With the addition of football in 2013 UNC Charlotte will not have a marching band, but Chancellor Philip Dubios says it is in the plans for the future. MCT Campus

As the first football kickoff draws nearer, something is still missing. Players? Check! Hyped 49er fans? Check! Marching band? Maybe later.

“It was always our intention and still is our intention to have a marching band,” said Darin Spease, senior associate ahletic director for Business Affairs. Due to funding, however, UNC Charlotte will not have a marching band when football begins in Fall 2013.

Until UNC Charlotte has its own marching band, other bands, including local high school marching bands, will be invited to play during halftime shows.

Spease noted, “It’s part of the DNA of college football to have a marching band. [Marching bands] are part of why fans get to the game early—to watch them perform. They’re why fans stay in their seats—to watch them at halftime. Those are all things we want our fans to experience.

In initial talks about bringing football to UNC Charlotte, marching band was part of the discussion. In 2007, Chancellor Philip Dubois commissioned a group, including UNC Charlotte faculty, students, Charlotte community members and business owners, to assess the feasibility of adding a football program.

In their 2008 recommendation to the chancellor, the UNC Charlotte Football Feasibility Committee listed football expenses, including funds for a marching band.

The report states, “As a complement to football, the committee feels strongly that the addition of a marching band adds to school spirit and the recruitment of gifted student musicians to the university.”

Chancellor Dubois assessed the recommendations from the committee and after further research, presented a plan to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. As part of his statements, the chancellor said, “My proposal would defer the implementation of a marching band program for three or four years, perhaps fewer, depending upon what the budget will permit.”

The board unanimously endorsed the chancellor’s recommendations on the football program.

Spease recognized the importance of marching band to the entertainment and culture football games. “There’s an energy that a band brings, [without a band] there’s a void, something is missing.”

Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands, Dr. Laurence Marks, had no comment for this article.


  1. Another ace in the hole for awesome reporter Bartholf! Where will she take us next? The Congo? Liverpool? Uranus? NEBRASKA? Stay tuned for next week’s issue!

    Seriously though, no football team is complete with out a marching band. i know that has enriched all of the college football experiences I’ve had, and it energizes the team too! The Chancellor needs to get going and save some funds for the future of music!

  2. No football team is complete without a marching band. I know that has enriched all of the college football experiences I’ve had, and it energizes the team too! The Chancellor needs to get going and save some funds for the future of music!

  3. Charlotte will NOT have, recruit or offer scholarships for a Marching Band? Oh, another nice job! Seriously, doesn’t the Athletics Department have someone with a brain? Yes, the Business Affairs Division of the Athletics Department reports to??? Judy Rose, perhaps?

    I do not understand what in the World is going on at Charlotte, but the Athletics Department continues to screw up things left and right. Look, you dunderheads, it’s about Men’s Basketball and Football. No one cares about anything else. You take care of those two sports and make them into consistent winning programs…then the Athletics Department makes money. Afterwards, you can share the wealth, by spreading it around to the other programs. You cannot put the cart before the horse, Judy Rose. Why is this so hard for you to comprehend? I simply wish you would take your Title IX ideology, pack up and leave for an All-Girls school. You are only holding back the financial progress of the Athletics Department here at Charlotte.

  4. Man. This is rough considering the school has never had a football team. However, the school can make a lot of inroads in this area by growing a band that can entertain the crowd and the football team. Muscianship must be the top priority. Yet, a good band can play a variety of arrangements that will please the crowd. Where can I sign up to be the band director?

  5. College football without a marching band?  The Chancellor is making a grave mistake by leaving out a marching band.  I am proud to be a UGA Redcoat marching band alumni where the band recently celebrated it’s 100th anniversary.  Clearly, the Chancellor has never experienced the tradition and cold chills one experiences from watching a halftime performance at this level.  It is an insult to the UNC “family.”  Good luck selling those high priced season tickets.  My husband is a Professor at UNCC and no discount season tickets have been offered to faculty.  Faculty can not afford to attend at this point.  And why would we want to buy these high priced tickets without a marching band to complete the package.  You might want to re-think the omission.  It is not too late.  We all know that the funding is there.  The University is thriving. Who do you think you are kidding with that crock of crap?

  6. This is terrible. A marching band, the sound of the campus, is what makes college football Saturdays! My dad is a former staff member of the Florida State University Marching Chiefs, the largest collegiate marching band in the world, with over 460 strong. FSU wouldn’t be the same without it. A marching band is an INTEGRAL part of a football program. UNC Charlotte has gotten a reputation of a lame school who never does it right the first time. Please, do it right the first time, and add a MARCHING BAND! Nearly nobody knows the fight song, or even the Alma Mater. UNC Charlotte doesn’t have a sound! Niner Nation is weak without it! Why building a nice stadium on campus if the college atmosphere is absent? Wake up. Give Charlotte a SOUND!

  7. I’m not surprised that UNCC doesn’t have a marching band, coming out of the gate, because so many, many issues may need to be addressed with regard to football as a stand alone feature. However, I agree that you need a marching band for reasons beyond those that have been expressed.

    For example, a marching band rounds out your music program and will attract students that are currently going elsewhere to develop this experience and this means that you are missing out on talent as well as their tuition dollars. Moreover, high school students who are currently involved in band are already accustomed to paying band fees ranging from 100.00 to 500.00 per student and many of them already have their own instruments. In addition, they are always actively involved in fundraising activities to support band expenses.

    A brand new band shouldn’t be expected to compete with the well established bands when it comes to size, which means your expenses would automatically be lower at first. But once you have a program in place, it will attract other students and these student will bring the dollars necessary to make the school’s financial contribution substantially less than what you might think, particularly if they don’t take the show on the road.

    Keep in mind that there are some people who attend football games simply because of the band. This is especially true if the football team’s record is marginal. The cheerleaders, the football team and the band work together to keep people in the seats, consistently.

    UNCG has an excellent music program, with no band, but they also have no football team. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to have a football team with no band so my recommendation would be that you pivot toward this opportunity sooner, rather than later.

Comments are closed.