The Princeton University Band, founded in 1919, is one of less than a dozen scramble bands in the country. A “scramble band” is kind of like a “marching band”, only with less formality, more funniness, and more fun — in other words, better. The PUB has been known to march on occasion, but we’re more likely to amble or saunter around. We’re not your high school band. During our halftime shows, we get in and out of formation by scrambling. Hence the term “scramble band.”
What We Do
The Princeton Band does everything it can to make Princeton sporting events a little bit louder. We perform at all football games, home and away. At every game, we perform original and humorous shows at pregame and halftime. A student announcer reads the script over the intercom, and the Band scrambles into formations and plays songs to accompany the joke. (You can read our past scripts online.) During the football game itself, we sit in the stands and perform our unique repertoire, consisting of both Princeton marches and popular songs from the last 50 years.
Our season doesn’t end when football ends. We continue cheering for the Tigers at men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, and lacrosse games, as well as the occasional swim meet or volleyball game.
We accompany Princeton’s teams wherever they go, including frequent visits to NCAA tournaments for both basketball and Hockey. Recently, we’ve been to Tampa, Washington, D.C, Tallahassee, Minneapolis, and Madison, WI.
The Band isn’t just a bunch of sports fans, either. We like to perform at any event that calls for a little bit of Princeton spirit. We especially enjoy Princeton’s Reunions — a monumental event that may be the most “well-attended college reunion in the world” — where we have the honor of leading the One and Only P-Rade. We also lead a section of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, where we are seen and heard by millions of spectators — not counting the TV coverage.
How We Do It
Unlike most college bands, the Princeton Band is entirely student-run. Our twelve officers are all students who are elected by the Band at large. Anyone who wants to tag along (except law enforcement officers) is welcome to become a member.
The Band has a wide range of musical skill levels. Some members are virtuosos who write their own song arrangements for our repertoire. And then there are the people who show up just to bang drumsticks against road signs and plastic flamingos. Somehow, we always manage to come together and look and sound great. We have no idea how that keeps happening.
Why We Do It
The Band exists as much for the enjoyment of its own members as it does for the entertainment of spectators. (No, really! It says so in our Constitution) In short, we’re all about having fun. Consider this: Membership in the PUB is entirely voluntary — nobody (except some officers) ever has to show up for anything — and yet dozens of people still show up to all our gigs. How many other student groups can claim that?
If you need more proof that the Princeton Band has more fun than it’s medically advisable to have, you can merely take a look at some of the traditions we follow. For example, there are the fountain gigs that we play after football victories at home, playing drum cadences and dancing in arches, disturbing people the night before Dean’s Date with music and revelry. Whatever your idea of fun is, we probably do it. (No, we don’t do that. You sicko.)