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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
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Iowa City IA 52242
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e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI Alumni Band to celebrate 25th anniversary during 1997 Homecoming

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Alumni Band will celebrate its 25th anniversary with performances during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 24-25.

The Alumni Band will march in the Homecoming Parade Oct. 24 and will then break into smaller groups to visit downtown taverns to help fire up Hawkeye fans for Saturday's big game. The Alumni Band will sit in the North end zone with the Marching band during Saturday's game against Indiana, and both bands will perform the Iowa Fight Song after the Marching Band's halftime show.

The Alumni Band will also build enthusiasm before the game with a short performance at 10:30 a.m. on the steps of the UI Recreation Building, next to Kinnick Stadium.

Thomas L. Davis, UI emeritus professor of music, has directed the Alumni Band on Homecoming Weekend for 22 of its 25 years. He says in its first year, the 20 alumni band members who attended fit on the back of a flat bed truck for the parade. This year, more than 200 alumni band members are expected to march in the Homecoming Parade, ranging in age from 22 to 72 and older.

Davis describes the Alumni Band as "organized chaos that's a lot of fun" since many band members arrive right before the parade begins, leaving no time for practice. There is some time for practicing before the game-day performances, but not much, he said. "On Saturday morning they'll be up when it's still dark out at 7 a.m. to meet and get organized for the day," Davis said.

Vince Nelson, director of the UI Alumni Association, said the Alumni Band is a loyal group that has built a very strong alumni tradition. "There is a great feeling of fellowship among members of the Alumni Band," he said.

10/22/97