May 22, 2017

Fond Family Memories of the SMB Inspires Giving


Mary Lee Campbell attended MSU in the late 1960s. But one of her fondest memories of campus happened long before she went to college, and was instilled by her father’s love of the MSU Spartan Marching Band.

Throughout her childhood, Campbell traveled from her home in Midland, Mich., with her mother and father, Agatha and Harper Lee Camp, and brother to attend MSU football games. Arriving in East Lansing, they would eat lunch at the MSU Union cafeteria, watch the MSU band warm up, and follow the band as it marched into Spartan Stadium.

“To this day, I stand by Sparty and watch the band march in whenever I go to a game,” says Campbell. “Doing something for the MSU Spartan Marching Band was the first thing that came to mind when my father passed away. He loved it so.” In early 2014, Campbell, her husband John Campbell, and her brother Dr. Herbert Camp established the Harper L. Camp Scholarship for the Spartan Marching Band.

The scholarship, she says, is a tribute to her late father and his love of music and marching bands. Harper was an avid supporter of MSU, the Spartan Marching Band, and a founding member of the John A. Hannah Society at MSU. He was also an alum of the Spartan Marching Band, having played in the then-military style band before graduating with his degree in chemical engineering in 1939.

The scholarship, explains Campbell, is open to any member of the Spartan Marching Band, with a strong preference for students from Midland County, since her father was a lifelong resident of Midland. The scholarship will be awarded each academic year, and can be renewed based on need. Spartan Marching Band member and criminal justice major Stephanie Ann Janowiak from Tawas, Mich., is the first recipient of the new scholarship.

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The Art of the March: Cues from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”


The College of Music was at the center of an uncanny union of high art, athletics and mass entertainment as the Spartan Marching Band performed its most complex, largest half-time show ever at Spartan Stadium in mid-November.

For 12 minutes, Spartan Stadium became an amazing display of colors, lights and sounds under the direction of Jennifer Wen Ma—the New York- and Beijing-based artist who led the creative team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.

Ma’s multimedia half-time show, “The Art of the March: Cues from Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’” featured the 300-member Spartan Marching Band, 300 additional performers, and the ‘artwork’ of 1,500 audience members whose ‘card stunts’ formed paintings that displayed on the stadium’s Jumbotron.

While the show engaged the entire MSU community, the show particularly resonated with international students, including Luyi Han—the first student from China to be part of MSU’s Marching Band. A fifth-year student studying supply chain management, the trombonist from Shanghai says it’s special to be the first Chinese band member, but that being in the band is by far, the greater honor. “This event was a big touch for me culturally, both because I’m a Chinese international student and it’s the last big show I did with the band,” says Han. “MSU is becoming so globally recognized and doing such a great job with international students. The half-time show was a terrific platform to celebrate and fuse all the different cultures we have here.”

Director of the Spartan Marching Band John Madden remarked that Jennifer Wen Ma worked extensively with band members and visual staff to create an exciting, complex event that engaged audience in an entirely new way.

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MSU Alumnus Leads Walled Lake Central Marching Band in Macy’s Day Parade


A marching band directed by an alumnus of the MSU College of Music was one of just six high school bands selected to march in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. David Rogers (B.A. ’95, M.A. ’02) led the Walled Lake Central High School band in the fabled parade that is seen by more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million TV viewers.

The 192-member Viking Marching Band was selected from 175 applicants and was the only band from Michigan. “The Macy’s parade is one of the biggies like the Rose Parade,” Rogers says. “It was the experience of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder of the community for helping us get there and for our kids to rising to the occasion.”

Rogers says he was equally proud to be representing the high school as well as the entire state of Michigan. He shouted out to his alma mater, citing MSU Director of Spartan Marching Band John Madden, retired Professor Emeritus and retired Director of MSU Bands John Whitwell, and former faculty member and Associate Professor of Horn Janine Gaboury as major forces who helped shape his career.

“Without the kind of support and pushing and faith placed in me by MSU, I don’t know where I’d be today,” says Rogers. “MSU was the cornerstone of my growth and is a big part of who I am.” Rogers holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from MSU where he studied music education and wind conducting, marched in the Spartan Marching Band, and served as a graduate assistant to the University bands.

He has been the director of bands at Walled Lake Central High School since 1995, and took a one-year leave in 2000 to pursue his master’s degree in music wind conducting from MSU. Rogers oversees the entire Walled Lake Central High School band program, including three concert bands, a jazz ensemble, chamber ensembles, two winter drumlines, two winter guards, and the Viking Marching Band.

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Next Game – October 17 – MSU vs. Michigan (Away)

msu vs. cmu

Visit the official Michigan State Athletics site for the latest game day info:

Alumni raise funds to provide jackets for new SMB members

SMB Band Jacket

When Greg Pell attended Michigan State University in the 1960s, he paid his way through college by working one or more part-time jobs. But after taking care of his tuition and bills, Pell says he had little left for extras — including the jacket that symbolized his membership in the MSU Spartan Marching Band. Today, Pell is on a quest to ensure that no incoming band freshman will ever have to worry about how they will afford their jacket.

