|School||University of Missouri|
|Director||Dr. D. Bradley Snow|
|Assistant Director||Dr. J. Fuller Lyon|
|Fight song||"Fight Tiger, Every True Son"|
|Uniform||Black shakos with plume, black overalls, gloves, and shoes, white jacket with black and gold striped collar, tilted golden 'M' runs down right arm creating a gold sleeve|
|Website||Marching Mizzou Page|
Marching Mizzou, M2, or The Big 'M' of the Midwest is the performing marching band for the University of Missouri, founded in 1885 as a college military band. Originally consisting of only 12 members, it is now the largest student organization on the MU campus, drawing students from nearly every major. Marching Mizzou performs at all home football games of the Missouri Tigers football team, in addition to other university events; a reduced band travels to the Tigers' away games, while the entire band regularly follows the team to conference championship games and bowl games. Marching Mizzou's signature drill "Flip Tigers" has been a well-known tradition of its pre-game show since 1960.
Marching Mizzou began as the University of Missouri Cadet Band in 1885, founded by Frederick Pannell from the encouragement of Lt. Enoch H. Crowder. Initially, membership was limited to members of the school's Corps of Cadets. The band made only one appearance in the 1885 season, at a football game against the University of Kansas and was so well received by the assembled students and alumni that they were asked back to the next season's football games. The Corps obliged, and applications for membership grew quickly. Being a military band, the group performed at both Cadet Corps events and school events, playing music from composers like Beethoven and Wagner.
Growing and opening up
Under George Venable, director from 1910 to 1946, the band eventually moved away from military marching and acquired the characteristics of a show band. The big "M" formation debuted in 1934, and the band won highest honors in the Big 6 Conference that same year. Following the dissolution of the Corps of Cadets in 1944, membership was opened every male in the university and the group moved into the Department of Music under the direction of George Wilson. The band's first annual "High School Band Day" was held in 1945, inviting high schools to participate in a massed performance during half-time. In 1956, The University of Missouri Cadet Band split into a concert band, a university band, and the marching band, resembling its current structure. Charles Emmons became director in 1957, and under his direction women were allowed to join the band in 1958; most bands at the time remained male-only.
By 1966, over 50 bands and 4,000 students were participating in Band Day, requiring two sub-conductors to relay cues to the entire group.
The Golden Girls
In 1957, director Charles Emmons added a group of baton-twirling majorettes and two feature twirlers to the band. The group became known as the Golden Girls after purchasing now-iconic gold sequined uniforms in 1965. When Alexander Pickard became director in 1966, he began adding dancing to the Golden Girls' routines. For the next decade, the majorettes evolved into a dance team as their popularity across the campus grew. By the time they ceased carrying their batons in 1976, the group almost entirely was performing as dancers and only carried the batons out of tradition. The Golden Girls gradually became a separate entity from the band, while the few feature twirlers remained a part of Marching Mizzou. The Golden Girls were invited to perform at the Japan Classic after winning the 1991 NCA Collegiate Cheer and Pom Dance competition. They went on to win the same competition again in 1992 and 2003.
Marching Mizzou was invited by President Truman to lead his Inaugural Parade in 1949; however, the Missouri legislature did not fund the trip. As a consolation, the legislature allowed the band to march at the governor's inauguration in Jefferson City. M2 performed at Wembley Stadium in England in 1975 to 100,000 spectators. In January 2001, Marching Mizzou succeeded in traveling to Washington D.C. to perform in the inaugural parade for President George W. Bush. In March 2012, and then again in 2016, Marching Mizzou traveled to Dublin and Limerick, Ireland to perform in the St. Patrick's Day Parade and an International Marching Competition, respectively.
Marching Mizzou today has over 300 band members, including a full color guard, a few feature twirlers, and a handful of drum majors. These drum majors serve as the top student leaders in M2, assisting in practices and with show design. The Golden Girls, under the coaching of Shannon Fry, work closely with the bands' leaders and attend two weekly practices with Marching Mizzou. Before every season, the band spends a week learning its unique pre-game show, preparing stands music, and starting on its half time shows. Since joining the Southeastern Conference, M2 now sends a (sometimes reduced) band to every away conference game.
