Northwestern University

MARCH OF THE STEELMEN & OLD PLUS-FOUR DRILL

At the conclusion of every home football season, NUMB performs the “Old Plus-Four Drill” to the tune of “March of the Steelmen.” A tradition since 1928, the 12+ minute drill involves the band making the UN monogram.

The Old Plus-Four Drill is also a tribute to the band’s graduating seniors. At the conclusion of the drill, the graduating seniors are introduced individually to the crowd, and then gather to sing the Alma Mater. The class then lines up together to play “Go! U Northwestern” by themselves for the fans.

At some point in time, someone wrote words to “March of the Steelmen,” lamenting the end of their time as part of the marching band: “no more chills, no more spills, no more marching when it’s raining.” Although the lyrics start out sounding as if the seniors are grateful to be done with NUMB, the words later exclaim that the seniors will return as NUMB Alums, carrying out the traditions as alumni forever.