This past Saturday, the University of Michigan Marching Band presented a halftime show entitled “Vote!” in partnership with the UM Ginsberg Center, Big Ten Voting Challenge and Turn Up Turnout. Our goal with this performance was to celebrate a defining democratic tenet of our nation—the right to vote. We wanted to encourage everyone, on- and off- campus, to take advantage of this all-important privilege. Only 19% of eligible college students voted in the last mid-term elections. Our hope was that this performance would be a call to action to engage in our civic life, regardless of political preference. We wanted to inspire our audience to become active participants in our constitutional democracy by exercising this most basic and defining American right. Both musically and visually, the content was chosen to reflect the ways in which music has been used to celebrate freedom, to inspire civic participation, and to express America’s aspirational values.
— John Pasquale, Director of the Michigan Marching Band