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Penn State Blue Band To Bring Back Annual Blue Bandorama Concert

The Penn State Blue Band will hold its Blue Bandorama event for the first time in three years at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 8, in the Bryce Jordan Center.

This year, the event makes a noteworthy return to the Bryce Jordan Center and will include a set list of the band’s gameday hits that are recognizable to any Penn Stater. Tickets are available online for a rate of $25 and can also be purchased at the door of the event for $35 starting at 3 p.m. on concert day. Students can also purchase tickets in a special deal for $10 thanks to their prepaid student fee.

Led by current director Dr. Gregory Drane, the Blue Band has served as the sound of Dear Old State since its creation in 1899, evolving alongside the university into today’s marching machine valuing pride, tradition, and excellence.

“We are so excited to ‘raise the song’ in the Bryce Jordan Center again,” Drane said. “We love providing the soundtrack to the football season to our Blue Band family members. It’s certainly an event we love to put on as an organization and one you don’t want to miss.”

With humble beginnings as a Cadet Band, the Blue Band was first formed by George Deike, a bugler in the Spanish-American war. When a commandant noticed Deike’s instrument hanging on the wall during a dorm inspection, Deike was quickly commissioned to begin a Cadet Band, and he obliged, recruiting other musicians to join the cause. 

From the initial six-person group, the Blue Band was born, with other noteworthy moments including the appointment of the first Blue Band director in 1914, Wilfred Otto “Tommy” Thompson, and the first inclusion of female musicians in the band in 1943. 

However, this band was not always quite so blue, as the official term “Blue Band” was not used until 1923 when a uniform shipping issue would designate a small section of the group as the first-ever “Blue Band.” The name would stick for the next century and the uniforms would soon be adapted to match.

In 1963, the Blue Band uniforms were updated to include white gloves, spats, and a hat — all accompanied by a plastic overlap to protect from weather. Here, the iconic representatives of Penn State values would transform into what fans across the world know today, and of course, just as prideful as the original Cadet Band back in 1899.

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About the Author

Lizzie Palmieri

Lizzie is a junior majoring in marketing and psychology from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Ask her about Disney World, Diet Pepsi, or dancing on the Jumbotron at Beaver Stadium. When not causing general trouble, Lizzie enjoys playing golf, performing in the theatre, and being the CEO of reorganizing the fridge. Her favorite thing to do is hang out with her sassy sidekick, 18-year-old Italian Greyhound, Macaroni. Follow her on Twitter @lizziepalmieri if your deepest desire is bestie vibes only.

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