Monday, March 4, 2019

For the Glory of Carnegie: Kiltie Band

Did you know that Carnegie Mellon has its own marching band?  They are called the Kiltie Band, also affectionately called the "Band Without Pants."  Why?  Because they wear kilts to perform!  Well, at least for their main performances.
A Kiltie Band member wearing a funny hat
The Kiltie Band has three different seasons, with some overlap.  The first season is football season.  They perform at every home game- pregame, half time, and during time outs and other low-action moments of the game.  During the football season, there are several traditions, including wearing silly hats, beeping while going in reverse, and "Ask the Band" during the half time performance.
Beeping going in reverse
The second season is their concert season.  There are three regularly-scheduled concerts: a holiday concert, a mid-winter concert, and a Carnival kick-off concert.  The mid-winter concert just happened this week, and with a wide selection of music, both traditional pieces and some more modern, there was a bit of music for everybody.  My favorite piece was the John Williams medley, which I'll have a video of in the coming weeks.
Mr. Gerlach conducting the winter concert
The final season is basketball season.  During home basketball games during the spring semester, a pep band performs during half time and time outs.  This is completely optional for the band members, but there is always a nice group of them to make some music and cheer on the teams (or distract the other teams by singing the Pokemon Theme Song during free throws).
Basketball band
The Kiltie Band is led by Director for Life (without the possibility of parole), Paul Gerlach.  He leads the Kilties across the field every game day, and conducts them for all concerts.  The Kiltie Band is a subset of Carnegie Mellon University Athletics.
Mr. Gerlach conducting during a football game
I'm now just wondering what it takes for me to earn honorary membership into the Kiltie Band to continue gaining honorary memberships for college marching bands :D  If you'd like more information about the Kiltie Band, check out their website.
Mr. Gerlach leading the Kilties across the field on game day

Images copyright © 2018-2019 Allen Howard/HDIC Productions
Text copyright © 2019 Allen Howard

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