A rivalry for the ages. Their ultimate showdown on Saturday.
No, I’m not talking about football, I’m talking about the Yale Precision Marching Band versus the Harvard University Band.
As a clarinetist in the YPMB, I can safely say that we have planned the coolest show to ever hit Lamebridge, but I can’t tell you about it. It’s top secret, sorry. I can, however, tell you why you should be so hype for the YPMB to crush the HUB. Plus, we’re lucky enough to have an opening and closing act performed by men running around and wearing lots of padding and helmets.
For those of you wondering whether YPMB is a cult (it is) or if a couch can be used as an instrument (it can), the Yale Precision Marching Band is a student-run performance group that administrators and other sane adults stay as far away from as possible, expect when University President Peter Salovey conducts us at hockey games. We write original shows and make our own props out of anything we can get our hands on or steal from the CEID. All our arrangements are student-written, which means we don’t abide by even a little bit of copyright law; expect us to play such classics as Get Ugly, Don’t Stop Believing, and A Hamilton Medley. (Sorry, this was censored by my drum major.)
We’ve had an impressive season this fall. We have an undefeated record going into The Game. Actually, we’ve had an undefeated record our entire existence, but this season has been particularly successful. We opened with a Pokémon Go show when that app was still topical, hatching a wild Boola and provoking nostalgia from anyone who ever owned a Game Boy. We flabbergasted viewers by committing misdemeanors and felonies on the field — there was a kid napping, a ‘J’ walking and money laundering, not to mention the actual illegal act committed by Lehigh’s band when they almost drove into a bridge. At the Penn game, we were shocked to discover a school that was already named after Benjamin Franklin — so we established a Committee on the Principles of Renaming Franklin College.
By contrast, the HUB has given lackluster performances at best. It’s not their fault that their school has no fun parties, attractive people or hot breakfasts, and I’m sure their morale is very low as a result. Add to that the fact that they have school this Monday, and you can expect one lousy show. Their halftime for The Game is incredibly formulaic, so anticipate jokes about New Haven followed by the band beating up a bulldog (Harvard loves animal cruelty!). HUB Band? More like Spoke Band!
All season, the YPMB has been sharpening our pun game, refining our scatter technique and even rehearsing a little to give Yale the best Game halftime show that it’s ever seen, and that’s saying a lot. In past years, we’ve put on a James Bond-themed show featuring Agent Boola Boola Seven and a Hunger Games-themed show with choreography to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” Each year, we build an Uberprop — think giant death ray — as well as an Unterprop to represent Harvard’s inferior band and university. As I said before, I can’t say anything about what the show will be, but I can let slide a few things that will not be included in it:
A Crimson (because what even is that)
Harambe (because we’re pretty sure Harvard killed him in their quest to destroy all things good in the world)
Handsome Dan XVIII (too smol, too precious)
A symphony, concerto or any other form of legitimate chamber music
Even if this hasn’t been the most informational column, I hope all of you plan on attending the Harvard-Yale game, and I urge you to stay for halftime and support the YPMB as we take on what may be our fiercest competition yet. Or not. And remember, even if Yale football’s losing streak continues, the band always wins.