Origin through 1939

“Fr. Alex” Miller - 1934

Re: Revelli’s outstanding memory: in 1976 I retired and moved back to this area. Ann Arbor was my hometown. I joined the band in 1934. One Day at the bank on Liberty St. I saw the Chief. Our paths had not crossed since I graduated , Aug 1941. “Hello, Chief,” I said, “I’m Alex Miller.”

“I know you are Alex Miller,” he replied. “You were in the band when I came here. Played the Drums in the Marching Band and the bassoon in the concert band; and both of them equally badly!” – Always was ready for a good guffaw.

Lester Fero - 1937

1. Dr. Revelli’s discipline for the band and his insistence on perfection was what I remembered from 1937 to how the band came into national prominence.

2. Bo Schembechler referred to the above in his breakfast talk on the first anniversary of Dr. Revelli’s death and Bo’s first meeting with Dr. Revelli.

3. In 1937 the band played at the game with Northwestern at Evanston (damp rainy day) Oct. 9 per my diary. We lost (7-0)(my first trip with the band). Rookie indoctrination required that we eat lunch, before game, in uniform without utensils. Used two crackers to lift mash potatoes, roast beef & gravy, beans & desert. Band formed a “pipe” at half time and marched a bubble out of it while playing “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Ted Husing on NBC Radio said we were truly an All-American Band. Dr Revelli was the director.

Markham Cheever - 1936

At our appearance at the Yale Bowl 1938, the Yale band had the discourtesy of making its pre-game entrance ahead of us. It was a sloppy performance. Then the Michigan Band made it's crisp 160 cadence entrance into marching formation at midfield. The effect was so profound that the 50,000 spectators rose to their feet in dead silence. When we stepped off with "The Victors" there was a mighty roar of appreciation.

William Parkinson - 1935

I played under the baton of Mr. Revelli during the first four years of his tenure at Michigan, a great experience. Of the many thrills one was the trip to the Yale game in 1938. We took the overnight train, sitting up in coaches, to New York, where we were staying the night. When we arrived, Bob Fox, our Drum Major, formed us up at track side and marched us through Grand Central Station and up 5th avenue to the hotel-- playing the Victors. The sound level in the station was rather high and attracted considerable interest!

Alex Miller tells of Dr. Revelli's considerable memory. I can add to that. Some years later at Hill Auditorium, during an intermission of a concert, our paths crossed. I introduced him to my friend; he said "You know, Bill and I were freshmen together". I was a freshman in Engineering School and he was a freshman instructor in Music!

Incidentally, we referred to him as Mr. Revelli. It was only later that he was given an honorary Doctor's degree and was promoted to Professor of Music.

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