Marching Mizzou has a wide repertoire of songs, ranging from older marches to classic and modern rock and hip-hop, in addition to the school's songs, and a few band favorites. Halftime shows are written around a particular theme, ranging from specific musical styles or groups. Nearly all of M2's music is written/arranged by faculty of the University of Missouri.
The MU Bands hosts three annual events for high schools. "M2 Band Day" brings in marching bands from across the state, to practice and perform with M2 at the season's first halftime. The pieces for the performance are often specifically composed to match a variety of experience levels. The show ends with the bands playing "Every True Son" and "Fight Tiger". MU also offers a marching competition called "Champion of Champions" and a Homecoming Parade, both open to high school bands.
Select members of Marching Mizzou audition to form Mini Mizzou, a pep band founded in 1973 by Tim Lautzenheiser that attends other events on and around campus, including sporting events and requested appearances.
- Dr. D. Bradley Snow (Director of Bands)
- Dr. J. Fuller Lyon (Assistant Director of Bands)
- Shannon Fry (Head Coach of the Golden Girls)
- Brandt Crocker & Greg Crocker (The Voices of Marching Mizzou)
- Andrew Hopkins (Drum Major)
- Sean Kraus (Drum Major)
- Samuel Riley (Drum Major)
Marching Mizzou's pre-game show is a distinctive staple of the Tigers' football games. Some traditions have remained for decades, like the Block "M" and "Flip Tigers". Other parts of the show have changed, like forming the SEC logo since the Missouri Tigers joined the Southeastern Conference.
As of 2014, the band first runs onto the field and plays the Missouri Fanfare. Next, it performs its unique "waltz-step" to the Missouri Waltz while in the Block "M" formation. It then forms a star shape to play the National Anthem, followed by a flattening of the star as Give A Cheer and Eye of the Tiger is performed. Until joining the SEC, Marching Mizzou had previously proceeded to form the outline of the state of Missouri with the letters "MU" in the lower half of the shape. Instead, it now forms the SEC logo. In this formation Marching Mizzou plays the alma mater of the University of Missouri, Old Missouri. Next, the band forms six columns on the field, representing the iconic columns of the Francis Quadrangle, while playing the first fight song, Every True Son.
The distinguishing "Flip Tigers" drill is then performed to MU's second fight song, Fight Tiger. The band sequentially forms the word "MIZZOU", then completes a rapid, 8-beat transition into the world "TIGERS". This move was created by director Charles Emmons and his assistant John Christie for the 1960 Orange Bowl. The band finally marches toward the South End-zone, forms a tunnel as the football teams runs on, then sprints off the field into the stands, completing their pre-game show.
Bowl game appearances
Marching Mizzou has supported the Mizzou Tigers at all of the following bowl games since the marching band was first founded, except for 1979:
- 2015 Citrus Bowl (2014 season)
- 2014 Cotton Bowl Classic (2013 season)
- 2011 Independence Bowl (reduced band)
- 2010 Insight Bowl
- 2009 Texas Bowl
- 2008 Alamo Bowl
- 2008 Cotton Bowl Classic (2007 Season)
- 2006 Sun Bowl
- 2005 Independence Bowl
- 2003 Independence Bowl
- 1998 Insight.com Bowl
- 1997 Holiday Bowl
- 1983 Holiday Bowl
- 1981 Tangerine Bowl
- 1980 Liberty Bowl
1979 Hall of Fame Classic: money was not offered to send the full band, and Marching Mizzou chose not to attend the game with a reduced band.
- 1978 Liberty Bowl
- 1973 Sun Bowl
- 1972 Fiesta Bowl
- 1970 Orange Bowl (1969 season)
- 1968 Gator Bowl
- 1966 Sugar Bowl (1965 season)
- 1962 Bluebonnet Bowl
- 1961 Orange Bowl (1960 season)
- 1960 Orange Bowl (1959 season)
- 1950 Gator Bowl (1949 season)
- 1949 Gator Bowl (1948 season)
- 1946 Cotton Bowl Classic (1945 season)
- 1942 Sugar Bowl (1941 season)
- 1940 Orange Bowl (1939 season)
- 1924 Christmas Festival
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