Blugold marching band grows to record 400 members

Published: Aug. 13, 2018 at 6:32 PM CDT
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For the first time, this fall UW-Eau Claire’s Blugold Marching Band will have 400 members, the maximum number of students it currently can accept.

There is a waiting list of Blugolds hoping to get in to the BMB should someone drop out.

Dr. Randal Dickerson, band director, determines the maximum number of members the band can accept based on available uniforms and equipment.

As funding allowed him to buy more uniforms and equipment over the years, he grew the size of the BMB.

Since 2004, applications have exceeded limits every year, even as the band’s numbers grew. In recent years, he limited the BMB to 350 members because it was a standard size for the nation’s largest marching bands and he has a one-person staff to manage it.

"When I got here 18 years ago it was not my intention to grow a 400 member marching band," said Dickerson.

He decided to grow the BMB this year because the demand for spots is so high.

There were more than 200 freshman BMB applicants this year.

This year, the BMB added 50 members, bringing the band to 400 student members — the largest single-year increase in BMB history.

Now with 400 members, the BMB it is easily ‘the’ biggest marching band in the Midwest, including the Big Ten universities, and one of the largest marching bands in the country.

"I can only imagine what's going to happen with our application pool by next year," said Dickerson.