1881-Earliest recorded evidence of a concert band at Iowa State; a newspaper article discussed the reorganization of the “College Band.”
1886-First noted evidence of a drum major along with a marching band at Iowa State College.
1928-The marching band competes in a band contest held in conjunction with the Drake Relays in Des Moines.
1936-The band makes its first appearance at an away football game.
1941-Director Alvin Edgar first institutes floating formations
1947-The marching band is included in Pigskin Pageants, a college-produced color and sound motion picture
1951 – First documented evidence of a basketball pep band at Iowa State
1953 – Iowa State College hosts its first Band Day held at a home football game. Also, Mason City native Meredith Willson, of The Music Man fame, composes For I, For S, which is first sung at the Kansas State football game. The song is still performed as part of the traditional pregame show.
1971 – The concert band program is expanded to include two concert bands. There is also the first evidence of a jazz band at ISU.
1972 – Women are officially permitted to join the marching band at Iowa State. This is part of the national movement for college bands throughout the United States. Women had previously participated in the band in stationary performances as early as 1928, and as majorettes and on bell instruments during the World War II years.
1973 – Noted composer and arranger Jerry Bilik arranges a new version of the ISU Fanfare
1976 – The ISU Marching Band performs for President Gerald Ford. Trumpet great Maynard Ferguson performed with the band during a halftime show. Also, the first Cyclone Honor Band Festival is held for talented Iowa high school band students
1978 – The ‘V’ is introduced, and a new acronym is born: the ISUCF’V’MB (just ask any band member for more information)
1980 – The first Alumni Band is formed and performs at Homecoming. The band program holds its first Band Extravaganza, involving an indoor concert by the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble I.
1991 – The marching band is the first college band to perform the new Pepsi jingle by music legend Ray Charles
1994 – The Iota Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Theta Xi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma are founded at ISU
1995 – The marching band wins the Coach Contest and the band records the theme song to the television show “Coach” and also appears in the show’s opening credits
2000 – The band performs in London as part of the millennium New Year’s celebration
2005 – The Alumni Band celebrates its 25th Anniversary, with 300 alumni joining the ISUCF’V’MB at halftime of the Oklahoma State game to perform the 1812 Overture, complete with cannons. In addition, former directors and assistant directors joined in the celebration, including Will Rapp, Roger Cichy, Martin Province, Dan Phillips, and Dustin Seifert.
Director of Bands at Iowa State
1912 – 1913 C.L. Monhenke
1914 – 1917 Jaffrey C. Lewis
1918 – 1921 Edward Schenhettel
1922 –-1935 Oscar Hatch Hawley
1948 – 1967 Frank Piersol
1936 – 1947 Alvin R. Edgar
1968 – 1972 Acton Ostling, Jr.
1973 – 1980 Jimmie Howard Reynolds
1980 – 1998 Joseph Christensen
1999 – Present Dr. Michael Golemo
Iowa State University Marching Band Directors
**Prior to 1972, the marching band was typically under the leadership of the Director of Bands
1972 – 1983 James McKinney
1984 – 1985 Will Rapp
1980 – 1986 James McKinney
1986 – 1995 Roger Cichy
1995 – 1996 John LaCognata
1996 – 2002 Martin Province
2002 – 2010 Dr. Matthew Smith
2010 Interim Dr. Natalie Steele
2011 – Present Steven Smyth
*Historical information has been gathered through band alumni and the Nu class of Kappa Kappa Psi. For any additions or corrections, please email Steven Smyth.