As the Chippewa Marching Band begins to prepare for the fall football season, they continue to strive to live out their motto: “Play with the heart of a true champion.”
The Chippewa Marching Band began as the Central Normal Band in 1918, when they performed at several military events, Batcheller said. After the end of World War I, the band separated and was later re-established in the fall of 1923 by the head of CMU’s music department, J. Harold Powers.
“This is the 91st season of the Chippewa Marching Band at CMU,” Band Director James Batcheller said. “In addition to our appearances on behalf of the Chippewa football team this year, the Marching Chips will perform in the Homecoming parade.”
All 285 members of the marching band met for their first full practice on Aug. 16, and the various sections of the band will continue to rehearse for 10 hours each day until classes start on Aug. 26. During the school year, the band practices for eight hours each week with an additional three hours on game days.
“We all work very hard every day to memorize our music and nail each form so that our shows are better than the week before,” Assistant Drum Major and Saline sophomore Kurtis Mai said.
The marching band’s first show of the season will take place at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Aug. 31 in front of an expected crowd of more than 100,000 fans for the season opener against the University of Michigan.
Drum Major Julie Claveau, who has been with the marching band since her freshman year, said the band has been busy preparing for the game since July.
“For many, this is their first time being in the Big House, and certainly the first time for all performing in it,” the Scottville senior said. “We are ready to perform at our best and support the team.”
The game at U of M will kick off the band’s busy fall season. They will perform at a total of 11 games in September, October and November and they hope to finish the season playing at the Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Dec. 6 in Detroit.