The University of California Marching Band is one of the oldest college marching bands on the West Coast with this year being the 125th year of our organization. The full band performs at every home football game, and, over the years, the Straw Hat Band has traveled to games as far as Wisconsin and Hawaii. The current Cal Band, under the baton of Robert Calonico, boasts a membership of over 200 students, and is one of the few bands in the nation and in the Pac-12 Conference that still marches the traditional and demanding high-step form.
The success of the Cal Band depends upon the loyalty, devotion, and spirit of its members, who, unlike in other bands, do not receive academic credit or financial compensation for their involvement in the Band. Once people see the camaraderie among Cal Band members and the smiles on their faces after a performance, they soon realize that the bandsmen find a family in their fellow marchers.
The California Marching Band performs at all home football games, and at select away games. The California Straw Hat Band is a subgroup of the marching band which performs throughout the year at various campus and community events, in addition to Cal’s away football games, basketball games, volleyball, and other sporting events. The Cal Band has also been seen in the Super Bowl 50 Halftime show, on “Wheel of Fortune,” and has been given media exposure on numerous occasions through local radio stations, newspapers, and television stations.