Saturday’s third consecutive home game will see the Marching Scarlet Knights offer a new halftime program entitled We Salute You! As you can surmise - most of you are Rutgers grads, you know the big words - it is a tribute to our veterans and the men and women currently serving in the military. It’s all part of Saturday’s Military Appreciation Day.
The halftime show includes patriotic pieces The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the song made famous by Lee Greenwood, God Bless the USA. And then, throwing in back to the WW2 era - and both the Andrews Sisters as swell as Bette Midler - the band presents Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. A throw back to the 1940's in that selection....and maybe even some dancing, we’re told.
The Rutgers Marching Band has never been known for fancy formations. As a kid, I can remember one band at halftime - I think it was Alabama - that wrote out the score. That’s pretty good. But new band director Todd Nichols is looking to change the look and he told us, “You can expect to see formations that highlight parts of the American Flag and then a HUGE reveal at the end of the show. It will be a surprise but I'm sure you can figure it out.” New stuff and it’s all good.
In both the Battle Hymn and God Bless the USA, Nichols is looking to create a poignant and respectful tribute to the dedicated men and women who serve our country as well as an emotional tribute to those who help protect our independence and our great nation.
The marching band is as much a part of college football and the Big Ten as is the game. With Todd Nichols arrival, the band is looking to create a better and more engaging show for the fans, from the pregame through postgame.
Now all we need is for fans to be there to see all three segments. That’s a hint!