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

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