From "Out of Bounds"

Notre Dame Band -- 1935

Notre Dame Band -- 1935

To hear the music of the Band of the Fighting Irish click here.

This month's Out of Bounds is a somewhat tounge-in-cheek article from the November 5, 1937 issue of The Notre Dame Scholastic.

Bandmen Parade and Make Formations as Many Thousands Watch from Stadium

They march up the field and they march back again, these boys without the blue coats and the white spats. And when they get through they go through the same thing again. And still once more. And those confounded drums!

Thus is a practice session of the University band. It's "Hey you, third trumpet, which is the right leg'?" and a few assorted cracks about the placement of the left arm to get across the point that to turn to the right all that is necessary is to figure out the position of that same right arm and just follow it around. But there are, of course, limits to the understanding of any bandman.

Yet the Notre Dame band has not done so badly in the years of its existence. Of course, the formations that it uses are about the same year after year, with some changes here and there to brighten up the effects, but they are at the same time good, colorful, formations. And when there is something new introduced by directing genius, Prof. Joe Casasanta, it is always spectacular; if you stayed in the stands during the half of the Navy game this would be apparent. Whoever heard of a band marching in shape of a battleship before? And again, whoever heard a ninety-piece band strike up "The Irish Washerwoman?"

This band of ours is not as large as some of the outfits that come heavily padded to the stadium, as witness the Ohio State band of last year, and yet its volume will compare with that of any. This because there is no padding (that means the inclusion of people who walk around to fill our formations and whose main duty is to keep in step and look interested) ; every man in the band plays and plays well (address all letters to Complaint Editor).

The high spot in the recent history of the band occurred at the Southern California game in 1935. Joe Sullivan, captain-elect, had died of pneumonia. During the halves of this game, the Notre Dame band gave a memorial tribute to this Fighting Irishman, who looked on from beyond the grave. The "Ave Maria" played in an arrangement that seemed perfectly reasonable struck the ears of the large crowd and silenced them completely; at the conclusion of the piece there was no sudden outbreak of noise as is usually the case at such events. People sat down in their seats silently. ..and wondered