FIGHT BAND

A Brief History ...

The story of Fight Band starts in the fall of 2006 at a corner table in Bar Des Pins, where founding members and former Douglas Hall residents Ted Smith, Michael Shockley, and Cory Bensen would get together for their weekly beer mettings. Shockley and Bensen, who formerly played trombone in their high school marching bands, were known to frequently lapse into fits of nostalgia for their old high school band days; while Smith, a former high school jock and then volunteer student manager for Redmen Basketball, was always bemoaning the lack of attendance and school spirit at athletic events.

Perhaps it was only the Molson Ex talking, but just then, Smith proposed a dubious solution to both their problems: "Why don't we make a marching band?" It was unanimous that the idea was righteous, and they spent the rest of the evening trying to convince bar patrons to join their newly founded band.

The following Monday, Smith drafted a short proposal and took it to Dr. Derek Drummond, the Athletic Director at the time, propositioning he could assemble a pep-band by Christmas with a budget of only four hundred dollars. Dr. Drummond graciously gave his tentative approval, and planning started immediately. Shockley was the one to raise the question, "What should we be called?"

The name originated when Smith, by then self-appointed to the position of "Brigade Leader," decided the word "pep" was "too wussy" and opted for the more vigorous "fight". The name "Fight Band" stuck, despite the resulting near-constant need to answer questions like, "What exactly does a fight band do?" and, of course, whether or not the first rule of Fight Band is "You don't talk about fight band."

The three "founding fathers" spent the next three weeks advertising and giving speeches at undergraduate lectures. The inaugural meeting of McGill Fight Band was held in an athletics board room on Thursday, October 12, 2006. It was attended by six people: Smith, Shockley, Bensen, Cloe Stemler (a saxophonist and fellow Douggie who was coerced into attending by the the first three), Nicole Taylor (a music education major), and a redheaded girl whose name has since been lost to posterity.

Despite their somewhat inauspicious starting point, the six of them spread word of the band, and, exceeding all expectations, fielded a band of eleven who could play six pieces at athletic events by November. In the ten years since, the band has grown to over forty members and has become a frequent and much-loved sight at McGill Football, Basketball, Hockey, and Volleyball games. Fight Band continues to grow, and is proud to be the only organization of its kind at McGill supporting varsity athletes and fans, as well as spreading McGill spirit all over campus and beyond.