From the HMB Director

Taking the show on the road to Rutgers and the Big Apple

When I found out a few years ago that the Huskies were scheduled to open the 2017 season at Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, I immediately began hoping that we could take a contingent of the band and cheer squad to the game and to neighboring New York City. It isn’t often that the Husky football team plays an East Coast opponent during the regular season. It is nearly unheard-of to see the Dawgs open the season on the road against a team from the “right coast.”

The band is funded by the UW Department of Athletics to attend most conference games, but not contests outside of the Pac-12. As the school year drew to a close, it did not look like a trip was in the cards, and that’s what I told the students as they went home for the summer.

However, due to the enormous generosity of many of you, and the success of the August Sneak Preview, we were indeed able to take a pep band and a contingent of the cheer squad to root the team to their first win of the season — and take the band into New York City for the first time in Husky Band history!

The day before the game, the band and cheer spent most of the day in Manhattan, where we joined the football team on a visit to Ground Zero and toured the extremely moving 9/11 Museum. We even got a group picture in Times Square that night! Gameday morning was equally memorable, as we took the group to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. A number of students shared that their relatives had first set foot on American soil by way of Ellis Island. Of course the exclamation point on the trip was being able to perform for the Husky faithful both before and during the game.

Senior HMB member and trombone co-section leader, Carter Johnson, had this to say about the trip: “The Rutgers away trip was an amazing opportunity to cheer the team on at a really unique venue. While there was definitely less purple than we’re used to back home, it was great to see local Huskies that came to the game as well as the die-hard fans that made the journey with us. I had never been to New York City either so getting to experience the sights there with the band was a once-in-a-lifetime chance!”

On behalf of the students and staff who got to enjoy this incredible opportunity through the generosity of so many of you, we cannot begin to thank you enough!