November 12, 1993 - First Trumpets in the Dome

Trumpets in the DomeIt was the Friday night before the highly anticipated game against #1 Florida State and some Trumpets gathered outside the Administration Building. Together the small ensemble played the Alma Mater as it rang out across campus. The next day Notre Dame won, not due to anything the Trumpets had done the night before. The next year, the Trumpets continued to gather under the Dome and play the Alma Mater and the tradition was born.

On Fridays before home games, the Trumpets gather under the Dome at 4:00pm on the second floor. Fans gather around the rings of the third and fourth floors looking down as the Trumpets play. Then on game day Saturdays about an hour before kickoff, the Trumpets now line the third and fourth floors of the Main Building. As fans stand below looking at the bells against the ceiling of the Dome, the Trumpets perform the Alma Mater followed by the Victory March. If nothing else will get you into the game day mood, then this certainly will.

EDIT: We received a reply from one of the Trumpets that was there on the very first day. He provided some added information which has been reproduced below:

There were just a few of us who did this the first time, not the whole trumpet section. As the site says, the first "Trumpets under the Dome" was on Friday evening before the Florida State game.

It wasn't the only time that a few trumpets played the fight song on campus that day. It's hard to understand now, after 15 years of futility, how great the football program was back then and how amped the campus was. Some of us went into the dining halls at lunch and played the fight song; people were standing on tables and screaming and going nuts. You couldn't walk around campus with an instrument and not get asked to play the fight song, as the campus was packed with alumni and visitors from Friday morning on.

By Friday evening we'd played the fight song on campus dozens of times, had a packed pep rally, and then things had calmed down a bit by 8-9 pm. That's when we had the idea to go over to the Dome and play the Alma Mater and then the fight song one last time. We were outdoors, in street clothes, and it was pretty quiet. It's hard to describe how it felt without being sappy, but if you are an alum and can remember what it was like to walk around the Dome at night on almost any evening, in the shadow of Our Lady and near Christ in the Basilica, you will have a sense of what it felt like. Numinous. And memorable.

The game the next day was great, and ND was briefly #1, and the experience of playing the Alma Mater and fight song under the Dome stayed with us. The next year, somebody suggested going over to the Dome before the step-off and playing the Alma Mater and fight song outside, as we had done it the year before. So we did that for a few Fridays, and then at some point a secretary in the Main Building told somebody that the office workers liked it and wanted us to do it inside. So we started playing the Alma Mater and fight song inside, directly under the Dome. By the end of the season (Fall 1994), most trumpets were coming over before the step-off to do this. And a tradition was born.

It's been really neat for me to watch this grow into something that is now part of a the game weekend tradition. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Keywords: band, trumpets, florida state, dome, trumpets in the dome, alma mater, fight song, victory march

Posted On: 2011-11-12 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: Pawlicki at 2011-11-13 08:03:48[#3]
If you want to vote for best ND tradition...this wins.
Reply To
   Posted By: Gail at 2011-11-12 09:54:28[#2]
The Trumpets in the Dome is my favorite game day tradition. Hearing the all trumpet version of the Alma Mater chokes me up and I am not even an alumnus of ND. The trumpets playing the Victory March is a fantastic way to start a football weekend and gets you in the spirit of the game.

Great post, as I have wondered how and why the tradition began.

Go Trumpets and Go Irish!
Reply To
   Posted By: Stapleton at 2011-11-12 08:52:11[#1]
Post of the year
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