HISTORY OF THE BLUGOLD MARCHING BAND

Beginnings
The University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire has fielded a marching band for more than 50 years.  It was organized and first directed by Robert Gantner, the man for whom Gantner Concert Hall is named.  In the beginning the "College Band" served as a marching band in the fall and converted to a concert band in the winter.  In 1968 the institution began granting music degrees and all instrumental music majors were required to participate in the "College Band."  In the early 1970's the marching band, under the direction of Donald George grew to approximately 120 members. 

Decline
Unfortunately, the band hit tough times during the 1990's.   A lack of interest and lack of adequate funding caused the numbers to decline.  When the quality of the program no longer reflected the ideals of the Music Department the participation requirement for music majors was reduced, causing the numbers to further decline.  When the band hit its lowest point in the late 1990s a proposal to eliminate the marching band almost succeeded.  By 2000 the size of the marching band had fallen to 60 members, 59 of whom were music education majors, fulfilling their remaining degree requirement.







BMB Directors

Randal C. Dickerson, 2000 - present
Robert Bayless, 1999
Todd Fiegel, 1994 - 1998
Donald S. George, 1968 - 1993
Joseph Casey, 1964 - 1967
Dean Kool, 1963
Leo Christy, - 1962 
Robert Gantner, founder
Resurgence
Since that time the BMB has experienced a rebirth that has brought its size and quality to a new high level.  The rebirth which began slowly in 2000, turned into a revolution in 2003, and continues in 2015.  In these years the band has (1) increased in size by 500%, (2) updated its appearance with new uniform accessories,  (3) added new on-field components (dancers) and  (4) increased its performance schedule to include several exhibitions each year.  As the enthusiasm of the group increased, so did the number of non-music majors.  From one non-music major in 2000 to more than 200 non-music majors in 2014, non-majors now outnumber majors. The current enrollment is 300+ members.  The BMB's energetic style is popular with audiences so the BMB travels and performs often.   

BMB Drum Majors


2016 - Catherine, Edgington, Devon Lawrence, David Lofy, Andrew Nicholson
2015 - Devon Lawrence, David Lofy, Kara Metzger
2014 - Nick Hansberry, David Lofy, Kara Metzger
2013 - Nick Hansberry, Sean Conway, Ross Christianson
2012 - Nick Hansberry, Bryan Kujawa, Bret Van Nuland
2011 - Matt Winarski. Gabe Stejskal, Bret Van Nuland
2010 - Bret Van Nuland, Stephanie Berkopec, Matt Winarski
2009 - Mike Renneke, Bret Van Nuland, Stephanie Berkopec
2008 - Mike Renneke, Michelle Kochan, Brad March
2007 - Jacob Boyle, Mike Renneke, & Michelle Kochan
2006 - Jacob Boyle, Phil Snyder, & Phil Salwasser
2005 - Tim Baumann & Theresa Soules
2004 - Tim Baumann & Theresa Soules
2003 - Branden Atherton
2002 - Branden Atherton
2001 - Lindsey Andress & David Snyder
2000 - Jill Johnson & Jennie Jacobson

Bands of America 2014, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis IN

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BMB
2017