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 signify 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.








Revelli – a collection

I’ve collected some links to interesting things about Dr. William D Revelli.

The University of Michigan Heritage story “Revelli: The Long Note” starts with this quote:

“You are not a conductor of bands, you’re a conductor of people.” –William D. Revelli

Dr. Revelli appeared in “If You Knew Sousa”, part of the PBS series “The American Experience”. (I checked the American Experience shop, but they didn’t have any “If You Knew Sousa” T-Shirts. )

Hundreds of quotes were collected by students. I haven’t found the entire collection on-line, however here are about 100  Revell-isms.

Dr. Revelli has a page in the University of Michigan Faculty History Project. This has links to several things, and it looks like more will be added.  Introduction says: “The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University’s schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University’s bicentennial in 2017.”

Detroit News Photo – Michigan Marching Band Trip to 1977 Rose Bowl

I was amazed and amused to find this photo for sale on e-bay.

This is the clarinet section T-shirt. This must have been taken at Detroit Metro airport  at the start of the trip.  The Michigan Marching Band always dressed to impress on bowl game trips and these people are not in mid-70’s college student everyday attire.

The date on the back (pictured below) says December 26, which is exactly right.

So if you want it, visit historicimages-store on e-bay  to see if it’s still available!