Frequently Asked Questions
What are you guys?
The YPMB is one of twelve scatter-style
marching bands in the country. What does this mean? Most marching bands
spend their time on field spelling their name in script or making a swirly
line formation while playing the complete works of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
We perform halftime shows composed of comedy segments, during which we spell
witty things on the field and play really cool rock music. Between formations
we run around wildly (hence the clever name "scatter band"). For example: in
the past we've done a sketch about the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein as a
Yale professor, accompanied to "It's Gonna Be Me" and "Live and Let Die," one
in which we played the "Godfather" theme and dug up Jimmy Hoffa on the 30-yard-line
(this was during our trip to Giants Stadium) and the unforgettable George W.
Bush sketch, which involved a line of white-shirted bandies and the playing
of Eric Clapton's "Cocaine." We are also a pep band. During the winter we
support Yale's hockey and basketball teams every weekend. This time of year
often leads to playoff travel; we've been to Lake Placid, Ann Arbor, MI,
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, and more. We are a mobile attack unit. If there's anywhere
on the Yale campus (or, really, the East Coast - we're flexible) that needs some
relief from pretension, we'll be there to provide.
Are the concert band, jazz band, and YPMB separate? Can I join just one? Or all?
The three Yale Bands are separate entities under the same umbrella organization. Each band conducts its own auditions and runs its own rehearsals and performances. There are crossover members for all of the groups and in fact most bandies enjoy being part of more than one group, but membership in one is not required to be part of the others.
What's my time commitment going to be like?
We'd like to think that you won't worry about that sort of thing once you get yourself acquainted with the YPMB, but we realize that Yale is a many-splendored thing and that there are still, despite our efforts, 24 hours in the day. The YPMB will take very little of your time - during the fall, we rehearse from 4 to 6pm on Fridays and spend our Saturdays on the football field (from about 9 to 4, usually). That's it. During the winter, we usually perform at two sporting events per weekend (each during the evening), and we'd like you to be there for it all, but we don't require that you come to all of them. We'll cry and miss you, but we understand.
Can I do other extracurriculars too?
Absolutely. There are Yalies from all sorts of other organizations that double as bandies, and without any horrible stretch of their schedules.
How seriously do you take your music?
Of course we care about musicianship - we are the YPMB and we take pride in every show we do. But if you want to join and you aren't an All-State musician, don't worry. We have musicians of all levels and we welcome everybody that wants to musically contribute. That goes for arranging as well as playing - most of our music is student arranged, and we welcome input in that department too.
Can I be in the band if I don't play an instrument?
Sure can! Our props section (AKA Squids) is a vital part of the YPMB - any sign, letter, interpretative dance or gigantic fire-breathing creature you see on the field is their handiwork.
Can I be in the band if I play the electric