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Band of the Hour

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Band of the Hour


The Frost Band of the Hour is the marching band at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The band plays at all home football games and one away game. It also travels to post-season football bowl games in years that the football team plays at one.[1] The university also has separate concert bands and pep bands for other sports. The band's name originated during the 1948 Orange Bowl halftime show, when Henry Fillmore announced that the "The Man of The Hour" march was being played by the 'Band of the Hour'. The band decided to keep the name.[2]

The band was founded in 1933 by Walter E. Shaeffer, who had served with the United States Marine Band as a musician and concertmaster. During the 1950s, composer Henry Fillmore became a major patron of the band. He provided funding for the construction of Henry Fillmore Band Hall, the band’s home base.[2]

Fred McCall was Director of Bands from 1948 to 1971, when he became Director Emeritus.[3] William B. Russell was Director of Bands from 1972 to 1991. Michael Mann served as the band's director as well as Associate Director of Bands from 1991 to 2000. In 1993, the current Director of Bands, Gary D. Green took office. Michael B. Dressman was Director of the Band of the Hour from 2000 to 2004. C. David Ragsdale served as interim director in 2004-2005. Phillip Clements was Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Band of the Hour until the summer of 2008, when Thomas Keck became Director of the Band of the Hour and Associate Director of Bands.[2] Charles Damon is the Assistant Director of Programs.[4] Under Keck's administration, the band began to focus on the music it played in the stands. Emphasis was placed on popular music, as many home-grown members had come from high schools which followed the marching traditions of historically black colleges. In an attempt to play to South Florida's significant Hispanic culture, the band also began playing more Latin music both in the stands and during field shows.

Keck set a goal of increasing the band's size to 200, and the band has increased. In September 2009, band membership had reached 179, due in part to including members of the Florida International University band, which was dissolved due to budget cuts. The band also includes students from Miami Dade College and other schools.[5] In 2009, Mario Cruz set a record of playing with the band for 10 years.[6]

Since 1993, the Band of the Hour Association is an alumni group that supports the band. The association maintains a hall of fame for the band.[7] Alumni also play or march with the band during homecoming football games.[8]

References

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External links

  • Official website
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