For over six decades, the MSU Spartan Marching Band (SMB) jacket has been worn proudly on the campus of Michigan State University. The jacket is earned only after a freshman or first-year member has completed their dress rehearsal called “Freshman Dress.” This special rehearsal is the culmination of 10 days of dedicated grueling practice and rehearsal at pre-season drills. Among the many protocols is one that allows the band member to don the jacket for the first time after he or she has marched through the tunnel into Spartan Stadium.
The design and style of the jacket has remained constant since the 1950s, reflecting the same commitment to upholding tradition as does the Spartan Marching Band. There is no better indication of the pride in Spartan Marching Band membership than to see this wool jacket worn on a day when lighter fare might be more comfortable. Each year, approximately 300 alumni of the SMB arrive on campus for their annual fall reunion. These alumni are of greatly varying ages but the Spartan Marching Band jacket is worn by 70 year-old men standing next to recent graduates. THAT’S TRADITION!
Historically, students have had to spend their own money for the privilege to own a jacket, but in recent years, through the generosity of private support, the cost of jackets has been partly subsidized. It is the goal of the Alumni Band to provide these jackets free of charge to all incoming members of the SMB. With approximately 80+ new members each year, this would require roughly $12,000 annually in private support.
You can help support future Spartan Marching Band members with a one-time contribution of $150 which will pay for one jacket for a new member of the Spartan Marching Band!
We also are very proud to announce that a Spartan Marching Band alum has stepped forward to match all donations up to $6,000. This means that your contribution of $150 will actually pay for TWO jackets!
Funds received during this campaign will go toward the purchase of jackets for the 2016 incoming members.
The Michigan State University Alumni Band promotes camaraderie among MSU Band alumni through opportunities for active musical participation, to facilitate contact and communication within MSU Band alumni and to encourage alumni advocacy and philanthropy in support of the MSU Bands.
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824
*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 16CRFPR1SMBANDS” in the note section.