The Frost Band of the Hour and the Miami Hurricanes have a number of shared traditions that build school spirit and bind our students and alumni together in their enthusiasm for “The U.”
The “Hurricanes” nickname began in controversy. Following a devastating hurricane in 1926, UM’s opening football game was postponed. Some reports say that the football team later held a team meeting to select “Hurricanes” as their title, hoping they would sweep away opponents just as the storm did. Another version holds that Miami News columnist Jack Bell asked Porter Norris of the 1926 team what the team should be called. Told that the local dignitaries and University officials wanted to name the team for a local flora or fauna, Norris said the players wouldn’t stand for it, and suggested “Hurricanes,” since the opening game had been postponed by such a storm.
Red flags with a black square center are used in sailing to warn ships of the impending approach of a hurricane. UM uses these flags as a warning to its opponents of the fighting spirit and power of its athletic teams.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter at every home football game, Miami Hurricane players and fans can be seen holding up four fingers. This sign indicates their belief that a game is won in that crucial final period, and true Hurricane fans and players use the sign as a symbol that they own that last quarter. The band plays Roller Fugue (J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor) before every fourth quarter.
In 1926, the University of Miami adopted the Ibis (“Sebastian”) as the official mascot for the University’s athletic teams. Folklore maintains that when a hurricane is approaching, other birds look to the ibis for leadership. With complete fearlessness, it is the last bird to take shelter before a hurricane hits, giving the final warning that danger is imminent. And with complete confidence, the ibis is the first to reappear after the storm, a sign that clear skies are approaching. Thus, the ibis represents the leadership, courage, confidence, speed, and strength of the University of Miami students and athletes.
The traditional Hurricane smoke entrance in the Orange Bowl began in the 1950s. In an attempt to increase fan interest, UM transportation director Bob Nalette came up with the idea of using fire extinguishers to produce the now-famous smoke that engulfs the tunnel the Hurricanes run through as the enter the field. Lines from the tunnel are formed by band members, the Hurricane Guard, and the Hurricanettes, as the Band of the Hour exits the pre-game show.
During every University of Miami football game, and after every Hurricane touchdown, Sebastian the Ibis pumps up the crowd with an exciting spell out: “ooooohhhhhhh…....C-A-N-E-S Canes!”
Famous First Rehearsal is a unique and long-standing tradition of both the Band of the Hour and the University of Miami. This symbolic first rehearsal of the marching band, which the University President and administration attend, serves as a showcase for the exciting fusion of newly arrived and returning band members, and heralds the beginning of each academic year.
UM’s school colors were also selected in 1926. The colors of the Florida orange tree were chosen for the University of Miami. Orange symbolizes the fruit of the trees, green represents the leaves, and white, the blossoms.