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Auburn University Marching Band
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SchoolAuburn University
LocationAuburn, Alabama
ConferenceSEC
Founded1897
DirectorDr. Corey Spurlin
Assistant directorDr. Doug Rosner
Members380
Fight songWar Eagle Glory to 'Ole Auburn
UniformBlue or orange coat with white or blue pants, blue and orange shako with a white plume

The Auburn University Marching Band (AUMB) is the marching band of Auburn University and the 2004 recipient of the Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy.[1] With 380 members, the band traces its origins to 1897 when M. Thomas Fullan proposed to then-president Dr. William Broun that the drum corps accompanying cadet drills be replaced with a full instrumental band.

The Auburn University Marching Band performs pre-game and half-time shows at all Auburn Tigers football home games and travels to most away games. (A smaller pep band composed of AUMB members supports the Auburn Tigers at all away games the full band does not attend.) The band has marched in three Presidential Inaugural parades; those of Presidents Harry S. Truman (1949), George H. W. Bush (1989), and George W. Bush (2005). It is the only band in the SEC that does not have a nickname. Former Auburn University President Dr. Harry Philpott said the following about the band:

"Some other institutions need to give descriptive names to their bands in order to praise them. The quality of the music, the precision of its drills, and the fine image that it portrays have made it unnecessary for us to say more than, 'This is the Auburn University Band.'" [2]

HistoryEdit

File:1897 Auburn band.jpg
  • The band was formed in 1897 under the first director, M. Thomas Fullan.
  • In 1906 Albert L. Thomas became band director.
  • P.R. Bidez became the third band director in 1916.[3]
  • In 1917, under Bidez, the band went to Europe along with allied forces as the 16th Infantry Regimental Band (The 16th Infantry Regiment was part of the larger 1st Expeditionary Force, which paraded through Paris, France on July 4, 1917).
  • In 1945 Auburn's music department was formed.
  • Female majorettes were added in 1946.
  • The band performed at Harry Truman's inauguration parade in 1949.
  • Women began playing instruments in the band in 1950.
  • David A. Herbert became the fourth band director in 1951.
  • Burton R. Leidner became band director in 1955.
  • In 1955 "War Eagle" replaced the Auburn Victory March as Auburn's fight song.
  • Dr. Wilbur "Bodie" Hinton became Band Director in 1956.
  • Dr. Bill Walls became Band Director in 1969. (Director of Bands beginning 1985.)
  • Dr. Johnnie B. Vinson took over as Director of Bands in 1991.
  • The band was awarded the Sudler Trophy in 2004 for continued excellence in marching. This award can only be given to a band once.
  • Dr. Rick Good became Director of Bands in 2007 after serving as Marching Band director, and continues in this position today.
  • Dr. Corey Spurlin was hired in 2007 as Marching Band Director.[4][5]
  • In 2008, the Auburn University Marching Band made its first overseas appearance, marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland.
  • The 2009 edition of the AUMB was the largest in the program's history with 380 members. The full band made appearances at all home games and trips to Knoxville, Tennessee and Athens, Georgia. A smaller pep band represented the band at all other away games.
  • The 2010 AUMB once again had 380 members, and performed at all home games, while taking the entire band to Ole Miss, Alabama, the 2010 SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia, and the 2011 BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona. A smaller pep band represented the band at all other away games. The band also moved to a new practice field, and kicked off its new building campaign entitled "Onto Vict'ry, Strike Up the Band."

