Letter to the Editor: Stanford’s Nonconformist Marching Band

Jan. 7, 2013, 11:10 a.m.

My only complaint about the entire Tournament of Roses (TOR) concerns the Stanford University band. In the TOR parade, its “body work” was gratuitous to the point that it was unprofessional and clown-like. The members of the Band didn’t march; they ambled. They didn’t play as an ensemble; it was helter-skelter, near-total dissonance. Their “uniforms” looked like they found them in a dumpster. Their disgraceful behavior was an insult to all the other bands who put in countless hours of dedicated, focused practice, with the single-minded vision of providing the best show that they possibly could to millions of TOR parade fans and viewers.

Kudos to all the other bands (U. Wisconsin, Marines, Lincoln, etc.); shame on you, Stanford band. Your “style” may be appropriate for some venues – like a circus sideshow. It has no place in a parade.

Don’t defend yourselves or pat yourselves on the back for being non-conformists. Nonconformity can be a very good thing, but you take non-conformity so far beyond the norm that your true talents (and I’m sure they are many) are obscured in absurdity and mediocrity.

I don’t have an issue with creative nonconformity. I have an issue with nonconformity to quality standards, to professionalism, to respect, to doing justice to the incomparable nature of the entire TOR organization. If the Stanford band has any musical talent, you failed to show it, not by your artistic nonconformity but by your lack of respect for, and pride in, your own God-given talents.

John E.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Daily is committed to publishing a diversity of op-eds and letters to the editor. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Email letters to the editor to eic ‘at’ stanforddaily.com and op-ed submissions to opinions ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

Login or create an account

Apply to The Daily’s High School Winter Program

Applications Due Soon