PUB History: Fame and Fortune (1939-1952)

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.

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

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.

The following images show the marching precision and recruiting techniques of the Band in the earl 1950’s.

A sketch designating the locations of the marchers to create a "P" formation on the field
A sketch designating the locations of the marchers to create a “P” formation on the field
Freshman recruitment poster highlighting the Band as a "golden" opportunity to delve into student life with the added benefit of free seating at football games
Freshmen recruitment poster highlighting the Band as a “golden” opportunity to delve into student life with the added benefit of free seating at football games
Another Freshman recruitment poster
Another Freshmen recruitment poster

~Annie Cardinal ’15 AC

PUB History: The Early Years (1935-1938)

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)”.

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

In a later article, another priceless quote states “That day in 1935 on which the University Band started a campaign to bring its standards up to that of the football team, may be called both an ominous and joyful one for Old Nassau.” Perhaps this foreshadows the later hi-jinks for which the Band had come to be known.

Back in 1939, Temple H. Fielding ’39, Leader of the PUB, writes “The primary interest of the Princeton Band is music. Its musical director, Bob Davidson ’40, has as his sole purpose in life the teaching of ninety men to play together—a Herculean task with these particular ninety men. Everyone must get his attack, his retard, or his single, right on the nose, for if there is one slip the whole effect is ruined. This means four hard rehearsals each week.” Can you imagine having those standards today? In addition, the Band had rather complicated dot-based formations based on a master sketch drawn on graph paper.

The article ends with the following paragraph: “This Princeton Band, although it works overtime, has fun because it’s fun to work in any activity where the cooperation and interest is so intense. The organization is determined to be one of the best in the land, and hopes that the time is not far distant when it may merit that claim.” And although the Band may not have achieved that goal in the sense intended by Fielding, I definitely think that the Princeton University Band is the best at what we have decided to become.

Tune in next month for more fun facts!

~Annie Cardinal, ’15 AC

2012: A Year in Review

Well folks, it’s been another exciting year for the Princeton University Band full of mayhem, music, marching, mirth, and merriment! Let’s take a look at the highlights from this past year.

The year starts off as always with thrilling Dean’s Date Eve and Dean’s Date gigs where the band made its way across campus, into various dining halls and libraries, disturbing the peace aiding stress relief across campus. We gave out candy, okay? And we all know how much students like free food.

The Band plays in Firestone Library during Dean's Date Eve

The Women’s Basketball team crushed the Ivy League yet again and sent the band on a trip to glamorous Bridgeport, Connecticut for the NCAA’s tournament. Unfortunately, it was a heartbreaking 3-point loss to Kansas State, 67-64, but the Band still had a fun time playing in the stands and being on TV. Next year, ladies!

The mighty PUB at the NCAA Tournament


Which brings us to… Reunions! We had an incredible turnout of Band members and Alumni alike and enjoyed playing at various tents and, of course, in the P-Rade itself. We led the P-Rade for its first lap and did three more runs, eventually getting enveloped by a swarm of Seniors. I’m pretty sure School’s Out ended at least three different times…

The PUB leads the magnificent P-Rade

In addition, the Fred Fox ’39 Concert was phenomenal as always. Joseph emceed and Sterling conducted a wonderful concert as the Band played seriously for perhaps the only time all year.

The Fred Fox '39 Concert

After Reunions, we all said our tearful goodbyes to our fabulous Seniors and thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout the years. We love you, Class of 2012! Come and visit us!

Then, after a well-deserved summer vacation, we were back in full swing for the most exciting season of all: Football! And what a season this was. My previous post has more details, but the Tigers ended up beating both Yale and Harvard in what must have been the most exciting Football game any of us has ever seen, coming back from a 27 point deficit in the 4th quarter. And what does that mean?

The Fountain Gig after the victory against Harvard

Bonfire! The Band crushed its way onto a set of stands overlooking the massive flame, and Shirley Tilghman, who had visited us at the Dartmouth game earlier that day, gave us a salute with her Band hat. What an incredible way to end the football season!

