U of Georgia

how 'bout them dawgs?

 - Hail to Georgia

Hail to Georgia by The Redcoat Band and Men’s Glee Club of 1955

The part about how the Redcoats got their name is very interesting! (In bold below)

Originally started in 1905 as a section of the UGA Military Department, the University of Georgia Redcoat Band has grown in the last 100 years from 20 military cadets to over 350 men and women covering almost every major at the University. The band’s first non-military performance was not at a football game, as many would think, but the 1906 Georgia-Clemson baseball game! For the first twenty five years of its existence, the band members split their time (albeit not evenly) between their studies, their military drill, the band, and the athletic events they were required to play at (including baseball games, which eventually released the band from their duties). It was also during this time that the fight song “Glory Glory to Old Georgia,” composed by former bandsman and future head of the Music Department Hugh Hodgson, made its debut.

At a Georgia Tech game in the late 1900s, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal, not knowing the new Georgia fight song, kept constantly complaining about “the incessant playing of ‘John Brown’s Body.’” (While it is interesting to note that the main Georgia fight song is modeled after “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” that song was actually based on the 1859 song about the abolitionist known for taking over the US arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).

In 1955, the Redcoat Band as we know today was formed by the arrival of Roger Dancz and his wife Phyllis, who was to become the Director of the Auxiliaries. Before Roger’s arrival, the band was known simply as the Georgia Marching Band. There are several stories as to how the Redcoats got their name (other than their uniforms, of course). One version has an Atlanta reporter writing about a joint concert among the bands of Georgia and Georgia Tech. While the Tech band was known as the “yellow-jacketed band,” the reporter found it necessary to dub UGA’s band as “the red-coated band.” The name stuck and by the time Roger and Phyllis arrived, the University of Georgia Dixie Redcoat Band was formed. With the arrival of the Danczes, the band began to grow in size and perform more elaborate halftime shows during the 1960s and 70s.

In 1959, Phyllis Dancz formed the “Georgettes,” a dance line that performs alongside the band during the pre-game and halftime shows. Later on, the Bulldog Banners, later to be called the Georgia Flag Line, was formed to add color and motion to the halftime show.

From The History of the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, 1905-2005 - Hugh Hodson School of Music, University of Georgia Bands. (http://bands.music.uga.edu/redcoats/history.php)

  • 14 June 2011
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