The California Spiritlink

“How does one, who feels such a concept so strongly and who takes it so much for granted, pass on to a new California Bandsmen such a magnanimous thing as the heart, the voice of this great University? For, as California Bandsmen, that is your proud and envious heritage, the heart and voice of the University of California.”

“I am not now speaking of that voice, engendered by scholarly inquiry, which is the backbone of the University. I am now speaking of that voice engendered by the heart, which finds expression in the California Band, and has so many thousands of times echoed around the rally fire in the Greek Theatre, or in Memorial Stadium, or in Harmon Gymnasium. Indeed, whenever and wherever the California Band has been seen or heard, this Spirit of the California Band has been felt.”
-Bill Ellsworth, from the Silent Walk speech he gave from 1959 to 1972

“From the early morning practice with the dew still on the grass on Hearst Field, to the parade up to the stadium singing the “Song of the Salvation Army” and “Old Bob Sproul Was a Merry Old Soul,” to standing and waiting with great anticipation in North Tunnel, I was overwhelmed by the esprit de corps of the Band and its long legacy of traditions. We new Bandsmen were eager and filled with excitement waiting for the thrilling cry, “Pick up your heels, turn your corners square, and drive, drive, drive!” And then the explosion of the bomb, and I was on the field of Memorial Stadium - the roar of the crowd resounding in my ears. I was flushed with pride. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would burst. My first game at Cal as a member of the Band. What a thrill!”
- Larry Anderson (SD ’58)

“What a wonderful Band. I will never forget the spirit of the California Band.”
- Football Coach Pappy Waldorf, greeting the Cal Band which had come to serenade him on the occasion of his announced retirement.

“I am as proud of my University today as I have always been since I carried logs and boxes to the bonfire in this Greek Theatre for the Freshman Rally so many years ago... The people of California love their University. They rely on it. They trust it... We citizens of California, fathers, mothers, alumni, must have a vision for our University and a determination that it shall always be second to none.”
- Chief Justice Earl Warren (’11)

“Hello Cal Band. It is a pleasure to welcome back from your triumphant tour the greatest Band in the world. I knew this before you left, but I was tremendously impressed with all the letters we have been receiving from the cities and the towns and the hamlets all over the United States and Canada which you visited. We are all indebted to the Cal Band for taking the Cal Spirit clear across the length and breadth of our great land... The California Band is the Spirit of California.”
-University President Clark Kerr, speaking at the final performance of the American Tour at the Masonic Auditoriumin San Francisco, July 30, 1965

“The University of California was conceived in the great academic tradition and born to high intellectual adventure. The spirit of free inquiry has never faltered within its walls, nor has faith in intelligence weakened... Even in far and foreign lands it has justified its motto - ‘Let there be light.’”
-Robert Gordon Sproul (DM ’11)

“More important to me than any performance was the sense of belonging to a group made up of so many wonderful and diverse people. I always used to tell fellow Band members that had I graduated in four or five years with most of my class, I never would have had the opportunity to meet so many more fantastic people.”

“I feel that the Cal Band is not just a performing group or a club or activity. Rather, it is an experience, a wonderful one, that will provide memories for a lifetime. And it is an experience that I am proud to say that I uniquely participated in for so many years - and it feels like one short moment.”
-Dennis “Spike” Cohen (SM ’82)

“The band, I have always thought, is the repository of the California spirit. That’s the way I’ve expressed it for a long time. Football fortunes go up and down, and in periods when football fortunes go down, you can always depend upon the California Band to be the place where the spirit goes home to rest. And it comes back again when everybody else gets back into the winning mode, which is where we are now. But I always look to the California Band as the repository of the spirit.”
-Robert F. Steidel, Faculty Representative to the Pac Ten Conference, 1972 to 1990

“This University shall be a glorious old mother around whose hearth you shall love to sit down. Love her. It does a man good to love noble things and to attach his life to noble allegiances. It is a good thing to love the church. It is a good thing to love the state. It is a good thing to love the home. It is good to be loyal to one’s father and mother, and after the same fashion, it is good to be loyal to the University of California, which stands in life for the finest things and the highest ideals. To the University of California, then, cheer for her, it will do your lungs good. Love her , it will do your hearts and lives good.”
-Benjamin Ide Wheeler

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