The Pride of California
A Cal Band Celebration

Cal Band entering from North Tunnel

a Cal Band Centennial Celebration

Cal Band marching towards Campanile

The Pride of California:

A Cal Band Centennial Celebration

The volume you hold in your hands is the result of years of planning, research, and design by a dedicated team of California Band alumni, friends, and student members. It is, in many ways, an apt reflection of the many hours that the Band itself dedicates to its goal: outstanding service to the University through excellent performance. Like the Cal Band, this work is colorful and humorous, rich with tradition and legend, and above all, committed to entertaining and fascinating you.

The Pride of California brings together highlights from the Band’s past and present in vivid images and informative text. The spirit and enthusiasm that permeate everything the Cal Band does shines through in page after page of delightful reminiscence, with a look ahead to the promise of the next century.


I often ask the question: What would the Cal campus do without the Cal Band?

Is there any other group or organization which contributes so much so often to so many functions? The Band shows are a major attraction of the halftime interval at football games. The Band plays for basketball games, for Charter Day ceremonies, for Commencement ceremonies, for some track meets, for dedications, for special events of all kinds. It is hard to imagine an occasion which is not enhanced and enriched by the music of the Band. In my own case, I can never forget thrill I had as an ignorant freshman attending my first football game in the California Memorial Stadium. No one had told me what to expect. Suddenly from the north tunnel there came a stirring fanfare. The crowd rose to its feet. In came an imposing Drum Major doing impossible feats with the baton. Then onto the field swept the Band in dazzling uniforms, playing spine tingling music. The impression on this seventeen-year-old freshman was indelible. I can still feel the thrill, a thrill which has been repeated many times since then.

Thus, it is an honor to write this introduction to a welcome history - The Pride of California: A Cal Band Centennial.

-Professor Emeritus Garff B. Wilson.


The University of California Marching Band is very special to its members, alumni and fans. The Cal Band is the only one of the nation’s few student-run college marching bands that strives for serious, high-quality entertainment. For over 100 years, this tradition of student-run performance has served the University of California at Berkeley. This book chronicles the events and forces that created, shaped, and forged what we know as the Cal Band.

This book uses several abbreviations commonly used by the Cal Band and its alumni. The names of the Band members mentioned in the text are followed by the member’s first year in the Band and the year the member was a student officer, if applicable. The student officers are abbreviated as: DM (Drum Major), SD (Student Director), SM (Senior Manager), PRD (Public Relations Director), and Sec. (Executive Secretary).

The Band’s tradition of preserving its history began in 1933, when the Band’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi presented it with a scrapbook covering the ASUC Band’s first ten years. This scrapbook was updated annually until 1953, when the Band began compiling a separate scrapbook for each year. In recent years, scrapbooks have not been compiled regularly; occasionally the Band has produced a yearbook, The Pacesetter.

The Pride of California draws, in large part, on the information contained in the scrapbooks, along with the recollections of numerous Band members and friends throughout the years. Although every effort has been made to present as complete and accurate a history of the Band as possible, is inevitable that certain people and events may have been omitted.

The entire history of the Cal Band would fill many volumes the size of this book. Although we cannot include every experience and episode in the Band’s history, our purpose is to give a brief glimpse of 100 years in the life of the Cal Band. More information on the Band’s history can be found in the scrapbooks, files, and oral history transcripts on deposit in the University of California Archives in the Bancroft Library.

This book is a product of the Cal Band History Project, an ongoing endeavor of the Cal Band Alumni Association (CBAA) to record and preserve the history of the Cal Band. Additional information on the history of the Band, as well as any photographs, documents, or artifacts, can be sent to the CBAA to be preserved with the rest of the Band’s history. It is our hope that this volume is informative , entertaining, and inspirational to all who travel to Strawberry Canyon to see and hear the Pride of California.

Copyright © 1993 University of California Marching Band, California Band Alumni Association, Cal Band History Committee. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior consent in writing from the Cal Alumni Association. Inquiries should be addressed to Cal Band Alumni Association, History Committee, 53 Golden Bear Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. Published by the Cal Band History Committee, Printed by UC Printing Services in a limited edition of 1000 copies.


The Legacy
In the Beginning10University Cadets of 1891 - Birth of the ASUC Band - A New Home in Eshleman Hall - Take it Away
Roses and Thorns24During World War II - The Rose Bowl Games - A New Look - The Brussels Trip
The Winds of Change38Show Stoppers - On the Road Again - Unrest on Campus - Centennial Tour - Expo 1970
Keepers of the Flame50Severing ASUC Ties - The First Women Members - The Spirit of America - Marching Through it All
The Elements of Style
Building the Band68Rites of Initiation - Tellefsen Hall - A Century of Student Government - Awards
Planning The Show84Behind the Scenes - Field Show Design Techniques - Rehearsals - The Supporting Cast
Making the Music96The Sound of the Cal Band - Musical Heritage - Cal Songs and their Stories
Creating the Look108The Performance Style - Trademarks of Pregame - Anatomy of a Potbellied Bear - The Uniform
In Performance
On the Field126Game Day Activities - The Thrill of Performance - Props and Skits - “It’s Saturday Morning, Bears!”
Beyond the Field138The Versatile Straw Hat Band - Big Game Week - Concert Band - Davis Picnic Day
On the Road148Brussels Trip - American Tour - California Tour - Japan Tour - Bicentennial Tour - Bowl Games
In the Spotlight156Total Band Entertainment - Spring Musical Revue - Singing, Dancing, Acting and Marching, too
The Myth and the Magic
Tall Tales & Legends166Bill Ellsworth - Pranks and Hijinks - Alumni Band Day - Road Trip Stories
The California Spirit180Inspirational thoughts from loyal Californians about the Band and the University
Appendix190Centennial Roster - Officers of the Cal Band - Index - Acknowledgements - Colophon