The tradition that rocks the house - The Echo News
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The tradition that rocks the house

The history of Airband

By Chrysa Keenon | Echo

A college-aged Quinn White sports 3-D glasses as he and his team celebrates the victory of his Airband's performance of "Rock Me Amadeus"

A college-aged Quinn White sports 3-D glasses as he and his team celebrates the victory of his Airband’s performance of “Rock Me Amadeus”

Airband has been part of the Taylor experience for many decades, but it didn’t start the way you would think. You may be shocked to know that your professors contributed to the traditions of Airband. We now are taught by the generation that first rocked our favorite Trojan tradition.

According to Quinn White, professor of education, Airband began around 1984. It was supposedly inspired by lip-syncing TV shows. It was first performed on a small stage set up in the Dining Commons during the first two years of its existence. The performance was more of just an act of putting together a great band with fake instruments. In 1986, Airband moved into Rediger Chapel, and the event got so large there was an Airband performance in the fall as well as one in the spring.

Airband was once a regional event—not exclusively a Taylor tradition. Other colleges in the regional area, including Anderson, Marion College (now known as IWU) and Huntington, also held Airband competitions. The winners of the Taylor Airband would then travel

to whatever college was hosting the regional Airband event and face off with the other winning teams from the surrounding colleges. White’s group won the pictured trophy during their time in regional Airband.

There was only one performance of Airband per night until about 10 years ago, when ticket sellers accidentally sold twice the amount of tickets to who could fit in the chapel, according to Jeff Cramer, associate professor of computer science & engineering. The administrators asked the groups to perform twice, and made an announcement that the second show was for students only, and encouraged parents and Upland community members to come to the first performance of the night.


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