PUB History: Fame and Fortune (1939-1952)

Article entitled Fashions on Parade from The Daily Princetonian
Article entitled Fashions on Parade from The Daily Princetonian

As the Princeton University Band grew in size and caliber, it also grew in its fame and presence on campus and in the Ivy League. Thrillingly enough, in 1939 correspondence between Band officers, “the Band has been invited to play at the New York World’s Fair. Although we are offering the opportunity of participating in this event to all musicians in the University, we are giving you a personal invitation.” Unfortunately, the Band was unable to attend due to “academic conditions and crowded schedules.”

The Band also changed uniforms many times, and an article “Fashions on Parade” describes them most amusingly.

In a later article entitled “Princeton’s Unique Band” written by John T. Scott ’41, Senior Manager of the Band, he states that the Band is unique. “Yet very few people are aware of the fact that the organization which parades before you on the field and plays to you from the stands belongs to the students of Princeton University and to the students only.” This echoes true to present day, where the Band is still run by students and students alone, along with much alumni support. Read More

PUB History: The Early Years (1935-1938)

The Princeton University Band Steps Out at Palmer Stadium
The Princeton University Band Steps Out at Palmer Stadium

This past December, I spent a day paging through the Band records kept in the armory. This includes newspaper clippings, letters, programs, Poops, and many other fun pieces of information. I felt inspired to share these fun tidbits with the members, fans, and friends of the Band so that everyone can understand a little bit more fully just how special the Band truly is.

In 1936, the Band was reformed by the newly created “Friends of the Princeton Band” society that decided to fund the band solely on the premise that “you’ll have to show… you’re worth the expense by working on the musical end. If you prove your ability, Princeton will have a great band. Otherwise we alumni will withdraw our support and then you’ll be back where you started!” (The Prince, April 16, 1935). In addition, “Next year a definite search for talent will begin, and a standard of ability will be established” (The Prince, March 25, 1936). The Band was to become exclusive in an attempt for “the noise it does make to bear more capably the name of music” (The Prince, March 25, 1936).

The Band started to sound good and warrant positive reviews from The Prince and even included “appropriate dramatics by Fred Fox ’39, who wore a realistic Tiger skin about his person” and “timely discords (intentional)”. Read More