Marching bands are art in motion. All musical styles, from Beyoncé and Broadway to Star Wars and Super Mario Bros, influence marching bands. But you have to see the intricate formations – moving images, clever phrases, and more – to truly believe the artistic capabilities of a marching band.
In keeping with WFMT’s Midwest roots, we’ve selected 14 astonishing marching band halftime performances — one for each of the schools in the Big 10 Conference (and yes, there are 14 schools in the Big 10!).
1. Indiana University
Many iconic, majestic superhero themes take flight in this halftime show by the Marching Hundred.
2. Michigan State University
Classical music has long been an inspiration for marching bands. Take it from the Spartan Marching Band, which shares scintillating arrangements of Bizet’s Carmen and Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony.
3. Northwestern University
The Wildcat Marching Band shares musical theater selections in this show from 2016 at Chicago’s own Soldier Field. Watch for the special arrangement from the hit musical Hamilton!
4. The Ohio State University
Pokémon, Tetris, and even Super Mario Bros! The Ohio State University Marching Band brings video game visuals and soundtracks to life in this show.
5. Penn State University
Bandmembers, assemble! Epic Marvel movie soundtracks are featured in this performance by the Penn State Blue Band.
6. Purdue University
May the laughs be with you! Marching band performances can be downright hilarious, like in this video of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band's Star Wars parody show from 2013!
7. Rutgers University
The Rutgers Marching Band shares popular standards from the 1940’s to 1960’s in this swinging halftime show.
8. University of Illinois
They will rock you: the Marching Illini shares hits by Queen in this halftime show from 2019.
9. University of Iowa
Tune into this halftime show when “HMB TV” (Hawkeye Marching Band TV) presents scores from the small screen including Sesame Street and The Office.
10. University of Maryland
The Mighty Sound of Maryland shares spooky favorites in this Halloween-inspired halftime show.
11. University of Michigan
We're crazy in love with this one: music by Beyoncé…in the dark with strobe lights!
12. University of Minnesota
Look to the skies with the Minnesota Marching Band, which takes on space with selections ranging from Holst’s The Planets to Doctor Who.
13. University of Nebraska
From the Beach Boys to Hawaii Five-0, the Cornhusker Marching Band heads to the beach in this sunny show!
14. University of Wisconsin
The Badger Band salutes those who have served in the United States Armed Forces with this performance from Veterans Day 2019.