Oct 22, 2013, 1:08 PM EDT
Mike Franz, a member of the athletic department’s student writing staff, brings us an alternative view on football Saturdays. You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.
Fall weekends are extremely special on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Full of rich tradition and pageantry, the University makes it their job to bring its fans an experience like no other when the Irish have a home game for football. Along with the team’s efforts to get a win on Saturday, the University of Notre Dame Marching Band is also a huge piece of what makes the weekends here so special.
From “Trumpets under the Dome” to the concert on the steps of Bond Hall, the band prides itself to be perfect at every aspect of their music, marches and overall appearance. This aspiration for perfection is what makes them the greatest college marching band in the country.
To be a part of this prestigious group it takes talent, work ethic and most of all, time as they practice every day of the week for a couple hours each day. Sophomore Matt Greene knows that with these long, tiring days of practice comes the big payoff on Saturday afternoons (in this case Saturday evenings) with being able to run out of that stadium tunnel with 80,795 fans cheering and being able to play arguably the greatest of all university fight songs, the Notre Dame Victory March.
“There’s nothing that compares to it,” Greene says. “I get to run out with 380 of my closest friends and when I see the stadium erupt it’s just such an adrenaline rush.”
Being selected as a member of the marching band gives you the chance to experience countless game day memories. In his year and a half with the program, Greene says his most fond memory took place during the Michigan game in September of 2012.
“When they [the sound crew] played Oh What A Night and the band was just out on the field; we were just dancing and having a good time,” Matt joked. “It was a great connection of everybody, students and fans, so it was just one of those awesome things.”
Along with getting in the games for free, the band also has a unique opportunity to offer its students. Spreading their musical talent to places like Dublin, Ireland for the Navy game last year and Miami, Florida for the 2013 BCS National Championship, the Marching Band allows its musicians a chance to see the world and do what they do best.
“I loved going to Dallas this year for the Shamrock Series,” Matt said about his favorite trip. “AT&T Stadium is such a great venue for a football game and the Dallas-Fort Worth area was very fun with a lot of things to do.”
Along with majoring in american studies and playing in the band, this trumpet player must also be a psychic because before the game he said, ” I think Notre Dame’s got this [speaking about the USC game]. We beat Arizona State and they handled USC so I think we got this.”
We obviously did have this, beating the Trojans of USC 14-10. And thanks to Matt Greene and his fellow band members, the Notre Dame Marching Band played that Victory March jubilantly into the night.
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