The Minuteman Marching Band performing during the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Credit: John Solem
Honors and Awards

President Biden Recognizes the Minuteman Marching Band for 150 Years of Music

Minuteman Marching Band director Tim Anderson stands in front of the band while holding a letter of recognition from President Joe Biden
Minuteman Marching Band director Tim Anderson holds a letter of recognition from President Joe Biden that the band received while performing in Gardner on Sept. 17.

The award-winning UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band is celebrating its 150th anniversary. What began in 1873 as a group of 11 musicians, at what was then the Massachusetts Agricultural College, has grown into one of the nation’s premiere collegiate band programs, boasting more than 380 student musicians. The band has performed at presidential inaugurations, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Parade and countless events across the commonwealth.

While the band was in Gardner on Sunday to help the city celebrate its centennial, Mayor Michael Nicholson, a former UMass drum major, honored the band’s century and a half of music with greetings from the White House.

“Music has the power to lift our spirits, comfort our souls, and inspire our hearts. Generations of University of Massachusetts student musicians have harnessed that power by joining the historic Minuteman Marching Band, uniting their classmates and entertaining fans both on and off the field,” wrote President Joe Biden in a letter to the band and its director Timothy Anderson.

“Your dedication to musical excellence, unwavering commitment to teamwork, and boundless enthusiasm have left an incredible mark on our cultural landscape,” said a citation from Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll, presented by state Rep. Jon Zlotnik.

The band also received a citation from the City of Gardner signed by Nicholson and City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas, also a UMass alumna.

The “Power and Class” will be back on the field Saturday, Sept. 23 as the UMass football team returns to McGuirk Alumni Stadium to face New Mexico.