The Yale Precision Marching Band may want to brush up on “Hail to the Chief” in advance of George H.W. Bush’s ’48 visit to Mory’s on Dec. 14.
The 41st president of the United States will descend on New Haven next Friday to receive the Mory’s Cup award, presented annually to “the individual judged to have been of conspicuous service to Yale,” Mory’s manager James Shumway said Tuesday night. Bush will receive the honor at a dinner at Mory’s featuring the YPMB.
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YMPB manager Chris Young ’09 said he learned of the gig from Shumway about a month ago.
“My jaw dropped, and I fell on my knees,” Young said. “He said, ‘Would you guys be interested in doing this?’ I was like, ‘Yes! Duh!’ ”
Young said 35 members of the band will provide a 10-minute musical conclusion to the “cocktail hour or some kind of mingling” at 6:55 p.m., after which the former president and a select group of guests will move upstairs for a private dinner.
Young is a staff photographer for the News.
Shumway said he could not yet comment on any of the other attendees. Mory’s is still waiting on some RSVPs, but the crowd will not exceed 175 because of space constraints, he said. Mory’s will be closed to the other members for the evening.
Bush, who invited the YPMB to march in his 1989 inauguration parade, has always been a fan of the band.
“Bush loves Yale, and he’s really big into Yale traditions, which is something that we kind of personify in a sense,” Young said. “I think we remind him of the good ol’ days — we play ‘Bulldog,’ we play [‘Down The Field’], and it makes him happy.”
In addition to those classic football anthems, drum major Dave DeAngelis ’08 said, the band hopes to play “a couple of the greatest hits of the YPMB.”
“I am incredibly excited for this unbelievably cool event that we get to be a part of,” he said.
The band members who play that evening will be subject to background checks conducted by the Secret Service, Young said. The 35 participants will be chosen based on instrumentation, seniority and attendance, Young said in an e-mail announcing the gig to band members.
“We should all get to meet him,” Young said. “It should be fun.”
Past recipients of the Mory’s Cup have included University President Richard Levin and Chief Investment Officer David Swensen.