The Bruin Marching Band Timeline
1925 - The UCLA Band begins as a 50-piece ROTC unit under the direction of W.G. Powell. An informal student-run pep band, directed by Joe Reger '28, also exists to play at various events.
1927 - The Pep Band becomes known as the University Band and was officially recognized as a campus activity by the Student Council.
1928 - Student Presidential candidate Piper pledged himself to the task of getting uniforms and a salaried director for the band. He wins the presidency and with unanimous support of the Student Council, funds are voted to cover the expense of uniforms and retention of a musical director. The first director is Ben Laietsky who was formerly a member of John Philip Sousa's band. Under Laietsky's direction, the UCLA Band not only plays at football games, but also welcomes Sousa on his last visit to Los Angeles. John Vaughn serves as the Band's first Drum Major.
"Southern Campus," the school's yearbook, wrote extensively about the newly-uniformed band:
"The band was at last a reality...Against the green of playing field, the band made an effective picture in their trim uniforms of blue and gold. As they marched down the length of the Coliseum in perfect step to the martial swing of the blaring music the entire rooting section rose with a triumphant shout. For five years this moment had been awaited. It was more than a band that was playing; it was five years of effort capped with success..."
Members of the band form the Kappa Theta Psi fraternity, which, in 1929, becomes Psi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi when they petition with the national organizaiton.
1931 - The Marching Band grows to 60 members and travels by boat to play at the Stanford football game. The Concert Band is formed to offer more musical activities during the spring semester.
1934 - Following a decline in membership, the Band goes on strike in an effort to recruit new members, hire a director and get course credit for band members. The ploy, guided by Band Manager Barry Bertram, is a success with membership increasing to 67 and the hiring of Leroy Allen as Director. Later that season, the Band travels by train to the Cal game.
1939 - Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Casebier serves as Drum Major and Band Mascot.
1941 - The band is chosen as the best band in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Women join the Marching Band for the first time as drum majorettes.
1942 - Through the war years, the membership of the Band drops to as low as 32 at the beginning of the 1942 season, but additional band members are recruited from University High School and Santa Monica High School, and women begin to fill in more of the ranks. By the 1943 Rose Bowl appearance, the Band has grown to 75 members.
1952 - Dr. Clarence Sawhill leaves his job at USC to become the Director of Bands at UCLA. The Band makes 56 appearances - including football games, basketball game, pep rallies, and concerts. Under Sawhill's direction the Band program is expanded to include a 100-piece Concert 80-piece Symphonic Wind Ensemble, a 144-piece Marching Band, and a 60-piece Varsity Band.
1967 - The UCLA Band is featured, along with several other college bands, in a Paramount Studios film documentary entitled "Halftime U.S.A."
1968 - The Marching Band begins using "The Solid Gold Sound" in its publicity materials.
1969 - The Marching Band performs at the Academy Awards "Oscar" presentations, the first college marching band to do so. After being introduced by Ingrid Bergman and Sidney Poitier, the Band, along with dancer Paula Kelly, perform the theme song for the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".
1970 - The Wind Ensemble goes on tour to Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico.
1971 - The UCLA Jazz Ensemble begins as a credit course under the direction of Gary Gray.
1973 - Bandswomen petition the national organization of Tau Beta Sigma and are installed as the Epsilon Kappa chapter. Epsilon Kappa's charter members are Carrie Card, Rita Jensen, Jean Lake, Cynthia Morse, and Gayle von Mizener.
1976 - The Marching Band performs at two bowl games - the Rose Bowl in January and the Liberty Bowl in December of the following football season.
1980 - One hundred and forty-four members of the Marching Band perform at the Mirage Bowl in Tokyo, Japan.
1981 - The Band is heard playing Sousa's "Washington Post March" at the end of Dan Fogelberg's recording of "Leader of the Band" on the album "The Innocent Age".
1982 - Gordon Henderson is appointed Director of the Marching and Varsity Band.
1985 - Dr. Thomas Lee is appointed Director of Bands.
1988 - In January, the UCLA Marching Band Percussion Section wins first place at the Spartan Marching Percussion Festival in Chicago, Illinois, defeating drumlines from the University of Illinois, the University of Kentucky and several others.
1991 - The Wind Ensemble premieres a musical montage on the CBS special "1991 - A Year to Remember", and receives one of television's prestigious Emmy nominations.
1992 - The Wind Ensemble premiere's Paul Reale's "Columbus Concerto" at the XIV International Forum of New Music in Mexico City.
1993 - The UCLA Bruin Marching Band receives the Sudler Trophy from the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
1997 - The Solid Gold Sound Club is formed and begins its fundraising efforts with the Football Travel Fund. The first trip funded by the Club is the 1997 UCLA at Texas game that UCLA wins 66 to 3!
1999 - The UCLA Bruin Marching Band performs its famous "Downfall of Troy" show along with the University of Washington Husky Marching Band at the UCLA vs. UW football game at the Rose Bowl. See photos of the performance in the Photo Album section.
2000 - At the Sixth Biennial Band Alumni Reunion, 90-year old John Vaughn, the Band's first Drum Major in 1928, is introduced to the Rose Bowl audience.
2002 - In honor of the 50th anniversary of Clarence Sawhill's arrival at UCLA, the 30th anniversary of his retirement, and the 20th anniversary of his death, the Clarence Sawhill Memorial Band Fund becomes endowed with over $50,000 in contributions from band alumni, band performances, and a $10,000 gift from Disney. Band Alumnus Ron Logan served as Honorary Chairman of the fundraising campaign. The successful conclusion of the campaign was announced at the UCLA Wind Ensemble's Spring Concert in Royce Hall.
2008 - Fifty members of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band and Dance Team make a return trip to Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year Parade.
2010 - Fourteen members of the UCLA Drumline travel to Nagoya, Japan, to perform at the 27th Annual Ekitopia Festival Parade.
Dr. Jennifer Judkins, who has served as Assistant Director of the Bruin Marching Band since 1980, becomes a full time Adjunct Professor in Department of Music and takes on new duties in the graduate program. Keith Kupper, who graduated in 2010 after serving as Drum Major for three years, is appointed as the new Assistant Director.
2011 - The Bruin Marching Band appears in two nationally televised commercials, one for McDonald's and the other for Honda.
2013 - On May 3rd, fifty-four members of the Bruin Marching Band play "Satisfaction" to open the Rolling Stones "50 & Counting" Tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Band's performance is favorably reviewed in media all over the world and its version of "Satisfaction" is called "remarkably funky" by Rolling Stone Magazine!