It’s a cause that the incoming president of the MSU Alumni Band takes seriously. And it’s evident others do too, based on the response to the fundraising campaign he helped set up through a popular charitable giving mechanism at MSU. “Students earn and deserve that jacket,” Pell says. “Being in the band has always been about history, tradition and a commitment to excellence—something you can feel privileged to have been allowed to be a part of.” Pell is not alone in his thinking.

Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Izzo and his wife Lupe are the principal and lead donors who support the Spartan Marching Band’s effort to provide the coveted band jacket to incoming members. Their generous support over the last four years provided funding to partially or fully cover costs of new members jackets from 2011-2014.

“College marching bands are one of the things that make college athletics unique, and at Michigan State we are fortunate to have one of the very best in the country,” says Tom Izzo. “I’ve always been impressed by the hard work and hours put in by the band members and the pride they take in their performance. As a coach, I can really appreciate their dedication to their craft. So when the opportunity arose to assist them with funding for their jackets, it was really a no-brainer for me.”

See the full article here:

Meet our New Grad Assistants, Brandon Hults and Daniel Kirk

New Grad Assistants_640px

Pictured from left to right: Brandon Hults, Daniel Kirk

Meet our new graduate assistants: Brandon and Daniel! This duo has been a strong addition to our staff and the band has truly enjoyed having them around.

Brandon Hults

  • Hometown? Morehead City, North Carolina
  • Education? Undergrad East Carolina University and Master’s at University of Arkansas
  • Why MSU? I visited campus for the 2013 Conducting Symposium to begin my search of schools for doctoral programs. Dr. Sedatole asked about my future plans that Wednesday, we talked timeline, and he offered me a place in his studio at the end of the week! I was ecstatic, as MSU was at the top of my list. I love everything about the history, people, and music making here, so I was more than happy to become a Spartan.
  • Favorite experience so far? There have been so many great ones so far! If I have to choose, I would have to say that the Freshman Series night is definitely among the top. The definition of “Band Family” comes to life that night. The mentoring, encouragement, and act of simply being present to support new members on the beginning of their journey in the organization is amazing. Singing “Shadows” at the end of the night as one group tops the experience. It is definitely a special tradition, unique to MSU, that only marching Spartans can share as their own.

    Daniel Kirk

  • Hometown? Emporia, Kansas
  • Education? Undergrad at Missouri Western State University and Master’s at Northwestern University
  • Why MSU? I’d love to teach at a school like MSU some day! To learn from Dr. Sedatole in a musical, traditional-filled environment like the one here at MSU is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  • Favorite experience so far? My favorite experience so far was the Freshmen Dress rehearsal at the end of Preseason. Witnessing the support of the veteran band members, the pride exhibited of the newcomers, and camaraderie amongst the band members (new and old!) was a perfect example of a caring band family!
  • 2015 MSU Homecoming Parade – Friday, October 2


    The 2015 MSU Homecoming Parade will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 2015. Online registration for the parade will be available on Monday, August 17, 2015.

    Parade Route: The parade begins at the intersection of Abbot Road and Burcham Drive, travels south on Abbot Road, east on Grand River, south at Collingwood, south on Farm Lane and concludes at the corner of Farm and Shaw lanes.

    For more information about the parade, please visit

    For more information about Alumni Band participation, please contact Jack Nelson at or 517-655-3627. You can ride the flat bed truck or walk alongside. All are welcome!

    Spartan Spectacular: Sunday, November 1 @ 3:00 PM

    Spartan Spectacular

    An annual tradition for the Green and White faithful since 1971, Spartan Spectacular offers an exciting musical experience for the entire family. Held in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall, the program features a surround-sound performance by the Spartan Marching Band and highlights its drumline and colorguard, making for a truly unique musical experience. With additional performances by the MSU Symphony Band, Jazz Octet I, and other top ensembles from the College of Music, you will understand why this concert is called spectacular!

    Generously sponsored by the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.

    Click here to order your tickets now!

    Join Band Fan for 2015

    SMB Band Fan Logo

    You know the excitement of a game day at MSU. Tailgating with family and friends. The pre-game gathering of the Spartan Marching Band at Adams Field. The march to the Stadium with cheering students, fans, and alumni. And week after week, from the first notes of the Fight Song to the last notes of “Shadows,” the band brings unparalleled excellence to performance at the game. The Spartan Marching Band provides the soundtrack for Michigan State Football.

    You can be part of the excitement. As a Band Fan, you’ll be supporting all the activities of the band, from instrument costs and uniforms, to travel expenses and instruction. We’re counting on you. It is only because of the support of friends like you that we can maintain our high level of musical and visual excellence.