University President Shirley Tilghman visits the Band in the stands

At the end of the officer year, the DM’s threw a wonderful Bandquet in Prospect House. Even more thrilling costumes emerged than in previous years, but you’ll have to find those pictures on your own.

Finally, the new Whitecoats took over and led the Band on a very successful Caroling adventure to spread Holiday spirit. The Libes even made new Holiday Packets!

Drum Major Nicky '15 and Conductor Bryan '15 at a basketball game

Now that break is coming to a close, you can bet that the Band will be up to even more hijinks in the spring semester.

Causing mayhem as usual, Riley '16 LL poses with The Face at a basketball game

See you back at school in a week and enjoy New Year’s Day!

~Annie Cardinal ’15 AC

The Band Is Still Undefeated

Hello folks! Sorry for leaving this blog unattended for a while. I’m Annie, the new Alumni Coordinator, and I thought I’d write a nice summary of the 2012 Football Season. At the start of the season we weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary from our team, but after a 3-game winning streak in the Ivies and two fountain gigs, the Tigers were in the middle of the best season they’d seen in years.

The same thing can be said for the band. We had a HUGE influx of new freshmen. Seriously, we love you guys. And a bunch of alums visited us, too! But mainly, we went on many adventures together, including:

-An overnight at Columbia with a visit to Times Square and some students toughing it out in Harlem overnight

The band in Times Square NYC

-A wonderful fountain gig with the lovely Brown band

The Princeton Band plays with the Brown Band in the fountain

-Probably the best football game any of us has ever seen where Princeton came back against Harvard  in the 4th quarter and won 39-34

Fountain gig after the victory against Harvard

-A trip to the north pole- I mean, Cornell- where they threw tomatoes at us to congratulate us for our beautiful spreading of merriment

-An early morning bus ride to Yale where we played inside a residential college and bothered the students “who were trying to sleep,” according to the residential college president who came out to speak to us in her bathrobe. I think Jemma summed it up quite nicely: “That’s the point!”

-Shirley Tilghman joining us in the stands at the Dartmouth game.

Shirley visits the band in the stands!


-Oh right, and a Bonfire for the first time since 2006!

Princeton Bonfire 2012 (image courtesy PAW)

What an incredible season for Princeton Football, who ended up 4-3 in the Ivy League.

A great big thanks to all our wonderful officers from this past year for all their hard work in engineering yet another undefeated season for the one and only Princeton University Band!

~Annie Cardinal ’15 AC

The Magic of the Band: a Freshman Perspective

Freshmen are the life of the Band, especially this year, since they make up 50% of it. It’s really magical to see a band so big, and so spirited. There’s no question that this crop of freshmen is the best yet. That’s not to say that any other contingency is less important (or that it’s ever too late to join – rehearsals Tuesday 4:30pm in Woolworth!).  However, I think we can all agree that freshmen play a special role in lifting the spirit of the Band.

But what brought these wonderful people to Band?  Why are we continually graced with their presence? Why haven’t they run off to do other things with their amazing talents?

To answer these burning questions, I interviewed four freshmen, who each offer a unique perspective on what makes Band such a great place.  These lovely people answered my interview questions during finals period, which speaks either to great dedication to Band, or to great dedication to procrastination.

What brought you to your first rehearsal/Band event?

Recruiting is a big part of our efforts. I think it would be fair to say that we never stop recruiting. When I asked my freshmen pals what brought them to that first Tuesday, they each had wonderful answers.  Thomas Hansen (trombone), was bribed, and has this to say about the experience:

“Well, early in the year I came back to my room and found a pack of peanut butter cups outside the door with a note saying the Band had come by and wanted me join.  I remembered my parents saying something about not taking candy from strangers, but I’m pretty sure it was that it was an awesome idea.  After eating the candy, I felt like I had to drop by to say thank you, and that was the start of a year of fun.”

