Band Day at Northern Michigan University

Filed under: Sunny Overnight |

Every year around this time, a dozen or so high school bands converge at the Superior Dome for a day full of music, football, and fun.  “Band Day” is a fantastic opportunity for both, college & high-school students alike.  For the college students, they have the opportunity to practice their leadership and teaching skills while working with the high school students.  For the high-schoolers, meanwhile, they get the chance to play with a band that is on a higher level of education than themselves, as well as get to watch a college football game for free.  As a former member of “The Pride” as the NMU band has come to be known, I can tell you that this is a very exhausting day for the band members.  It is broken down into three phases:

  1. Morning Rehearsal:  The bands begin to show up around 7:30am, from as far away as L’Anse.  Dr. Grugin, the Director of Bands at NMU, will gather all 200-250 students on the turf to teach them where they will stand during their half-time performance.  Dr. Grugin will then run through the music as an entire unit, allow the individual sections (percussion, trumpets, trombones, etc.) to practice on their own, all before coming back and practicing the entire halftime show one last time.
  2. Halftime:  Every student, college & high-school, line up and prepare to play in front of over 1,000 people.  The show is a “stand & play” sort of thing, so the students didn’t need to learn any moving sets or anything.  The band will usually play some current popular tunes that will be pleasing to students & audiences alike.
  3. Exhibition:  Once the game is complete, and the field is clear, the bands will make their way over to the home side of the Dome and prepare for an “exhibition show”.  This is where the individual bands will get to show everybody what they can do.  Some only watch, and other participate.  Some note-able bands around the UP show up:  Marquette, Kingsford, and Iron Mountain always delight the audience with some fantastic playing and dazzling moving sets.  Once all of the high-school bands finish, “The Pride of the North” gets their chance to show the high-school bands what they can do.

Band-day is one of the best experiences a “Pride” member can have.  Enjoy these photos from the most recent Band Day that took place last Saturday (October 26th).


Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University defeated Wayne State University 33-21 in Saturday’s Contest








Marquette, MI

Marquette Senior High School Band takes the field!










Iron Mountain Mountaineers

The Mountaineers begin their show!










Kingsford, MI

The Fliver band performing at the Superior Dome








Northern Michigan University

“The Pride of the North” takes the field!










Northern Michigan University

“The Pride” performs Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”!









Hopefully you guys can all make it out next year!  It is definitely worth the trip!

-Carl Leander

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