Welcome to Waco!

The Band enjoys the local scenery in Waco
The Band enjoys the local scenery in Waco

During Spring Break, the Band was able to escape the northeastern “spring” weather and fly to Waco, Texas to support the Women’s Basketball Team in the NCAA tournament. On Friday morning, we took a chartered plane out of Newark with the team and the cheerleaders and landed directly at the regional airport in Waco.

That night, some of the Band treated itself to some wonderful Mexican food and all-you-can-eat chips and guacamole, while the other half of the Band raided Mama & Papa B’s Bar-B-Q for some fantastic homemade chopped beef sandwiches and ribs. In addition, some of us experienced the local art.

On Saturday, the Band explored all that the city of Waco had to offer. We started off with a trip to the Dr Pepper Museum, where many floats were enjoyed by all. In addition, the Band discovered the existence of Big Red, the beverage, and learned all about free enterprise. Read More

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

2012: A Year in Review

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

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 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! Read More

The Band Is Still Undefeated

The band in Times Square NYC

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 Read More

The Magic of the Band: a Freshman Perspective

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

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. Read More

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.

Westminster Read More

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: Read More

2011, A Year In Review

Lobstering in Firestone

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. Read More