Washington State University Cougar Marching Band

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Washington State University Cougar Marching Band
SchoolWashington State University
LocationPullman, Washington, U.S.
ConferencePac-12 Conference
Founded1899; 124 years ago (1899)
DirectorTroy Bennefield
Associate DirectorSarah Miller
Assistant Directors
  • A.J. Miller
  • Christopher Wilson
Fight song"Win the Day" and "All Hail"
Motto"Best in the West!"
Modern cmb uniform.png

The Washington State University Cougar Marching Band (or CMB) is the marching band of Washington State University. With over 180 members, the Cougar Marching Band performs at every home football game and select away games.

The CMB hosts a Band Day and a Marching Band Competition. The latter was started in 2015 to give high school bands in the region a premiere competitive event.


Directors of the Cougar Marching Band
Director Years Length of Direction
Karel Havlicek 1923-1927 5 years
Harold Wheeler 1928-1950 23 years
Howard Deming 1951-1964 14 years
Max McKee 1965-1966 2 years
John Knoll 1967-1968 2 years
Judd Aetzel 1969 1 year
Richard Uthmann 1970 1 year
John Newman 1971-1972 2 years
Larry Hudson 1973 1 year
Jack Prindle 1974 1 year
Scott Randolph 1975-1976 2 years
Howard Meeker 1977-1981 5 years
Patricia Root 1982-1988 7 years
Timothy Hoey 1989-1990 2 years
Donald Hower 1991-2013 23 years
Troy Bennefield 2014- 9 years

Band Composition[edit]


  • Piccolos
  • Clarinets
  • Alto Saxophones
  • Tenor Saxophones
  • Trumpets
  • Mellophones
  • Trombones
  • Baritones
  • Sousaphones
  • Snares
  • Tenors
  • Basses
  • Cymbals

Color Guard[edit]

  • Flags
  • Rifles

Feature Twirler[edit]

The feature twirler is an auditioned role. They perform alongside the band during all events on game day.


"The Fight Song"[edit]

"The Fight Song" is the fight song of the university. The music was composed in 1919 by WSU student Phyllis Sayles with fellow student Zella Melcher penning the lyrics. In 2019, the CMB celebrated the 100th anniversary of the fight song by premiering a new version titled "Win the Day". It retains the same structure as the original, with modernized composition. It is now that standard version of the fight used by the band.

The Alma Mater[edit]

"Washington, My Washington" is the alma mater of the university. It was composed by James DeForest Cline in 1914 for a pep contest, and was adopted by the university in 1919 to be the alma mater. The version in use currently is an arrangement by current CMB director, Troy Bennefield.

Other common tunes[edit]

The CMB plays many songs and "shorts" to get the crowd excited. The most common are:

WSU Marching Band Championships[edit]

The WSU Marching Band Championships is an independent, annual high school marching band competition hosted by the CMB. Bands from primarily Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho compete in the modern two-round competition format, prelims and finals. The festival is coordinated by the CMB, and was started in 2015 to serve high school marching bands in the region. The CMB performs as an exhibition group at this event.

Former Members[edit]

See also[edit]