Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Forward, Together, Forward CD cover

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News Release

Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-9472

May 6, 2009

Huskie Marching Band releases new CD

DeKalb, Ill. — Football fans who love the Huskie Marching Band’s powerful horns and crashing drums and cymbals now can relive the musical highlights of 2007 and 2008 in their cars and living rooms.

Northern Illinois University’s marching band has released a new CD called “Forward, Together, Forward!” that is available at Villages Common Bookstore in DeKalb and on the store’s Web site at It retails for $9.99.

The CD’s title is taken from the lyrics to the marching band favorite “Huskie Fight Song.”

Also among the 13 tracks are drum cadences and traditional pieces – “Huskie Fanfare,” “Hail to the Huskies,” “Alma Mater” and “The Star Spangled Banner” – as well as modern excursions into Latin music, radio-friendly rock ’n’ roll and soundtrack favorites from spy films.

Familiar songs include the Jackson Five’s “ABC” and “I Want You Back;” James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag;” themes from “Mission Impossible,” “Peter Gunn” and “Live and Let Die;” the Fifth Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In;” Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al;” and R.E.M.’s “It’s The End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

“Our students are really excited. It’s a big deal for them. Most have never gone through the rigorous recording process we go through,” said Thomas Bough, director of athletic bands in the NIU School of Music. “The microphones don’t lie. If you don’t sound great, the mics are going to pick that up.”

Bough said Dan Nichols, the School of Music employee who engineered and mixed the disc, works with his technical team for up to three hours before the recording sessions to set up the 25 microphones, computers and other equipment needed.

Members of each instrumental section – first trumpets, second trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, drums, etc. – then gather around “their” microphones. Nichols wears headphones and maintains wireless radio contact with his team during the recording to ensure each section is playing at its proper volume.

“We really want to get it right. There are multiple takes and editing later in the sound booth – everything is digital – so we can make the band sound its very, very best,” Bough said. “Sometimes we have to stop to let a bus go by or a goose fly over.”

Usually, the recording takes place on the lawn outside the Music Building. The 160-member band also has recorded indoors at the Convocation Center, the only indoor space on campus large enough to handle the volume.

“Our shows are designed to be fun and entertaining,” Bough said. “It’s all about familiar tunes that people enjoy that are played really well by the band.”

For more information, call (815) 753-1042 or visit

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