The University of Virginia Band program was initiated by a large gift from Carl and Hunter Smith that provided money for a new student marching band. William Pease was hired as the band’s first director in August 2003. After a year of planning and recruiting, the Cavalier Marching Band (CMB) held their first band camp on August 20, 2004. New members began learning an exciting halftime show and a traditional pregame show that was designed to incorporate school songs, which had fallen into obscurity over the course of the 20th Century. The University had high expectations of its new marching band, and on September 11, 2004 at the home opener against the University of North Carolina, the CMB performed its pregame and halftime shows in front of 62,790 fans. Since then, the CMB has rewarded its fans with memorable halftime shows and has performed with many special guest artists including the Temptations, Al Chez, Tom “Bones” Malone, Sid McGinnis, Ivan Rutherford, and Chad Hugo. The CMB is also featured in the film “Marching Band,” created by world-renowned French producer and writer Claude Miller.
Since 2004, the band has grown to over 330 members. The CMB performs a different halftime show at each and every home game. The repertoire of songs has included everything from rock to jazz, pop tunes to classical melodies, and movie favorites to swing charts. In addition to home performances, the CMB travels to many away games to support the team. Post-season appearances at the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl, the 2005 Music City Bowl, the 2007 Gator Bowl, and the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl have been unique opportunities for members to travel with the team and to perform for fans at parades and team rallies. CMB members come from very diverse academic backgrounds, representing over 80 different majors from all of the undergraduate schools at the University. The students all share a passion for marching band and all things UVA. The energy and dedication of the marching band students as well as the enthusiasm and support of the Wahoo fans will continue to provide the University with a top-notch collegiate marching band.
On September 2, 2011, the CMB moved into its new home, the Hunter Smith Band Building. This historic dedication would not have been possible without the vision and philanthropy of Mrs. Smith. Our new home is the finest in the Nation!