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It’s a whole song and dance: The joy of marching bands

A high school marching band makes its way down Colorado Boulevard in Rose Parade.
Neil Rabinowitz / Getty Images
The Image Bank Unreleased
A high school marching band makes its way down Colorado Boulevard in Rose Parade.

Marching bands are now a staple at halftimes. But why? This hour, we discuss the art of the marching band. We’ll talk about all of the work that goes into coordinating them, and the evolution of marching band music and competitions. Plus, a look at the history of halftime.


  • Justin McManus: Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Connecticut
  • Dylan Reyes: Occasional board operator for The Colin McEnroe Show who marched competitively through high school
  • Mark Dyreson: Professor of Kinesiology and Affiliate Professor of History at Penn State, where he is also Co-Director of Research and Educational Programs for the Penn State Center for the Study of Sports in Society. He is the author of numerous books and articles about the history of sport

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired on November 13, 2023.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.