"If you're gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band?"

We doubt super country group Alabama would mind if we revised the lyrics of one of their hit songs to, "gotta have saxophones, drums, trombones, tubas, a baton twirler and many more in the band." And the the University of Montana Grizzly football team just gotta have their band, fiddle or not.

There was some criticism, valid or otherwise, that the UM Marching Band played second fiddle at the Brawl of the Wild football game against Montana State on November 18 at Washington-Grizzly Stadium here in Missoula. If something good came out of that whole misunderstanding, it was heightened awareness and appreciation for what those talented and hard-working musicians contribute. And they do so regardless of how goofy the weather is.

Montana Grizzlies
Image courtesy of U of Montana Marching Band


UM News Service tells us that today (Tuesday), the University launched an online fundraising campaign to send the Grizzly Marching Band to the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship in Frisco, Texas. The second-ranked Griz will battle top-ranked and defending national champion South Dakota State on Sunday, January 7.

A buddy of mine, and Grizzly Marching Band Director Kevin Griggs, was quoted as saying, “The Grizzly Marching Band is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform on the national stage. The NCAA does not allocate any resources for marching band travel. The University has committed key support to cover numerous costs, but we know there are thousands of supporters of the Grizzly Marching Band across the country who want to be part of the movement to get the band to Texas.”

The key support from UM that Kevin is referring to still leaves a gap in needed funds of   $200,000 to send the band to Texas. It is estimated to cost nearly $2,000 per student to send over 100 band members to the national championship game (air travel, bus rentals, hotel accommodations and meals).


In addition to performances during the football game, the Grizzly Marching Band will also perform at Griz Fest, the Saturday night pregame party hosted at the stadium in Frisco. The band will also play during the UM Alumni Association tailgate gathering prior to the game.

Those who attend Griz home football games do not need to be reminded of the hundreds of hours those students have invested to ensure Washington-Grizzly Stadium has the best game-day atmosphere in the nation. They see it every home Saturday.

If the music moves you to contribute, the fundraiser page is here. Something tells me that Griz Nation is going to knock this one out of the park.

Good luck, UM Marching Band! And thanks for everything!

11 Montana Bumper Stickers You'll Want to Put on Your Car

Gallery Credit: Ashley

21 Unique Courses at the University of Montana

Here are 21 unique courses that I bet you didn't know were offered at the University of Montana.

Gallery Credit: Nick Chrestenson


More From 94.9 KYSS FM