USC Band Performs with Will Ferrell; Celebrates 40th Anniversary of First Notre Dame Trip

Actor Will Ferrell surprised crowds at a charity benefit in Los Angeles by donning the University of Southern California drum major uniform and leading the Trojan Marching Band with the iconic sword.

Ferrell, a USC alum, is an avid supporter of Colleges For Cancer, an organization that provides college scholarships for cancer survivors. He is the first-ever non-drum major to wear the Trojan drum major tunic, armor, sandals, and helmet.

After a quick training session with current drum major Matt Deligio, Ferrell led the band through their school songs and even imitated the pregame field stab. He also graciously posed for photos with the band students. Click here to view the full Facebook album.

Check out his entertaining performance:

Also this week, the TMB celebrates 40 years of traveling to every USC versus Notre Dame football game in South Bend’s historic Notre Dame Stadium. In 1973 director Dr. Arthur C. Bartner brought his 140-member band to the game on a budget of $30,000 – the first time either band traveled to the opposing team’s stadium. Four decades later, Bartner and a traveling party of 330 will make the program’s 21st consecutive trip on a budget of $225,000 raised solely through donations and paid performances the band plays each year.

Members of the 1973 band who traveled to Notre Dame will have a reunion in Chicago on Friday. Not present will be Dr. Kenneth Dye, the student manager of that year’s band who is now director of the Notre Dame Band. Forty years ago, Dye helped plan and raise money for the trip and played trombone. Now, he will be across the field in friendly competition with his mentor.

Bartner says reuniting with his former student on the field of Notre Dame Stadium is always a great thrill. “He and I remain good friends throughout the years. There’s this moment before the game where we meet on the field. It’s one of the greatest moments in my life and I get to do it every two years.”

The TMB will stay in Chicago and perform a public concert at Navy Pier at 12:00pm on Friday. That night, the band will play a pep rally at the Westin Chicago River North.

On Saturday, the TMB will perform its traditional pregame show and, at halftime, play “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake and “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Norwegian YouTube stars Ylvis. During the action, the band will stand on the field in the southeast corner of the stadium.

The game will kickoff at 7:30pm ET and air nationally on NBC.

About author

Brett Padelford

Brett Padelford is the public relations director for the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. A graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, he runs the band’s social media, writes press releases, takes photos, and even sometimes runs gigs and plays trumpet when the ensemble needs an alum to fill in. He has been involved in music since the 3rd grade when he picked up the clarinet for his military school’s marching band.

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