History of the Marching 97
The Marching 97 has been a part of Lehigh University for over a century - its humble beginnings in 1906 mark the start of a remarkable and singular history. In its heyday, the band was regarded as among the finest in the world, and performed both field shows and stage concerts across the country. Auditions were held at the beginning of each academic year - competition was fierce for spots among the band's ranks, and the members were held to rigid standards of performance and attendance. Both then and now, the band has been known above all for its gregarious, fun-loving, rowdy enthusiasm - a type of spirit the band likes to call "psyche". For a hundred years and more, the men and women of the Marching 97 have been cut from the same cloth - while the members and directors may change, the spirit of the band is every bit the same as it was when the first bandmembers assembled in 1906.
Perhaps nobody has better described the Lehigh Band than its founder, E.E. Ross (class of 1908) - "There was never a single case of jealousy or friction.....we worked with little formal system but with complete cooperation - and we had a lot of fun."