There are few things more cherished by members of the Marching Virginians than game day traditions. One exciting part of game day that is the source of many traditions is the March to Victory, the MV parade from our practice facility to our seats in Lane Stadium. In celebration of Virginia Tech Athletics making the March to Victory an official game day event this year, I thought I would spend a little time diving into some of these traditions and what makes this march so special.
The first time I made this March to Victory was the first time I felt the weight of what it means to be a Marching Virginian. I realized that we are responsible for bringing the spirit to Virginia Tech’s AMAZING fans. Making that march and seeing the excitement of the Hokies as I passed by was indescribable. It felt great to know that I was at a school that completely supported me, and at the same time I could support the crowd by radiating energy. I’m not going to lie… I have teared up nearly every time I have made this march in my four years here at Virginia Tech. It’s the best feeling in the world to be an important part of such a spirited community.
Since the fans are such a huge part of the March to Victory experience, I thought I would ask a few fans their view of the parade:
“It gets me pumped up and excited for the game, and ready to watch the game with friends and family. It makes me feel happy and proud to call myself a Hokie.”
-Alex Koelsch, Senior at Virginia Tech
It is an absolutely electrifying experience. They bring the Spirit, energy and high fives with them to get the crowds pumped up. It’s a perfect way to start game day.
-Michele Deans, Hokie Parent
In addition to the incredible fans, the traditions within the Marching Virginians make this a very special time for us. Every one enjoys traditions associated with the March to Victory from endless high fives, to game day chants, to even bigger and crazier traditions. My personal favorite is the Tubas’ tradition of breaking off from the Marching Virginians block and sneaking over to the porta-potties. They approach and assume the position. Then, in unison, emit a loud blast at the poor souls using the bathroom. It is a testament to Hokie Nation’s love for the Marching Virginians that this tradition is loved by many, especially those in the porta-potties.
A few MVs were eager to share about the game day traditions that are important to their section:
Right before the whistle is called all the twirlers run down each row of drumline/cymbal members and clank our batons against their sticks or “bong the cymbals.”
-Meredith Smith, Twirler
As the guard marches to the stadium, we turn around in the block line by line and “woo!” as our individual line spins. What I love is that at some point the trumpets, who are behind us in the block, started participating in this tradition with us!
-Olivia Monseur, Color Guard
The clarinets have a chant we always say together: "Net row, net row, tweet tweet ho! Strow, strow, strow!" As we say "strow," we all row our clarinets as if we were paddling a boat. It's super fun and gets us all excited for the game!
-Jenna Sims, Clarinet
One trumpet player describes the entire march this way:
“Right before we get in formation for the parade block, the trumpets all huddle together and chant, “what time is it?? It’s game time!” This gets the entire section hyped up and ready for action. As we storm out of the MVC, we have an audience. Hands stretch out to get a high five from us, because what’s a game without high-fiving the band??? As we march down, the section cheers “GO HOKIES GO!” and we twirl around with the color guard. As we approach the stadium we get low and quiet to “scare” the opposing team when we enter the tunnel. The closer you get the more adrenaline you have and once you get past the ambulance you scream at the top of your lungs, releasing all your excitement. THAT is the trumpet march to victory.”
-Andi Pretlow, Trumpet
The March to Victory is a fun tradition that spreads the Hokie spirit to fans and MVs alike. As “The Spirit of Tech” nothing makes us happier than interacting with Hokie Nation and getting everyone hyped up for a game day. Marching to victory is a cherished game day experience for many members of the band, and is a great example of what the MVs value: tradition, spirit, and having fun with our closest friends.