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Band deserves better

| Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I am disappointed, but not surprised, to read about the budget cuts to the Notre Dame Marching Band. Notre Dame clearly does not support their band like other universities, as Kenneth Dye, director of the band, pointed out. I witnessed this lack of respect first hand as a band member.

Worst seats in the stadium. Actually, they’re not really seats at all. Stuck on field level in the corner of the end zone, it’s impossible to see the game beyond the 15-yard line. With over 80,000 seats in the stadium, is there no room for 400 students?

No stipend for band members. Most university bands offer a modest stipend or scholarship for their considerable services. Louisiana State, for example, offers a $640 music scholarship for the semester. If Louisiana State University can afford to fund their band, why can’t Notre Dame? The measly $25 gift certificate offered by the athletic department is an insult to every band member.

Lack of travel opportunities. Most university bands receive more travel opportunities than the Notre Dame band.

Of course, no one is forced to participate in the band. Notre Dame treats its band the way it does because it can get away with it. Personally, I found the lack of respect distasteful and left the band after one year. At least then, I got to see the games.

Sam Thomas


class of ’95

Sept. 26