Hurricane Spirit Marches On

As the Frost Band of the Hour prepares for its performance in the December 28 football bowl game, take a look at photos from this season.

By Robin Shear
Photos by JC Ridley
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 18, 2013) — Whether performing before U.S. presidents, livening up bowl games (like the upcoming December 28 Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando), or leading a home crowd of thousands in singing “What Does the Ibis Say?” as it did at Sun Life Stadium this past September, the Frost Band of the Hour (BOTH) has served as the University of Miami’s rallying rhythm for 80 years and counting. And it still has plenty of pep in its step.

“We’re marching ahead,” said Tom Keck, Frost School of Music associate director of bands and Frost Band of the Hour director for the past six years.

With 145 current members spanning just about every major at UM, the Frost Band of the Hour truly represents the entire student body, he said. UM parent Elaine Voss is proud of the dedication she’s seen in her son, a sophomore saxophone player in the BOTH.

“As a parent, I appreciate all the long hours and hard work that goes into preparing for each game or event," she said. “The heart of the school spirit is the Band of the Hour!”

To celebrate the band's 80th anniversary, a video tribute was recorded during Alumni Weekend in November. Inductees into the 2013 Band of the Hour Hall of Fame included Frost School director of bands Gary Green, as well as all 37 members of UM’s 1933 marching band, said Keck.

One of those inaugural members, Alfred G. J. Wright, A.B. '37, M.Ed. '47, the former Miami High and Purdue University marching band director, is still alive and received his solo induction in 2012. The band also honored the memory of the late William B. “Bill” Russell, B.M. '57, M.M. '58, a former BOTH member and director, by performing his arrangement of the Louis Prima tune “Sing, Sing, Sing."

UM has had some form of marching band since 1928, but the band became official in 1933 under the leadership of Walter E. Sheaffer, a clarinetist who once served as U.S. Marine Band concertmaster for composer John Philip Sousa. The name Band of the Hour was adopted in 1948. “The history associated with the Band of the Hour makes the tradition great,” former band captain Joe Bagierek, B.M. ’03, M.B.A. ’07, told Miami: The University of Miami Magazine in 2009. Bagierek is president of the Band of the Hour Association, which represents the interests of the band's more than 1,000 alumni.

Robin Shear can be reached at 305-284-1617.

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