The way to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach. Delivering candy to our activities fair sign ups is a long-standing tradition.  Also traditional is our performance at Tiger Night, a performing arts group showcase.  Megan Kennedy (bagpipes/budding trumpet) recalls the experience with fondness as her reason for joining our ranks:

“I think I first decided to go to a band rehearsal after going to that show (I forget the name) at the beginning of the year with all the performance groups and seeing not only Alec dancing around with his ridiculous(ly awesome) shark hat, but also somebody bashing around a giant Santa claus and somebody else playing the flamingoes. Bagpipes aren’t exactly traditional marching band instruments, but I guess that’s when I realized that this is not exactly a traditional band. So I figured this was the place for me, and went to the next possible rehearsal!”

Attracting less traditional instruments has always been our strong point.  Also wearing silly hats, a proud and coveted tradition.  Perhaps most traditionally, we have recently decided to flout University policy yet again by scribbling with chalk all over the ground. Why? Because f*ck the police, that’s why. Actually, it’s because it brings people like Mary Gilstad (also trombone) into our midst, who claims:

“It was that crazy week and I saw as I passed Woolworth that there was a little message scrawled on the ground in chalk: band open rehearsal 4:30 THIS WAY.  I remembered that one night during preview when a horde of plaid things came in and seasoned my meal in Whitman; I thought they were cool, so I thought I would see what I could see…”

Of course, when all else fails, we could resort to sabotaging other musical groups’ auditions. We haven’t (yet), but maybe it would at the very least be entertaining.  However, even without sabotage, we managed to nab Eric Wang, who confessed under threat of tickling, “I came to my first Band rehearsal because I missed my orchestra audition (violinist) and always wanted to try my hand at drumming for a band (I drummed recreationally).” I find this hilarious.

In short, the Band attracts zany people through bribery, by disrespecting religious figures, by breaking school rules, and by posting incorrect audition times for PUO being that thing you always wanted to try.

Thomas Hansen ’15, trombone. Loves peanut butter cups and always remembers to say “thank you.”

What about that first event made you want to come back?

For a freshman, joining a new student group can be really nerve-wracking, and sometimes coming back can be harder than going for the first time. The fact that I continue to see my little froshlings is a source of great joy for me – so what brought them back?

The answers to this question were more similar, sharing many words such as “friendly,” “fun,” and “welcoming.”  I personally have always felt that the greatest thing I gained from band was a tight-knit group of fantastic friends.  It’s clear from the get-go that when you have a ton of awesome people together, awesome things will happen.

Megan put it very well, saying, “Band is such a welcoming environment – they (we?) are so deliberately inclusive in all of our gatherings and events, and even at my first rehearsal everyone was happy to come introduce themselves and let me know what was going on.”  She went on to note that despite the potentially intimidating nature of our “vast history of band traditions and entirely unique band etiquette… band kids seem to love nothing more than sharing those traditions with new members, which made them really fun to be a part of.”

Thomas agreed, noting that although meeting people is scary, he managed to have a great time in a group of total strangers. He says “at my first Band rehearsal, everyone there seemed very eager to say hi and wanted me to be a part of the group.” Eric said simply that he “had a lot of fun.” Mary wanted to keep coming back to band due to “the desire to make friends and the hunch that these would be fun friends.”

Megan Kennedy ’15, bagpipes. Learning to play trumpet. Hates Santa Claus and wants to see him dead.

What has your favorite gig been this year?

I asked our sexy interviewees this question out of curiosity, but there’s a huge caveat here: Reunions hasn’t happened yet! We all know that that would probably be everyone’s favorite gig. However, here are their favorites from the rest of the year.


“Probably the Princeton vs. Harvard home basketball game.  Everyone in the crowd was so excited and lively, and I felt like the Band did a lot to help bring that out.  We were loud, we were crazy, we probably screwed up at least one Harvard free throw, and we even got to be on TV for a bit.  That we actually won the game too was just icing on the cake.”


