The Marist College Band involves approximately 160 students performing in a variety of eight ensembles. The namesake and largest of these ensembles is the Marist College Band. The band performs full symphonic concert programs of standard wind- band literature, tours nationally, prepares one half-time show each Fall for performance at home football games, and performs at Marist home basketball games and at the MAAC Basketball Championship Tournament that occurs the first weekend in March. Membership in this large ensemble entitles the student to also participate as a member of the Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, and the Jazz Band known as the "Jazz Foxes." Other ensembles that flourish under the 'umbrella' of the Marist College Band include the Handbell Choir, Guitar Ensemble and the Marist College String Orchestra.
The Marist College Band and Wind Symphony are proud members of the Association of Concert Bands, and are honored to host the 2012 Association of Concert Bands National Convention from April 25th to April 29th. For more information on the convention, please visit the ACB 2012 National Convention Official Website.
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A Brief History
One evening in January 1986, an Army Black Knight transformed into a Marist Red Fox. Little did he know that this transformation would be the start of an unmatched musical legacy on the east bank of the Hudson River. When Sgt. Major Arthur B. Himmelberger took his first steps on the Marist campus, he was met by two trumpets and a nearly insurmountable challenge- create a band.
On that winter evening, Art was charged to bring that little band to Madison Square Garden to represent the Red Foxes at a basketball game. Unabashed, Art led this group down to Manhattan and thus embarked on a 26 year journey. Art often speaks of the "power of two" and this power has realized a band of more than 120 members.
Under Art's directorship, the music program has steadily grown in both quality of musicians and quantity of performers. The music program currently supports approximately 400 performers through wind and string ensembles, and a number of vocal ensembles- an amazing accomplishment for a school that does not have a music major. Through Art's dedication, the band has developed a reputation on the national stage. The band represents Marist Athletics in local and national tournaments. Additionally, the Marist Band has been selected to host the 2012 Association of Concert Bands National Convention, an honor and privilege in the world of concert bands.
Currently thriving on the first floor of the student center, the Marist Music Department has easily outgrown its current accommodations, thus leading to the band rehearsing in the campus cafeteria. The numerous ensembles of the music department seem to be untouched by the difficulties the facilities pose. Art's determination provides inspiration to his student performers. Regardless of the condition of the facilities, Art takes the stance that the music program is always "half way up the hill". This attitude encourages students to push harder to find their passion in music. Musicians at Marist will never rest on the laurels of a beautiful performance. Art has inspired students to continue to challenge themselves to not only play diverse and increasingly difficult pieces, but to share the gift of music to those around them.
If you were to ever ask Art what he is most proud of from the band, he speaks of the thousands of young men and women that have built the program along with him over the past 26 years. He speaks of the many alumni who first met each other when they arrived at music camp, shared their love of music and have now started families of future Marist musicians.
Making music is only part of the lesson learned in the Marist Band. To Art, it isn't just about band. It is all about the relationships forged from participating in music. Music is a part of everyone's life, and for the past 26 years, the Marist Band has been helping students live their lives to the fullest.