When the Dallas Cowboys football team opens its season at AT&T Stadium Sunday, the TCU marching band will hit the turf at halftime.
“It’s going to be opening night,” Jeremy Strickland, assistant director of bands, said. “It’s first game.”
The band plans to open its Sept. 8 performance with AC/DC-style classic rock, Bobby Francis, director of bands, said.
“This year, the show is 70s rock,” junior drum major Nick VandenBush said. “I feel that will connect pretty well with the audience.”
Playing at such a major venue is a great way to promote the university, VandenBush said.
Musicians will arrive at the stadium early for on-field practice, then watch the game before playing at halftime, Francis said.
“The band consists of some of the most sought-after, talented players from across the state,” he said. “If they are not on any kind of scholarship, they simply volunteer their time.”
Since early August, the group has practiced coordinating their routine with the music, Francis said. The event offers students a chance to show what they know on the field.
Junior music education major Jon Skoruppa, who plays trumpet in the marching band and wants to become a teacher, said the halftime experience will be fun and is something he can share with future students.
“There is an element of nervousness, but it’s more excitement just to get out there,” he said. “I like seeing the response of the crowd.”
It has been 10 years since the band's last performance at a Dallas Cowboys football game. The last time was when Tom Landry's statue was dedicated during a game at the old Cowboys Stadium in Irving, Francis said.
However, the 175-member marching band has performed at AT&T Stadium before, most recently in 2011.
“The last time we were there, we played the pregame for the Super Bowl,” Francis said.
Francis said playing for Dallas Cowboys fans will feel similar to playing for home crowds.
“It is an honor,” Francis said.