Let the band play
Re: Mustang marching band
To the Editor:
There are only two university marching bands in Canada and I am proud to have been a member of both. As a result, I am often asked to compare the Western Mustang Marching Band with the Queen's bands. They are similar in many ways and both exemplify school spirit and long-standing tradition. The Western Marching Band began in 1938 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The Queen's bands, which started in 1905, have an even longer history as part of Queen's tradition.
One obvious difference is in the amount of respect and attention given to each band. At Queen's, when the band enters the football stadium the crowd chants "We love Queen's bands!" Not only is the band loved by students and alumni, but it is also an integral part of Queen's football games, which their department of athletics recognizes and appreciates.
Unfortunately, the athletics department at Western does not give the marching band the support and respect it deserves. This year they were not allowed to perform the half-time show at the Homecoming football game, a tradition that has been in existence for years and one which many alumni looked forward to seeing.
As a fellow band alumnus put it, being a member of the Mustang marching band was like being in a state of euphoria. The MMB has been and will continue to be an important part of my life, as it is for many band alumni. I hope I can return to celebrate the Mustang marching band's 80th or 100th anniversary, but in order for this to happen the band needs whole-hearted support of the Western community, starting with the department of athletics.
The Mustang marching band embodies Western spirit and tradition. Please don't let this be taken away or Western will go the way of many other schools which unfortunately do not have any grand traditions.