Aggie Band Glossary of Traditions
Glossary of BQ Traditions
- Drum Room
- The Drum Room is kept on the First Floor of Dorm 11. It is the
ultimate haven for those who play OTROTH (On the Rim, On the Head). Woe to
any naive freshman who is not a drummer that peers curiously into that
room and is caught. They would be destroyed.
- Bass Room
- Much like the Drum Room, except for the Bass Players. It is a
private room kept up by the bass fricks, and devoted to be the home to
that proud section. The bass room is also on the first floor of
- Drill Field
- The Joe T. Haney Drill Field is sacrosanct. If you are not in the
Aggie Band, don't go out there. More than one unfortunate has tested this
area, and has paid the price. "Non-Reg on the Drill Field!!!" is not
something you want to hear being yelled at you.
- Loading Crew
- The Loading Crew chooses four sophomores each year, and is composed
of the 4 sophomores, 4 juniors, and 4 seniors. They only operate when
there is an away game. It is their job to coordinate the loading and
unloading of the instrument van. By tradition, they wear socks the colors
of the team the Aggies are playing that week. For example, at Baylor, the
loading crew would wear one yellow (gold) and one green sock each to cover
the Green and Gold colors of Baylor.
Made up of the three bass corporals, the Gruetzes load the bass horns
before the away games. After they are done loading, they jump off a chair in
the back of the truck, and the fish chase them. Then they just have
fun trying to screw up load. Often they are successful in causing the
loading crew grief.
- March to the Brazos
- The March to the Brazos is a ~14 mile hike to and from the Brazos
River in the spring. It is done as a benefit for the March of Dimes, but
in the band, it also serves as a time of "passing the torch" from one
class to the next. The seniors bestow their ranks upon their junior sons,
the juniors pass down the ranks to their sophomore underlings, and the
sophomores groud out the fish, then give them their bat wings. The
seniors take the bus back, and the corps that returns has no
- Bloody Cross
- Bloody Cross is a 2.6 mile run that is done by circling the "cross"
in the quadrangle 6 times. The band has the biggest outfits in the Corps
of Cadets, and thus has trains of runners almost the length of one of the
legs of the cross.
- The Bugler
- The Bugler is selected from the trumpet freshman each year, and
acts as bugler for his whole sophomore year. The Bugler is always a
sophomore, but you can always tell those weeks in the spring when tryouts
are occuring because the would be buglers are so bad as they try to
perform the quick bugle calls.
- Silver Taps Team
- The Silver Taps Team inducts two sophomores and two seniors each
year. It is a team of eight trumpet players (two sophomores, two juniors,
and four seniors). Once selected as a sophomore, you remain on the team
until you are gone. It is a serious group that performs taps in honor of
students who have died on the second Tuesday of each Month in which a
student dies. They also perform taps at Aggie Muster on April 21st of
each year (the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto) to honor Aggies
who have passed on during the year.
- Happy, Happy Harrington
- Although the band now fills Dorm 11 and most of Dorm 9, it is
Harrington Hall, Dorm 11, that has always been known as the "Band Dorm".
Adjacent to the Haney Drill Field, the E.V. Adams Band Hall, and home of
the Combined Band Staff, it is the center of daily Aggie Band
- Mayflower Instrument Van
- This van is a tradition. Ever since I was a freshman, the
"Mayflower Truck" as we came to call it, tagged along on away trips.
Packed full of instruments, it was watching the loading crew and the
several hundred fish line up and unpack the thing in minutes that was
an art. A quicker job of that magnitude I had not seen before, nor
- Four-Way Cross Through
- Imagine four groups of three bugle rank members and the columns
that follow them divide into the four corners of the field. Then the
groups of three columns all start marching toward the center of the field.
No optical illusion this. The columns directly opposite each other are
offset so that the oncoming columns will hit the gaps. But they must
still survive the columns from the left and right. The key to this being
a success is the use of the menstrel turn to allow for two people to be in
arguably the same spot at the same time. By the way, this maneuver cannot
be modelled on a computer because it is "impossible" for two
people to occupy the same space. Computer isn't always right.
