When my aunt and uncle invited us to the Gopher football game this past Saturday, I knew it would be a day filled with great company and great football. Little did I know there would be something else at the game that would make my day even better!

When the University of Minnesota Marching Band came on the field, I was glued to my seat. I've seen great marching bands on television, but never live. And these young people were great.

As I was watching them, I wondered how often they must have to practice, and for how long, to get to this point. Every step was calculated, every twirl of the baton, the flags, the instruments. It was all very impressive.

So I did a little research, and here's what I found: The Marching Band season officially begins with Spat Camp, the ten-day training period that starts in late August and ends on Labor Day weekend. When fall semester classes begin, the band meets Monday through Thursday from 4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additional rehearsals are held on Friday afternoon (4:15-6:00pm) and Saturday mornings before all home football games.

After watching the half-time show, I was a little ashamed that I quit my high school band during my senior year, after 8 years of clarinet lessons. Thank goodness there are those out there who have taken their lessons a little more seriously. It allows the rest of us to appreciate their hard work and talent, and to enjoy the entertainment they provide.

The football game was good too, but big kudos to Marching Band Director, Tim Diem and the entire band for making this girl's first Gopher football game a day to remember!

Enjoy this video from last September!