The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tarleton State on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Cortez selected by Los Angeles Angels with 45th pick in 2024 MLB Draft
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 14, 2024

Junior RHP Chris Cortez was selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 45th pick in the second round of the 2024 MLB Draft on Sunday, continuing...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

A timeless tradition of marching in time

Photo by Photo By: Valerie Gunchick

Each week, the Aggie Band practices Monday through Friday and on gameday morning.  

With each football game comes another week of practice and performance for the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
To put on a new halftime show with a new drill each week, the band practices Monday through Friday and on gameday morning.
Kyle Dunk, renewable resources junior, B- Company recruiting sergeant and alto saxophone player, said the members of the band are immersed in practice for a large portion of the week.
“I guess you could say we are fully into the band whereas other college bands are just normal college bands with just normal college students because they aren’t in a Corps, so they do everyday life,” Dunk said.
As a part of the Corps of Cadets, the band uses a military style of marching and organization, said J Lander, interdisciplinary studies senior, Corps staff recruiting officer and alto saxophone player.
“Seniors hold officer’s ranks in the Corps, so they set the vision and know what needs to get done when,” Lander said. “Juniors are sergeants, which means they execute whatever action is needed to accomplish the vision and goals of the senior officers. Sophomores are corporals in the Corps, so they follow the directives of the junior sergeants. And freshmen are privates and expected to follow orders and to first learn to lead [themselves].”
Step sizes help execute drills, and block formations are a major emphasis for the military-style band. The Aggie Band takes pride in executing these formations as well as the famous block-T formation, said Elizabeth Wishert, biological and agricultural engineering senior, battery training officer and clarinet player.
“Basically, six steps for every 5 yards, so 30-inch step is what we are taking,” Wishert said. “Most other bands step eight steps to every 5 yards, so, I guess, it’s a lot smaller step. Marching in the Aggie band is like walking. It feels like walking. You aren’t doing anything special. It’s glorified walking is what it is.”
On gamedays, the band takes time to perform several required duties before they showcase their drill. They have a morning rehearsal and then return to the duty of spirit band after a break. Spirit band is when a third of the band escorts the football team from their busses to the stadium. 
The band all marches in together about an hour and a half before the start of the football game and stays after the fourth quarter of the game. Dunk said the fact that everyone in the stadium stays to watch the band during halftime makes the experience unique.
“When Colonel Brewer, the associate director, announces us on the field, and the whole student body says it too, it kind of gives you chills,” Dunk said. “You realize you are marching in front of 100,000 people.”
Because the Aggie Band is part of the Corps, members have an experience that is uniquely different from their counterparts at other schools.
“We work out together, we live together, we all wear the same uniforms, we eat together, we study together; [and we] travel together,” Wishert said. “Other bands do that, but so you know, we have all these other qualifications just to be in the band like staying in physical shape, having good grades, wearing a uniform — all these other things that other bands don’t have.”
These standards set the band apart, Wishert said.
“In a way, when you join the Corps, you give up your individuality when you put on this uniform,” Wishert said. “Instead of representing yourself, you are representing the corps, and your outfit and the Aggie Band and the university.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *