Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ghosts of the Orange Bowl: Band of the Hour

The University of Miami marching band has traditionally been small in numbers. Its fight song isn't as catchy or nationally renowned like Notre Dame's or Michigan's. It's not known for its elaborate choreography like Florida A&M's Marching 100. But the Band of the Hour was an often overlooked Orange Bowl tradition. For over 70 years, they've provided much of the soundtrack and atmosphere at Hurricane games. From the playing of the Star Wars themed "Imperial March" to the spelling of MIAMI at halftime, the Band of the Hour had its own unique part in Orange Bowl history.

The band was originally organized in 1933 by Walter E. Schaefer, four years before the Orange Bowl Stadium was built. In 1948 it became known as "The Band of the Hour" while the band was performing the song "Man of the Hour" by composer Henry Fillmore. After the performance, the Orange Bowl stadium announcer at the time yelled over the PA system, "The Man of the Hour played by the Band of the Hour!" It's a name that has stuck ever since.

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