Petition in Missoula to Support University Marching Band
Update: 11/20/23 5:12pm
University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam published a statement to X (formerly Twitter) that sought to clarify the events that led to the changes at Saturday's football game. You can read the full statement at this link.
It was a big weekend for Missoula and Griz Fans. University of Montana Griz Football won the 122nd Brawl of the Wild and we "Canned" the Cats, but the weekend wasn't without controversy, and no, we're not referring to the incident on the 'M.'
Prior to the game, it was announced that the Montana State University Spirit of the West Marching Band, as a visiting band, would not play at the Brawl of the Wild. This was part of an agreement by both schools that neither band would play for visiting games moving forward, according to an article from KBZK.
But fans noticed that even at the game, there were times when the University of Montana Grizzly Marching Band wasn't playing when they normally did. Instead, recorded music was played.
Disappointment spread across social media and a petition was started on Change.org.
A letter by alum Ashley Barber accompanies the petition, addressed to President Bodnar and Athletic Director Haslam, asking them to let the Grizzly Marching Band play.
At its core, the University of Montana is a Liberal Arts College. So much so, it is the reason why I and many others studied there, including participating as a member of the (Grizzly Marching Band)...I question the decision-making that usurps the "Up with Montana" fight song instead with "Cotton Eyed Jo" or other musical selections. --Ashley Barber, chage.org
You can read the full letter here. At this time, the petition has 2,203 signatures with a next goal of 2,500 signatures, though it's quickly growing.
Many of those commenting on the petition are former or even current marching band members, including one from the MSU marching band, all expressing their disappointment in the decision to have the band play less.
If you would like to sign the petition in favor of letting the Grizzly Marching Band play, you can do so at this link.
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