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

Shenanigans features accounts of some humorous situations from the history of the band.

Notre Dame Band -- 1876 (University Archives)

Notre Dame Band -- 1876
(University Archives)

This amusing tale about the Notre Dame Band and its modest beginnings in the mid 1840s was retold in one of Notre Dame's early publications.  As the story goes, its Founder, the eminently resourceful Father Edward Sorin, decided that it would be impressive if the band played a concert for an audience on shore from a specially built raft moored a little distance away in the St. Mary's Lake.

The idea was well received by all, and when the day of the concert arrived, the hardy crew climbed aboard the raft to be towed into the lake. After a couple of moving renditions, which were warmly received, the raft began to slowly tilt, ominously, backward.  In the grand tradition of shipboard bands the group played on gamely, until one by one, the band members began sliding off the raft along with their instruments and the entire ensemble was overboard. The greatest loss was the shiny instruments which were sent to their watery grave in St. Mary's Lake never to be seen again. The newly founded Notre Dame Band survived however, and went on to become the oldest collegiate marching band in the United States.


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The band spells out IRISH at the Army game in Yankee Stadium -1935

"The band departed via train for the (1938) Army game at Yankee Stadium, NY Each member was given $2.50 to pay for our meals during this tour. Sunday night the nation was in panic due to the horror radio broadcast explaining that New York and other areas were being invaded by aliens from outer space, a hoax perpetrated in describing a scene from H.G. Wells' publication of 'The War of the Worlds'. As we were confined on the train for some time, we knew nothing of the broadcast until we were back to school."

                                                                                                                                                              -Robert E Schmit, '40

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"Mind if we squeeze in a few minutes of football?"


Scholastic November 18, 1955.

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"We traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to march and play for the Gator Bowl vs. Penn State on December 27, 1976. The game was in the evening, but bright and early that morning we were awakened by loud voices doing ND cheers. The basses had arisen early, written 'ND Is The Best' and 'Beat Penn State' in the sand, and marched along -- instraments and all -- getting us revved up the game!"   Photo and text Judy (Cole) Manza, '79.


Band Practice -- 1916 (University Archives)

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