Oregon Marching Band
"Soundtrack of the Ducks"
File:OAB logo.png
SchoolUniversity of Oregon
LocationEugene, Oregon
ConferencePac-12 Conference
DirectorDr. Eric Wiltshire
Fight songMighty Oregon
UniformCustom Nike black athletic pants with forest green mesh stripe; black, yellow and green long-sleeve shirt; forest green "Oregon Marching Band" T-shirt; black travel jacket with reflective yellow "O" on the back; a variety of baseball caps; and custom Oregon black Nike Free running shoes with Nike+ capabilities

The Oregon Marching Band (OMB) is the marching band of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, United States. With over 250 members, it is the largest student organization on campus, and its members come from nearly every department and major at the university. The marching band serves as the foundation for the larger Oregon Athletic Bands organization that includes the Oregon Basketball Band, Winter Drumline, and the Green and Yellow Garter Bands.

The OMB performs at all home football games at Autzen Stadium, selected away games, and bowl games. Some of the OMB's recent travels have taken them to Seattle, Washington; Pullman, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; El Paso, Texas; San Diego, California; Pasadena, California; Glendale, Arizona; Palo Alto, California; and San Antonio, Texas. Other aspects of Oregon athletics, such as women's volleyball, are also supported by the OMB.[1] The OMB also hosts a large high school marching band competition every fall known as the Festival of Bands.

Organization[edit | edit source]

Director of Bands[edit | edit source]

The Director of Bands is in charge of the Department of Bands at the university, teaches/conducts the Oregon Wind Ensemble, and assists with all of the bands in the department. Dr. Rodney Dorsey, former University of Michigan Associate Director of Bands, was hired to the position in 2013 following a year-long, nationwide search. Dr. Dorsey will conduct the Star Spangled Banner at all home football games.

Director of Athletic Bands[edit | edit source]

The Director of Athletic Bands administrates the athletic band program by leading and teaching students, supervising graduate teaching fellows and other assistants, and working with the university and athletic department. This position also serves as an Assistant Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education. The position is held by Dr. Eric Wiltshire, an alumnus of the University of Washington. Along with the athletic bands, Dr. Wiltshire teaches and conducts the Oregon Campus Band.

Past directors[edit | edit source]

Director Title Years in Position
Albert Perfect Director, University Bands 1915-1919
John Stehn Director, University Bands 1929-1950
Ira Lee Director, Athletic Bands 1950-1956
David Goedecke Director, Oregon Marching Band 1966-1968
Gene Lewis Director, Oregon Marching Band 1968-1970
Burnette Dillon Director, Oregon Marching Band 1970-1975
Gerald Poe Director, Oregon Marching Band 1976-1982
Bill Norfleet Interim Director, Oregon Marching Band 1982-1983
Steven Paul Director, Oregon Marching Band 1983-1989
Patrick Casey Assistant Director, Oregon Marching Band 1988-1989
David Booth Director, Oregon Marching Band 1990-1992
Rod Harkins Director, Oregon Marching Band 1992-1995
Sid Haton Director, Oregon Marching Band 1995-1999
Todd Zimbelman Director, Oregon Marching Band 1999-2005
Patrick Carney Director, Oregon Athletic Bands 2005-2006
Eric Wiltshire Director, Oregon Athletic Bands 2006-

Instructors and graduate assistants[edit | edit source]

The Oregon Marching Band employs several instructors and Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs) to assist in the teaching and administration of the band.

Leadership[edit | edit source]

The OMB is largely run by its many student leaders. These include drum majors, section leaders, uniform manager, equipment (truck) crew, garter band members, and the Oregon Athletic Bands Council.

History[edit | edit source]