- Flight of the Great Pumpkin
- In 1973 or therabouts, a certain outfit in the regiment, one C-2,
filled a pumpkin with some of the most vile items imaginable (Deat cats,
feces, urine, and other assorted nasty items), and tossed said pumpkin
into the band dorm making an awful mess. Ever since then, they try and
get this nasty pumkin into the band dorm on Holloween each year. The
Aggie Band Freshman defend the dorm from the attackers made up of C-2
upperclassmen. My freshman year they had 5 decoy pumpkins come
straight up the quad while they tried to sneak the real vile
pumpkin through the side door by approching from behind the band
hall. They failed, but it was a close run thing.
- Governor Coke's Advice
- His advice was, to the students, "Let your watchword be duty, and
know no other talismen of success than labor. Let honor be your guiding
star in your dealing with your superiors, with your fellows, with all. Be
as true to a trust reposed as the needle to the pole. Stand by the right
even to the sacrifice of life itself, and learn that death is preferable
- Bugle Rank
- The Twelve. These are the leaders of the band. The Drum Majors
hold the batons, and blow the whistle commands, as well as plan and
teach the drills, but it is these twelve that the common bandsman guides
off of. Traditionally, the Aggie Band Commander, the XO, and the four
commanders of A-Co, B-Co, A-Batt, and B-Batt make up half of this group.
The other six are selected from the most highly motivated, sleek, red-ass,
respected seniors there are.
- Drum Majors
- The Drum Majors are the three most visible men on the field during
the halftime. There is the Head Drum Major, who gets to resound, "Recall!
Step off on Hullabaloo!" The Infantry Band Drum Major and Artillery Band
Drum Major are his adjutants. These three teach the manuevers to the
band. They explain when you do your flanks, how many steps you hold
before doing the rear march, and when to execute spread-to-block.
- Right Guides
- Much of marching the 6-to-5 (Six steps to Five yards) military
style depends on maintaining a two step interval and keeping your
alignment. Follow the leader, and stay in line. You unltimately follow
your bugle rank member, but it is your "Right Guide", that is, the senior
on the perimeter to the right of the line you are in, that establishes
where the row is. They are the responsible seniors. They also are
accountable for the members of their row. They keep track of who is
absent and why.
- Left Guides
- Seniors line the perimeter of block band. The ones on the right
are the responsible ones. This is because they are on the side that faces
the Dorm and the "Crow's Nest" from whence the Colonel and Major watch
practice. They have to behave. Then you have the left guides. Left
guides have more fun. They get to oggle the passing women, chew tobacco,
shoot the breeze, play mind games with fish, and anything else they enjoy.
I loved being a left guide.
- The Band always forms up at the North end of the field on which it
performs. This formation is called "spread band". Somewhere during the
course of the drill, the band will radically alter its shape, and start
forming columns following twelve men with solid silver $5000 bugles. When
complete, the columns behind the twelve is called "block band". The transition
from block band to spread band is called spread-to-block.
- Menstrel Turns
- Very simply Menstrel turns are such that if you mess up, you bleed.
You execute a flank into the formation and two steps later you are in the
same spot as the person who was diagonally behind you. You both anticipate
this, swivel 45 degrees, and brush arms as you pass. It is a delicate
turn to say the least.
- The famous Block-T. It is how the Aggie Band caps off most drills.
The band breaks into a mighty T formation, and then plays until the
whistle to end is issued. Twelve counts later, the T disolves as the band
runs off the field en masse.
