Falcon Marching Band
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|Falcon Marching Band|
|School||Bowling Green State University|
|Location||Bowling Green, Ohio|
|Director||Dr. Carol Hayward|
|Uniform||Orange and white tops with brown trim, with brown pants. Also, white and orange shakos with white plumes.|
The Falcon Marching Band is the marching band of Bowling Green State University. It features a symphonic sound and chair step marching that rivals bands of larger conferences. Under the direction of Dr. Carol Hayward, the 220 member marching band is the largest student organization on campus.  The band performs at all home football games, which are hosted in Doyt Perry Stadium, and other various university functions. However the marching band only exists during the football seasons.
Style & Tradition
The Bowling Green State University FMB has a long line of traditions since its first performance in 1923. This long history has also allowed the Falcon Marching Band to form a very unique style.
A pre-game concert is offered before every football game free of charge as fans of both teams enter the stadium. Also, the FMB offers a "Sounds of the Stadium" concert which features all the show songs during the year, and standard school songs.
The FMB marches in a high-powered chair step during the entire pre-game show. However, during half-time the marching band marches in a traditional glide step (a heal to toe style march). This is due to the concentration necessary for the band's symphonic sound.
The band has roughly 220 members every year. During the 2009 season, the Falcon Marching Band reached a record-high 238 members. This includes twirlers, a flag corps, and two drum majors. The drum majors typically direct and lead the band, instead of performing choreographed routines (like most collegiate marching bands). Drum majors serve as secondary directors when the band's official director is leading performances, or when special guests lead the band in performance. However, the FMB is generally performs one halftime show with a student-organized dance team.
The band also has student staff. The student staff has section leaders who are assigned to certain instruments and/or instrument parts. They assist in helping the band's directors during practices and performance planning. The staff also features uniform, fiscal, secretarial, and other various forms of managers.
The FMB enters the field near the end of Doyt Perry Stadium executing chair step marching. After finishing the cadences that they enter the field to, the band then "collects" the members from a block formation to their unique "X" block style marching. They march down the field "8 to 5" with this "X" style to the fight song. After performing the fight song, they play "Happy Days are Here Again" and then play "Ay Ziggy Zoomba". The band presents Freddie and Frieda Falcon, the college mascots, where they then begin to perform Bowling Green State University's Alma Mater. The Alma Mater is followed by a special arrangement of "America." Going into a patriotic melody, the marching band then does an advanced left-face which faces them toward the flag for the United States National Anthem directed by the college's Director of Bands (or visiting band director when present). They then do an about face and exit the field to the traditional cadences.
After every football game, the band, football players, and fans collect at the band's stand to sing/play the Alma Mater. If a win, the band will play "Ay Ziggy Zoomba." Every major athletic event ends with a playing of "Beer Barrel Polka." During "Beer Barrel Polka," the tubas do a march through the goal zone before the band exits playing their traditional cadences.
The Falcon Marching Band has a traditional United States style marching band. Instrumentation features trumpets, trombones, sousaphones, mellophones, euphoniums, saxophones (alto and tenor), clarinets, flutes, piccolos, and typical drumline percussion equipment. The reasoning for not limiting instruments to a certain set, is the band's tradition of always projecting a unique symphonic sound using a variety of instruments and composition techniques. The goal is to feature a sound not usually found among most high school and collegiate marching bands.
The band, in its history, has had original music commissioned and performed for it. In 2003, the band commissioned music by Ryan Nowlin titled Frontiers. The band premiered this show on November 28, 2003. In 2007, the band again commissioned a work from Ryan Nowlin titled New Frontiers. The music composed by Ryan Nowlin, with percussion by Michael Sander, and visual design from Jason Sivill, had themes from the original Frontiers. This band premiered the show on November 2, 2007.  They have commissioned a new chorale from the New Frontiers composition.In 2004, Ryan Nowlin, to honor them for their work and performance, he wrote a piece titled Chorale for Dr. Carol Hayward and the Falcon Marching Band. This piece featured themes from Frontiers. The band still uses this now traditional piece as a warm-up and for public performances.
The BGSU FMB has three common songs that can be heard at various athletic and academic events. These three song "standards" for the college include; the Alma Mater, "Forward Falcons", and "Ay Ziggy Zomba" which is played to hype the crowd at events, which is quite possibly the most recognizable song for the students, alumni, and fans.
Auditions are held during the beginning of August rehearsals. The students that have already been accepted into the College of Music and the college itself move into their assigned residence halls prior to the normal move in date for other students. Then they have to form of "band camp" that works on marching fundamentals, drills and music rehearsals seven days prior to the opening of classes. However, the flag corps and twirler auditions are held prior to rehearsals. The FMB is composed of students from all colleges of the University and membership is open by audition to students of all class levels and all majors. 
The FMB travels extensively. Those travels have included; the University of Akron, University of Michigan, University of Toledo and Eastern Michigan, Miami, West Virginia, Marshall, Ohio State and Ball State universities, as well as professional football games at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, the Pontiac Silverdome, and Cleveland Browns Stadium, and many high school band festivals. The band has also been featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Additional trips have included bowl games in Fresno, Calif. (Raisin Bowl), Las Vegas (Silver Bowl), Detroit (Motor City Bowl), and Mobile, Alabama (GMAC Bowl). In 2009, a seventy member contingent (composed of the senior members and student leadership) of the Falcon Marching Band attended the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. In 2007, they were invited to perform in exhibition at the Bands of America Regional in Indianapolis.