Collegiate Marching Band Festival

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The Collegiate Marching Band Festival, also called the CMBF, is an annual event held in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which showcases college and university marching bands of all sizes and styles from across the Northeastern United States. First held in 1996, the event typically takes places in early October at J. Birney Crum Stadium, a renowned venue for marching band and drum corps performances and the second largest high school football stadium in Pennsylvania. The festival is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for fans and band members alike to view bands that perform a variety of shows and exhibit different performance styles.

Management and sponsors[edit]

Indiana University of Pennsylvania's marching band at CMBF, November 1990
West Chester University's marching band at CMBF, 2004

The festival is currently managed by Vivace Productions, Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Different Styles[edit]

While many of the participating bands perform contemporary “corps style” shows using roll-step marching, other performance varieties abound. Morgan State University, from Baltimore, Maryland, performs a high-energy show typical of southern HBCU bands. Lehigh University and Penn State University, both of which have participated in the past, perform traditional "Big Ten" style shows with a high-step marching technique. Other bands, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, West Chester University, The University of Delaware, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, have developed unique styles all their own.


Celebrating its 21st occurrence in 2016, the festival has a number of traditions, which spectators and performers have come to anticipate on an annual basis.

Order of performance

  • The order of performance is rotated on an annual basis although it still follows a pattern where smaller-sized bands perform early in the day and larger bands perform later. As a custom, the first band to perform also plays the National Anthem to signify the start of the festival.



  • J. Birney Crum Stadium boasts some eccentric food choices. Among them can be found fried pierogies and giant Hawaiian Shave Ices that resemble softball-sized snow cones. Many festival-goers make these treats a regular part of the annual event.

Musical Organizations

  • The Collegiate Marching Band Festival is traditionally staffed by the Eta Rho chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Zeta Upsilon chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. Members of these organizations from several chapters use the festival as a time to gather together and socialize while engaging in their own particular traditions.

Additional musical fraternities such as Phi Mu Alpha also congregate at this time. Alumni and members of area drum corps gather and socialize at the event; most notably the Reading Buccaneers gather annually at the end of the event on or near the field. Students, staff, and alumni from the participating bands take this opportunity to commingle with other members and before all the schools depart. Many of the organizations sing their respective hymn/song before departing the festival.


  • After the last band performs, the tuba and sousaphone players from several of the larger bands congregate at the center of the field to play traditional tunes, socialize with each other, and generally put on a humorous display for the exiting crowds. This congregation is called "The Clusterfun".

Performing Ensembles (2003-2014)[edit]

8th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 21, 2003 - Order of Appearance

9th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, October 10, 2004 - Order of Appearance

10th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, October 2, 2005 - Order of Appearance

11th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, October 8, 2006 - Order of Appearance

12th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 30, 2007 - Order of Appearance

13th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 28, 2008 - Order Of Appearance

14th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, October 4, 2009 - Order Of Appearance

15th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, October 3, 2010 - Order Of Appearance

16th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 25, 2011 - Order of Appearance

17th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 30, 2012 - Order of Appearance

18th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - Order of Appearance

19th Annual CMBF[edit]

Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Order of Appearance

External link[edit]