University of Iowa


Unlike some other schools in the Big Ten, the Iowa Alma Mater is not played during football games, due to the length of the song and the complexity of the lyrics and melodies. For this reason, the Alma Mater has been an ‘unofficial trademark’ of sorts for the HMB.  They perform two versions of the Alma Mater, an instrumental and a vocal version. The instrumental version is rarely played due to the popularity of the 4-part harmony vocal version. The band sings the vocal Alma Mater every week in the “tunnel” underneath Kinnick Stadium just before marching pregame on the field. It is traditional that band members remove their marching shakos and/or hats, link arms and sway while performing the music. The band also sings the Alma Mater after most fans have already cleared the stadium.

“The Boom” has become a trademark of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Occurring immediately prior to the band’s pregame routine, the band’s announcer speaks through the stadium sound system, saying, “It’s time to get ready for the boom!” Immediately following this announcement, the drum line’s bass drum players all play a single count, creating a loud boom that echoes inside the stadium. “The Boom” signals the beginning of the band’s pregame show.


Hawkeye Marching Band Pre-Game and “The Boom”