LeadershipEdit

StaffEdit

Directly overseeing the AUMB is the Marching Band Director, who is also the Associate Director of Bands. He leads all full-band rehearsals and performances. While many of the duties are delegated to his GTAs or student leaders, it is his responsibility to ensure the success of the band as a whole. Dr. Corey Spurlin was hired in 2007 as the Marching Band Director upon the promotion of Dr. Rick Good. Dr. Spurlin received his Undergraduate and Masters Degrees from the University of Alabama and his Doctorate from Louisiana State University in Conducting.[6][7]

The Marching Band Director also has an Assistant, who assumes the duties of the Director in his absence. Typically, this Assistant Director also runs the percussion line, overseeing percussion rehearsals and performances. Dr. Doug Rosener has served as the Assistant Marching Band Director of the AUMB since 2005, arranges all percussion parts for the AUMB field shows, and is also the director of the percussion studios.[8]

Overseeing all the Auburn Bands is the Director of Bands. While the Director of Bands may not be present at every function the Auburn University Marching Band performs at, he is ultimately responsible for band. In 2007, Dr. Rick Good was promoted to the Director of Bands position. Dr. Good earned his Bachelors in Music Education at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. He earned a Masters at Louisiana State University and his Doctorate at Arizona State University. Dr. Good spent 13 years as the Marching Band director and Associate Professor of Low Brass. Dr. Good took the position upon the retirement of the previous Director of Bands, Dr. Johnnie Vinson.[9][10]

The AUMB also has many Graduate Teaching Assistants who work under the Directors and alongside the Drum Majors in running the band. For the upcoming 2011 season, the GTAs are Zach Dobbs, Susan Steele (a recent Auburn University Graduate), Aaron Toft, and Chapel McCullough. Kristina Cammack oversees the band's visual ensemble, The Tiger Eyes. Each line has an individual instructor that specializes in the specific line's main concentration: (i.e. Majorette, Dance, and Flag). The band also utilizes many other staffers, including a videographer, librarians, a webmaster, and many others.

Student leadershipEdit

The AUMB has several student leadership positions, the most visible of which are the drum majors who lead the band on the field and direct the band in the stands. Drum major auditions start with an interview of each applicant by the directors and graduate teaching assistants, along with a conducting audition. Those who pass this first stage then have the opportunity to conduct the band as a whole in various stands tunes during an audition which takes place during a band rehearsal. In addition, each remaining applicant takes part in another audition where they each give a mock lesson on marching technique, as well as demonstrates a routine for the traditional drum major run-out. The 2003 drum majors were Tyler Benjamin (head), Meredith Brazzell, and Chris Schrieber. The 2004 drum majors were Tyler Benjamin (head), Meredith Brazzell, and Matt Souther. The 2005 drum majors were Michael Sinnott (head), Ashley Norwood, and Josh Killion. The 2006 drum majors were Ashley Norwood (head) and Bryan Myers. The 2007 drum majors were Bryan Myers (head), Nick Smith, and John Warner. The 2008 drum majors were Nick Smith (head), John Warner, Stuart Ivey, and Karen Kirk. This is the first time, according to the band directors, that the AUMB has had four drum majors. The 2009 drum majors were, Stuart Daubenmire, James Earl Corley III, and Daniel Toner. The 2010 drum majors were James Earl Corley III (head), Daniel Johnson, and Daniel Toner. The 2011 Drum majors were Daniel Johnson (head), Michelle Smith, and Brittney Mason. Emily Gray, Madison Argo, and Rachel Glenn (head) are the drum majors for the 2012 season.[11]

Each section has one or two section leaders, depending on the size of the section. They oversee their section during sectional rehearsals, which could cover music or marching technique. During trips and other events, the drum majors often rely on the section leaders to help organize the band before parades and other performances. Section leaders are also responsible for administrative tasks for their sections such as ensuring attendance at events, and seeing that all necessary forms are filled out by their section members.

The band usually has one or more students functioning as librarians. They are responsible for ensuring that music, drill sheets, etc. are printed and ready for rehearsals, in addition to managing the band library.

The AUMB also has four non-musical leadership positions, known as freshman advisers, who advise the band's rookie members or RATS (Rookie Auburn TigerS) as they are known to the AUMB. Within the band they are primarily known as R.A.T. Leaders and oversee the R.A.T. Program. Other student leadership positions are offered through participation in the band service organizations.

All student leaders are determined by a voting process by the band. However, the section leader(s) for the drumline as well as the head drum major are chosen by the directors partially based on the suggestions of the students.

