Band of the Week - Central Michigan

Central Michigan Band

Since 1923 the Chippewa Marching Band has graced the campus of Central Michigan University. After 89 years, the band has grown to 285 members, but their aim has always been the same. The group of young men and women create a great atmosphere at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and are always on their feet, raising the intensity of the crowd and the players. But for the 285 members, it is always about more than just pumping up the crowd; it is about “Always Striving Upward – Together to the Stars.”           



College Sports Madness Band of the Week - Central Michigan


Your Name: Dr. Jim Batcheller

Your Relation to the Band: Director

Band Name: The Chippewa Marching Band

Number of Members: 285


Central Michigan Band


What is the most unique song you have ever played?Central Michigan Band

There have been a number of tunes we’ve done that might be described as unusual – this year we performed Chuck Mangione’s “Land of Make Believe” with part of the band performing in the stands with the audience while the color guard interacted with young kids in the stands. Some of the biggest crowd responses we get are when we dance while performing current hits from artists like Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson.


How much preparation goes into your performance?

After an intensive pre-season training camp we work Central Michigan Bandbetween ten and forty hours in preparation for each new show, depending on how much time there is between games.


What interesting or unique traditions does your band have?

Of course we have our school fight songs and alma mater, which we treasure, but our strongest traditions arise from the close ties we have with the Chippewa Football team. We get together each season for spirit sessions and, after each home victory, the team joins the band, cheer and dance teams, and our student section in singing our Fight Song with the game MVP conducting. It’s quite a moment to experience!

 Central Michigan Band


What charitable causes does your band support?

Each year we work with the Mount Pleasant chapter of the American Red Cross to raise money and in-kind donations to the local Food Pantry. We work with one of our local businesses (and HUGE CMU supporters) to raise awareness of the cause as part of a free concert series for the Mount Pleasant community. For the past two years, the featured performer has been CMU alumnus Jeff Daniels.


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