophone
“This will be my first opportunity to make a bowl trip, so I don't have a bowl memory yet, but I know I'll get that chance very soon. So far though, all the things that I've done with the band are a great big memory. Being in the band has been the best thing I've done since I've been here.”
- Danielle Donovan, Trumpet
“One of my favorite memories was at the Rose Bowl last year when we turned the corner onto Colorado Blvd. in the Tournament of Roses Parade and there were millions of people looking on. I will never forget when we would play Hail Purdue, all the Purdue fans and alums standing up and singing along as we marched by. Probably the most memorable thing was the reading of "I Am An American" by Roy during pregame of the Rose Bowl game which gave me Goosebumps, then the flyover during the Star Spangled Banner, which was just awesome. There will never be another feeling like that ever.”
- Suzanne Eagin, Piccolo
“My favorite game related memory was when Drew Brees threw the winning touchdown pass against Kansas State and I was standing just behind the end zone. My favorite band moment was during the Rose Bowl parade when the audience cheered for the cymbals because we were dancing. I must add however that I expect many of my greatest moments to come from this trip. Great things come from anytime that you are able to spend any amount of time with a group of people that you have grown with throughout the season. This season we have worked together. At times it was hard work, but the bowl trip will be the culmination of all that we have accomplished. I am more proud of the band this season than I was the previous three.”
- Matt Fisher, Cymbal
“One of my favorite memories on a bowl trip was at the Outback Bowl. One afternoon a group of us went sailing off the shores of Clearwater, FL. First of all, there were six of us and we all crammed into a taxi for the 15-minute ride. The cabby wasn't too happy about that, but we made it there and back safely. Anyway, we were only able to sail until about 6:00 because the sun would set soon. After we pulled the boat in, the sun started setting across the ocean. We stood on the beach and watched as the sun slowly fell into the water. It was an amazing sight! It made us appreciate the amount of work that we had put into the trip; to be able to sit back and relax as the sky was filled with some extraordinary colors!”
- Andrew Hawk, Mellophone
“Outback Bowl- The Ybor City Parade has to be the best memory from anything I have done as a Golduster. It was on New Year's Eve and all the Purdue Fans were out along the parade route. They were cheering so loudly, we couldn't even hear the band playing. I gets chills just thinking about!’
- Ashley Highsmith, Golduster
“Most of my memories would have to stem from the Rose Bowl, it being the most recent and by far most notable. The most unforgettable moment on that trip was during the Tournament of Roses Parade. Going on 3 hours of sleep and having to march five and half miles will completely drain any person. But when the band went by the grand stands playing Hail Purdue and everybody got up and cheered, it just completely revitalized me, and I will never forget it.”
- Dave Hornthal, Trumpet
“I have many memorable moments in my career at Purdue on bowl trips, but what stands out in my mind is the winning pass delivered by Drew Brees to win the 1998 Alamo Bowl. The pass was caught in the corner of the end zone in front of the band. I was in the front row and had a perfect view. Purdue was expected to lose that game against highly ranked Kansas State.
At the Outback Bowl, the band had to march in the sand on the beach in a "Battle of the Bands" against the Georgia band. Marching without shoes in sand was quite a different experience.
At the Rose Bowl, Hank Evans' champagne room was the best!! My friends and I enjoyed ourselves immensely.”
- Nichole Kubly, Snare
“At the Rose Bowl last year, we were unloading the World's Largest Drum from the semi trailer a few hours before the game. There were Purdue fans everywhere. When they saw the drum, they just cheered and cheered. Then they flocked toward us to get their pictures taken in front of the drum.”
- Ben Lehmen, Big Bass Drum
“It is hard to choose one memory. I have two favorite memories, both from the Rose Bowl. The first was just having my brother there with me. He was in the band too that year. The second was the parade. It was 5 1/2 miles long and I enjoyed every minute. It seemed every time I would begin to get tired we would get to Hail Purdue in our rotation. The crowd would begin to cheer and sing with us. They gave me renewed energy every time. After the parade I remember everyone lying on the grass all over the park eating In-n-out burgers. I guess everyone finally felt tired.”
- Janeen Lipscomb, Clarinet
“My most vivid memory from bowling with the band is pregame from the 2001 Rose Bowl. As the drums tapped in front of me, I couldn't hear them because the Boiler fans were cheering so loudly. They were loud and proud for the entire game, and we played the national anthem on national TV with a flyover. That was spectacular to represent our university like that. It was really special.”
