Bill Moffit Tribute planned for Sept. 6
Friday, September 5, 2008
In the 122 years of Purdue “All-American” Marching Band history each director has left a distinctive mark on the program. With Paul Spotts Emrick, it was the Block P” and the “World’s Largest Drum;” with Al Wright the “Golden Girl. Bill Moffit, who will be honored by the band at the first Boilermaker halftime show on Sept. 6 is remembered for his flashy drills called “Patterns in Motion.”
Moffit, who died at age 82 on March 5, 2008, in Jacksonville, FL, served as the third director of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band from 1981 to 1988.
When he came to Purdue, he was already enormously popular in the band world due to huge number of marching band arrangements he had created for high school and college bands across the United States. His “Patterns of Motion” drill, which featured band members in constantly changing kaleidoscopic patterns on the football field, swept the nation in the 1980s as the new style in marching.
College and high school bands eagerly adopted it during that decade and even though it is not often seen in the 21st century, elements of it continue to impact contemporary marching band style.
“Both as a band director and an individual, Moffit made an unforgettable impact on Purdue Bands. Everyone remembers Bill as being one of the most positive individuals they ever met,” says Jay Gephart, current director of the “All-American” Band. “Moffit’s smile, his infectious enthusiasm and his corny puns are legendary here.”
Moffit’s wife Jeannette, and many Purdue alumni who marched in his bands, are expected to return for the halftime tribute at the Purdue vs. Northern Colorado game.
The show opens with Moffit’s signature “Patterns of Motion” drill performed to one of his most popular arrangements, “I Love a Parade.”It continues with Moffit’s most famous arrangement, “The Horse” featuring the trombone section. Then the Golduster Dance Team performs an original dance to his arrangement of “El Cumbanchero.”
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” will serve as the tribute’s grand finale, and will be highlighted by the return to the field of the large American flag used during the band’s pre-game performance. It was Moffit who introduced the tradition of using the large American and Indiana flags during the pre-game show.
During his career, Moffit created 450 marching band arrangements for his “SOUNDPOWER” that sold more than one million copies through Hal Leonard Publishing. At the time of his passing he had sold more music than any other living American. More than a million people heard his arrangements as he directed the Fanfare Trumpets at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984 and the Pan American Games in 1986.
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