“My favorite gig so far was probably our first road trip to Hampton. I had never been on a band bus ride, and was vaguely expecting people to sleep, watch movies, do homework, or stare out the window the whole ride there. I don’t think I could possibly have been further off the mark – there was singing and charging and outrageousness of every imaginable variety. Then the football game was fun, and the Hampton band was totally boss, and we stopped at the Capitol, which was entirely unexpected, and blew my mind. First time ever playing with the band, and I get to play on the Capitol of the United States. Pretty sick.”


“I didn’t go to it, but the Puppy Parade looked really fun. The football season was also great, and so my favorite “gig,” if you could call it that, was the first time I marched out on the field playing.  It was absolutely overwhelming.  The other bones were so nice though.”


“Probably the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade because it felt so rewarding at the end. Also the football game versus Columbia, because we pulled off our only win (YAY) of the season and it was also at home, hence fountain gig!”

Mary Gilstad ’15, and some other guy that I’ve never seen before. She plays trombone. I guess that other guy does too.

Why do you like being in band?

This question is a bit similar to the second, so it’s no surprise that the answers would be similar, too.

The main conclusion here is that the Band is a wonderful community, where awesome friendships abound. As Thomas puts it:

“Being in Band means that there are loads of super-fun people who I get to see on a regular basis and hang out with while making music and heckling goalies. I go to Band events to be with my friends, and there are so many people in Band that I often end up making new friends.  It’s a self-reinforcing cycle which movies have taught me are dangerous, but this one ends with happiness and a sense of belonging to a great group of friends rather hyper-intelligent robots enslaving the human race.”

Fear of the singularity aside, that answer gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Mary gets at another wonderful aspect of Band membership, the music:

“I like being in band because I like group music making, I would like to not have a strict commitment that might make me unable to audition for plays, which is something I planned to do when I got here, and I like the other lovely members.  We look fantastic in our orange blazers and I have a hope that we really do raise the spirits of our fellow Princetonians or anyone else who happens to see us.”

I hope we do, too.  Megan’s answer, I think, sums up my feelings as well about Band:

“Uhhh why would anyone not like being in band? Fo serious. I just love the atmosphere of our band. For once, at Princeton, people stop taking themselves way too seriously, let go, and partake in some good old-fashioned, just-for-fun, shenanigans. Not to mention the fact that we basically epitomize Princeton pride with our unashamedly bold and beautiful orange-n-black plaid. I think my favorite part though, is the fact that you truly develop a sense of belonging. People remember your name, even if you’re just a freshman at your first rehearsal, and are genuinely supportive and glad to have each and every member. It’s basically the shit.”

Eric Wang ’15. He plays quads and is also an exotic dancer. Why he likes Band: “I like banging drums and the people are nice.”

Conclusion: Freshmen are Awesome and So Can You

I hope you enjoyed reading these responses as much as I did. See you at Reunions!

<3  Nicole Rafidi ’12 PExDMxFLL

The PUB through the Eyes of a Westminster Student

Jemma Stember-Young
Jemma Stember-Young '13, a PUB member and a Westminster student

The Beginning: Transferring

Believe it or not, one factor that helped me make the decision to transfer to Westminster Choir College from The Hartt School of Music of U of Hartford (every little thing adds up, right?) was my eligibility to be in a band again. Hartford has a pep band for their basketball teams but, no offense to them, the group as a whole is totally lame (though they do get paid… what?!). I joined marching band my junior year of high school (after being a varsity cheerleader…right?) and also marched with the Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps. I missed band! I also love being silly, so the PUB seemed like a good fit. I’ll be honest, at first the transition was a little difficult—I really wanted our lines and marching to be perfect when we take the field for halftime, but I got over that.


Transferring from a school I didn’t like to a small, cliquey school of 400 was really difficult. Everyone had their group of friends and I didn’t seem to fit in with the freshmen. It takes a special kind of person to commit their four years of undergrad to a school that’s about ¼ the size of a high school. So although the school and programs are absolutely top-notch, socially, WCC was the furthest from a match.

