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November 30, 2023

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Falcon Marching Band: Celebrating 100 years of excellence

Drake Harlett
Members of the Falcon Marching Band take to the field in Michigan Stadium Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023

The BGSU band celebrates 100 years at Homecoming with their largest band class yet. 

BGSU introduced their first band, “the College Band,” with 20 all-male students, according to BGSU’s website.

Now, BGSU has a band community of around 300 students and ranks the highest attendance in BGSU history according to Jonathan Waters, BGSU’s band director. 

“They are the students that nobody else can claim or will ever be able to claim that they bridged the gap between the last 100 years and the next 100 years..It’s a pretty cool opportunity for them to be part of the band this year in particular,” said Waters. 

Band members say that for this year especially, they are excited to be a part of such a momentous occasion for the university.

“I’m just excited. You only turn 100 once… This is more members than we’ve had in the past 100 years so we’re only going to keep growing,” said Cassidy Parker, a fifth-year trumpet player for the band. 

Beyond having the biggest class, BGSU band members also say that one of the more significant parts of being in the band is the community that comes with it. 

“The band is 100 percent a family,” said Kristin Medykowski, a fourth-year trumpet player for the band. “It’s crazy how much love can be held with people that some of which you haven’t even known for a year.” 

Alumni of the band plan to come and support the current members by attending their homecoming tables and celebrations – furthering the belief by band members that once you join BGSU’s band, you have a family for life. 

“Last year on homecoming we got to meet an 80-something year old drum major that led the band and it was really cool seeing that. Of course it’s been for 100 years, but it really puts it in perspective when you meet those people,” said Kirsten Swanker, a third-year trumpet player in the band. 

BGSU plans to celebrate the event by hosting various events from a Welcome Back Party in the Bowen Thompson Quadrangle to a Band Concert on the Lawn being held at the BGSU Alumni fountain on Friday, Sept. 22. 

Parker said being part of such a monumental event means a lot to all of the band members there and feels even more significant with the attendance of audience members and alumni.

“Just to put things into perspective, we had 200 alumni come last year for homecoming, which was record breaking then, and then (now)  jumping up 250 more members is super crazy,” she said.

Those interested can watch the the BGSU band’s homecoming performance Saturday, Sept. 24 in the Doyt Stadium. They also plan on having a fifth-quarter concert after the game has ended.

Parker, Medykowski and Swander say the homecoming performance travels over the history of the band while ending up where the band is now and urges people to come out to enjoy the game and the show.

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