Grambling State Visits Berkeley

Cal Football proved that they are still on the rise by kicking off the 2015 season with a stunning score of 73-14 against Grambling State University. The game on September 5 was special, not just because it raised the hopes and expectations of Cal fans for the coming season, but also because of a unique and exciting visit from Grambling State’s famous marching band. As always, Cal Band was welcoming and friendly to the other band; we’re always happy to meet another marching band, especially one all the way from the other side of the country.


On Saturday, the football game began at 2pm. It was a beautiful day in Berkeley and the sun was shining on Memorial Stadium as we performed a rousing pregame performance – our first of the season! During the pregame show, the Grambling State Band joined us on the field and we played the National Anthem together, our incredible combined sound filling the stadium as their director conducted us.

While the Bears made us a bit nervous at the beginning of the game, we quickly saw that we had nothing to worry about. Our team scored the first touchdown, and went on to score many, many more. Cal crushed Grambling State, and managed to set a first-half scoring record with an incredible lead of 52-0. Despite the southern team’s struggle on the field, their band and cheerleaders remained spirited throughout the game. The Grambling Band wailed out Talkin’ Out The Side of Your Neck from the stands, and their cheerleaders did flips across the end zone when they scored a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Cal Band gleefully played Fight for California again and again. The entire stadium was in high spirits.

Come halftime, Grambling State’s marching band took the field first. They were uproarious, rousing the crowd, as well as us,  with their dance routines. They even surprised us by performing “California Love” by 2Pac as a friendly shout out. Once they finished, Cal Band took the field to perform the first halftime show of the year, Guardians of the Calaxy. The show consisted of five classic songs that appealed to both alumni and students, who recognized the hits from the blockbuster summer movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Arranged by our very own Robert Calonico, the halftime show included Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Suede, Escape (the Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes, Come and Get Your Love by Redbone, Fooled Around and Fell in Love by Elvin Bishop, and finally Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Our drum major, Sam Cappoli (instrument and year), and his Stunt Committee ran around the field during the show dressed in costumes of characters from Guardians of the Galaxy, performing a silly skit that ended in vanquishing the Stanfurd tree with Oski’s help!

Our team finished off Grambling’s team with a score of 73 points. The Cal football team crowded in front of the band to sing along to Fight for California in celebration of our first win of the season. Then Grambling State’s marching band joined our band on the field for the post-game performance and we took turns performing some of our most popular songs. As the Grambling State marched off the field and headed back down south, Cal Band sadly waved them farewell, grateful for the opportunity to meet and watch such a lively band with a style so different from our own.

– Tara Hurley