  • 1908 – University Course Catalogs list a University Band dating back to 1908.
  • 1910s – Albert Perfect, along with student Dewitt Gilbert, wrote the fight song, Mighty Oregon. The song was first performed on March 4, 1916 (Register Guard, 11-13-81).
  • 1911 – According to the 1916 Oregana, the University Band began in 1911 with Maurice Hyde as Director.
  • 1915 – Albert Perfect was hired as the first salaried band director at the University of Oregon.
  • 1917 – The band was asked to serve as the University Battalion. This arrangement started a long association for the University Band with the Military Department on campus.
  • 1918 – Perfect organized a Ladies Band (also known as the Women’s Band). The Ladies Band was the first on the West Coast (existed until 1919)
  • 1919 – Ross Hickernell was hired to replace Perfect. After only one year Hickernell left the University.
  • 1919 – John Stark Evans, a music professor at the School of Music, wrote “Pledge to Oregon” in 1919. The Oregon Marching Band of the present day sings “Pledge to Oregon” in four parts after Oregon football games.
  • 1920 – After Hickernell left, no replacement was hired for many years. Instead the Military Department handled the band program. During this time the United States government financed the Military Band and the directors of the band were not listed as part of the School of Music faculty.
  • 1920-29 – The University Course Catalog does not list a University Band as an organization (nor was the Military Band).
  • 1926 – The University Band was placed back under the jurisdiction of the School of Music.
  • 1928 – The University Band performed with John Philip Sousa and his band when they visited Eugene in 1928.
  • 1929 – John Stehn was hired to replace Ferris. Under Stehn’s direction the University Band gave its first halftime performance at a football game in 1929.
  • 1936 – During the 1936-1937 school year the School of Music finally got the class entitled “band” moved to the music section of the Schedule of Classes. Before this the class was under the Military Department.
  • 1936 – The present course number for band, 195/395, was established.
  • 1941 – The marching band had female baton twirlers. This is the first mention of women in the marching band.
  • 1940s – During World War II the Army Special Training Units (ASTU) trained at the University. Stehn was able to organize a forty-piece ASTU band that was of extremely high caliber.
  • 1940s – During World War II women once again stepped up to take over the men’s job of playing at home football games, but the band remained in the stands. During this time the band also gave several concerts.
  • 1947 – An Advisory Board (later known as Oregon Marching Band Council and finally as Oregon Athletic Band Council) was created to establish contact between the band and the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO).
  • 1950 – John Stehn retired as the Director of Bands in 1950 but he was still in the School of Music for a few years. He is, in a sense, the "founding father" of the modern band department at the University.
  • 1950 – The position of Director of Bands was split between two people for the first time. Robert Vagner and Ira Lee were hired to lead the band into the next extraordinary era. Vagner was to lead the Concert Bands and Lee the Athletic Bands.
  • 1953 – There was a significant change in the description of the band. The 1953-1954 course catalog described the band as follows: “Membership in the University Bands is open to both men and women students from all divisions of the University…” This was the first time the words “Marching Band” appeared anywhere in a course catalog.
  • 1963 – A precision dance group, called the “Oregonettes” was formed. There is nothing written about what they did, or whether they used flags, dancing, rifles, or batons, but it is the earliest indication of having a Color guard.
  • 1967 – With the opening of Autzen Stadium, the Marching Band had a new home. Prior to Autzen Stadium all home football games were at Hayward Field.
  • 1967 – The band introduced new uniforms.
  • 1970 – The Vietnam War began in this era, and once again the war years affected the marching band but in different ways than previously. The exact date can not be determined, but the marching band did not exist for one to three years.
  • 1975 – Quote in Oregana about “the on-again, off-again marching band . . . the group was disbanded six years ago but revived in 1971 when the athletic department realized it was essential if the football program was to gain television exposure.”
  • 1970s – Students of the University didn’t support the band very much during the Vietnam War. Marching band is fairly militaristic, and uniforms and marching didn’t have a very good image. It reminded students of the war and that upset them. “Students booed the band,” according to members of the Marching Band at that time.
  • 1975 – Roger Senders, a member of the marching band, wanted marching band to meet the PE requirement. Senders wrote a formal proposal to the Dean of the College of Health on November 20, 1975 describing why marching band should be counted for four years of physical education credit. It is a fascinating proposal but no mention is made of whether it was approved or denied.
  • June 6, 1975 – The lyrics to the “Oregon Pledge Song” were changed. The words “Swear thy ev’ry son” were changed to “Swear thy ev’ryone.”
  • 1976 – Gerald Poe was hired to direct the marching band. Poe starts the Festival of Bands competition.
  • 1978 – The title of “Marching Band” was given to the marching band as its course title.
  • 1983 – Steve Paul was hired and built the marching band up from 90 members his first year to over 250 members.
  • 1983 – The Green Garter Band, a scholarship band that plays for all athletic events, started and was so named because members wore green garters on their arms.
  • 1985 – Members of the Green Garter Band receive full scholarships. Once the band received full scholarships, perspective members had to audition into the band.
  • 1985 – Oregon Marching Band creates “Duck Lips,” a noisemaker the band has sold as a fundraiser since.
  • mid-1980s – The band receives new uniforms and were made and designed by Lane County businesses. Because of Oregon’s weather, the uniforms were unique in that they were waterproof. They also came with a full cape attachment that provided color contrast and also was worn to keep warm. The hats were Aussie style and helped keep the rain off the members shoulders and faces.
  • 1995 – University of Oregon reaches the Rose Bowl.
  • 1995 – Sid Haton hired as Marching Band director.
  • 1999 – Sid Haton leaves his position as Marching Band director and Todd Zimbelman is hired.
  • 2003 – Introduction of first Nike-produced marching band uniforms at Michigan v. Oregon game.
  • 2005 – Todd Zimbelman leaves position as director of the Marching Band and Dr. Patrick Carney is hired as interim director.
  • 2005 – Dr. Carney appointed to new position as Director of Athletic Bands, overseeing the Marching Band, Basketball Band and the Garter Bands.
  • 2006 – Dr. Eric Wiltshire hired as the new Director of Athletic Bands.
  • 2008 – Nike creates a second version of its marching band uniform for the Oregon Marching Band. The new uniform made its first public appearance at the game against Boise State on Sept. 20, 2008.
  • 2009 – Oregon Marching Band returns to the Rose Bowl. The band reaches 200 members.
  • 2010 – Oregon attends the BCS National Championship in Glendale, Arizona. The Green Garter Band performs at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 2011 – The Green Garter Band competes for the first time in the 2011 Reno Jazz Festival and received all superior ratings.[2]
  • 2011 - Oregon Marching Band plays at the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship at Autzen Stadium vs UCLA
  • 2012 - Oregon Marching Band returns to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California
  • 2012 - Nike creates a third version of its marching band uniform for the Oregon Marching Band.
  • 2013 - Oregon Marching Band attends the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
  • 2013 - Oregon Basketball Bands attends the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
  • 2013 - Oregon Marching Band attends the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 2014 - Oregon Athletic bands adopts "Soundtrack of the Ducks" as their official slogan.
  • 2014 - Remembering Eric Humphrey.
  • 2014 - Oregon Marching Band plays at the first college football game at Levi's Stadium.
  • 2014 - Oregon Marching Band returns to Levi's Stadium for the Pac-12 Championship Game
  • 2015 - Oregon Marching Band attends the inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl
  • 2015 - Oregon Marching Band attends the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium
  • 2015 - Oregon Marching Band attends the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

