On home football game days, the TMB performs for almost seven hours straight. It’s a rigorous ritual thatmost parents don’t manage to watch from beginning to end. But if you want to try, here’s the typical schedule. (Get the actual start time from your student.)
Kickoff Minus 2:30: Drumline Warm-up behind Heritage Hall (west-side)
Kickoff Minus Two Hours: Full Band Warm-up in front of Heritage Hall. (Find out from your child where he/she will be and find a spot in that general area. The band performs towards Heritage Hall so line up on the east side. This is a good opportunity to take photos with your child in uniform – but be quick about it and don’t hold them up.)
Kickoff Minus 1:45: Performance for Associates (This is open only to USC Associates.) If you’re not a member, take this time to line up on Trousdale Parkway for the rally.
Kickoff Minus 1:30: Rally on Trousdale. Thousands gather on campus for picnics and this rally. Unfortunately, for the first rally, you’ll have a hard time getting into a spot where you’ll be able to see your student. Once the band arrives, it’s pretty hard to move around. (In general, the band lines up the opposite way they lined up at the Heritage Hall warm-up. So if your student is on the north side of the Heritage Hall steps, he/she will be on the south side of Trousdale. They perform towards the west, towards Bovard, so you’ll want to be on that side.)
After the rally, the band marches to the Coliseum. Follow them. (You won’t have much choice since the crowd will carry you that way.) As you approach the southern edge of campus, you’ll hear a strange, banging sound. That’s superstitious people kicking the base of the USC flag pole for game good luck.
NOTE: You can bring small video cameras into the Coliseum, but not over-the-shoulder style ones that might block views of the game. If you have a large camcorder, don’t take it to the Coliseum.
Kickoff Minus 20 Minutes: Pre-game show. Take your seats and thrill at the sight of your child marching out on the Coliseum field in front of 90,000 people. For most games, they march out of the tunnel at the southwest corner. For the last game, they march through the peristyle at the east side of the Coliseum.
During the Game: The TMB is required to stand throughout the game. They play steadily, reacting to the action on the field. If you wonder why they play the same song over and over, it’s to intimidate the opposing team. Your child knows a lot more songs than “Tribute of Troy.” Be sure to watch the Jumbotron, too, because chances are good your child will appear there during the show.
Half-Time Show: The TMB learns and performs a new half-time show for every home game.
Post-Game Show: Don’t leave early! When the game is over, the TMB takes the field towards the eastern end, facing the USC student section (the north side of the Coliseum). We recommend that you move to this area. Depending on the outcome of the game (and the weather), this performance can be as short as 10 minutes and as long as 30 minutes. This is a great time to watch the band because of the viewpoint.
Tommy Trojan Salute: After the band marches back from the Coliseum victorious, they perform the Trojan battle cry, “Conquest” in front of Tommy Trojan.
Book Store Finale: From there, the TMB marches the half-block to the front of the book store. From the steps, Dr. Bartner conducts a few more numbers. Afterwards, each group breaks up for notes. Then and only then can you visit with your student.
Yes, this is as long as it sounds. For a 1 PM game, practice starts at 6:30, the warm-up starts at 11 a.m. and the finale in front of the book store is around 5:30 p.m. For a 7 p.m. game, the warm-up starts at 4:30 p.m. and the finale is over around 11:30 p.m.
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