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University of Montana cuts the time limit its marching band can play during games

University of Montana Main Hall
Freddy Monares
Montana Pubic Radio
University of Montana Main Hall

The University of Montana recently cut the amount of time its marching band plays during games. An online petition asking the university to walk back that decision racked up more than 1,700 signatures in less than a day.

A UM spokesperson confirmed the school’s athletics department restricted how much the Grizzly Marching Band could play during the matchup with Montana State University on Saturday. The move followed a joint decision by the two schools to no longer allow the visiting team’s band to travel to the rivalry football game.

The Montana Kaimin reported the decision was made to boost ticket availability and increase revenue for the schools.

UM grad Ashley Barber started a petition urging the schools to reverse course.

“The students are the ones attending the university; they're the ones that are making these memories,” Barber said. “Just, do the right thing by the students. Do the right thing by the alumni.”

UM spokesperson Dave Kuntz said the athletics department told the marching band not to play on first and second down while the Griz were on defense. It also stopped the band from playing the school fight song on at least one occasion.

Kuntz said the athletics department did what it thought was best for the game-day atmosphere. He added that the decision may be revisited as UM prepares to host a slate of playoff games in the weeks ahead.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

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