How I joined band

I think that I heard sometime in high school that Westminster students could be in the PUB. I’m not sure who told me this, perhaps my band teacher or maybe even my mother… The semester before I transferred, I sent an email explaining my situation. Right from the get-go, I had a very warm welcome and an enthusiastic “we’d love to have you!” From then on out, I was really excited to go to a rehearsal. I missed the first gig, but after that I was at absolutely EVERYTHING. It really helped that Angelica Ortiz ’12 and I had been in the mellophone section together for Raiders. She introduced me to people and helped me feel at home. Immediately, I felt warmth and ease and knew that this was a fantastic opportunity.


People often ask me why I cheer for Princeton athletic teams rather than Rider teams. I find this to be a silly question. My love and spirit for Princeton is completely genuine. There’s no way you can be in the band and not whole-heartedly want to see the Tigers pull a fantastic victory over a much lamer school. Princeton is where my friends are, where my fun is, and where my heart is. Of course I will be a Tigers fan for life!


I’m sure everyone knows how great it is to be able to put on a uniform and transform into someone else. Not to the point of losing your identity, but juuust enough to feel excited about kicking over a few cones or waking up angry students from rival schools at 8 am. I don’t think I’d have this type of opportunity anywhere else. It’s nice to get away from an intensive classical music program to just have fun and not be so serious about music.

NCAA trips

The two NCAA trips that I went on, Tallahassee with the women in 2010 and Tampa with the men in 2011, were particularly special to me. It can be difficult to feel so at home with the band while having the majority of the Princeton student body not entirely understand my unique situation. It was the best feeling to be told that I could go on the trip and have the cost covered as if I were a student. Not only did the band make me feel completely embraced in the Princeton community, the Athletics department did as well. That was a really special moment for me. The trips themselves were incredibly fun and I loved being able to travel so far to support my teams.


The Band has opened up so many doors for me. Sometimes I feel bad for mooching off of a school that I didn’t work my butt off to get into, but then I just try to convince myself that I’m being resourceful and not ruining anybody else’s experience. After getting excited about Princeton via the PUB, I then was in a Princeton University Players musical and even ended up joining the Glee Club, which is not student-run but instead part of the official music department. I was even section leader! (What???) Often, you’ll find me on the Street amongst my various groups of friends. The Band really helped me have a real college experience while still being able to be in an academic program that suits me. I love knowing that I have a solid group of friends who always have my back. I’m so incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I will FOREVER cherish the plaid .

-Jemma Stember-Young ’13

On Senior Theses

All Princetonians know that our last few months of college are also some of our busiest, thanks to the senior thesis.  But the nation’s smartest and preppiest students have found ways to make this graduation requirement more bearable.  One tradition – that the Band hopes to take part in this year – is the incorporation of a random phrase into students’ theses.

According to Band alums, the Band never officially participated in this tradition.  This practice was, though, pretty popular among student groups, especially eating clubs.  For instance, Campus Club, which used to contain many Band upperclassmen, used the phrase “beaten like a rented mule” in 2004.  Other Campus Club phrases included “bees can smell fear,” “so you don’t confuse them with mountains” (lyrics from the 2002 Shakira song “Whenever, Wherever”), and “and as a result, the sharks got smarter.”  Campus Club seniors also posted the relevant page of their thesis, with the phrase highlighted, on the walls of the club.

Though the Band never officially partook this tradition, there have been attempts to.  In 2009, Alex Barnard really pushed for a certain thesis phrase that pertained to the Citadel.  Members of the Band’s class of 2012 have said that they would like to do a thesis phrase this year.  They haven’t settled on a phrase yet, though they have brainstormed some possibilities:

–          “an aura of quiet desperation”

–          “dovahkiin”

–          “fus roh dah” (I’m told these last two have to do with some video game or something)

–           “took an arrow to the knee”

–          “good night, thesis”

–          “fry an egg on the sidewalk”

Coming up with these phrases is probably the easiest part.  Embedding one of them into their theses will probably be less easy, as the 2012’s theses cover a huge range of topics, most of which have little to do with video games.  Topics include:

–          Nicole Rafidi (Electrical Engineering) – a program that interfaces with an electroencephalography (EEG) headset in order to optimize studying using neural feedback.

