Christopher Bierhaus from Westport was selected for membership in the 2009 Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and will be integral in the Football Saturday hoopla surrounding Danny Hope’s first year as the Boilermakers’ head football coach.

The Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, with 338 members in 2009, is one of the largest marching bands in the nation. To be selected for the band, students participate in music and marching auditions while learning the Purdue marching style and traditions at Purdue’s band camp, held Aug. 16 through 22. All students try out every year and only the students with the winning combination of talent and attitude are accepted for membership, according to Purdue band officials. With seven home games on the schedule and a trip to the University of Michigan game on Nov. 11, the season will be a busy one.

Coinciding with Coach Hope’s first year, the Big Ten has mandated an across-the-conference change that will give pre-game festivities a new look. All 11 conference universities have been asked to have the football players on the field for the band’s playing of “The National Anthem.” At Purdue, the anthem is paired with a unique Purdue tradition, the reading of “I Am An American,” a short patriotic reading that calls upon everyone in the stadium to shout out “I Am An American” at its conclusion.

The Big Ten mandate insures, for the first time, that coaches and players will be involved in the emotional and patriotic moments surrounding “The National Anthem.”

“All the iconic images that Purdue fans love in the pre-game show, the Boilermaker Locomotive, the Floating Purdue and the 102-year-old ‘Block P’ formation will be there, but the order has been completely changed and we’re making it even more exciting,” says Max Jones, Assistant Marching Band Director.

The focus of the Purdue Band’s 2009 half-time shows range from a “Thriller” of a tribute to Michael Jackson to a show featuring hit tunes by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.

For more information on the “All-American” Marching Band and all the ensembles and events at Purdue Bands and Orchestras, visit

Trending Video

Recommended for you