About the Band

As the ever-present and never-failing supporters of Harvard athletics, the Harvard University Band has filled the stands and the gridiron of Soldiers Field with mayhem, music, and wit since 1919. The Band promotes school spirit and tradition, encouraging students and alumni alike to raise song to Harvard at university events. Ever the trend-setter in its field, the Band remains "the best in the business" (The New Yorker). The scramble style of "marching" invented by the Band has become the modus operandi for the Ivy League.

The Band performs at all home and away football games. Throughout the year it can also be seen in action at men's and women's hockey and basketball games, other Harvard sports, and at various university, community, and charity events. With instruments in hand and a commitment to excellence and fun, the Band works hard to bring music and smiles to audiences.

The Harvard Band is entirely student-run, from the writing of halftime shows to the arrangements of music to administrative work and financial planning. The student leadership relies heavily on the creativity and wisdom of Mark Olson, Director and faculty advisor since 2013.

Please visit our FAQ for more information on the Band's activities and membership.

Related Organizations

Harvard Wind Ensemble

The Harvard University Wind Ensemble is an organization of up to fifty talented musicians. It was founded in the 1960’s by conductor James Walker to offer musicians of the Harvard community the opportunity to study and perform original literature for winds and percussion. Much of the repertoire for winds includes music for chamber ensemble (Mozart’s Serenades), brass ensemble (Gabrieli’s Canzoni), and percussion ensemble (Chavez’s Toccata). The Wind Ensemble is directed by Mark Olson.

Visit our audition page to sign up for an audition in which you can also try out for the marching band or jazz bands!

Harvard Jazz Bands

Jazz programs at Harvard were initiated in 1971 by Director of Bands Thomas G. Everett and have developed in conjunction with the Office for the Arts at Harvard since 1976. Programs currently include two eighteen-piece undergraduate jazz ensembles, with opportunities for improvisational and combo experience, and an annual Jazz Master in Residency in which artists work and perform with undergraduates. In addition to playing local jazz festivals, concerts, and dances on campus, band students study the history, styles, and literature of jazz and develop listening and improvisation skills. The Harvard Jazz Bands are led by Directors Mark Olson and Yosvany Terry.

Visit our audition page to sign up for an audition in which you can also try out for the marching band or wind ensemble!

The Office for the Arts at Harvard

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) supports student engagement in the arts and integrates the arts into University life. Through its programs and services, the OFA teaches and mentors, fosters student art making, connects students to accomplished artists, commissions new work, and partners with local, national, and international constituencies. By supporting the development of students as artists and cultural stewards, the OFA works to enrich society and shape communities in which the arts are a vital part of life.

Harvard Music Department

The Music Department offers both an undergraduate and a graduate program. Undergraduates receive an A.B. with a concentration in music. Graduate students complete a PhD program in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, composition, or cross-disciplinary music studies. There is also a small A.M. program in performance practice.

Harvard Summer Pops Band

Founded by director emeritus Tom Everett in 1972, the Harvard Summer Pops Band (HSPB) is open without audition to all brass, woodwind, and percussion players from Cambridge, Harvard, and the Greater Boston area, regardless of age or experience. It is a great way to keep playing during the summer, or to start playing again if you haven't touched your instrument in a number of years. Each season of the HSPB concludes with two concerts at the end of July, one in Harvard Yard and one at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.