For the first time, the Notre Dame band will not attend a football game

NOW: For the first time, the Notre Dame band will not attend a football game

For the first time in school history there won’t be a band for a Notre Dame football home game because of COVID-19 changes and students being sent home early. But as they say the show must go on and, like everything in 2020, the regular season finale will be different at Notre Dame Stadium.

The pandemic has changed game day traditions from tailgating to the player’s walk to trumpets under the dome.

These time-honored traditions have been tabled.

“We worked all last summer with the university and from the medical authorities with whom they consulted to get permission to have band at all. And it has worked,” said Larry Dwyer, the assistant director of Notre Dame bands.

Dwyer has been the assistant director of bands at Notre Dame for more than 20 years.

His students have had to adjust.

No marching out of the tunnel.

No on field halftime shows.

Social distancing in the stands.

And no Senior Day.

“Our band members understood that they really had to buy into all the restrictions that they had so that we would be able to have a band. And they’ve done it with enthusiasm and great discipline,” Dwyer said.

While we can all hope the rituals that Irish fans revel in return next season, for now, the football season marches on.

“This Saturday’s game against Syracuse, all the students are gone, we will not have the band in the stands or at the stadium at all,” Dwyer said. “But we will be there virtually. On the video board they will show clips of the band. And play the songs that we pre recorded for the game. So in a virtual sense we will be there and we will keep that unbroken streak for all these 175 years going.”

Another change this year, the band will not travel with the team for any playoff or championship games.

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