The band just finished our FTP (fall training program) this last Friday. Training began last weekend on the campus of UC Davis where we woke up at 6:30 AM and went to bed after midnight, spending all day learning the "high step" form and other marching fundamentals unique to the Cal Band (at least on the west coast). Training continued this last week in Berkeley where we finished learning the pregame show and practiced marching up to and playing in the stadium.
Even though I've never been to a Cal football victory in my entire life (btw I've never been to a Cal basketball loss either), I personally had a blast as a member of the band. The fans that were at Memorial last year for the games and also at the Rose Bowl and Stanfurd Stadium were really supportive of our performances, especially last year at homecoming where we received standing ovations for our "Michael Jackson" show.
The band is approximately 200 strong this year again. We returned a lot of oldmen (continuing members) and gained a lot of newmen (new members). Having a lot of oldmen really made fall training go by very smoothly. Pregame was learned really quickly, without too much trouble. The 3rd song that rotates in pregame this year will be Stanfurd Jonah.
The full band plans to perform at 8 different football games, performing 7 different halftime shows. Important performance dates include:
Alumni Band Day - New Mexico State (Sept. 7)
High School Band Day - Washington State (Sept. 28)
Coming out of the tunnel for the first time was an amazing experience, with all the fans cheering and chanting. Coming out of the tunnel every subsequent time is still amazing and wonderful. I personally cannot wait until the start of the season.
The band is definitely recording a new CD this coming December. Also the band was chosen to spend a week touring China this summer. A trip to Europe is also planned for the future, but nothing is definite there yet. It's an exciting time to be in the band.