The Razorback Marching Band (nicknamed the "Best in Sight and Sound") is the marching band of the University of Arkansas. It performs at home football games and other events. A small pep band travels to football games played elsewhere.
On June 5, 1924, the Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, which is a National Honorary Band Fraternity, was formed at the University of Arkansas. The fraternity's purpose was, and is to this day, to promote the existence and welfare of the University Band. In the time period directly following World War II, the Arkansas band enjoyed a time period of what could be considered steady growth.
In 1948, E.J. Marty became the Director of Bands and turned the 42 piece football band into the famous "Marching 100", known throughout America as one of the best bands in the nation.
On November 11, 1950, the Psi Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority, was founded at the University of Arkansas. Together with the Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, they have aided in transforming the musical organization at Arkansas.
In 1956, Dr. Richard A. "Doc" Worthington became Director of Bands during a slump in band enrollment. Dr. Worthington was quickly able to turn the "Hopeful 78" into the University of Arkansas Razorback Marching Band.
In 1995, Professor Eldon Janzen, Director of Bands and Lambda Chapter Sponsor, retired after leading the band after almost three decades. The University of Arkansas awarded him with the title "Director of Bands, Emeritus", the first such title to be given to any band director at the University of Arkansas.
Timothy Gunter is the Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas. He serves as the director of the Razorback Marching Band, conductor of the Symphonic Band and the Hogwild Basketball Pep Band, as well as being in charge of the administrative affairs of the Arkansas Band Division. In addition, Mr. Gunter teaches courses for music education majors, is the faculty sponsor for Tau Beta Sigma, and leads the recruiting efforts for the Band Division of the Music Department.
Jeremy Pratchard is the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas. A native of Oklahoma, Mr. Pratchard received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Oklahoma and his Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Texas Tech University. In the capacity of Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, he assists in the direction of the Razorback Marching Band, directs the Lady Hogwild Basketball and Volleyball bands, and the Concert Band. He is also the halftime drill designer for the Razorback Marching Band. In addition to his band duties, he assists with instruction of percussion majors in the U of A Percussion Studio, directs the University of Arkansas Steel Drum Band, and is the faculty sponsor for Kappa Kappa Psi.
The University of Arkansas Marching Band has several student leadership positions, the most visible of which are the drum majors who lead the band on the field and direct the band in the stands. Drum major auditions start with an interview of each applicant by the directors and graduate teaching assistants. Those who pass the interview stage are invited to a teaching session, where each person gives a mock lesson on marching technique. Lastly, the best of these compete in front of the entire band by demonstrating the traditional drum major run-out, and then by leading the band in stands tunes.
Each section has one or two section leaders, depending on the size of the section. They oversee their section during sectional rehearsals, which could cover music or marching technique. During trips and other events, the drum majors often rely on the section leaders to help organize the band before parades and other performances. Section leaders are also responsible for administrative tasks for their sections such as ensuring attendance at events, and seeing that all necessary forms are filled out by their section members.
The section is further devided into small groups led by drill captains. The drill captain is responsible for instruction and demonstation of marching fundamentals and distribution of drill cards.
The band usually has one or more students functioning as librarians. They are responsible for ensuring that music, drill sheets, etc. are printed and ready for rehearsals, in addition to managing the band library. Other student leadership positions are offered through participation in the band service organizations.