The marching band of the University of Notre Dame, appropriately called The Band of the Fighting Irish, is the oldest university band in continual existence and has been on hand for every home game since football started at Notre Dame in 1887.
Notre Dame’s band, born in 1845, celebrated its 150th season in 1995 and was among the first in the nation to include pageantry, precision drill and the now-famous picture formations during performances.
The kickoff of a football weekend is the traditional Friday evening pep rally. The band historically mustered the students with its march through the campus and arrived as the head of a parade of Irish faithful at the University’s Stepan Center.
The band first accepted women from neighboring Saint Mary’s college in 1970 before Notre Dame became co-educational in 1972. The band was declared a “landmark of American Music” in 1976 by the National Music Council.
Ken Dye currently serves as band director. He holds degrees from the University of Houston, Long Beach State and USC. He has directed bands at Rice University and Houston and arranged music performed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia.