Close shot of horn players in Marching Band

Marching Band Honors Cecil Welch at Alumni Band Weekend

Marching Band Honors Cecil Welch at Alumni Band Weekend

Marching Band alumni will once again join the Yellow Jacket Marching Band for Alumni Band Weekend.

Although band alumni events are long-running traditions, this is the second year that Alumni Band Weekend has run separately from Homecoming.

The event offers band alumni the chance to perform with current members of the band, strengthening their connection to Tech's student musicians, and their place in one of the Institute's longest-running student groups. (The Glee Club is Tech's oldest student group, formed two years before the Marching Band.) The 280 members of the Marching Band span all majors on campus.

This year, alumni and students will perform together several times: On Friday, November 11, they'll play at the Ferst Center for the Surround Sounds concert. On Saturday, November 12, 3:30pm, they'll take the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium for the football team's last home game of the season, with a halftime performance dedicated to one of their own, Cecil Welch. On Sunday, November 13, they'll collaborate again for the Georgia Tech Women's Basketball game against Kennesaw State. 

Cecil Welch (IM ‘58) was an internationally recognized trumpet player and advocate for musical education. Welch often returned to Tech to perform the national anthem before football and basketball games. The Welch family will also attend the coming football game, said Chris Moore, Director of Athletic Bands. 

Additionally, the Georgia Tech Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensemble will have a concert to honor Welch on Tuesday, November 15.

Upcoming Concerts

November 11, 2022

Surround Sounds

7:30-9:30pm, Ferst Center

November 15, 2022

Celebrating Cecil Welch

7:30-9:00pm, Ferst Center

Cecil Welch: A Life of Melody

Cecil Welch holding up his trumpet on field with Georgia Tech Marching Band

Welch played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra before joining Henry Mancini as the legendary composer's lead trumpeter and soloist.

At the halftime show on Saturday, the current band and the alumni band will perform Henry Mancini music as a tribute to Welch, Moore said. “We have a really interesting version of the 'Pink Panther Theme' and one of 'Baby Elephant Walk.'”

“It'll be a lot of fun for us to get to play his music in honor of Cecil.”

Later, Welch combined his passion for music and his Tech management education, forming a successful production company of his own and educating young people on the performance and business of music. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Welch "offered trumpet demonstrations in the educational environment, from pre-school 'show-and-tell' to college master classes on career development of both the business and the performance of music."

One of the most gracious ways Welch supported music education was by donating his personal copies of Mancini scores to the Georgia Tech Library Archives. The Symphonic Band and Jazz ensemble concert will include an official ceremony celebrating that donation.

The Georgia Tech ensembles will be joined by guest artists, Joe Gransden and Kevin Lyons, and will perform some of Cecil's favorite tunes and arrangements. 

The Symphonic Band will play music by Tyler Grant, Leonard Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Donald Grantham, and John Mackey. Then the Jazz Ensemble I will perform works by Sammy Nestico, Bobby Shew, Bill Liston, Carole King, Rick Hirsch, Alan Baylock, Miles Davis and Diane Schuur.

The Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Ensemble exemplify the musical world-class musical opportunities open to Georgia Tech student musicians.

"At Georgia Tech, students from all majors can perform in a dozen music ensembles, where they work with renowned faculty ensemble directors to make incredible music together," said Jason Freeman, Chair of the School of Music.

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