From Fundamentals to Field Shows: Our Path to Gameday

With the start of every school year, Cal Band kicks into high gear as it introduces its vibrant traditions to a new recruiting class. This year, the recruits had just two weeks to learn how to march before performing two field shows at the Sacramento State game last weekend.

When we arrived at Cal State East Bay in Hayward for our Fall Training Program three weeks ago, the teaching assistants and returning members were eager to show our recruits the fundamentals of Cal Band’s marching style.


The recruits then practiced and perfected their form alongside returning members.


After spending over eight hours on the field practicing fundamentals and learning drills each day, the full band gathered for music rehearsal in the evening. Despite the long hours on the field, we maintained our enthusiasm while rehearsing some crowd favorites.

The time spent practicing marching and music proved beneficial as the band combined these two elements to perform our mock show.

After a weekend of learning fundamentals, we returned to Berkeley and started putting our skills into practice as we began learning our Pregame show. This included some of our Pregame trademarks, including as Spellout and Script Cal.


The band took a break from rehearsing as fifty members accompanied our football team to Chicago for their season opener against Northwestern. We were thrilled to cheer on our Golden Bears as they defeated the Wildcats 31-24.

With a victory under our belts, we were even more driven to continue perfecting our Pregame and Halftime Shows, even after full days of lectures, discussions, and labs. When Saturday morning arrived, the band assembled bright and early to polish our shows before performing them for tens of thousands of Cal fans.

After our final marching rehearsal, we were ready to take the field and support our Golden Bears in the home opener at California Memorial Stadium. Before the team took the field, we performed our Pregame show for a stadium of proud Californians.

Immediately following our Pregame show, we set up in the stands to cheer on our team as they scored an astounding six touchdowns against Sacramento State in the first half alone. The team’s notable lead added to our excitement as we took the field for our P!nk Halftime Show. The fans added to the the excitement as they sang and danced along to the tunes.

After a rousing halftime performance, we returned to the stands to watch our Golden Bears defeat the Hornets 55-14. With an undefeated team and a class of recruits with two performances under their belts, we knew we had an exciting season ahead of us.  We have already started preparing for the game against the Colorado Buffaloes on September 27, when we will perform alongside local high school bands for our biennial High School Band Day. We look forward to continue working hard to support and entertain our fellow Californians throughout the rest of the season. But for now, please join us as we raise our glasses to a successful first gameday!