Alumni Marching Band

Greetings from the Director

Frey - headshot_webWe are excited to announce this year’s Alumni Marching Band Reunion schedule and invite you to join us. Join us on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 for food, friends, and fun!

Have you heard about the Alumni Marching Band experience? We anticipate a large and energetic group to march with the band during pre-game and halftime for this year’s Homecoming face-off with Utah State! This is a big year for CSU, as it will be the final season in Hughes Stadium before we move on-campus.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, or have been an alum for years, we want you to join us for this special weekend as we celebrate our traditions and connect with old friends. Homecoming activities start as early as Thursday night, and include a special alumni lunch and rehearsal at the University Center for the Arts.

I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you this fall as we share our memories, experiences, and show our RAM pride!

~ Richard Frey, CSU Marching Band Director


Greetings From Your Recent Drum Majors

Wes Turner, '16

After five years in the CSU Marching Band, a lot of people ask me why I stayed so long; the answer is simple. It gives Rams a healthy, social experience while pushing them to a greater mission: serving the university and community that they now call home. This outlet defines our college experience, allowing us to be part of a legacy that is one hundred years old. Why did I stay so long? The band was my battalion, my detachment, my fraternity, my club sport, and my legacy. 

I look forward to staying connected to this special group through the Alumni Marching Band!

Madisen Thero, ’16

The beautiful thing about the CSU Marching band is how they welcome you, no matter your major, year in school, or marching experience - you suddenly had a large number of people who are ready to work and play hard alongside you. They become your first friends on campus, before the rest of the school comes back for the first day, and you’re already comfortable on campus, ready to face your own set of challenges knowing you get to come back to that same group three days a week.

I was a band member for four years, and was honored to serve as Drum Major for my final year in the band. This group became my home on campus, a saving grace from the regular struggles of academics, and I could not be more grateful to have had a chance to give back to a group who continues to give their all in everything they do.

The amount of dedication, motivation, and love this group shows for their members, university, and community is truly a testament to their character and what the band stands for. To have been a part of such a group and to serve them has been the best and happiest part of my college career. I wouldn’t change any of my experiences with the band for the world, and I have found friends I know I will keep for life.

Dearest alumni, home on campus has never been a place, it has been a feeling. I hope that feeling of home comes back to you, when you come to visit, when you welcome a family member here, but especially when you play for the Alumni Marching Band during Homecoming and Family Weekend, alongside a new generation of marchers. I know that for me, that feeling will always stay with the Colorado State University Marching Band, and I could not be prouder to call such talented and loving individuals “home.”

Welcome home, and Go Rams!

All my best,
Madisen Thero, ’16, Drum Major

Messages From Fellow Alumni

Josh Garcia, '15

Josh Garcia_Alumni Marching Band Reunion MessageDear CSU Marching Band Alumni,

The summer months have flown by, and that means a few things: Colorado State University’s football season is quickly approaching, and the marching band season is right around the corner! With another record-breaking season last year, so many exciting things are in store for 2015. Though I just graduated in the spring of 2014, it has been amazing to see our university, and all of the activities that make up campus life, progress and become even more incredible.

During my time at CSU, I watched as our football team went from the bottom of the Mountain West to being selected for back-to-back bowl games. Through all of that, I was never more proud to be a Ram as part of the CSU Marching Band. I reflect back on those four years, and I wouldn’t change a single thing. I had the opportunity to be a section leader and drum major, I got to perform at Denver Bronco’s games, and play at beautiful settings across Ireland. Many people from my small town don’t travel farther than 15 minutes away, and I did things that most people just dream of! It was during these years that I found my passion, made friendships that will last a lifetime, and became part of a community at CSU that will forever hold a special place in my heart.

