The Collegiate Marching Band Experience: An Analysis of Marching Bands in the Media's Public Portrayal of Marching Bands
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In recent years, due to several significant events, the coverage of collegiate marching bands in the news has became more relevant. Collegiate marching bands are generally characterized by their sound, performances, and appearances at collegiate level football games. Most bands perform a concert set before entering the stadium, a pregame performance. halftime show, and songs throughout the football game. Marching bands are also historic student groups at universities that carry many traditions in membership and performance. Collegiate marching bands are groups that perform publicly on an almost weekly basis during the fall football season. As they are such a public entity. they also receive media attention. Newspapers at the collegiate level, local level, and national level run stories on these bands throughout the year, with most stories being published in the fall months. Why newspapers feature the band varies depending on the story, but the titles of those interviewed for the stories has little variation. These stories also show the positive and negative attributes and aspects of collegiate marching bands. This thesis seeks to analyze three specific collegiate marching band events to see how they were framed by local and national newspapers. The events are the firing of The Ohio State Marching Band director, the performance of the South Carolina alma mater and fight song by the Louisiana State University Marching Band, and the Kansas State Marching Band’s Jayhawk field formation incident. In examining the three events, it was found that the framing of collegiate marching bands primarily featured the collegiate marching band director and a university administrator or representative. These articles however, rarely include the voice of the marching band member. It was found that local news articles frame the events with more detail and community connections, while the national articles focus on the facts and released statements. The language used amongst the articles was similar in nature.
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