Cyclone Marching Band History


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

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

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.



Comments are closed