Songs[edit | edit source]

The Oregon Marching Band plays a wide variety of songs designed to add to the atmosphere of Autzen Stadium's game day. The fight song of the Ducks is former director Albert Perfect's "Mighty Oregon". For the most part, the OMB plays popular tunes from the last 40 years. Some fan favorites include Journey's "Separate Ways", the theme song from Disney's "DuckTales", "Louie Louie"", "Ease On Down The Road" from The Wiz, numerous charts by Earth, Wind & Fire, and dozens of BBQs. Newer additions include "High Hopes", "Winner", and "MoBamba."

Fine for BBQ's[edit | edit source]

"Fine For BBQ's", usually referred to as simply "BBQs", is a collection of short stands tunes. Usually played by the band in the stands, some of the longer BBQs, such as "Come on Eileen" and "Walking on Sunshine", are used during pregame, battle of the bands and other performances. The specific songs included have changed over the years as new songs have been added and old ones have been removed. Many of the BBQs are based on popular music. Some recent additions include "Till the World Ends" and "Party Rock Anthem"

Prime Cuts[edit | edit source]

"Prime Cuts" is a newer collection of short stand tunes. Usually the band plays these when certain football players make good plays. For example: Marcus Mariota's theme song was "Hawaii Five-O," Vernon Adam's theme song was "California Love," and Justin Herbert's theme song is "300 Violin Orchestra". Other notable songs in the collection include "Shots", "Menance", and "School's Out"

Half Time Shows[edit | edit source]


  • Guitar Hero: Livin' On A Prayer, More Than A Feeling, Carry On Wayward Son
  • Back To The Future


  • Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody, Don't Stop Me Now, We Are The Champions
  • Music from Avatar


  • Van Halen: Jump, Panama, Runnin' With The Devil, Hot For Teacher
  • Aladdin: Arabian Nights, Friend Like Me, A Whole New World, Finale
  • Pop Show: All Of The Lights, Party Rock Anthem, You Make Me Feel...


