HOME ~ College Football History
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,
service, 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.
Game day starts four hours prior to kick-off with an hour dress
rehearsal in Huskie Stadium.
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
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!
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.