Marching Jayhawks to play “Crimson and Blue” after every football home game
- Sep. 8, 2012
- 1 Comment
This football season, the Marching Jayhawks will play the alma mater, “Crimson and Blue,” with students and players after every home game. Initiated by head football coach Charlie Weis, the change adds to the Marching Jayhawks’ longstanding game-day tradition.
“Charlie Weis wants the students, band and the football team to be one unit,” said Kyle Stringer, a junior from Haven, who plays baritone in the marching band. Stringer said Weis has spoken to the band on multiple occasions conveying this idea.
After defeating the Jackrabbits last Saturday, a packed stadium participated in the new ritual. The band and football team lined up next to the student section in a show of KU pride.
“I was generally very pleased,” Weis said after the game. “It’ll just get better, but for the first rattle out of the box, that was a pretty good start,” Weis said. He added that the tradition would occur after every game, win or lose, and encouraged students to always participate by staying to the end of every game.
While this end-of-game tradition is new, the Marching Jayhawk’s 13 minute pregame show is relatively unchanged for the past 40 years, said Matthew Smith, director of the Marching Jayhawks.
“The pregame show is where fans can expect to hear ‘Crimson and Blue,’ ‘I’m a Jayhawk,’ ‘Fighting Jayhawk,’ ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and the Rock Chalk chant, as well as to see the band do things that are traditional only to KU,” Smith said. “It embodies the spirit and traditions of the University.”
Some of the marching moves unique to KU tradition include spelling out “KU” as well as the Sunflower and Block-K formations, Smith said.
And beginning last year, the halftime show is new for every game. Fans can expect superhero, Latin and classic rock–themed shows featuring music from movies like “Spiderman” and “The Dark Knight” and from singer Shakira, Smith said.
Though practice can be difficult at times, especially being in the heat six hours a week, Stringer said it is all worth it.
“During the game, it’s like you’re doing it for the first time,” Stringer said.
Emily Scholle, a senior from Lawrence and tenor saxophone player in the band, finds comfort in the band’s tradition.
“Alumni will see the same pregame show that they saw when they were in college,” Scholle said. “So many traditions have been upheld this year, and with this new one, I feel honored to be part of it all.”
— Edited by Sarah McCabe
Marshall Schmidt is a graduate student majoring in biomedical engineering from Mount Hope. Read more from Marshall Schmidt.