No Cutting Through the Band

Due to the potential for injury to performers or intruders, no one except emergency medical personnel may cut through the band while in formation. If someone attempts to cut through, a band member first asks them politely to go around, and if necessary, briefly explains the tradition. If necessary, appropriate security personnel will be alerted. Likewise, should a band member see another member attempting to prevent an outsider from cutting through, assistance is required. No one may cut through the band.

Sigma Sigma Concert and Catwalk

3 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff for each home football game, the UC Band can be found on the steps of Sigma Sigma Commons giving a pregame-tailgate concert. It is here that the band will perform a preview of each of the songs that can will be performed for both pregame and halftime performances, and possibly will perform some other tunes as well.

Good Luck Taps

Before each performance, band members give good luck taps to other members of the band. These consist of two knocks with the knuckles on the other person’s chest over the C-paw. This stems from an old theater tradition.

Pregame Inspection

Before the warm-up show on Sigma Sigma Commons, band members will form two lines facing each other. Drum Majors then inspect each individual member’s uniform using the proper criteria.

Down the Drive

Before every home football game, the band enters the stadium by marching down Corry Boulevard while playing the band's signature cadence, "Down the Drive." The booming cadence establishes the band's arrival to Nippert Stadium.

The Charge

Before the pre-game performance at each home football game, the brass, woodwind and color guard sections line up at the top of Nippert Stadium, play the Army Fanfare, and CHARGE down the stadium steps into formation.

No Music

The UC Band never takes the field for a marching performance with sheet music, and music is expected to be memorized.

Sitting Hat Ripple

After pre-game and half-time performances, the Director and Drum Majors dismiss the band into the stands. No one sits until the Drum Majors give a signal, after which the entire band sits together. The Drum Majors then give another signal for the hat ripple. The person at the appointed end of each row takes off their hat and everyone follows in order. This forms a sort of race between the rows. After the hat ripple, the gloves must be taken off. This keeps our appearance organized and professional.

Cheer Cincy/Alma Mater

After every football and basketball game, the band will play Cheer Cincy followed by the Alma Mater. Auxiliary members sing while wind and percussion members play.

Wearing Hats Backwards

If the football team wins the game, the band will turn their hats around during the final playing of Cheer Cincy. The hats are turned around and worn properly for the Alma Mater.


After all relevant rehearsals and performances of the Bearcat Marching Band, the Drum Majors will dismiss the band. This dismissal consists of a vocal and physical cadence modeled after the one originated by George N. Parks.

Confetti Toss

When the basketball team scores its first field goal of the 1st half of the game, the band will throw confetti up into the air.

Section Traditions

Most sections within the band have their own traditions, which will be taught to new individuals by the upperclassmen in their sections.