OrganizationEdit

Winds and percussionEdit

Currently, the instrumentation of the AUMB is as follows:

To achieve a uniform look and sound, AUMB provides silver instruments for all of its marchers, excluding clarinets and saxophones.

Tiger EyesEdit

The Tiger Eyes are the visual ensemble of the Auburn University Marching Band. The Tiger Eyes nickname was bestowed upon the collective auxiliary groups in 2005, the same year the dancers were introduced to the AUMB. The Tiger Eyes are composed of three distinct lines - flags, majorettes, and dancers - that perform complementary choreography. Tiger Eyes are selected by individual auditions, with a separate audition for each line. The band added a flag corps in the fall of 1985. The majorettes are the oldest group of the Tiger Eyes, tracing their roots to the late 1940s/early 1950s.

TraditionsEdit

Tiger WalkEdit

The Auburn Marching Band performs as part of Tiger Walk at all football games. Pep bands composed of AUMB members perform at the top and bottom of Tiger Walk during home games, and also perform at Tiger Walk at away games.

Spirit March and Four Corners Pep RallyEdit

After Tiger Walk at home games the Band is split into four pep bands. The four "Spirit Bands" leave from the top of Tiger Walk at the corner of North Donahue Dr. and Samford Ave., Lowder Business Building, the University Tennis Courts on Roosevelt Dr., and from alongside the newly constructed Student Union. Along with the cheerleaders, these bands parade through Auburn's campus to the tunes of War Eagle and Glory to 'Ole Auburn. The four bands meet at the intersection of Donahue and Roosevelt, outside of the Southwest corner of Jordan-Hare Stadium and perform a short pep rally there for all Auburn fans.

March aroundEdit

When first entering Jordan-Hare Stadium, the band marches around the field, playing War Eagle and Glory to 'Ole Auburn. After circling the field, the band faces the student section to play War Eagle one more time. The band then exits the field to prepare for the Pregame Show.

File:Interlocking AU.jpg

PregameEdit

The pregame show currently performed by Auburn's band was first introduced in 2004, and incorporates elements from previous pregame shows. During the first year of the new pregame, it was featured several times on ESPN and called "The most entertaining band performance yet." The band enters from the team tunnel underneath the south end zone and performs the pregame fanfare, before marching down the field to War Eagle. Then the band forms the interlocking AU emblem to perform Glory. The band will then form an USA set with an American "shield" in the bottom of the S to perform God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner before continuing on to perform The Horse, Tiger Rag, and some school spirit tunes. Often the end of the National Anthem will incorporate a flyover. On some occasions, the band will also play the Alma Mater between God Bless America and the National Anthem. At the end of pregame the band forms an interlocking AU tunnel through which the football team enters the field. In 2006, the band began to start its pregame performances with a trailer of the band on the video screen, now the AU HD (as of 2007), to warm up the crowds and add to the excitement of the performance.

HalftimeEdit

The AUMB performs at halftime of every Auburn home football game and any away games at which the full band is present. About every three weeks, the band introduces a new show with a specific theme or genre, with musical selections chosen by directors. The halftime show may also consist of "special" performances by the AUMB such as the High School Marching Honor Band. The band will also alternate which side of the stadium it will play the show towards, and in some cases will play part of a show directly to the student section.

Tiger BanditsEdit

During the fourth quarter of a football game, a small pep band, called the "Tiger Bandits," leaves the stands to play for the fans seated in other areas of the stadium. This group consists of different players each week, and is sometimes also called the "Fourth Quarter Band."

Singing the Alma MaterEdit

At the conclusion of every gameday practice and Auburn football game, regardless of whether or not the game was won, the band will lay down their instruments, lock their arms over each other shoulders, and sing the Auburn University Alma Mater. At a game, after this, the band will play the "Thumb Cheer" fanfare and War Eagle before dismissing from the stands.

