One of the biggest and certainly loudest gameday traditions at Michigan is a performance by the Michigan Marching Band.
On Sunday, the band celebrated its 120th birthday.
— Michigan Alumni (@michiganalumni) November 13, 2016
According to a blurb from The University Record for faculty and staff taken from the band’s website, the band held its first meeting on Nov. 13, 1896.
“The Michigan Marching Band began in the fall of 1896 when a 17-year-old from Ann Arbor, Harry dePont, invited musicians on campus to form a band for the university. The idea was not a new one — in previous years, there had been several attempts to start up a band but all had failed due to lack of support,” a page on the band’s website said.
On Nov. 13, 1896, almost 30 musicians gathered at Harris Hall and began to play at small functions, including baseball and track meets throughout the first two years of its existence.
Its first performance on a football field came in 1898 “when the presence of the band at the games had become an indispensable part of the Michigan tradition.”
“The Victors March” was invented by student Louis Elbel in 1898 as well, and ever since, the song and the band has been a feature at almost every important Michigan event.