Washington High School
Massillon, Ohio

On September 8, the Massillon Bands, under the direction of Jason Neel, celebrated the 85th season since George Bird initiated the show-band style in 1938.  Approximately 220 alumni joined in on the field alongside the current Siwng Band for one impressive showing of support for the band program and nostalgia for what it has meant.

The combined band performed the traditional opening routine of "Fanfare - Tiger Rag - Carry On"; featured tune was "Big Noise from Winnetka"; formed an "85" to "Happy Birthday Swing Band" and finished with a rousing and emotional rendition of the WHS Alma Mater.

Although the first football band was formed here in 1914, it was George Bird's use of "measured-step" marching between the yard lines and "music-cued" movements that revolutionized marching bands. In addition, his use of the haltime break of a football game as a "theater show" by adding props, costumes, Swing-style music, and a student band mascot dressed in a real tiger skin for some comedy antics along the way was to change halftimes forever. Even today, on the largest stage in the most viewed program annually - the National Football League's Super Bowl Championship game - the halftime is used as showtime.

Historical band uniform drawing by Keaton Gibbs ('19), former MTSB Drum Major

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