SongsEdit

  • War Eagle - Auburn University's official fight song
  • Glory to Ole Auburn - Auburn's secondary fight song, played after an extra point
  • Tiger Rag - Popular song played during pre-game and various points in the game
  • The Horse - Popular song used during the Auburn spell-out at pregame and various points in the game
  • Thumb Cheer - Fanfare heard after turnovers and team victories, followed by War Eagle
  • Word Up - Fan favorite, known for its exciting "horn rocks"
  • Eye of the Tiger - Popular standard played before the defense takes the field
  • Crazy Train - Defensive cheer, played after a defensive stop on third down
  • And many popular tunes such as Livin' on a Prayer, Poker Face, Animal, etc.

Band CampEdit

Like the majority of high school and college marching bands, the AUMB has a preseason band camp for its members before fall classes begin. Generally band camp will begin about a week and a half before classes start. It is common for R.A.T.s and the Tiger Eyes to arrive a day before the returning members, normally referred to as Vets. Student leadership and percussion members generally arrive a few days earlier. There are numerous goals that the band works to accomplish during the week of band camp.

  • New members will learn the marching style of the AUMB, which often differs at least slightly from their high school experience.
  • The band learns the pregame show, including all music and drill.
  • The band learns the first of many halftime shows to be performed that season, including all music and drill.
  • Often the band will begin learning the second halftime show of the season before band camp is over.

Although the schedules vary slightly from year to year, once band camp is underway, it usually runs from about 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, every day, with the exception of Sunday mornings. It usually begins about a week to a week-and-a-half before the start of the semester and continues right up until the semester starts. While the first few days of band camp differ slightly (often concentrating more on marching fundamentals), here is a typical day at an AUMB Band Camp:

  • R.A.T. Drills — While rehearsals normally start at 8:00 a.m., the R.A.T.s (see below) and many Vets arrive for R.A.T. Drills half an hour earlier. R.A.T. Drills typically involve some sort of game designed to help the rookie members get to know each other and the Vets. Also, the R.A.T.s will go over the songs, cheers, and traditions of Auburn University so that they will be better prepared for game day as a member of the band.
  • Morning marching rehearsal — When the full band arrives, marching rehearsal gets underway as fast as possible. These rehearsals are intense and cover as much drill as possible. Often, especially during the earlier days of band camp, the band only sings their parts during this rehearsal, either leaving their instruments on the sideline or "air playing" their parts.
  • Morning music rehearsal — After a couple hours, usually about 10:00 AM, the band meets at the Bibb-Graves Amphitheater for a music rehearsal. This rehearsal may include both the "stands tunes" that will be played when the band is not marching, and halftime show music to be played on the field. The band only rarely rehearses indoors, usually in instances of severe weather.
  • Sectionals — Following lunch, the band meets in "sectionals." Here, each section can work on details of what each group needs to improve. Depending on the section, this time may be used to rehearse marching fundamentals, go over music, or work on the horn rocks that the band will use to give a visual flair to the songs played in the stands. Most of the band's sections have traditional sectional locations, such as the "Trombone Grove."
  • Afternoon music or marching rehearsal — Following sectionals, the full band meets again, sometimes for another music rehearsal and sometimes for a marching rehearsal, dependent on what the directors feel the band needs. If the band is going over music only, this rehearsal is also held in Bibb-Graves Amphitheater. If this time is used as a marching rehearsal, it takes place at the Bodie Hinton Practice Field.
  • Evening marching rehearsal — The last rehearsal of the day is held on the Practice Field. Band Camp is officially dismissed for the day usually around 8pm.
  • R.A.T. Activities — Following the day's rehearsal, a social event known as a R.A.T. Activity is held somewhere in Auburn. While these are part of the R.A.T. Program, everyone in the band is encouraged to attend. The purpose of these R.A.T. Activities are to provide a chance for the band to relax after a hard day's work, and to help the R.A.T.s get to know more of the veteran marchers.

R.A.T. Activities include R.A.T. Parent Adoptions, the traditional campus-wide scavenger hunt, section dinners, bowling, and many other activities, typically lasting a couple hours. Afterwards, the band members return home to sleep before another rehearsal begins the next day. The week of band camp concludes with the annual R.A.T. Banquet. The R.A.T. Banquet is a dress-up event including a nice dinner, slide shows from the week, and the annual R.A.T. Awards. Band Camp is, of course, intended to give the AUMB the preparation necessary to successfully perform at Auburn Football games and other events. However, Band Camp is also a time when new members become a part of the AUMB. Lifelong friendships are often made during this time. The AUMB has been likened to a family, and Band Camp is when those bonds are made.

