How Big Is Michigan’s Marching Band?

    Known for its famous fight song, "The Victor" the University of Michigan's marching band is one of the biggest and most well-known in the country.

    One of the best traditions in college football is the involvement of each school’s marching band in the day-to-day of the team. From halftime shows to involvement in the game day atmosphere, the marching bands at each school usually play an integral part of modern college football.

    One of the most well-known bands across the country belongs to the Michigan Wolverines. So, how big is Michigan’s marching band and what makes it so special?

    How Big Is Michigan’s Marching Band?

    Founded in 1896, Michigan’s marching band started with just 22 players, but the band has grown over the years and now boasts approximately 400 members. Director of Bands Scott Pasquale has served in that role since 2013, making him the longest-tenured director of bands in the University of Michigan’s history.

    The Michigan band started as a volunteer outfit without university funding in 1896. Like many college bands, it started as a military band and slowly morphed into a band for the college athletics programs.

    Michigan Marching Band Traditions

    Michigan’s marching band is widely regarded as one of the country’s best and most well-known college bands, with a wide range of traditions.

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    In 1898, a University of Michigan student, Louis Elbel wrote a song to celebrate the university’s 12-11 victory over the University of Chicago. That song, ‘The Victor,’ grew in popularity over the course of the next decade, not just at the university but worldwide. The French and German military bands both played the song during World War II, and the university made it the official fight song in 1918.

    It’s one of the best fight songs in the country, per numerous national outlets, and is very recognizable, even outside of the scope of college football.

    The University of Michigan marching band is known for its elaborate halftime performances and for playing well-known music throughout the game.

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