–          Bobby Klein (Mechanical/ Aerospace Engineering) – building an autonomous Manta Ray Robot.

–          Alec Slatky (Politics) – whether the later-no-harm criterion of instant runoff voting should be considered a legitimate benefit and if so, how big the effect would be based on real-world data.

–          Robert Timpe (Computer Science) – implementing a machine learning algorithm from a paper and using it to make a machine learn to play a video game.  The machine will learn by watching a human play the game first.

–          Lucy Reeder (History) – the effect of cultural ideas about race on interpersonal Anglo-American relations during WWI.

–          Madiba Dennie (Politics) – the modern transformation of rape from an undesirable ‘consequence’ of war to a political tool, used to accomplish military and political objectives.

–          Jacquelyn Nestor (Molecular Biology) – the role of cellular cytoskeleton components on collective cell migration.

–          Anna Condella (English) – a collection of short stories based in the Finger Lakes Region of Western New York.

To investigate just how difficult incorporating one of the suggested phrases into all of these theses might be, Matt and I decided to randomly select one of the phrases and try inserting them into each thesis.  And it turned out to be not too hard after all.Here’s what we came up with:

–          Nicole Rafidi (Electrical Engineering) – Though the device heats up while in use, it never reaches a temperature where one could fry an egg on the sidewalk.

–          Bobby Klein (Mechanical/ Aerospace Engineering) – The autonomous manta ray robot that I have constructed can do literally anything.  Including crawling out of the water and taking an arrow to the… belly?

–          Alec Slatky (Politics) –Hi my name is Alec and I am so obsessed with the topic of voting that my thesis is going to say good night! Ha!

–          Robert Timpe (Computer Science) –

1 For i = human player

2          set machine to “take an arrow to the knee”

3          if i = “take an arrow to the knee”

–          Lucy Reeder (History) – Though cultural ideas on race affected these Anglo-Saxons’ experiences of the war differently, they were all united by their longing for previously simple comforts: a warm bed, a quite night, good night, thesis.

  •          Madiba Dennie (Politics) – The resulting despair was similar to what might be inspired by attempts to write one’s thesis at night.

–          Jacquelyn Nestor (Molecular Biology) – The components of the cellular cytoskeleton are quite useful and can do many things, including taking an arrow to the knee.

–          Anna Condella (English) – Sienna woke up and looked out her window, out at the barren landscape, out over the frozen waters of the Finger Lakes.  Today, like every other day, was frigid.  As Sienna reached down to slowly slide on her wool socks, she realized she had but one goal in life: to one day escape the cold monotony that was her life and move to a sunnier place, where she would be able to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Seniors, you guys are welcome to take our suggestions, though we won’t be offended if you think you’re able to come up with something better in the next two months.  And Band member/ alum/ stalker, If you have (better) suggestions for how the seniors can incorporate any of their phrases into their theses, leave a message in the comments section!

-Wendy Pan ’14


2011, A Year In Review

2011, Ohh 2011. OHHHHH, 2011! What a magnificent year. I remember it like it was yesterday. In 50 years, when people think back to this year there are three things they will remember: the killing of Osama bin Ladin, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Princeton University Band’s undefeated year (just because it happens every year doesn’t make it any less special). So that future historians may more accurately chronicle the phenomenon which was the 2011 PUB, let’s take a look back at it: the fighting 2011.


This year, like most years, started out in January. While some people were worried about “writing papers” and “passing classes” we were more worried about the people who were worrying and so we decided to spread cheer.