    In return for your support, you’ll receive Spartan Fanfare, our electronic newsletter, with inside information about upcoming shows, news from the band, features, and more. You’ll also receive special “perks” reserved just for Band Fans.

    Giving Levels

    Your donation to Band Fan will earn the following benefits. Higher donor levels include the benefits of the preceding lower levels.

    Spat ($50-99)
    Spartan Fanfare eNewsletter
    Invitation to Band Fan Breakfast

    Plume ($100-$249)
    Band Fan Decal

    Director ($250-$499)
    Band Fan Schedule Magnet

    Series ($500-$999)
    Band Fan Lapel Pin

    Inner circle ($1,000+)
    Framed Photo of the Spartan Marching Band
    SMB Band-O-Gram: Inner Circle members receive one free SMB Band-O-Gram during the 2015 football season. A portion of the SMB will perform at an MSU (East Lansing) location of your choice. Information will be included in qualifying members’ packets.

    Section Sponsor ($2,500+)
    New! See below.

    Sponsor your Favorite Section of the SMB!

    Love the Drumline? Son or daughter play mellophone? Trumpet alum? Now you can sponsor your favorite section of the Spartan Marching Band! Your $2,500 gift will have a real impact on the Band, and entitle you to special recognition.

    There are eleven unique sections in the SMB. Your section sponsorship supports the SMB, while recognizing the pride and contributions of your favorite section!

    Sections: Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Trumpets, Mellophones, Trombones, Baritones, Tubas, Drumline, Color Guard, Big Ten Flags, and Drum Majors & Twirlers.

    When you choose to sponsor a section for $2,500, you receive all the perks of the highest level of Band Fan membership (Inner Circle), plus the following special recognition:

  • Adams Field meet and greet with “your” section Professional photo of “your” section
  • Acknowledgement in the Spartan Fanfare electronic newsletter, on the SMB Facebook page, and in the game day program of the last home game
  • Special recognition at the Band Fan Breakfast
  • Two complimentary tickets to the annual Spartan Spectacular

    To secure your section sponsorship, contact Sean Lynch, assistant director of development, at (517) 432-4888 or

    Earn Spartan Fund Benefits

    Your Band Fan membership also counts toward Spartan Fund benefits. Your entire donation directly benefits the SMB. Visit or call (517) 432-4610 for details.

    Gifts made between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 count toward the 2015 Season. These dates were established to match the fiscal year of MSU Intercollegiate Athletics and the Spartan Fund. Gifts received after June 30 apply to the following year. Your entire gift directly benefits the Spartan Marching Band.

    Make Your Donation to the SMB

    To make a secure credit card gift to the SMB on-line, click on the button below. When the page comes up, click on “Donate Now”, and enter your biographical information in the form. Enter the amount you would like to donate, then use category Spartan Marching Band. If your donation is for a section sponsorship ($2,500.00 and above), please indicate that along with the name of the section that you wish to sponsor.

    Gifts can also be mailed to:

    Spartan Marching Band
    College of Music Advancement Office
    Michigan State University
    105 Music Building
    East Lansing, MI 48824-1043

    To learn more about giving to MSU, click on

    Band Fan Breakfast

    All donors receive an invitation to the exclusive Band Fan Breakfast at the Kellogg Center, the morning of the last home game.

    Spartan Spectacular

    A great Spartan tradition, the event features performances by the Spartan Marching Band, the Spartan Drumline, MSU Wind Symphony, as well as jazz and faculty artists from the College of Music. To reserve seats, call the Wharton Center Box Office at 517-432-2000 or visit

  • 2015 Performance Schedule


    Note: for the official football schedule and latest gameday information, please visit

    2015 SMB Performance Schedule (Home and SMB travel games only)

    Date Opponent
    Friday, September 4 at Western Michigan
    Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI
    (SMB travel)
    Saturday, September 12 Oregon
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    Saturday, September 19 Air Force
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    (Alumni Band)
    Sunday, September 20 SMB for KIDS Benefit Concert for Sparrow Hospital
    Home of Tim and Cathy Staudt
    Saturday, September 26 Central Michigan
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    (visiting band)
    Wednesday, September 30 Grand Ledge Invitational
    Grand Ledge High School
    Friday, October 2 Homecoming Parade
    6:00 PM, Downtown East Lansing
    Saturday, October 3 Purdue
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    Saturday, October 17 at Michigan
    Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
    (SMB travel)
    Saturday, October 24 Indiana
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    (visiting band)
    Sunday, November 1 Spartan Spectacular (3:00 PM)
    Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI
    Saturday, November 14 Maryland
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    Saturday, November 21 at Ohio State
    Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
    (SMB Travel)
    Saturday, November 28 Penn State
    Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
    (Band Fan Breakfast)
    Saturday, December 5 Big Ten Championship
    Indianapolis, IN

    For more information, please contact Charlene Wagner.