Northern Illinois Huskies

Northern Illinois Huskies Football History

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One-hundred and four years ago, fourteen men at the Northern Illinois State Normal School, under the direction of Mr. Calvin Dart, gathered with their horns and drums in hand to form what we now know as the Northern Illinois University Huskie Marching Band. The spirit and legacy of these first fourteen musicians no doubt embodied the same pride we feel today in our band. The Huskie Marching Band of today is committed to the ideals of entertainment, Illiniois football historyservice, and education. Northern's marching band, as it continues in its second century, is entrusted with a 104-year legacy which defines collegiate life in DeKalb, provides unrelenting support of Huskie Football, and sets forth a proving ground for future school band directors.
The Huskie Marching Band has developed a tradition to earn the respect of football audiences throughout the midwestern United States. The band has earned and continues to prove itself worthy to its title: The Pride of the Midwest. It is our goal to perform at such a high level that the reputation earned by those before us may be passed on to those who follow. A tradition of excellence is never inherited, but earned.

The Huskie Marching Band is a select organization whose mission is threefold: To Entertain, To Support, and To Educate. The Huskie Band performs at all university home football games, at select away games, and at post-season bowl games. The Band entertains the stadium crowd while both on the field and in the stands. The Huskie Band also entertains crowds at select parades and university events. The Band also supports the Huskie football team. The Band also contributes to the education of members who may become band directors. In short, students in the Huskie Marching Band have been "defining collegiate life in DeKalb since 1899."

The Huskie Marching Band contributes to the festive atmosphere found at our performance venues. Energy, excitement, and fun are associated with the Band's appearances. The music we perform is understood and enjoyed by the audience at hand. Our audiences have come to expect that whatever is done will be done well. Our shows contain variety, familiarity, musical excellence, visual interest, and tradition.

To accomplish this style of show it is necessary to have new and different shows at every home football game. The constant goal, however, is toward presenting the very best performance possible within the time limitations imposed by the season's schedule. Good performance skills (music, marching, and choreography) are always demanded.

Huskie Football Game Day Activities

The notion of a marching band performing only at halftime is a foreign thought to the Huskie Marching Band. While the halftime show performance may be the premiere performance given by the band at a football game, the Huskie Band presents four formal shows at very home game, in addition to being the most active section in the stadium stands during the game! Football Saturdays are major events in the lives of every Huskie Marching Band member.

Dress Rehearsal
Game day starts four hours prior to kick-off with an hour dress rehearsal in Huskie Stadium.

Huskie Preview!
Ninety minutes prior to kick-off before each home game we present Huskie Preview!�a concert of the entire pregame and halftime shows presented in block formation. Performances are held in Central Park, just west of Douglas Hall. While the primary purpose of this concert is for the Band's membership to review the day's shows one last time, this event attracts a sizeable crowd of Huskie football and Huskie Band fans.

On our way from Huskie Preview! to the stadium, the Huskie Marching Band stops and "swarms" among the tailgaters outside Huskie Stadium. The excitement of hearing and seeing the Huskie Band up close and "in your face" is a rousing way to get fans into Huskie spirit before the first kick-off.

Pregame Show
The Pregame Show is a performance given on the field prior to the start of each home game. This show is designed as a salute and tribute to N.I.U., our alma mater. As such, the format of the Pregame Show reflects traditional music and marching styles. The Pregame Show always includes the NIU Fanfare, the Huskie Fight Song, the Alma Mater, and Hail to the Huskies, in addition to The Star Spangled Banner, and the visiting school's fight song.

In The Stands
As the largest and most visible group supporting athletics at Northern Illinois University, the Huskie Marching Band brings positive attention to the university by playing stand music which relates to the pacing of the game at hand, participating in cheers, and making sure that students and alumni alike are having a great time. We contribute to the home field advantage in Huskie Stadium. The Huskie Band membership knows that the only way to the Bowl games is through the team!

Halftime Show
The Halftime Show is our premiere performance at football games�designed as a showcase of the Huskie Band. A typical halftime show will feature three music selections: an opener and closer with full drill and a concert selection that doubles as a feature routine for The Silverettes. Each show will typically have at least one selection performed to each side of the stadium stands. Each halftime show is designed with the goal to best entertain our audience. Music selections and drill style are chosen to make the greatest impact to our crowd. A theme is always used in formulating each halftime show.

Post Game Concert

At the conclusion of each game, and after the playing of the Huskie Fight Song, we give a short concert on the field in block formation. Each Post Game Concert begins with a song associated with that day's halftime show and will draw upon music from previous week's halftime shows, and include features for the Color Guard and The Silverettes. The Post Game Concert ensures that, win or lose, Huskie Football fans leave Huskie Stadium in a festive mood. By the dictates of protocol, the Post Game Concert always ends with the singing of school songs.

From the first downbeat of Huskie Preview! to the Drum Major's dismissal after the Post Game Concert, the Huskie Band is always "on stage"�from the march to the stadium, to the rousing of tailgaters; from playing stand tunes with "visuals" by the Color Guard and The Silverettes, to the incessant cadences by our Drum Line.

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