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One final road trip for Purdue Band seniors - the Motor City Bowl!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Purdue band members, spurred by the success of the Boilermaker football team, enthusiastically look forward to bowl travel no matter what the destination. Together the team and band have been to 10 bowls in the last 11 years.
In 2007, Purdue’s band celebrated the 100th anniversary of the “Block P,” the first marching formation ever created and a Boiler fan favorite. Along with other Purdue traditions - the Big Bass Drum, the Golden Girl and the patriotic presentation “I Am an American” - the “Block P” will be showcased prior to kickoff at the bowl.
In 1907, Paul Spotts Emrick devised a special drill to create a “P” on the gridiron, resulting in the Purdue band becoming the first band to break out of military ranks and create anything other than a box on the football field. Today marching bands across the United States break ranks again and again and again to create all sorts of unique formations. But it all started with Purdue and Emrick.
For the band’s halftime show, music from Mel Brooks’ movies gets the spotlight. Farce, satire and parody come together with vaudeville styling and manic energy to create Mel Brooks’ unique brand of comedy and that’s what the “All-American” Band will pay tribute to through zany movie music and their own creative drill.
The 340-member band opens its halftime bowl show with the theme from Brooks’ whacky western Blazing Saddles featuring the “All-American” Band’s trombone section. Next up is Robin Hood: Men in Tights with the band forming giant bows with shooting arrows. Music from The Producers closes the show.
A traditional part of bowl game travel is the pre-game pep rally, highlighted by the dancing cymbals, that’s set for 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 26 at Detroit’s International Banquet Center near Ford Field. The band will work with the cheerleaders and Purdue Pete to raise fans’ spirits to the boiling point for the game against Central Michigan.
To back the Boilers, band members will return to the West Lafayette campus on Christmas day and depart from Elliott Hall, Purdue’s band building, at 6 a.m. to travel by bus to Detroit. They will stay overnight Dec. 26 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center before returning to campus on Dec. 27.
Directed by Jay S. Gephart, the Purdue marching band is nationally known for its intricate drill routines executed to all kinds of music from folk tunes to rock and pop music. In 1995, the “All-American” Marching Band was presented the Sudler Trophy, the most prestigious award given to college marching bands, and one the student musicians consider the musical equivalent of football’s Heisman Trophy.
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