Saturday, February 13, 2010

University of Tennessee Band - Pride of the Southland

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

The "Pride of the Southland" Band gathers to form the "Power T" for the Vols to run through before a Satyrday afternoon game at Neyland Stadium.

Photo: Donna Calonge in 1995

unused, from 2010

(The Word Saturday is spelled wrong on the card)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Pride of the Southland Marching Band has been performing at halftime for over one hundred years, but has existed since 1869 when it was founded as part of the Military Department.

It was not until 1961 that Tennessee native W. J. Julian was hired as an associate professor and director of the UT bands. Some of the many traditions established under his direction are the pregame formations.

The Pride's famous pregame show was designed by Julian with exclusive musical arrangements by Warren Clark and Barry McDonald. This six minute and forty-five second show has remained largely unchanged since the 1960s. It begins with a "Tennessee Waltz" variation in common time, followed by, starting in the 2007 season, a march version of "Tennessee River", then the "Alma Mater March". The band forms the traditional floating "U" and "T" and marches this across the majority of the field accompanied by "Rocky Top". The pregame show continues to build in excitement as the "Power T" is formed and all the Vols fans are asked to join in the Volunteer Wave and the crowd spells out "V-O-L-S" and chant "Go Vols Go!" Then the Pride of the Southland's Drum Major runs through the middle of this formation. The band then marches across the field until it reaches the opposite end zone. At this point, "Stars and Stripes Forever" is played and the band forms a large "USA" to the visiting sideline, then inverts the form to face the front sideline.

Pregame reaches its most thrilling point with the "Opening of the T" where the football team runs through a block T on to the field and to their sideline. This is one of the most photographed moments in college football and one of the greatest traditions of the "Pride", Tennessee football, and the University of Tennessee.
Although the T formation is used almost exclusively at Tennessee home games in Neyland Stadium, it has been done at other venues, most notably at the 1986 and 1991 Sugar Bowl.

- - -

Here they are running into the 'Power T'

University of Tennessee

The Big Orange make their way onto Neyland Stadium through the famous Power "T".

Photo by Ryan & Shelly Calonge in 2005

No comments: