CSU Marching Band bids farewell to Hughes Stadium

hughes_bandThe CSU Marching Band’s 2016 season is nearly complete, with just a final home game, the 9News Parade of Lights in Denver, and a possible bowl game remaining.

To date, this has been a tremendous season for the marching band as they have participated in the decade-by-decade theme celebrating the “Farewell Hughes” season. From tens of thousands of fans watching them dance at the Rocky Mountain Showdown, to a halftime show filled with cartoon characters, to their recent “Ladies of the 2000s” show, this has been an exciting fall filled with memorable performances.

One last Hughes performance

With one home game left at Hughes Stadium, the band is pulling out all the stops in an effort to send Hughes out in style.

“When we were planning our season back in the spring, we knew that this halftime had to be something special,” said Dr. Richard Frey, director of the CSU Marching Band. “Hughes holds a lot of memories and great moments for generations of fans, and our goal was to conjure nostalgia and celebrate those great times.”

Hughes has been the home of CSU Football since it opened in 1968, and it’s at the concrete bowl under the “A” that many of the greatest moments in Rams football have occurred. Not only is the stadium important to past generations of fans, current Rams have a strong bond as well.

Plenty of memories

As drum major Peter Gaetz remembers, “The state high school marching band festival was there, so growing up, I had memories of Hughes before I was even a CSU student. Now it’s become home for me on fall Saturdays.”

Fourth-generation CSU student and color guard member Lauren Nalezny said, “Hughes Stadium has always been part of my family. My parents have season tickets, and I’ve been going to games since I was a kid.”

’60s tribute

The CSU Marching Band hopes to honor and pay tribute to the great legacy of football at Hughes Stadium with this special halftime performance. The performance features music from the late ’60s including Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” “Light My Fire,” by The Doors, and ends with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”.

The show is enhanced with a number of visual elements that connect back to 1968. With tie-dye flags, special accessories for the Golden Poms, and bright hippie flowers everywhere, the band will spell out “Peace,” “Love” and “1968” during the show. The show’s conclusion connects the band, cheer and Golden Poms with hundreds of our returning football players on the field together one final time.

Traditions galore

This performance is just one of many reminders of the history and traditions at CSU where the marching band plays an important role. The band incorporates several traditional elements throughout their pregame show, including the CSU fight song, Alma Mater, the Colorado A&M fight song “Aggie Boom,” in addition to spelling out “Rams,” “CSU” and “CAM.”

This is the earliest known photo of the marching band, dating to the early 1900s.

The marching band uniform is also steeped in history, based on the military uniforms worn when the band was formed 115 years ago with 13 members. The inclusion of the ram logo, including a hidden embroidered ram over each performer’s heart, again connects the marching band to the university, while the design of each member’s uniform – green on the bottom moving to white on the top – mimics the tree line crossing into the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

And of course, following each rehearsal and performance, you’ll find the marching band singing the CSU Alma Mater, an expression of their love for our great university.

Tickets for the Farewell Hughes finale, featuring CSU vs. New Mexico at 8:15 p.m., remain on sale. Purchase tickets online, by phone (970-491-7267) or at the gates Saturday.

What was happening in 1968

• Average monthly rent was $130
• Gas was 34 cents/gallon
• Federal hourly minimum wage was $1.60/hour.
• The Vietnam War was ongoing, and many anti-war protests were occurring throughout the country
• Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated
• Pres. Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968
• The London Bridge was sold for $1 million and later re-erected in Arizona
• Redwood National Park is created in California
• The Beatles released the White Album
• The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is dedicated
• Boeing 747 made its maiden flight
• NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission
• Air bags are invented
• The emergency 9-1-1 telephone service is started in the U.S.
• The first Big Mac goes on sale at McDonald’s for 49 cents
• Richard Nixon wins the presidential election

1968 CSU Facts

• The size of Fort Collins was roughly 40,000 people
• William E. Morgan is president
• The CSU Environmental Learning Center opened
• The number of students for the fall semester (including undergraduates and graduates) was 14,530
• Norman Mailer visited campus
• Hughes Stadium opened
• Simon and Garfunkel visited campus
• The Colorado Democratic Convention held in Moby Gym; Sen. Eugene McCarthy spoke
• The largest college at CSU was Humanities and Social Sciences with 4,961 students
• The largest major was sociology with 524 students
• The smallest college at CSU was agriculture with 787 students
• The smallest majors were Music Education, Piano and Voice, each with only one student
• There were three bands at CSU, all under the direction of Otto Werner: Marching Band (150 members), Pep Band (45 members), and Symphonic Band (95 members)