Recap: UVA Marching Band (and Football) Season 2018

Bronco Mendenhall and the UVA football team may have two games left but for the Cavalier Marching Band the football season has come to a close. Here’s a recap of the CMB’s 2018 season.


The CMB performed six unique half-time shows this season. The season kicked off with UVA versus University of Richmond on September 1st. The Cavaliers won their first game of the season 42 to 13 and the CMB performed "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and The Waves and "Moondance" by Van Morrison. Although the game was initially delayed because of weather concerns, the day turned out perfect for football. Nice weather, a solid win, and an upbeat show made for a great kick off to the UVA football/band season.



The next two football games were away, UVA losing at Indiana on Sept 9th, 16 to 20, and beating Ohio University, 45 to 31, the next week on Sept 15th. The UVA versus Ohio game was originally scheduled to be a home game for UVA but because of Hurricane Florence was moved to Nashville. The CMB had been rehearsing to perform a Shrek themed show for the Ohio game, but because of the move the band moved the show to a later date and got an unexpected weekend off.


The very next weekend, Sept 22nd, UVA played and beat Louisville at home, 27 to 3. This game doubled as military appreciation day so the CMB performed its classic military show. Although there is some variance each year, in general this show includes the theme of every branch of the US military. This year the show also included "American Soldier," with guest singer Staff Sgt. Ben Pattison of the US Army Chorus. The military show is always a big hit and this year was no exception.

 Courtesy Charlene Ozelle-Chomicki

Courtesy Charlene Ozelle-Chomicki


After another away game loss Sept 29th to North Carolina State, 21 to 35, the Cavaliers were home for a crazy game against Miami on October 13th. This game was tense down to the last minute but UVA pulled out an amazing (close) win over Miami. The student body actually overwhelmed event staff and stormed the field as the clock hit 0:00. That halftime the CMB performed a show in honor of Latina heritage month, playing "Smooth" by Carlos Santana and "Cup of Life" by Ricky Martin.



The next week, Oct 20th, the Cavaliers pulled out a win at Duke, 28 to 14, and set the stage for potential bowl game eligibility if UVA beat the UNC Tarheels Oct 27th. Oct 27th was also family weekend for the UVA student body, with events like Convocation, 3rd year ring ceremony and a run with President Ryan. Because of this, many parents, including my own, were in attendance to watch the CMB perform their student designed show. The show was ~weather~ themed featuring "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons, and "It’s Raining Men" by The Weather Girls. Ironically, although it rained before and after the game, during the football game the weather was perfect. The win over UNC secured UVA a spot at a bowl game this December, promising a post-season for the UVA football team and the CMB.



November 2nd UVA played Pitt at home, ultimately losing 13 to 23. This was quite possibly the low point in the UVA football/band season – almost entirely because of the weather. As the CMB marched out for the pregame show it was only sprinkling – but by the time the band reached the end of its performance it was raining buckets. As a third year who has been to every home football game over the last three years I can confidently say it has never rained so hard during a game. The rain continued like this for almost the entire 1st quarter. After that it didn’t rain anymore but the band was already soaked – along with the rest of the crowd. The poor football team spent the game slipping and sliding all over the field and Pitt’s white uniforms…. weren’t, by the end of the game. The football field was too muddy for the band to perform on so the CMB played its show music from the stands, performing "Sir Duke" and "For Once in my Life" by Stevie Wonder. By 4th quarter the sun had set, the temperature had dropped and the band, still soaked, started to freeze. The unfortunate weather, the inability to fully perform the halftime show, and the loss to Pitt ultimately made for a very draining night.


Courtesy of Armando Justo


The final home game against the Liberty Flames on Nov 10th was a huge step up from the Pitt loss the week before. The Cavaliers were expected to win and although they allowed Liberty to score within the first two minutes they ultimately delivered, beating Liberty 45 to 24. Earlier in the season the CMB had prepared a Shrek themed show but due to Hurricane Florence were unable to perform it. The show was resurrected for the end-of-season performance, featuring "I’m a Believer" and "All Star" by Smash Mouth and "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Because this was the last home game of the season it was also senior (4th year) appreciation day! During the halftime show graduating band members were recognized by coming to the sideline and having their names called.


Courtesy of Armando JustoCourtesy of Armando Justo


Graduating members of the Cavalier Marching Band, including Her Campus co-chief editor and writer Sarah Vanlandingham and senior editor Maria McFarlane. Courtesy of Armando Justo


Although the CMB’s season has come to a close, UVA football has two away games left. The Cavaliers will be taking on Georgia Tech this weekend, kicking off at 3:30 EST. The following Friday, immediately after Thanksgiving, UVA will be playing their rival Virginia Tech. The CMB will be sending a small band to the VT game, but will not be performing at half-time.


Then of course there’s the bowl game, which the CMB will accompany the football game to and perform at. The Cavalier’s performance in the next two games will be a big determinant in what bowl they go to. Matt Trogdon at SBNation, who writes a weekly series on UVA’s bowl game prospects during the season, believes that if Virginia gets eight wins (one more after the win this past weekend over Liberty) it should be able to secure a spot in a Tier 1 bowl. Realistically this would mean the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC, the Pinstipe Bowl at Yankee stadium, or the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. Last year the Cavaliers lost against Navy at the Military bowl (which was basically a home game for Navy). With wind-chill that game was in the single digits so personally I’d like to see the Cavaliers go south this post-season.  


Thanks to all home-football game staff (cheerleaders, band members, event staff, and so many others) for a great season. Looking forward to 2019.