- Andy Moeschberger, Tuba
‘Too many memories to choose from, one of them would have to be the afternoon we spent on the beach at the Outback bowl outside our hotel. I played volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, went swimming in the pool, and I laid around in the sun with my friends. It was a lot of fun.”
- Ben Murphy, Tenor Sax
“Each bowl, of course, has a list of spectacular memories. The one that is the most vivid to me is one that I eluded to earlier. As we marched into the Alamo dome in 1998 and at the far end of the stadium, a very enthusiastic Purdue fan-base was already in their seats. They were all wearing gold and waving foam fingers in the air. They were cheering for us during our entire March down the sidelines to our seats in the far end zone from our entrance. This may be my most vivid memory because it was my first bowl game, or simply because it was just that incredible.”
- Brett Musick, Trombone
“My favorite story actually comes from a time when I didn't go on a bowl trip. For the second Alamo Bowl in 1998, I ended up not going with the band. I had been chosen to staff a World Scout Jamboree in Santiago, Chile during the same time. Sitting in a large white tent filled with computers, I was reading an email from my family, which told me we won the game! I was elated with joy and couldn't contain myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd win. I jumped up and down and yelled. Everyone asked why I was so happy. There was no way I could convey in Spanish what had just happened or why I was so happy. And there I was amongst 30,000 people from around the world and no one to share in my happiness.”
- Nick Peters, Clarinet
“One of my fondest memories from a bowl game came from the Outback Bowl. A group of us Dusters wanted to go out for a night on the town. So we talked to some of the people at the front desk of the hotel to see about getting a cab to drive us to the clubs. Well when the “so called” cabs arrived they weren’t your typical yellow cabs. They were extremely nice Lincoln Continentals with leather interior. The drivers also didn’t seem like your typical cab drivers. They looked like they were straight from the Mafia. We were all so scared to get into these “so called” cabs. However we went ahead and trusted them since the hotel had called them. The best part of this whole experience would be the picture I have of the first car load of girls getting into the cab…just the looks on their faces is enough to get me laughing for a good few minutes.”
- Jessica Piper, Golduster
“The single moment that I will cherish the most of any bowl experience I've had so far was last year at the Rose Bowl during the pregame show. I stood at attention on the field under that crystal clear blue sky, playing first America the Beautiful and hearing the roar of the crowd shouting "I Am an American!" followed by the Star Spangled Banner. Hearing that many people singing along with us, and then the flyover afterwards, will always be a memory I hold dear to my heart and the feeling I had in my heart I will never forget.”
- Amanda Sarris, Trumpet
“One of my favorite memories in band happened last year during the Rose Bowl Parade. Every time we played our fight song, first there was a roar of excitement and then entire sections of people in the stands and along the road would stand up and sing along. It really made the 5 1/2 miles worth marching.”
- Andi Sauerheber, Mellophone
“I would have to say, my first bowl trip to the Alamo '98. Operations was in charge of loading all of the equipment and uniforms onto the semi-truck right after the game. We finished at 3am in the morning and no the band. I was helping load a luggage rack on wheels, a cart from the hotel. I loaded everything that could go on it, in one trip. I had one more space to fill, when I placed the suitcase in that space the entire rack fell over. We all just lost it laughing.
I would also have to say long knowledgeable talks on New Year's Eve until 3am in the morning on the night before the game with my best friend.
Making a block "P" on the tarmac while waiting for our luggage to arrive, since it was lost - and hoping that we make it home after Y2K got here. These are the memories I cherish and take with me forever.”
- Jamie Steffen, Piccolo
“My favorite memory that comes to mind from a bowl trip was marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena CA at the Rose Bowl last year. Growing up watching that parade, I never new that one day I could have been a part of it. It was a 6-mile long moment in my mind that I will never forget and will always cherish.”
- Sara Teller, Trumpet
“I love the Alamo Bowl. It was my favorite bowl; so much crowd participation. We saw fans on the river walk and they were so warm and friendly, even better than the rose bowl. I also like wearing all my shirts from each bowl back home, I am very proud of what I have been doing for and with the band for the last four years.”
- Carin Vahle, Big Bass Drum
“I’ve only been to the Rose Bowl and the memory that always makes me laugh is when we had just traveled over 7 hours by bus and plane. We get to the hotel and it was midnight our time, but, Doc said, “oh, it’s only 10 in California. Let’s get out there and practice! And we did.”
- Krista Woodward, “Silver Twin”
“One of my favorite memories is being at our upset victory of Kansas State at the Alamo Bowl in 1998. It was one of the most exciting football games I've ever been at and wrapped up a great first bowl experience for me.”
- Kyle Zeller, Trumpet