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Battle of Bands: Maryland Won't Let WVU March on Neutral Field

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Copyright 2013 Charleston Newspapers

Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia)
 
September 18, 2013, Wednesday
 
NEWS; Pg. P1C
 
688 words
 
 
WVU marching band denied;
playing time;
University of Maryland say it's their policy to not allow bands of opposing teams to play on the field
 
JOHN GIBB, DAILY MAIL STAFF
 

West Virginia University fans and students aren't happy with the University of Maryland's decision to deny WVU's marching band a chance to perform on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

M&T Bank Stadium is the home of the Baltimore Ravens and is a neutral location for the two teams.

A post published Monday on the Mountaineer Marching Band's Facebook page read:

"We regretfully announce that the University of Maryland will not allow the WVU Band to perform on the field at the WVU vs. Maryland game on Saturday. Members of the WVU Band will still travel to the game to play in the stands to enthusiastically support the Mountaineer Football team. Thank you for your support!"

After the news broke, hundreds of people spoke out on Facebook and Twitter and were wondering why the University of Maryland would make such a decision.

One Facebook user commented, "Wow. Very upsetting as a WVU alum and a Maryland resident. I am disappointed that the 14 family members going to watch my niece who is on the drum line won't get to see her march on the Raven's field."

Another wrote, "The folks in Oklahoma were gracious enough to share halftime with the Pride. Plus, they stayed in the stands and cheered our band on. Too bad our ACC neighbors don't have as much class."

Representatives from the Maryland Band said they did not make the decision. It was a decision made from the university's athletic department.

After several attempts to reach the University of Maryland's athletic department, a brief statement was provided to the Daily Mail.

It read: "It is our practice at Maryland to only have the Maryland Band perform on the field during our home football games. While the visiting team bands do not perform on the field, we are always pleased to set aside a section of seats within the visiting team section for them and we encourage the visiting team band to attend and perform from their seats for the enjoyment of their team and fans. We are following our standard practice with the West Virginia Band on Saturday and we have set aside seats for them near the field."

Maryland Athletics claim they had communicated this information to WVU band representatives last June to allow plenty of time to plan. However, WVU band representatives say that's not so.

Although the game is being played at a neutral location, Maryland's athletic department will treat the game as if it were played on campus in Byrd Stadium.

"As a home game, our goal is to replicate a similar game production, sound and atmosphere in the stadium for our fans as they experience in Byrd Stadium," the statement read.

Jay Drury, assistant director of bands and marching band director at WVU, said he is disappointed at Maryland's decision.

"It's unfortunate that these students won't get the chance to march on the Ravens' field," Drury said. "A few of our administrators have reached out to The University of Maryland but they are staying firm in their decision."

He said some members will still attend and cheer on the Mountaineers from the stands.

Maryland joins the Big 10 Conference next year and it is practice within the conference to allow the opposing team's band to march at halftime. Since Maryland is still aligned with the ACC, its athletic department can make the call as to whether other bands may share the field at halftime.

The upcoming game against the University of Maryland will be the last away game the band will attend unless the Mountaineers make it to a bowl game. The game at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The Pride will make an appearance at the Charleston Daily Mail's Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Laidley Field.

In addition, the band will travel to the Ligonier Day Festival in Ligonier, Pa. and to Fairfax, Va. to perform at high school band festivals.

Chris Southard/For West

Virginia University

A clarinet player marches during a Pride of WV performance. The band will not play on field at this week's football game thanks to a University of Maryland policy that does not allow opposing teams' bands to play.

Contact writer John Gibb at john.gibb@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.

 
September 18, 2013
 
 
 

 

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