Section Traditions 
posted June 3, 2013

War eagle, faithful blog readers! Darby here. This week we’ll be giving you several examples of section traditions from around the AUMB. While the AUMB as a whole is built on tradition, every section has their quirky traditions that make the experience even more special.

As a proud member of the clarinet section, my favorite clarinet tradition happens during preseason camp. After a long, sweaty day of marching and music, we pack ourselves into a few cars and head to an older member’s house for dinner, dessert, and festivities. These festivities include, but are not limited to: singing, dancing, sharing embarrassing stories, and laughing so loud that we get noise complaints (not really, the adjoining wall of my duplex has superior sound blockage. My boisterous laugh alone tests this on a regular basis).  It’s the first time that we do something as a section that doesn’t involve a learning curve of some kind, so it’s a welcomed break and a great way to get to know everyone in the section. If this doesn’t sound up your alley, that’s totally fine; as with all of our R.A.T. Activities, this night of clarinet tomfoolery is completely optional. Now I’ll turn it over to Joe Hamilton, trombone section leader, for some information about the trombone section’s very spirited traditions.

We in the trombone section have a long, proud, and misunderstood history of tradition. Running. Jumping. Yelling. Singing (which is really more yelling). We run a lap around the field on game day. Why? Because, in the early hours of the morning, we know many band members may be hazy as to why they are there, and it is up to us to remind them. We circle around sections and play War Eagle with them before game day practice. Why? Because everyone likes playing War Eagle, silly. We hold up our trombones when defending on 3rd down during games. Why? Because trombones in the air is what loud *looks* like, and the opposing offense is intimidated by the sight, causing them to forget they're supposed to move the ball *past* the first down marker (40% of the time, it works every time). We are obnoxious. Why? Because we are the trombone section.

Hey, everyone! I’m Cassaundra Caldwell and I’m one of your piccolo section leaders for this season. In the true spirit of the AUMB, and of the holidays, the piccolos celebrate our section love with a holiday potluck meal after our Iron Bowl practice. Everyone makes or buys some sort of food to share with the section and we discover everyone's hidden domestic talents. After we eat, we do a Dirty Santa gift exchange. We draw numbers and go in order picking presents to either unwrap or to steal. Like a true family, there's usually some jealousy and shameless stealing of gifts. Over the course of the night, we take plenty of pictures, eat more than we should, and enjoy being with each other as the semester draws to a close. It’s a very fun reminder of how close we have gotten over the course of the semester.

War eagle, everybody! Adam here, and I’m excited to tell you about the alto section’s traditions. The AUMB altos are known for our spirit, restaurant choices, and exciting traditions. During preseason camp, the altos have a unique history of almost exclusively going to chicken restaurants during our lunch break. BUCK-AWK!! What better way to soothe your aching marching feet and sunburned face than to feast on fried, grilled, blackened or sautéed chicken? I can’t think of anything better…

Actually, I might be able to think of something better! Perhaps it is the fact that the Altos are one of the only sections left to carry on the tradition of section jerseys. Many moons ago, sections across the AUMB mimicked fraternities in creating section jerseys to wear. They simply picked Greek letters that spelled their section name. The altos were also referred to as ΣΑΧ (Sigma Alpha Chi), which for those of you who don’t speak Greek, spells SAX. Each R.A.T class of altos will receive a jersey and a nickname to be printed on the back. It’s one of the many ways that the altos show section pride.

Okay guys, Darby again. If your section wasn’t listed in this blog post, have no fear; your section has awesome traditions, too! I can’t wait for everyone to get here and experience all that the various sections have to offer.  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email any of our student leaders. Can’t wait for y’all to join us for preseason camp!

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