If there’s one thing I know about my band family, it’s that we always want an opportunity to cheer on our Rams. We are at a turning point in CSU history with a new football coach, new, high quality buildings being built on campus, a music program on the rise, and consistently winning awards in academics and science. Though many of us have moved away from Fort Collins, we have an opportunity to head back to our glory days and take part in all of the great things happening. We would like to invite all alumni of the CSU Marching Band to join us for Homecoming & Family Weekend, Oct. 16-17!

For this special event, alumni are invited to return home to Fort Collins, jump back into our tradition of excellence, and rejoin our friends as part of the marching band. On Friday, Oct. 16, join us as we cheer on the band in the parade, and get hyped up for our Ram team at the pep rally. Afterwards, head to one of the most popular local spots in Fort Collins, The Mayor of Old Town, for the chance to reignite friendships and talk about the good ol’ days. For Homecoming day on Oct. 17, we face off against in-state rival Air Force, and so many activities are scheduled to help us get pumped up for the game. We will get going by having brunch and rehearsing at the University Center for the Arts, and follow all of that up with a pre-game tailgate at the stadium. The next best thing for us all is the moment we get to grab our instruments and be right alongside the CSU Marching Band during the game.

There was a great alumni turn out for last year’s homecoming game, so that means we need to step it up this year and come back with much more of a presence! Let’s make our alma mater proud by having even more alumni members accompanying the band in the stands, and on the field. Now that I’ve started my professional career as a band director in southern Colo., there are few things that could make me miss this event. Bring your family, and let’s meet up for the Colorado State University Homecoming and Family Weekend – it’s bound to be another experience full of memories!

Warmest Regards,

Joshua M. Garcia, ‘15
Former Drum Major
4-Year CSU Marching Band Member

Devon Aimes, ’13

Last year’s Alumni Band Reunion was a great time reconnecting and playing together once again. Join us as we continue this tradition. I know that I am excited to see some old friends again, and I also I can’t wait to grab my old horn and jam out with the band again. I hope that you are, too! So let’s make history with the CSU Marching Band and get more than 100 alumni band members on that field at the 2014 CSU Homecoming Game!

~ Devon Aimes, ’13, Drum Major, Tuba

Melanie Calderwood, '06


I wanted to send a quick note of thanks for the awesome experience with the alumni band this weekend. You all did a great job providing a quality experience around the event. I hope it’s a tradition that can grow.

Take Care,

Melanie Calderwood
Academic Success Coordinator
Department of Ag & Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Karen A. Newell, 1986

Thanks, thanks, thanks for inviting me this past weekend to play with the CSU Alumni M-band! I had a blast! I want to invite my fellow drummers from the 80’s to come to this event in the future. The weekend was very well organized, made me feel very welcome, and EVERYONE worked very hard to make sure we (alums) were taken care of and included. Zac (GTA) did a great job of being my personal roadie, Katie (snare) introduced herself to me in the stands and invited me to play along with the drum line during the second half, I got to meet the drum line Capt. and speak to him about our commonality of being Troopers, the parade and bonfire and tailgate events were super fun and brought back so many memories. And then the game – OMG, did you all plan that? Amazing, with a sellout crowd. I am still floating! Please extend my thanks to Dr. Phillips as well. I am so happy to see the progress the Music Dept. has made over the years – you all make me very proud. Please stay in touch, thanks again for everything!

Craig Wilkening, 1982

2014: I just wanted to thank all of you for your efforts in putting together this year's Alumni Marching Band. I had an absolutely INCREDIBLE time!  Coming to Ft. Collins and spending a day is always a good time but spending it at a football game around the band is about as good as it gets.

Thanks again for everything you do.  I have a LOT of fond memories of my days with the CSU Marching Band when I was at school from 78-82.  Participating with the alumni band has just allowed me to add to those great memories!

All the best and hope to see you again next year!

Craig Wilkening

2013: I wanted to pass along my THANKS for the great time I had with the Alumni tailgater and the homecoming game…getting the opportunity to play again with the band was an AWESOME experience! Its really no surprise that the CSU band gets the recognition that they do…the music department staff is amazing in their professionalism while having a lot of fun at the same time! Once again a big THANK YOU for the great Saturday!