R.A.T. programEdit

The Auburn University Marching Band takes pride in its freshman orientation program, more commonly referred to as the R.A.T. Program. In the early days of the university, all freshmen across campus were known as rats.[12] Nowadays, R.A.T. is used as an acronym for Rookie Auburn Tiger, and is only used by the marching band and Auburn football team.

As is stated on their website, the purpose of the R.A.T. Program is to help out first year marchers adjust to the differences of college and college marching band as compared to high school.[13] In addition, any staff that are in their first year with the band are also called R.A.T.s, up to and including the Marching Band Director when appropriate.

The program is overseen by four R.A.T. Leaders. These "freshman advisers", as they are typically referred to in publications outside the band, have the duty to oversee R.A.T. Adoptions, R.A.T. Drills, and R.A.T. Activities during band camp. Over the course of the season, they serve as mentors for the rookie members, and emcee the band's R.A.T. Banquet and Bowl Banquet.

R.A.T. Adoptions are a ceremony held after the first full-band music rehearsal. Each male R.A.T. is given a R.A.T. Mom while each female R.A.T. is given a R.A.T. Dad. These R.A.T. Parents serve as friends and mentors for their rookie "son" or "daughter" throughout the course of the week, as well as throughout the season. The R.A.T. Parents are particularly helpful for R.A.T.s who are freshmen and have left home for the first time, and need someone who can help explain the college experience. Depending on the amount of participation of the vets, it is common to have "twins".

A first-year marcher traditionally retains the title of R.A.T. until the Auburn Tigers claim victory in the annual Iron Bowl game versus the University of Alambama Crimson Tide. For the first time since 2001, 2nd year returning members for the 2009 season are still considered R.A.T.s.

Alumni BandEdit

In 1987 a new tradition began, the annual Auburn Alumni Band reunion. Every year since then a band of alumni has joined the AUMB on the field at halftime during one home football game. This game is often the homecoming game, but not always. This annual event normally attracts over 300 alumni band members from many previous years, resulting in over 600 members of the combined bands on the field for halftime. This show has been a favorite among band members since its inception, and continues to be a fond highlight of each football season. The Alumni Band has also taken up the challenge to support the fund raising efforts for the new Band Facility currently under development.

2010-2011 Board of Directors President: David Gillespie, President Elect: Ted Mallory, Secretary/ Treasurer: Sara Cothran, Past President: Ben Morris, Director Emeritus: Johnnie Vinson

Directors: Clyde Morris, Owen Bailey, Steve Fleming, Terri Devane Granger, George Dyar, Mark Glover, Sidney Keywood, Susan Nunnely, Mike Watson, Jay Howell, Joseph Stanfield

Service organizationsEdit

Kappa Kappa Psi (ΚΚΨ) - Π ChapterEdit

The AUMB is served by the Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. The Pi chapter was founded in 1926, but like many chapters of the then all male organization, the chapter went inactive during the years of the Great Depression and World War II. The chapter was rechartered on June 6, 1992.

Pursuant with purposes of Kappa Kappa Psi,[14] the Pi chapter works to serve the Auburn University Bands and the students involved with the band program. Some of this service is done through providing logistical support for the bands, such as the movement and set up of equipment and supplies, while other projects, such as fund raisers and social events, are also organized or supported by the chapter as a service to the Auburn University Bands.

