The Hawkeye Marching Band is more than game day.
And we are more than a band.
For 140 years, we've built a legacy that reflects the very best of what it means to be a Hawkeye.
A little over a year ago, like many of you, I was sitting in my dining room, adapting to my new normal of “working from home” and processing the strange new reality of living in a global pandemic. As the dust settled and it became clear that we were in this for the long haul, I began to wonder what it was all going to mean for the Hawkeye Marching Band. I got to work immediately with our staff on planning virtual auditions and drumline clinics, and spent the days, weeks, and months leading up to August 2020 on countless Zoom meetings and phone calls with university administrators, public health experts, and students. We created a plan for every possible scenario for a 2020 marching band season.
We all went into the Fall 2020 semester with a measure of uncertainty and apprehension. However, what transpired over the next four months, with the 140th edition of the Hawkeye Marching Band, is something I will never forget. I saw students step up and demonstrate leadership that surpassed my highest expectations. It required a lot of trust and care, but I could tell that what we were doing was so important to all of them. I know they felt the responsibility of honoring the band’s legacy, protecting each other and our community, and serving as a symbol of unity for our entire Hawkeye family.
I am immensely proud of what our students accomplished this year. Even though we never set foot in Kinnick Stadium, this was anything but a “lost year.” Now, we look forward. I cannot wait to see how the growth and development of Band 140 will impact the future of the Hawkeye Marching Band. I have a lot of big dreams for the band— we are closer than ever to my goal of outfitting every student in the HMB with a university-owned instrument to play on Game Day. I want to adapt our outdoor practice field to a true outdoor performance venue for the band, with lights, bleachers, and a sound system, and water irrigation and turf so we can rehearse outside no matter the conditions of the ground. I want us to continue to go out and engage with high school marching bands and our peer institutions in the Big Ten, elevating the visibility of the Hawkeye Marching Band throughout the state of Iowa and beyond.
I hope you will consider making a gift to help us build the future of the HMB. And there are other ways to support us too! Help spread the word about what makes the Hawkeye Marching Band an organization that brings people together and reflects the very best of what it means to be a Hawkeye. Post your own photos and stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, tagging the HMB and using hashtags #HMBTogether and #ReadyForTheBoom.
Thank you for all the ways you support the Hawkeye Marching Band!
On Iowa, and Go Hawks!
Eric W. Bush
Associate Director of Bands
Director of the Hawkeye Marching Band