Lobstering in Firestone


Following dean’s date, finals, and other insignificant “academic” work, basketball and hockey season were in full swing.  Surprisingly, our hockey team seemed to consistently play teams with short, fat, smelly, unskilled, and/or ugly goalies. Fortunately, the band was there and more than willing to offer the opposing goalies honest and good-intentioned banter throughout the game.

“Well, everybody was thinking it!”

Basketball season was also a blast.

Grooving out at a basketball game
“Why don’t I get a speech bubble in my picture?”

One special treat this year was the opportunity to hang out with our bestest buddies: the Brown Band. Our winter trip to Brown gave us an opportunity to march around the campus accompanied by some of our Brown friends. The police even showed up! After the march around we played at the basketball game.

Playing at Rockefeller Library at Brown

But no basketball season would be complete without a trip to the NCAAs, well except for maybe a Harvard or Penn basketball season. While the Women’s team outright won the Ivy League, the Men tied for the Ivy League title and had to play a playoff game against Harvard for the NCAA bid. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves and then add captions under the pictures to hammer in the point. I’ll admit that subtlety is not my thing.

Okay, so this is not from the playoff game, but it is instead from the first Princeton Harvard game. It was featured on ESPNU, hence the sign that Jemma Stember-Young ‘13 is holding. We won that one 65-61.

The Men’s team went to Tampa Bay. Despite a close loss to Kentucky, the trip was a major highlight of the year.

Traveling in style
Hanging out by the pool
Probably a Penn fan

The Women ended up in DC. Unfortunately, like the men they were eliminated in the first round.  Nonetheless, it was an amazing trip.

Trying to gain expert insight


After that adventure, we went to DISNEYWORLD. Okay, I lied. However, in addition to our usual gigs, we recorded an album: Songs in the Key of Loud. You can buy it on our website. While you’re looking at our album, check out some of our other fabulous merchandise. SHAMELESS PROMOTIONAL!

It could be yours for the low, low price of $15!


Finally, the year started to wind down. Hold on. This all started to happen around May. May can only mean one thing. Well, maybe it means a few things, but the most significant of those things is REUNIONS. Reunions are basically what happens when you recycle dead unicorns to make something even more magical. Leading up to reunions were the regular dead week shenanigans.

What happens during dead week, gets uploaded to the PUB blog

At a good, plaid-fashioned BBQ

Two-ball tournament which was won by Kynan Rilee ’12

This year’s White Castle Meat Product Tolerance Marathon had some great moments. Not only did Simon Fox Krauss ’11 make it to the career century mark, but an all-time record was set by Marcus Theus ’12 with 33. This year’s queen was Peggy Young ’12 with 14. The only real losers were everyone who ate White Castle burgers.

Finally, the festivities began. Gigs were played, legendary alumni were met, the P-Rade was nothing short of amazing, and somewhere life happened.

Preparing for the mini P-Rade

More mini P-Rade
You’re never too old to lobster
Fred Fox '39 gig


After a crazy gig like that, you may think that the band rested over the summer. Even if you ask Nicole Rafidi ‘12, our former president, she might tell you that we don’t have gigs over the summer. But, that’s an elaborate cover up. In reality, the band did some of its most important work over the summer.

A.  We traveled to the future and saved the world from robot, ninja, alien ghosts.

B. We wrote a pregame show earlier than the night before a game.

C.  We tuned once. We would have done it more often but it takes soooo long. It’s like 15 minutes.

D. We made amends with Santa for how the trash section treats him.

E. We found people who were funnier than me to write the shows.

F. The Penn Band.


After all the craziness of the summer died down, we got back on campus and started a busy football season. This season had 5 road trips including trips to Hampton—a school we had never been to before, and they didn’t even try to beat us up—and Dartmouth—where the men are men and the sheep are scared. One special part of this football season was our stop to play on the Capitol building on our way back from Hampton. Unfortunately, we couldn’t break into the Library of Congress to lobster. And who could forget the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade where we marched with some friends from the Columbia band. Oh, and did I mention freshmen?  I think I counted a bazillion freshmen this year.

