Cincinnati Bengals Drum Line Debuts

The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals will debut a new drum line tonight at Paul Brown Stadium for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Known as “Growl,” the 20-member group of professional musicians is set to perform game days in tailgating lots three hours before kickoff, in the Jungle Zone two and a half hours before the game, and on the field 15 minutes before the kick. They’ll also perform outside the gates as fans arrive and on the field again during the third quarter break.

Alex McIntosh, a 2012 Miami University graduate who is the group’s director, cited the influx of drum lines into about a dozen NFL stadiums in an effort to enhance the fan experience.

“We’re trying to create the musical ambiance that everybody associates with a college drum line, or the football game day sound and bring that to the NFL,” said McIntosh, who played on the drum line and later taught it at Hamilton High School.

Growl is also slated to play during the game in the southeast cutout behind section 150.

“After first downs, touchdowns, timeouts,” McIntosh said. “Pretty much anytime there is space that needs to be filled with some sort of hype or excitement.”

The game will air at 8:40 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, Cincinnati’s Channel 5.

For more information on NFL marching bands and drumlines, check out our 2007 in-depth feature story.

About author

Individual and ensemble competitions

I&E and U

Individual and ensemble competitions allow soloists and smaller groups of performers to shine outside the larger organizations. Jaden Dupree has always enjoyed watching soloists perform. ...