The Pi Chapter was recognized as a Chapter Leadership Award recipient by Kappa Kappa Psi for the 2005-2007 biennium at the fraternity's 2007 National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Just this past year, the Pi chapter received the Founders Trophy, the highest award given by Nationals. This award represents not only the leadership and work of the chapter, but many more features.[15]

Tau Beta Sigma (ΤΒΣ) - ΘΛ ChapterEdit

Another organization which serves the band is the Theta Lambda chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. Auburn's chapter of ΤΒΣ was founded in the fall of 1991, and was officially installed as the Theta Lambda chapter on May 24, 1992. ΤΒΣ sisters' duties include uniform distribution, selling shoes and flip folders and other necessary items to band members, and other important jobs.

The Theta Lambda chapter was honored in July 2001 with the Grace and A. Frank Martin Chapter Leadership Award, the highest award given to ΤΒΣ chapters, for the 1999-2001 biennium.[16]

Notable alumniEdit

  • Craig Aarhus (’97)
  • Ishbah Cox (’99)
  • Shane Dickerson (’77)
  • Carla Gallahan (’87)
  • Mike Watson ('69)
  • Pat Morrow (’69)
  • Shane Glenn ('87)
  • Jamie Nix (’96)
  • Chalon Ragsdale (’73)
  • Garry Taylor (’76)
  • Dr. Thomas McCutchen (’73)
  • Dr. Frances Lapp Averitt (’64)
  • Cecil Wilder (’66)
  • Todd Shiver (’83)
  • Dr. Wade Irvin (’74)
  • Jeff Burnside ('86)
  • Katy Worthington Burnside ('86)
  • Mike "Cheese" McGlynn ('08)[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Marching band: Encyclopedia II - Marching band - The Sudler Trophy". http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Marching_band_-_The_Sudler_Trophy/id/1745838. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  2. "The Auburn University Bands Online » History". Auburn University Bands. Archived from the original on 5 March 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080305002452/http://www.auburn.edu/auband/history/. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  3. "Auburn marching band history". http://www.auburn.edu/auband/history/.
  4. "Spurlin to join Auburn University bands". The Auburn Plainsman. http://www.theplainsman.com/front/spurlin_to_join_auburn_university_bands. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  5. "New, former marching band directors prep for biggest year ever". Opelika-Auburn News. http://www.oanow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=OAN%2FMGArticle%2FOAN_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173352039854&path=!news!localnews. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  6. "The Auburn University Bands Online » Dr. Corey Spurlin". Auburn University Bands. http://www.auburn.edu/auband/directors/spurlin/. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  7. "LSU Band Dept. Staff". LSU Department of Bands. http://www.bands.lsu.edu/staff/grad_assistants.php. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  8. "The Auburn University Bands Online » Dr. Doug Rosener". Auburn University Bands. http://www.auburn.edu/auband/directors/rosener/. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  9. "The Auburn University Bands Online » Dr. Rick Good". Auburn University Bands. http://www.auburn.edu/auband/directors/good/. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  10. "Macy's Great American Marching Band". Macy's Great American Marching Band. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070829153759/http://www.musfestivals.com/mgap/macy_instructional_staff.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  11. "Local AU drum majors make bowl bow". Al.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080116182502/http://www.al.com/living/huntsvilletimes/index.ssf?/base/living/1200392128205940.xml&coll=1. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  12. "Auburn "rats" on a Sunday afternoon". Auburn University Libraries. 1917. http://content.lib.auburn.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/aunumphoto&CISOPTR=659&CISOBOX=1&REC=14. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  13. "The Auburn University Bands Online » R.A.T. Program Homepage". Auburn University Bands. Archived from the original on 29 June 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080629010539/http://www.auburn.edu/auband/ratprogram/. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  14. "Purposes". Kappa Kappa Psi. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070804104231/http://kkpsi.org/purposes.asp. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  15. "The Podium" (PDF). Kappa Kappa Psi. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928120025/http://www.kkpsi.org/PodiumSpring2007.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  16. "Tau Beta Sigma - Theta Lambda ~ Auburn University's Chapter". Tau Beta Sigma - Theta Lambda. http://www.auburn.edu/student_info/tau_beta_sigma/. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
  17. "Featured Alumni Archive". AU Bands Online. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20081011063059/http://www.auburn.edu/auband/alumni/alumniarchive/. Retrieved 2008-11-13.

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