My father, Harry D. Sprowles ’38, was active in the band as an undergrad. In the ’50s, he took me to one or two games a year at Palmer Stadium. The band still was recognizable as a marching band, and the music was good, but he had one big problem — the use of the microphone as an instrument. There were two reasons for his irritation: 1) They tried to be funny but were simply trying, not funny; 2) All that time spent gabbing reduced the time when music could be played. He had nothing against humor provided there was no talking; his example was from his time, when the band played a Yale fight song in slow time as a ballad.
Editor’s note: More alumni band stories can be found at paw.princeton.edu.