Best wishes always,
Craig Wilkening

2010: I just wanted to send along a big THANK YOU for the incredible time I had last Saturday as a member of the Alumni Band and the opportunity to perform with the CSU Marching Band and with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy!

My son is a freshman trumpet player in the marching band and he was telling me for weeks how much this show would absolutely ROCK! He mentioned that he and the trumpet section were ‘chomping at the bit’ to get on the field with BBVD and how much they couldn’t wait for the show.

When I marched and played back in the Otto Werner days, I could remember all the great times I had as a member of the marching band and the concert band and how much fun it was to perform at Hughes Stadium! I was a little nervous at first because so much has changed with the type of shows the band does and the way the band performs in the stands. However, I found out that there were more things that haven’t changed. The crowd still goes crazy at the sight of the marching band, the football team still really appreciates the efforts of the band, and it is flat out a great time to play on the field and on the stands.

I know Otto was looking down on us on Saturday and he would have been so proud! You should also be proud of the behavior of the students in the band. All of the band members I met were friendly and courteous and really made all of us in the alumni band feel very welcome! A special thanks also to Marilyn and Jennifer for all of their help! They also made us feel very welcome and it was obvious they had put in a lot of hard work to make this thing happen.

So thanks again for helping me to re-live some of the best years of my life at CSU…..and if that tall, red-headed freshman trumpet player gives you any trouble, feel free to send him around the track a few times or do a couple of hours of 8x8’s!

Best wishes!
Craig Wilkening

Alumni Marching Band History

CSU’s Alumni Marching Band began in 1993 when a group of enthusiastic alumni from the ’80s and ’90s rented a flatbed truck and participated in the Homecoming and Family Weekend parade. Over the years the group has grown in size, and annually joins the CSU Marching Band on the field – and in the stands – during the homecoming game.

In the early days of the Alumni Marching Band, the ensemble marched in the Homecoming and Family Weekend Parade, winning many awards.

2001 - Grand Champion Novelty
2000 - Sweepstakes Novelty
1999 - 2nd Place Novelty, Campus Organizations Division
1998 - Grand Champion Novelty
1997 - Grand Champion Novelty
1996 - 1st Place Novelty, Campus Organizations Division
1995 - Grand Champion Novelty
1994 - 1st Place Novelty, Campus Organizations Division

2017 Alumni Marching Band Tentative Schedule

Friday, Oct. 13

Saturday, Oct. 14 (times TBD)

  • Registration and Alumni Band meal and rehearsal at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St. Meet in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall where you'll receive your t-shirt, instrument if needed, and flip folder. If you ordered your ticket through the Alumni Band registration promo, then your ticket will be distributed to you at this time.
  • Playing rehearsal begins w/Dr. Frey and Dr. Phillips.
  • Rehearsal with CSU Marching Band
  • RamWalk, tailgate, etc.
  • Pregame show
  • Homecoming Football Game
  • Halftime
  • Postgame


Music will be available once your registration is received.

With Your Registration...

With your Homecoming and Family Weekend Alumni Marching Band registration, you are eligible for:

  • Alumni Band shirt to wear during the weekend’s performances
  • Access the Alumni Band Hot Spot
  • Lunch and rehearsal time at the University Center for the Arts
  • Rehearsal with the CSU Marching Band
  • Reserved seating for you and your family to the Alumni Association Tailgate (optional)
  • Play with the CSU Marching Band on the field during Pre-Game, rotations in the stands, and on the field during Half Time.
  • Reserved seat to play with the band in the stands. You must purchase a game day ticket from athletics - use the link and code provided on the Alumni Association registration page.
  • Additional tickets for your family and guests can be purchased online.

Due to space restrictions, only Alumni Band members are eligible to sit with the CSU Marching Band during the football game. Friends and family members attending with you are not able to be accommodated in the Marching Band section.