U of Michigan Marching Band Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Female Inclusion

U of Michigan Marching Band Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Female Inclusion

On Sept 24, the University of Michigan Marching Band took the field to celebrate their 125th season and 50 years of female inclusion in the UMich Band

Sep 26, 2022 by Natalie Shelton
U of Michigan Marching Band Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Female Inclusion

This past weekend, the University of Michigan Marching Band had a lot to celebrate.

Not only is it the program's historic 125th season, but they also celebrated another meaningful milestone: 50 years of female inclusion in the UMich Marching Band. The band, along with their alumni band, took the field this past weekend in a performance of their show titled "About Damn Time." The musical selections for the show included:

  • About Damn Time by Lizzo
  • Dog Days Are Over by Florence + the Machine
  • Michigan Traditionals with the University of Michigan Band Alumni Association 

Here's how the UMich Band announced their show on social media:

"Presenting the Marching Men of Michigan." These words echoed throughout the Big House until 1972, when—after the passing of Title IX—women were admitted to the ranks of the MMB. Now, the MMB is celebrating the 50th anniversary of female inclusion, female leadership, and female excellence—and it's "About Damn Time." We are excited to take the field with our Alumni Band for our historic 125th season and celebrate the last 50 years.

The MMB would like to thank Anne ('76) E. Missavage, MD for her support of this halftime performance in honor of the 50th anniversary of women in the Michigan Marching Band.

We caught up with Lindsey Schueller who wrote the drill for this past weekend's show, and inquired about the drill, what Lindsey hopes UMich band members and fans get out of the show, and why someone who is not a Michigan alumna took on the drill writing job.

Flo: Please give a brief introduction as to who you are and your involvement with band/drum corps over the years.

Lindsey: I'm Lindsey Schueller. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but now I live in Atlanta and do visual design full time. I started marching drum corps during high school, which led to two years at Blue Stars, two years at Bluecoats, and 2 years at Carolina Crown. During those years played cymbals with Genesis Percussion and three seasons with Rhythm X. While completing my last seasons of marching, I also started writing drill for marching bands and indoor drumlines in the Grand Rapids area. In 2014 I began teaching Legends Drum Corps, and additionally started writing the drill in 2015. Most recently I have been the visual designer for Troopers Drum Corps who just appeared in DCI Finals for the first time in 12 years. I now teach, consult, and design for many marching ensembles of all types across the US.

Flo: Describe how you got the job of writing the drill for this show.

Lindsey: I was contacted by one of the directors of the Michigan Marching band off a recommendation from a director from a university in Georgia I had started writing for last fall. After some phone calls with me, it seemed like it was going to be a good match and we moved forward from there.

Flo: Did you go to the University of Michigan? If you did, how does it feel to be an alumna of the school and write the drill for this historic show? If you did not, what prompted you to want to be part of the U of M family for this project? 

Lindsey: For undergrad I went to Central Michigan University and I'm actually part of a family from Lansing who are avid Michigan State fans. However! Marching band is such a close knit community that often transcends rivalries. After hearing of the plans for the homecoming show, I knew it was going to be something special for the community to commemorate and would be meaningful to everyone who sees it. I was simply honored to be part of something special.

Flo: How did you honor the milestone of 50 years in the Michigan Marching Band through your drill? What sets/"pictures" can audience members look forward to seeing on the field?

Lindsey: 50 years of women in the MMB is celebrated musically with Lizzo's "About Damn Time." Visually this is represented by the 50th logo as the opening set and a script Title IX set. Title IX was passed in 1972 and dealt with the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs and activities.

Flo: How do you hope the women and female-identifying members of the U of M marching band connect with the show?

Lindsey: I hope people of all genders in the MMB can realize the importance of this anniversary and use that to connect with the show. It was humbling for me to recognize that my experience, job, friends, and life path would have been drastically different had I not been allowed in marching band. That would have had nothing to do with me as a person, my skills, work ethic, or attitude, which to me seem to be the most important attributes in a marching band member. 

Flo: What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

Lindsey: I hope the audience recognizes the importance of the anniversary and how that shaped the Michigan Marching Band, all marching bands, and all educationally related programs. I also hope the audience uses the show as a reminder to reflect on ways we can all improve to be more loving and inclusive towards everyone. 

Watch the full performance of 'About Damn Time'

About the University of Michigan Marching Band: Under the direction of Drs. Pasquale and Frey, the Michigan Marching Band strives to create a relevant presence in today’s modern world. Using new technologies, innovative show concepts, and a willingness to take risks, the band continues to make headlines and set trends.

As the Michigan Marching Band continues into the future, one thing will always be present: the spirit, drive, and daily commitment to excellence exhibited by the fine students of this organization. It is their passion, intelligence, leadership, and belief in the University of Michigan that maintain the strength and longevity of one of the greatest traditions in the country, the Michigan Marching Band.