The Bearcat Bands have many traditions that we hold dear. Although we continually strive for growth, our traditions tie us to the past and provide continuity despite other changes that may occur.
1. 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, security personnel will be alerted. Should a band member see another member attempting to prevent an outsider from cutting through, assistance is required.
2. 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.
3. Pre-game 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.
4. 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.
5. Charge Down the Stadium Steps
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.
6. No Music
The UC Band never takes the field for a marching performance with sheet music.
7. 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.
8. Post Game: 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.
9. 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.
11. 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.
12. Sectional Traditions
Most sections within the band have their own traditions, which will be taught to new individuals by the upperclassmen in their sections.