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Kansas State University Marching Band
School Kansas State University
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Conference Big 12
Founded 1887
Director Dr. Frank Tracz
Members approx. 335 (2009)
Uniform White cake box with plume, purple and black jacket with overlay, black pants and black shoes, white spats
The KSU Marching Band performs during halftime of a K-State football game.

The Kansas State University Marching Band, also known as "The Pride of Wildcat Land" or just The Pride, is a 300+ piece marching band consisting of woodwinds, brass, percussion, color guard, dancers, and twirlers. It is the official band of Kansas State University.



In 1887, when Professor Alexander Brown organized fifteen student-musicians into the first band at the Kansas State Agricultural College with their first performance at a basketball game in 1899. Since then, the Kansas State Marching Band, also known as the "Pride of Wildcat Land", has grown to more than 350 members. The University band represents the school, the city and community of Manhattan, and the state of Kansas each year at home and across the country at home games, NFL exhibition, bowl games, parades and festivals, and alumni, charity, and community events.[1]

The "Pride" has been invited to many out-of-town venues, appearing before huge audiences, both live and on television. Occasionally the band travels to perform at a Kansas City Chiefs' home game. They have also performed on three occasions at Texas Stadium for Dallas Cowboys home games and twice at Denver Broncos home games. The K-State band performed at the 1974 NFL ProBowl and in the 1977 Texas State Fair. In May of 1980, the K-State band performed at Wembley Stadium and Hyde Park in London, England. In more recent years, the "Pride of Wildcat Land" has accompanied the K-State football team to twelve bowl appearances in the last fourteen years, including:

A memorable performance venue every year for many decades is known as K-State Band Day. Now attracting approximately 2000 high school and middle school students converging each year on Manhattan, the day-long event includes a morning parade through the center of town, and a massed band performance at half time of that afternoon's home football game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. On September 15, 1984 the K-State Band Day was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records. In conjunction with that year's Band Day, sixty-seven school bands joined the K-State Band on the field, creating a 3,144 piece marching band, which put them in the book as the world's largest marching band! This large band then marched in the shape of a large star. At the end of the performance they shut off all the lights while the band members preceded to jump through rings of fire.


Membership in the "Pride of Wildcat Land" is open to all Kansas State students, regardless of major. Some members receive scholarship aid for their participation in the band. Band members come from schools throughout the state and across the nation, and their educational goals are as diverse as their backgrounds. Students representing every college on campus, and nearly every curriculum, work many hours a week in rehearsal during the marching season.

The Songs of Kansas State University

The 2006 KSU Marching Band marching in block band to Wildcat Victory.

Wildcat Victory is the official fight song of Kansas State University. It was originally written, verse and chorus, by music department student Harry Erickson in 1927, but over time became known to K-State fans with the chorus section on its own. The band presents Wildcat Victory in various forms throughout athletic events, from a short excerpt of the introduction to a full version, complete with singing.

The KSU Alma Mater was officially selected as the result of a campus-wide competition in 1888. The original work, composed by H.W. Jones ('88), was four stanzas long, including the chorus. Following a school name change, the song was altered by removing the letters KSAC (Kansas State Agricultural College), replacing them with KSU. The length of the piece was also shortened to two stanzas.

Wildcat March: In October, 1928, John Philip Sousa was to make an appearance at K-State. A petition, signed by most of the student body, was presented to Sousa on October 10, requesting that he compose a Kansas State Agricultural College march. The piano arrangement of Kansas Wildcat March arrived at the Music Department in the spring of 1931 and is now an integral part of the pre-game show at every football game and is normally one of the selections you will hear the "Pride" playing in each of the parades they march in each year.

The Wabash Cannonball may be known as a second fight song to the K-State contingent. Composed in 1933 as a folk ballad saluting the nation's rail-riding hobos, Wabash Cannonball was first performed for an athletic event at K-State on December 16, 1968. Wabash was the only selection in the band's repertoire that evening for a home basketball game at Ahearn Fieldhouse. Just three nights prior, arsonists had set fire to Nichols Hall, at that time the home of the Music Department, destroying all of the departments assets, including the sheet music. The band director at that time, Phil Hewitt, just happened to have taken this one piece home from the library that very night to do some work on the arrangement, thus making it the only selection to survive the fire. Since then, the Wabash Cannonball has come to represent the survival of the underdog in the hearts and minds of all true K-State fans, and has earned a secure place in the KSUMB's history and traditions.


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