“Why yes, I am in the Lehigh band”
Fountain gig
Making friends with the Hampton band
Hanging at the Capitol building, no big deal
Getting down with the Hahvahd band
Making some much-needed improvements to John Hahvahd
Greenwich Halloween Parade
Setting the conductor on fire


Our football season had to end, as all things must, in a tacky banquet. There are no bandquet pictures here for the sake of those involved. Rejuvenated with a new officer core and an especially good looking AC, 2011 finished on a high note with the start of what I’m sure will be amazing basketball and hockey seasons. But what lies in the future for the PUB: more adventures, a plaid zeppelin, world domination? No one really knows. All I’m sure of is that I’m excited to be a part of it.

-Matthew Kirschner ’14 AC

*Photos were provided by Jemma Stember-Young ’13 and other band members


There have been some nail-biters this basketball season! As you may know, we beat Harvard in the NCAA playoff game with an AMAZING buzzer-beater by Douglas Davis, final score: 63-62.

Look at that score. Fantastic.
We won by one glorious point. And Harvard STILL hasn't been to the NCAA since 1946. Mwahahahaha. Photo courtesy of Gabe Eggers '13.

If you haven’t seen the buzzer-beater, check out the following videos. (this is my favorite of all videos I’ve seen. Harvard’s #10 looks pretty silly when he is trying to heckle Dan Mavraides teeheehee). (this is what was on ESPN3).

I have watched these videos so many times. They are so exciting. But it was so much more exciting in person you wouldn’t believe it. I will relive for you how it happened:

1.) There were 2.8 seconds left on the clock, we were down by one. I don’t think that I had given up hope, although I chose to watch the final seconds when usually I choose to look away during the stressful parts, so who knows.

2.) Douglas Davis went all over the place with the ball. But eventually it left his hands.

3.) I remember seeing the ball arc through the air as the backboard lit up red.

4.) The shot was good.

5.) Everyone went crazy.

6.) I was afraid the Harvard fans were going to beat us up but they didn’t.


And, let’s go to Tampa!

Private jet. You know, the usual 😉

Hopping off the charter plane. We are quite the jet-setters. Photo courtesy of Kristen Davila '11.

And we sat by the pool.

palm trees!!!!!
Hey Harvard, wish you were here! Photo courtesy of Wendy Pan '14.

And of course we went to the game! Kentucky University versus Princeton University. We played tough. We slowed them down. The Band rushed at least 4 Kentucky shots by mis-counting-down the shot clock. UK didn’t know what hit them. Plus their band was way less cool than ours. Like, infinitely less cool. We may have lost 59:57, but Kentucky is now in the Final Four. So not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

storing your bands for future use
We got to hang out "backstage" with a Powerade open bar. Swanky. Left to right Kynan Rilee '12, Jaxi Nestor '12, Kyle Wass '13. Photo courtesy of Kristen Davila '11.
So much coolness encompassed in that one high-five. Princeton Tiger Mascot and Alec Slatky '12. Photo by Gaby Stember-Young WCC '13.
Yeah, Band!
Lookin' good, Band. Photo courtesy of RW Enoch '09.

Later that week, the women’s team played in the NCAA tournament in College Park. They put up a good fight, but lost to Georgetown 65:49. The Band had a great time wandering around DC, check out the photo evidence:

The Band goes to the Capitol
The Band makes funny faces in front of the Capitol building. Oh, Band... Photo courtesy of Sterling Chu '13.
And here they are at the game! Tom Scherer 'GS on tuba. Photo courtesy of Sterling Chu '13.

And now, drumroll, Reunions are coming up!! Alumni should fill out their attendance surveys if they will be “go[ing] back to Princeton at commencement time, sampling each Reunion, that’s the life for mine oh baby” etc.

I hope to see you all very soon! And thanks to everyone who provided the pictures that I have used here.

-Elizabeth Shoenfelt ’13 AC