Springtime in Cal Band is often associated with basketball games, fun trips, Cal Day, Spring Show, and new student officers. This year we added an exciting event to our spring lineup. On April 26th, the band took the field for an exciting marching performance at the Cal Spring Football Experience.
In the recent past, the Cal Football Spring Game had been scheduled either during Spring Break, during basketball trips, or on Cal Day, so the band was only able to attend in limited numbers for an Straw Hat Band performance in the stands, if at all. This year, however, the Spring Football Experience was scheduled late in the semester, which provided enough time to chart and learn a field show.
This was the first time that the Cal Band performed a field show at a spring game. Over 90 members volunteered to participate in this inaugural performance. This event also allowed the new coordinating committees to test and hone their skills before the start of football season. The new Stunt Committee charted the halftime show and new Administrative Committee handled gameday operations.
Charting a field show for this event was a very tall order for the new Stunt Committee. In a span of three months, they had to learn the ins and outs of CalChart, our field show charting software (which usually takes the majority of the spring semester), pick a TA squad, and chart a show. Stunt decided that, especially, due to the limited amount of time, the halftime show would be performed to Cal fight songs and would feature iconic Cal Band traditions, including the Flying Wedge, Big “C”, and the Script Cal.
The Athletic Department was excited about our interest in performing a field show and facilitated rehearsal time in Memorial Stadium the week before the game, but the band had only four hours of rehearsal to learn and perfect the show. Our first two-hour rehearsal on the Wednesday before the event was spent learning all of our continuities for the nearly five-minute show and putting it to music. We arrived at California Memorial Stadium before 7 a.m. to refine the show before the gates opened at 10.
Thankfully, our performance went smoothly and the Cal Spring Football Experience proved to be quite enjoyable and a fitting opportunity for the band as well as the football team. Hopefully this year’s participation will spark a new tradition and the band will take the field at California Memorial Stadium again next spring.
Check out the show on Youtube!