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UMN marching band indoor performances return to Northrop

The marching band performed highlights from their outdoor halftime shows on the indoor Northrop stage on Saturday and Sunday.
Image by CJ Bonk
The University of Minnesota Marching Band performs at Northrop Auditorium, Saturday, Nov. 5.

The marching band returned to Northrop for their 61st annual marching band indoor concert, which included an evening concert on Saturday and a Sunday matinee.

Although the concert series occurs every year, the process behind converting the outdoor music act for an indoor venue remains an act of ingenuity.

Kristen Brogdon, Northrop’s director of programing, said the concerts are a compilation of the band’s favorite songs from the year.

“The marching band has a different halftime show for every single game that they do, and it’s an amazing amount of music,” Brogdon said. “When they do their indoor concerts, they select their favorites and the fan favorites from all those halftime shows.”

Betsy McCann, one of the marching band’s two directors, described the concerts as a different way to experience the band and their music.

“They are a great way to see the band up close,” McCann said. “Most of our fans see us at football games, and it’s fun, and it’s obviously part of being a marching band because we’re doing all of the marching out on the field, but the audience is so far removed from us that they don’t get a very good sense of who we are.”

In addition to the full band’s performances, audience members also experienced watching the color guard and drumline perform special feature songs, according to McCann.

When performing indoors, the band’s musicians are able to create more of a dynamic performance by using volume in ways they cannot on the field.

“Out on the football field, you can hear instruments that are naturally louder better, and naturally quieter instruments are harder to hear, but when we’re inside, you can actually hear all the instruments much better,” McCann said.

Nathaniel Nelson, a third-year alto saxophone player in the marching band, said the concerts are more engaging than they may appear at first glance.

“I think it’s more interesting than you think it would be to have a marching band marching through the aisles and stuff,” Nelson said. “We are different from a concert band because there’s more going on on stage.”

Nelson and McCann said these concerts are the only performances they have where the band is central to the event.

“It’s great for us to have something that is really truly ours. We love playing at the football games, and we love being a part of that atmosphere, but we know that the crowd is, for the most part, there for football,” McCann said.

Nelson said the indoor concert is one of his favorite marching band events.

“Northrop is big, and it’s usually pretty full,” Nelson said. “It means a lot that so many people are coming to see the band.”

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