Widgets Magazine


Letter to the Editor: Stanford’s Nonconformist Marching Band

My only complaint about the entire Tournament of Roses (TOR) concerns the Stanford University band. In the TOR parade, its “body work” was gratuitous to the point that it was unprofessional and clown-like. The members of the Band didn’t march; they ambled. They didn’t play as an ensemble; it was helter-skelter, near-total dissonance. Their “uniforms” looked like they found them in a dumpster. Their disgraceful behavior was an insult to all the other bands who put in countless hours of dedicated, focused practice, with the single-minded vision of providing the best show that they possibly could to millions of TOR parade fans and viewers.

Kudos to all the other bands (U. Wisconsin, Marines, Lincoln, etc.); shame on you, Stanford band. Your “style” may be appropriate for some venues – like a circus sideshow. It has no place in a parade.

Don’t defend yourselves or pat yourselves on the back for being non-conformists. Nonconformity can be a very good thing, but you take non-conformity so far beyond the norm that your true talents (and I’m sure they are many) are obscured in absurdity and mediocrity.

I don’t have an issue with creative nonconformity. I have an issue with nonconformity to quality standards, to professionalism, to respect, to doing justice to the incomparable nature of the entire TOR organization. If the Stanford band has any musical talent, you failed to show it, not by your artistic nonconformity but by your lack of respect for, and pride in, your own God-given talents.

John E.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  • Dee

    Is John E. boring or just a terrible person? http://www.sbnation.com/2013/1/1/3825928/stanford-band-infuriates-offends-lots-of-terrible-humorless-people BTW John, the band members are spending most of their time doing things like curing cancer and solving other major problems in the world!

    P.S. How can you not love a dancing tree?

  • Dexter

    I think all marching bands are pretty stupid. You spend so much time marching like ants in ridiculous outfits. The serious faces of the Wisconsin band while baby stepping around had me dying. Then the falsetto singing! You’ve gotta be kidding me with that kind of stuff. I’ll take the Stanford band any day.

  • Haters

    John E. did you ever think that the Stanford band is actually a source of pride for most students?

    If our band was as lame as all the others, I would be ashamed.

  • Nonny

    >implying the Stanford Band doesn’t work hard

  • oh yeah, u mad alright.

    U mad?

  • Shocker

    Dear John E.,

    Are you implying that God (G) created the Stanford Band (SB)? Or at least the Stanford Band’s pool of talents?

    I for one, am shocked to hear such blasphemy.

  • bittergradguy

    Sounds like a lame excuse… Cancer.

  • guest

    Poor John E. He doesn’t realize that absolutely no one in the Stanford family cares what he thinks.

    The One. The Only. The Incomparable. Leland Stanford, Jr. Marching Band!

  • Nicholas Baldo

    It makes me sick to my stomach when bands take themselves too seriously. I think LSJUMB gets it just right. Entertainment is the goal, and they succeed better than any of their peers.

  • LSJUMB Lover

    So basically, you like nonconformity as long as it conforms somewhat, or doesn’t “nonconform” too much. And they’re not even being nonconformist for its own sake; their doing it to have fun and entertain. LSJUMB makes me proud to be a Stanford student!

  • John E … LSJUMB epitomizes the zest and zeal of youth unchained, the freespirited whimisical spontaneous improvisizational creative ultra-liberated spirit of Stanford … and of Silicon Valley and every entrepeneur who had a dream. You propose to capture and cage this, subjecting it to a regimented goose step befitting miliaristic lemmings. As a native son of Pasadena, I have spent many sleepless New Year’s Eves camped out on Colorado Boulevard waiting up for the Parade. As a third generation Stanford graduate and an attendee at the last Stanford Rose Bowl victory in 1972, I made the long trek from Singapore (where I have taken up citizenship and resided since 1985) to not only watch our team against Wisconsin but to see my best friend’s and classmate’s daughter march with the LSJUMB at pre-game rallies, along the Parade Route and at the Bowl. It was magical, enchanting, mystical, out of body. Thank You LSJUMB for all that you are! And kudos to Wisconsin’s band who had a funky two step and who joined LSJUMB post-game to serenade their very dedicated (and very impressingly loud) fans.
    So John E, Get out of the Badlands and the fumes of fracked shale oil and head out West to take a hit of pure California Sunshine. Let me get Biblical on you and leave you with a quote from the Book of Jobs (Steve, not the unlucky dude in the Old Testament). Here’s to
    the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in
    the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of
    rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but
    the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things.

  • One last point for John E … he cites the Tournament of Roses as a kind of sacred standard embraced by all Pasadenans with pride. He might like to know that Pasadena has an equally noble tradition – the Doo Dah Parade – which was launched decades ago by a motley crew of spirited natives to celebrate the city’s heritage with zany free-spirited drill teams and floats that make the LSJUMB look pretty tame in comparison. Perhaps the TOR is uncomfortable with surrendering the spotlight and international media coverage to these upstarts, but the truth is the Doo Dah parade and represents a spirit of fun and frivolity that many Pasadenans are immensely proud of. Ditto for the Stanford Band.

  • Treeez

    probably some old fart whose grandson goes to Wisconsin