- Every day at drill, the Drum Majors need to tell lots of people
what to do and when to do it. When delivering commands to the band as a
group, a megaphone is often utilized. Many fish are alternates, meaning
they are sitting out of the drill that week. One of these fish is made
the "Megafrick". This is a freshman who stands on the sideline waiting
for the Drum Major to call "Megafrick!!" at which points he sprints with
all his/her might to get the megaphone to the Drum Major as fast as is
- I'm so annoying
- Many things are yelled out when the Drum Majors command the band to
return to the North endzon for another run through. Many trumpet seniors
needle the basses and drums by crying "Ground Tubas!" or "Ground Bongos!".
They pay later, I assure you, but they like tempting fate. Well, in the
drum section, there is a sophomore that, when the band forms up to do it
again, he yells at the top of his lungs, "I'm sooooooo annoyingggggg!!!!"
for what seems like 30 seconds. Just FYI.
- Pony Express
- Every morning about 7:45, an announcement resounds through
the band dorms. "Tweet Dammit Tweet! Attention Combined Bands! Pony
Express will be galloping away in 15 minutes!" Circa 8 o'clock, these fine
young men "gallop" through the halls looking for postcards and letters
upperclassmen post on the outside of their doors to be carried away and
mailed for them. Very convenient.
- Freshman Orientation Week. The week before school starts, the
selected cadre of upperclassmen arrive with the "high school harrys" with
a mission to teach the new freshman how to be freshman. More people quit
during FOW than any other time of year.
- 30 minutes before each drill, the fish and sophomores from each
section gather on the Drill Field with the Section Sergeant (a junior)
to go over specific maneuvers that will be necessary during drill. These
times teach the underclassmen how to execute the staple moves it takes to
produce the kind of drills the Aggie Band does consistently.
- Hell Week
- This week sucks. The freshmen pilfer all of the CO's (Commanding
Officer) stuff and hide it in a storage area somewhere in town. Then they
leave a note blaming the whole thing on thugs from the University of Texas
or som other foreign group. The CO makes their lives miserable until they
give up the goods. The key is to hold out till Friday and your class will
receive great priveleges when the crap ends.
- Fish Day
- I cannot say much about this day of the year in which the freshman
get to be sophomores for a day, while the sophomores are relegated to
being fricks. I will say that it is a wild day full of the
- Fish Spurs
- In the old days of the Southwest Conference, before major NCAA
sanctions killed the SMU program, the ponies from Southern Methodist
University were a bad, bad team. They finished number 2 in 1983.
Eric Dickerson, Craig James, and the Pony Express used to munch the
Aggies more often than not. So the Corps decided to motivate the
fish for this big game by having them make fake spurs from flattened
bottle caps numbering the same as their graduation year (I had 93
bottlecaps for example).
- Elephant Walk
- Underclassmen always wonder what goes on between the juniors and
seniors during elephant walk while they are not allowed to watch. It is
simply this. They fight. Wrestling, football games without pads, and
assorted junior attacks with whip cream, eggs, etc... All this and more
go on while the seniors meander about the campus remembering.
- The Aggie Band sophomores get a great privelege. They get to
build the outhouse that rests squarely on the top of the Aggie Bonfire
each year. Its very good bull. A sturdy outhouse is built, filled with
groad, and burnt up in the mighty flames of this celebratory fire
signifying our burning desire to beat the hell outta tu. Gig 'em
- BQ ball
- Every year, the band has a blowout dance in dress uniform for all
Aggie Bandsmen and their dates. It always is a smashing success as Aggie
Bandsmen know how to party. BQ ball rocks.
- Aggie Muster
- On April 21st of each year, on the anniversary of the battle of San
Jancinto, Aggies gather together wherever they are to honor Aggies who
have died during the year. A ceremonial role call is read with an
attending Aggie answering "here" for those who are gone, but not
- Reveille is currently represented as a collie that is the
mascot dog of Texas A&M. What is not so well known is that it was
the band that started the tradition. Way back when, a carload of
BQ's hit a stray mutt on the road by accident. They felt bad, so
they brought the dog with them back to A&M to heal. When she did,
the dog barked one morning at the bugle call, and thus earned the
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