Archive for Monday, August 26, 2013

40 years ago: KU Marching Band predicted to have ‘bigger and better’ year

August 26, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 26, 1973:

Kansas University Director of Bands Bob Foster was predicting a bigger and better Jayhawk Marching Band than ever before. The band was probably to have 180 members this year, Foster said; an increase over the previous three years' membership of 120, 140, and 160. Auditions for high school seniors had begun the previous spring, with others trying out during summer previews and another 70 to 80 heard earlier this week. Foster was still settling which of the resulting pool of 200 would be starting lineup band members and which would be alternates. The marching band, one of KU's oldest traditions, had been formed shortly after the establishment of the School of Fine Arts in 1896, but it had not become a major program until the 1930s. The band had been an exclusively male institution, as officially stated by university policy, through much of its history; women had been temporarily admitted during World War II but had been banned again after the war. However, women had been admitted in 1972 by an official and permanent decision of the KU administration. "The boys were worried that 'their band' would get worse," Foster said. "Actually it worked out very well." The main limitation of the band now, he said, was that certain instruments were not always available in sufficient quantities. Foster said that the band had borrowed some instruments the previous year and would have to do the same this year. "Money would help," he said.

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