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Who We Are


The Marquette Band began with the opening of Marquette College in 1881.  The band started out as a small pep group playing at football games and university convocations in the early years. It expanded to a 60-piece band in the 1920’s when Marquette University had a College of Music, which no longer exists.  William Geishecker directed the band from 1924 until he retired in 1983, when Dr. Nicholas Contorno took over.  Dr. Contorno retired after the 2005-2006 school year. Otis French directed the band program for one year during the 2006-2007 school year. In fall 2007, Dr. Erik Janners was appointed Director of Music and University Bands. The instrumental music staff was expanded in 2009 with the addition of Dr. Jason Ladd, Assistant Director of Instrumental Music.

Winter Concert Dec. 2006


The band has grown along with the University.  Today, the Marquette Band program is one of the most visible and most requested organizations on campus.  The current University Bands program consists of two concert organizations - the Wind Ensemble, our top wind group, and the Symphonic Band, a group that is open to all Marquette students. The Jazz Bands are also a part of our program, and currently there are two full big bands that perform several concerts throughout the year. Finally, the Marquette Pep Band performs at men’s and women’s basketball home and tournament games, as well as numerous other sports and campus events. The current enrollment within the band program is close to 200 students!

The bands are made up of students from every major across campus, all of whom have chosen to keep music as a part of their lives and continue to perform at the collegiate level. All ensembles may be taken for one academic credit per semester, or for 0 credits it the student is already carrying a full credit load.

Pepband Wisconsin game 12, 2006


The Marquette Pep Band has been a staple at basketball games for years.  A college basketball game is not complete without the Pep Band, and Marquette is no exception.  Students and alumni sing along when the band plays Marquette’s fight song “Ring Out Ahoya” and other favorites. In order to be eligible to play in the Marquette Pep Bands, students must be a member of one of our concert band organizations - either the Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band.




Last Updated: June 24, 2013