CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
UI alumni band gathers for Homecoming Weekend
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- As the oldest returning member of the University
of Iowa Alumni Band, 74-year-old Joe Carroll says he won't have any problems
marching in Friday's Homecoming Parade, which covers eight blocks of downtown
"I can still march the entire route," said Carroll, a Spencer
resident who plays the trombone. "I walk every day to keep in shape."
Carroll is one of 210 Alumni Band members who will gather for their
26th annual performance during Homecoming Weekend Oct. 9-10. After the
parade the band will break into smaller groups to visit downtown bars filled
with Hawkeye fans for Saturday's game against Northwestern. On Saturday
morning they meet at 7 a.m. to practice and have brunch at 9 a.m. in the
UI Recreation Building.
After marching into Kinnick Stadium before the game, the Alumni Band
will sit in the North end zone with the UI Marching Band, and both bands
will perform the "Iowa Fight Song" at the conclusion of the halftime
Carroll and other band members often form small groups to play the "Iowa
Fight Song" and "In Heaven There is No Beer" at tailgate
parties before Iowa games. "I'll play until my lip wears out,"
But his favorite is the halftime show. "The nice thing about playing
during halftime with 500 people is that you can't hear my mistakes. "
A 1949 UI graduate, Carroll joined the Alumni Band five years ago when
he retired after a long career as a baker. He played in the UI Symphony
under conductor Philip Greeley Clapp in 1942-43, and in 1948, after serving
in World War II.
Thomas L. Davis, UI emeritus professor of music, has directed the Alumni
Band on Homecoming Weekend for 23 of its 26 years. He says in its first
year, the 16 alumni band members who attended fit on the back of a flat
bed truck for the parade
Davis describes the Alumni Band as "organized chaos that's a lot
of fun." There is some practice time before the parade and game-day
performances, but band members also enjoy the social experience, having
a chance to meet and talk, he said.