A Band’s March Madness: Seattle

Our series of basketball trips began last Thursday afternoon when we departed from Berkeley for the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament in Seattle.

Ruhznxh_mediumThe Band, Mic Man, Rally Comm, and Cheer Team filled the back of the Southwest plane. The flight crew and other passengers seem to excited about presence and our rendition of “Fight for California” on takeoff. We were also fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunset above the clouds.

7affozi_mediumCi6wzbl_mediumSqagbk3_mediumHaving arrived in the late evening, we went out to get a bite to eat and returned to the Renaissance Hotel for a relatively quiet evening.

7l9ez3k_mediumDjb5wet_mediumWith Friday’s quarterfinal game not until 6:00 p.m., the morning was a great opportunity to explore downtown Seattle. For some of us, it was a return just four and a half months after the Washington football game. For some others, it was their first time in the Pacific Northwest. Pike Place was the perfect place to start.

Zc3ta94_medium Jxjc7as_medium8bkknbh_mediumYuow4hv_mediumKtpbzlg_mediumGiwyhy4_mediumOf course, we made a stop at the gum wall!

Xhnw6js_mediumTl4rfwo_mediumThe shops figured all sorts of trinkets, including pins and buttons (our favorite)!

Dxbafcj_mediumEnd5nuf_mediumA4fc34m_mediumMany of us fell in love with the “World’s Best Mac & Cheese” from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. They even make their cheese on-site.

X4k1iqk_medium74zbfmc_mediumFellow musicians were abound on the city streets.

F345odv_medium6zlscsj_mediumThe spirit of the 12th Man, including support of former Cal running back Marshawn Lynch, was still palpable weeks after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory.

Sbvdtml_mediumX5t8ve4_mediumQswqsb8_mediumWe had just enough time to walk up to the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Psklzgg_mediumEjxitgt_mediumMs0q1kx_mediumWe met two and a half hours before tip-off to drive to the team’s hotel and play as they boarded their bus.

Iksicen_mediumAfklfjj_mediumBefore heading to KeyArena, we made a stop at T.S. McHugh’s to play for a group of Cal fans also planning on making their way to the game.

Wbdiccm_mediumCr7virk_mediumWe pulled up to KeyArena just over an hour before the game. We were placed behind the basket by the Cal bench and waited for shootaround.

Oaaefms_mediumBibavtb_mediumQ4osncx_mediumQch7tz3_mediumGfxeyhd_mediumAfter their high scoring win over Oregon, there were an abundance of Washington State fans in the stands. However, there were a great group of spirited Cal fans that certainly made their presence known.

L1xm65e_mediumAfter trading tunes with Washington State University Cougar Marching Band, our quarterfinal game had finally begun.

Trgqcgr_mediumU77xg2p_mediumXfpjcpg_mediumAfter a hard-fought first half and trailing by just one point, we enjoyed a performance by a sensational jump rope troupe.

Wb9sewt_mediumBefore we knew it, the second half was underway. At the 8-minute timeout, our very own Joseph Hartman was featured on the “Dance Cam” for his dynamic routine to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.”

Mynucti_mediumThough the second half was rough for our team and fans, we remained steadfast in support of our team. In the end, a last-minute surge was not enough as the Golden Bears fell 91-83.

Kg10szn_mediumIe82ov6_mediumRgt7ypw_mediumWhile still disappointed by the loss, we were still able to spend time with members of other Pac-12 bands, including Colorado and Washington State. It was great being able to share stories with our fellow musicians and we look forward for more of those opportunities this week in Las Vegas.


Though we wish we could have stayed in Seattle longer and celebrated a conference tournament title, we left late Saturday morning and were even able to catch the end of Cal Men’s Basketball’s thrilling victory over Colorado!


Thank you to Southwest Airlines, Renaissance Seattle Hotel, the Pac-12 Conference, and the City of Seattle for their hospitality this past weekend. We look forward to returning to Seattle soon!


Stay tuned for pictures from the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas and other basketball tournaments.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Cal Band’s trip to Seattle. If you would like to support the Band, please check out more information on our new donor matching challenge on our website’s donation page. Thank you and Go Bears!