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How America’s oldest college band preps for game day

Notre Dame’s band kicks off every home game with its tradition of Trumpets Under the Dome.

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This is the second in a series of three videos on college sports traditions with Four Points by Sheraton. Watch the first episode on Texas A&M’s yell leaders here, and stay tuned for more ways to experience tradition at colleges across the country.

Founded in 1845, the University of Notre Dame Band of the Fighting Irish is the oldest college marching band in the United States. The band comprises over 400 members from all around the country and overseas and features nine main sections: trombones, drumline, piccolos, clarinets, saxophones, mellophones, baritones, basses, and trumpets. You can find the band performing at all home football games and pep rallies, but there’s one tradition that stands out above the rest: Trumpets Under the Dome.

The day of every home game, the trumpet section plays Notre Dame’s alma mater and fight song under the Golden Dome, the centerpiece building on campus. Current students, alumni, and visitors alike gather on the tiered floors of the center atrium and listen to the trumpets play in unison. Later in the day, the band takes the field alongside the football team and performs in front of 80,000 cheering fans. “For those who know Notre Dame, no explanation is necessary,” says Jacob Beiter, a trumpeter, whose father also played the trumpet for the band. “But for those who don’t know Notre Dame, no explanation will suffice.”

Watch Beiter tell the story of Notre Dame’s tradition in the video above.


Experience your own traditions when you stay at Four Points by Sheraton. With over 150 properties throughout the US and Canada, you’ll never be far from a college football game day location.

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