  • Rock Of Ages: Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'N Roll, Pour Some Sugar On Me, We Built This City/We're Not Gonna Take It
  • West Side Story
  • Gangnam Style


  • Fantasmic!
  • Maroon 5: This Love, Payphone, Love Somebody, Moves Like Jagger


  • Huey Lewis & The News: Hip To Be Square, The Heart Of Rock And Roll, Couple Days Off
  • Bruno Mars: Treasure, Marry You, Grenade, Runaway Baby
  • Evolution of Dance: Medley of popular dance tunes


  • Tribute to Stevie Wonder: Superstition, Uptight, Signed Sealed Delivered, Sir Duke and Isn't She Lovely
  • Classical Metal Show: Carmina Burana, Montagues and Capulets, and the Finale to Dvorak's 9th Symphony
  • Latin show based on Blue Devils tunes: Legend of the One Eyed Sailor and La Fiesta


  • Music from the band Styx
  • Tribute to Jimi Hendrix


  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe featuring the Marvel Fanfare Theme, Captain America, The Avengers, Thor and Thor The Dark World, Iron Man, and Marvel Recap
  • Music of American Composers


  • Funk music: Let's Groove by Earth Wind and Fire, Kiss the Sky by Jason Derulo, Love Stoned by Justin Timberlake
  • Contemporary Divas: Bang Bang by Ariana Grande, Chandelier by Sia, Destiny's Child Medley featuring Jumpin' Jumpin' and Survivor
  • Epic Video Game Themes: Final Fantasy VII: Opening-Bombing Mission, Halo Theme, God of War

Instrumentation[edit | edit source]

The instrumentation of the Oregon Marching Band is similar to that of a military band but with the addition of a full front ensemble (also known as a "pit"). The band is open, so specific instrumentation varies from year to year.

Winds[edit | edit source]

Battery percussion[edit | edit source]

Front ensemble[edit | edit source]

Uniforms[edit | edit source]

The Oregon Marching Band shares the same rights of their athletics programs in what they wear, giving them access to Nike-designed uniforms. For the 2008-09 season the OMB received a new style of uniforms to replace the older set of uniforms that were used from 2003 through the 2007 season, which included green wool jackets and bib pants that blended into Autzen Stadium's turf and dark green motorcycle helmets, which some fans likened to those worn by Nazi storm troopers during World War II. Those uniforms were a gift in 2003 from University of Oregon alumni and cofounder of Nike Phil Knight. The new band uniforms were designed in partnership with the school's new football and cheerleading uniforms in an effort to give Oregon football game day a brand as well as what they feel is a unique style.[3] The end result put an emphasis on the marching band being "athletic". While the 2003 uniforms met with mixed reactions, including the ire of alumni and donors, the new 2008 uniforms were immediately welcomed.

Gameday uniform[edit | edit source]

Like that of the Oregon football team, the marching band's uniform has many levels of customization by pairing different all-Nike equipment together, such as:

  • Pants: Black Nike athletic pants with a silver mesh stripe down the sides
  • Shirts: Green Nike Drifit long sleeve and a green Nike Drifit long sleeve turtle neck (for cold weather, worn under other Drifit), both worn under vest
  • Vest: Yellow/White reversible vest with carbon-fiber "O" on the front
  • Jacket: Nike black travel jacket with carbon-fiber "O" on the front
  • Hats: a variety of green, yellow hats, worn during different quarters of the game
  • Shoes: custom black Nike Free running shoes with the Nike+ capabilities
  • T-shirts: green "Oregon Marching Band" T-shirts (additional shirts received for bowl games)
  • Polos: green Nike "Oregon Marching Band" polo
  • OBB, GGB and YGB get their own polos.
  • Students must provide their own slacks and black socks.

The green helmets, which the band retired after the 2005 season, are currently being sold to raise money for the band.[4]

Festival of Bands[edit | edit source]

The Festival of Bands (FOB) is an annual high school marching band competition. Thirty bands from around the northwest compete in a two-round competition, prelims and finals. The festival is coordinated by the OMB members, and raises up to $15,000 for the band. It also serves as a major recruiting opportunity for the OMB.

The festival is frequently held concurrently with NWAPA's annual circuit championships. Years that NWAPA championships are hosted by another school, the Festival of Bands is often NWAPA sanctioned event.

Oregon Winterguard[edit | edit source]

Relaunced in 2018, the University of Oregon Winterguard competes during the NWAPA winter season in class Independent A. Jennifer Freeman is the current director. They have performed at numerous events across the Northwest including the NWAPA Winterguard Premier, Columbia River Winter Arts Invitational, Sherwood Winter Showcase, WGI Portland, and NWAPA Championships. Additionally, the winterguard has been the NWAPA Independent A Champions in both 2018 and 2019 as well as a WGI Regional Finalist.

