How Big Is the Million Dollar Band, Alabama’s Marching Band?

    How big is the Million Dollar Band, Alabama's marching band, one of the most well-known and recognizable marching bands in college sports?

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

    So, how big is the Alabama Crimson Tide’s marching band and what makes it so special?

    How Big is Alabama’s Marching Band?

    Alabama’s “Million Dollar Band” is one of the largest in the country. Boasting 407 members, the Million Dollar Band is beloved by Crimson Tide fans around the country. It has grown since its inception as a military band in 1912, moving from 14 members in its inaugural year to the over 400 it currently contains.

    Current director, Dr. Keith Ozzello, has been in charge of the Alabama Marching Band since 2003, making him the second-longest tenured director in the band’s history.

    What are Some Traditions of the Alabama Marching Band?

    The Alabama band has several long-standing traditions before, during and after games. Like many schools, the band sings the Alma Mater after every game, win or lose. The band also frequently plays the school’s fight song, “Yes, Alabama.”

    Two of the more recent traditions involving the Million Dollar Band began in 1996 and 2002, respectively. First, the band began playing a special arrangement of Green Day’s “Basket Case” between the third and fourth quarters, something it still does today.

    MORE: Why Do You Say Roll Tide For Alabama?

    Second, former band director Katheryn B. Scott began having the band play a rendition of “Look Down” from Les Miserables between first and second downs when the team is on defense. Since 2002 it has become the main “defense” cheer when the Crimson Tide are on defense.

    The 407-person band is an integral part of Alabama’s football program with a history intertwined with the university’s success on the field. Alabama plays Michigan in the Rose Bowl on January 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

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