Michigan Hockey Band -A True Story

This really hapened.

In the 1970’s a graduate student named Albert was given the duty of directing the Michigan Hockey Pep Band. (Here is his picture – perhaps you would better recognize him in the drum major uniform, but it is the same Albert who did the flips during pregame.)

albert - Hockey band

This was a bit awkward because he didn’t appreciate hockey – especially the fights breaking out between players during the game. So, he decided to try an experiment.

He arranged a bit of music from the “William Tell” overture. The part that is often called “the calm after the storm.” Even if you don’t normally listen to this type of music, you have probably heard this. Wikipedia says “This segment is often used in animated cartoons to┬ásignify daybreak.” Also anyting having to do with sweetness and light, springtime etc.

The idea was for the Hockey Band to have this music ready to play the next time there was a fight. We rehearsed it and were ready and interested to see what would happen.

What happened is there were no fights. Week after week, for more than a month. Still we kept the music parts in our folders ready to go.

Finally, it happened.

Two hockey players had each other by the neck. The other players were taking their gloves off. Albert gave the downbeat. The calm after the storm came out of the band.

It took about 3 seconds for the crowd to notice that something odd was happening. A couple thousand heads suddenly turned toward the band.

A majority of the players (except the two fighters) turned toward the band to see what the crowd was looking at.

Finally – yes – the two fighters, still in the “choke” position, turned toward the band. And it was all over.

If someone worked out a way to blast this tune over areas of turmoil, it could be the solution to world peace.