Oregon Athletic Bands Council[edit | edit source]

The Oregon Athletic Bands Council (OABC) is a group of students in the Oregon Marching Band that meets once a week throughout the school year to plan and organize many of the behind-the-scenes and logistical aspects of the Oregon Marching Band and other athletic bands. These aspects include Festival of Bands, winter band banquet, recruiting, and other related events. All members of the athletic bands are welcome to join OABC meetings, allowing all sections of the band to be represented. The council is composed of student leadership; a mix of elected positions and section leaders.

The 2019-2020 Oregon Athletic Bands Council positions are as follows:

President - AJ Garcia

Vice President - Monike Castro

Secretary - Cecily Sotomayor

Public Relations - Chris Lawson

OABC Liaison - Mitchell Schurz

Chair of Non-Public Relations - Erica Salas

Festival of Bands Coordinator - Grant Lucas

Historian - Cecily Sotomayor

Recruitment - Mitchell Shurz

Band Banquet - Laura Reich

Drum Majors:

Head: Paul Espey

Shaina Dillon

Cody Kiesling

OABC is run by an executive committee composed of the President, Vice President, and the Drum Majors of OMB. The OABC President also meets with the Director of Athletic Bands once a week to discuss band matters and to better coordinate the faculty with the students.[5][6]

Other Athletic bands[edit | edit source]

Basketball Band[edit | edit source]

The Oregon Basketball Band (OBB) is a group of 50-60 OMB members who perform at all University of Oregon Men's Basketball home games. The group is auditioned from members of the OMB at the end of marching band season. Prior to January 2011, the OBB played in McArthur Court, better known as "The Pit". On January 13, 2011, the OBB, along with the rest of the OMB, the Oregon Cheerleaders and the Pit Crew, participated in the opening ceremony for the newly opened Matthew Knight Arena before the men's basketball game against USC.[7] In addition to men's home games, the OBB plays at the women's basketball home Civil War game, and travels with both the men's and women's teams to the Pac-12 tournaments in Seattle, Washington and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively, as well as March Madness tournaments.

File:GGB 2008 to 09 2.jpg

The Green Garter Band tailgating before the start of a football game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR

Green Garter Band[edit | edit source]

The Green Garter Band (GGB) is a select group of twelve players that plays at numerous additional events for the University of Oregon.[8] From funk to rock to hip hop, the GGB plays hundreds of high-energy student-arranged songs to entertain the hundreds of thousands they perform to every year. The group has a faculty advisor, the Director of Athletic Bands, but for the most part is entirely run by its student members. The Green Garter Band performs for all UO Women's Volleyball home games, UO Women's Basketball home games, many UO Softball home games and serves as the core unit of the OBB and OMB. Each year, the GGB also gives approximately 20-25 performances at special Athletic Department events, for the UO School of Music and Dance, for the University at large, and at various special events within the community. In return for their large commitment, Green Garter Band members are awarded scholarships equal to about 12 in-state credits. The demand for the GGB is so high that in 2002 the Yellow Garter Band (YGB) was created to help fulfill the number of requests coming in. The Yellow Garter Band is identical to its Green counterpart in most regards, but has a slightly smaller commitment. In return for their commitment, members of the YGB receive a large book scholarship every term. Together, the Green and Yellow Garter Bands have gained recognition and acclaim on campus, in the community and even nationally.[9]

Discography[edit | edit source]

  • 2008 Fighting Duck Spirit 2008 includes Music of Pinball Wizard; Music from the musical Wicked
  • 2007 Fighting Duck Spirit 2007 includes Music of Journey; Music of 007
  • 2006 Fighting Duck Spirit 2006 includes Disney's Fantasmic; Superheroes: Music from X-Men and Superman
  • 2005 Fighting Duck Spirit 2005-06 includes Music from The Incredibles; Rock Show
  • 2004 Fighting Duck Spirit 2005 includes Music from Harry Potter; Gershwin Medley
  • 2003 Fighting Duck Spirit 2004 includes Music from Pirates of the Caribbean; Call of the Mountain; The Green Garter band
  • 2002 Fighting Duck Spirit 2003 includes Music of Earth Wind & Fire; Adiemus: Music of Karl Jenkins
  • 2001 Fighting Duck Spirit CD 2002 includes Music of Chicago; Appalachian Spring
  • 2000 "Fighting Duck Spirit CD 2001" includes Music from Gladiator
  • 1999 "Fighting Duck Spirit CS 2000" includes Music from Star Wars: Episode I

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Oregon Ducks men's basketball navbox Template:Oregon Ducks women's basketball navbox

Template:Pacific-12 Conference Marching Bands

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