A sea of crisp purple and white uniforms march onto the field of Amon G. Carter Stadium. The 220 marching band members turn to the stadium’s east side and are greeted with a standing ovation. The halftime performance has begun.
Drawing students from almost every field of study, the Horned Frog Marching Band is the pride of Texas Christian University. The band is one of the most prestigious organizations on campus and was crowned a top-five collegiate marching band by the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA).
“Our students take pride in being representatives of our university and supporting our athletic teams,” said Matthew Garett, director of athletic bands.
The band meets weekly with sectional time built in for small group instruction. The marching band is a crucial component of the music education curriculum, with almost half of the members in the program. The rehearsals and performances give students the skills to become professional musicians, music directors or educators.
“I always tell students that band should be fun. However, it’s a lot more fun to be good at something than it is not to be. It takes work and self-discipline to be good.”
The marching band has had an energizing season with the football team’s journey to the Big XII Championship Game and the College Football Playoffs in the Fiesta Bowl. Game days begin with a rehearsal four hours before kickoff, the only time the group can practice in the stadium. The band later meets at Frog Fountain and plays at three pep rallies along their walk to the stadium.
The halftime show, “A Tribute to Taylor,” is in memory of Taylor Hawkins, who passed last spring and was the drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters. The progressive show features Foo Fighter classics and student Jacob Cauley ’23 on a drum set while the band does formations around him. Garrett watches each performance with pride as all their hard work comes together on the field.
“I always tell my students to cherish their time together and not let anything pass them. It’s just like anything else in life; before you know it, it’s over.”