Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Heidel, Richard Mark

First Committee Member

Getz, Christine

Second Committee Member

Jones, William L

Third Committee Member

Kastens, Kevin

Fourth Committee Member

Stalter, Timothy


This thesis creates a historical perspective of The University of Iowa Marching Band program, now known as the Hawkeye Marching Band (HMB). The HMB is the most visible ensemble in the School of Music, and it is one of the largest student groups at the University, upholding a tradition of excellence and rich history of more than one hundred years. However, very little has been written on its history and development. Therefore, this study fills a significant gap in the understanding of a time-honored organization, and it contributes to the growing scholarship of collegiate marching band programs and their collective evolution.

Archival methods employed in the research process for this thesis included oral interviews with former and current University of Iowa band directors and thorough inspection of documents in the Special Collections at The University of Iowa main library. The University of Iowa Band Department records, as well as the personal archives of Lou Crist, Frederick C. Ebbs and David Henning were also inspected. Other materials researched consisted of an online alumni survey, digital and paper editions of The Daily Iowan, Press Citizen and Gazette newspapers, and The University of Iowa annual yearbooks.

This study begins by highlighting the early growth of the band program that significantly impacted the future of the marching band. It also profiles each director from 1911 to the present day, and investigates the development of the band through consideration of various factors, including program size, staff structure, performance practices, operational procedures, institutional support, use of auxiliary units and significant performances.

Thorough examination of the history of the Hawkeye Marching Band revealed several common themes: dedication to the preservation of tradition, innovations in terms of both style and presentation, and a commitment to student leadership and excellence. The Hawkeye Marching Band is a true symbol of The University of Iowa that has impacted thousands of lives in its 130-plus years of existence.


Band, Hawkeye, History, Iowa, Marching Band, Program Development


xii, 335 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 324-335).


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Copyright © 2013 Samuel Carter Biggers

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