That's right -- Betsy's group was featured alongside Justin Timberlake in the Halftime Show!
As many of you know, a few years ago we moved off farm so that Betsy could run the U of M Marching band.
The last few months have been SUPER fun hearing all about the planning process.. although it was hard keeping the SUPER secret.
Betsy reached out to the halftime committee almost a year ago and the last few months she and the band staff been working crazy hours planning and re-planning the Marching Band's role.
Unaware of her efforts and before they were in the show, the Marching Band students put out several creative videos to build a viral push to get to perform along side Justin Timberlake.
The student's videos were actually pretty impressive and quite funny...
So much so, that Kare 11 made this feature story about the effort.
Betsy kept the news secret from nearly everyone until the band's year end banquet. Instead of closing the event, she 'forgot' one thing she had to tell them... and the room went crazy! Monday we'll post the video of the moment on this page. It was so fun to be in the room and see so many happy and excited people.
When Betsy learned they would be in the halftime show, we didn't know how much of a role they'd have. It was possible they'd all only be extras and 'fans'.
However, the halftime committee and band staff worked some pretty cool scenes into the show and the band even had a 3 hour recording session for the song they were playing on... it was actually the students playing for the show!
Rehearsals themselves required a lot of patience, they'd have an eight hour block of time and only get through the 12 minute show TWICE!
Even still, it sounds like the process was super interesting, attention was made to every last detail.
Everyone was really nice and it sounds like the Timberlake and halftime team were genuinely surprised at how well the band was playing and dancing - Justin even picked up a move from the drumline that made the final cut!
The band sounded GREAT on 'suit and tie' ! The music was arranged special for the band and they had quite a feature in the show.
But you may not have known that the band had key roles throughout the show. There were students in the initial dance club scene. Also since they are so good at positioning on the field, they were placed at key points for all of the drill on the field (the disco ball placements, color placards after that scene other key fan placements.)
Here's the whole video, pay attention to all the spots the band made the show and how great they sounded!
For fun: There never was a plan for a Prince hologram and the Jimmy Fallon stunt to open the show was REAL -- he actually was sitting on that sign which they lifted up by a crane!
Here is a video the students made to Kare 11 right after the event, they were excited!!!
They did a good job having all of the interviews feature different students and tidbits, here are the links:
Kare 11 Breaking thew News at 6:30 - this should be a great segment with some behind the scenes stuff.
Here is the link to the MPR story
Here is the live WCCO video of Betsy and Tommy the drum major
Here is a feature on MSP Mag -- some fun backstory here
Drumcore International(Fairly detailed story)
If you've heard them perform much recently, you'll know the band is one of the most musical Marching Bands in the country. It has been a couple of decades since they've been able to tour nationally due to funding limitations.
Fortunately, several donors have stepped up and kick started a capital campaign to allow national tours! They are matching the first $100k of donations, so if you feel so inclined, donate here and you'll double your donation!