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University at Buffalo Libraries

Digital Collections

Marching Band Collection

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Musical organizations at the University of Buffalo date to 1898 with the organization of the Mandolin and Glee Club. After World War II, a student organized a band that would be the predecessor to the Marching Band. In 1956 Dr. Robert Mols replaced former band director John Krestic as the Director of Concert and Marching Bands. University President Clifford Furnas named Frank J. Cipolla as Director of Bands in 1961 and the Marching Band became known as “Pride of the East.” The survival of the Marching Band was associated with the existence of UB Football, and when football dropped from the Division IA league in 1971, funding for the Marching Band was cut. The football team entered Division III in 1981 and the UB Pep Band was organized shortly thereafter. When UB football returned to Division IA, the Marching Band was formed again and named “Thunder of the East.”

This collection chronicles the history of the UB Marching Band and Pep Band from 1950 to present. The collection features photographs, programs, marching band memorabilia and instrumental accessories.