Q+A With Ben Weise Regarding The Cal Band And The SF Giants Championship Parade

Ezra Shaw

The SF Giants recently won the World Series. This does not have much to do about Cal....EXCEPT that they had the California Marching Band march in the parade. Again! Just like 2010. Let's talk with a real life marching band member (how cool!) and learn more about this.

In 2010, the SF Giants won the World Series. As an A's fan, I sobbed myself to sleep every night. But, then, things improved slightly. Because, they had California Marching Band march in the victory parade. HUZZAH! At that time, we talked with a band member who got the opportunity to march in the parade. You can read about that here.

Well, guess what? I got the august opportunity to sob myself to sleep every night this fall, too! Except for all games prior to October 11, 2012. Those games rocked! But, despite the Giants winning the World Series, I have more great news for you. The California Marching Band AGAIN got to march in the parade. Even though I am not a Giants fan, I would think it an awesome opportunity. It was an awesome opportunity in 2010 and we wanted to check in with somebody about the awesome opportunity in 2012.

So, we used some back channels, real high level, elite style communication and got an email from Ben Weise, Mr. Band Man himself. The Public Relations Director of the California Marching Band, Mr. Weise was more than kind to answer some of our questions.

So, without further ado, some more ado! Please do consider donating to the California Marching Band. Many of the people who work tirelessly on this site are former band members. We donate any and all profits that we get from this site to the band. In these difficult budgetary times, everybody is hurting. The band is no different. You can learn more at this link. If you can help, please do so.

No, no more ado, let's interview! Thanks, Mr. Weise and GO BEARS!

1. Are you a Giants fan?

Admittedly, I was a bandwagoner from 2010 but followed the team through the entire 2012 season all the way to the World Series!


2. Whose idea was it to have the Cal band in the parade? Did you approach the Giants or did they come to you?

2 years ago the Giants contacted us because of the Larry Baer (Class of 80) connection. This time around, we we're ready and waiting for something and they came through again.


3. Did you get a chance to meet any players?

Unfortunately no. They were apparently staged a block or two up is the rumor we heard. Though we were staged right behind Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, and Willie Mays, so I guess not all is bad...

4. Do you have any special cadences for the parade?

Nothing in particular. We tended to play more of the stuff that got the crowd pumped up and it seemed to work!


5. Were you in the 2010 parade? If so, how did this one compare?

I still hold a grudge against this one. My friend and I went to class instead because we had an essay to turn in. Easily one of the worst decisions I've made (though I got a B+ so it was somewhat okay). When they contacted us about this one, there was no way I was going to miss it.

2010 Parade:



6. When did you get to San Francisco?

We got there around 9 or so? We had quite a bit of downtime so we played for a little bit, then went autograph hunting.

7. How were people selected to be in the parade?

We basically went with whoever wanted to go. The buses ended up being the only restrictor, but almost everyone that wanted to go got to.

8. What were some of your favorite moments from the parade?

At one part in the parade they were blasting Gangnam Style. Half the band couldn't hear the drumline so we just did the dance instead. The crowd LOVED it. Oh man it was insane.

9. Did you get to stay and watch the event at Civic Center Plaza?

By the time we got to Civic Center it was packed so unfortunately not. I came home though and watched it online.


10. What instrument do you play in the band? Why is that the most amazing instrument ever?

I play the Baritone, or as we refer to it, the Bearitone. It's the most amazing instrument ever because you get to rip on some solid bass lines and awesome melodies. The best of both worlds really. And we're the only section to have "Bear" in our name.

11. Did the confetti get in your instrument at all?

Not quite, but those cannons we're fantastic. The only thing better than Orange and Black confetti raining down on Market would be Blue and Gold of course.

12. Did you get any Go Bears from the fans?

Oh of course! San Francisco is definitely Bear Territory!

13. Saw a Buster Posey jersey draped over someone's sousaphone. Did that jersey belong to a band member? Whose idea was that? (The pic of it looked cool.)

Indeed it did! He brought it to get signed by Buster. I don't think he was able to though.

14. In general, what was the crowd response to you?

The crowd loved us! The whole thing was a blur, but they we're screaming and clapping the entire time.

2012 Parade:

15. What songs did y'all play?

We kept it simple with "Big C" and "Fight for Cal," though our concert before included all sorts of songs from our packet.

16. Your favorite SF Giant is ______?

Sergio Romo. The dude has a crazy slider and an even crazier beard.


17. When the A's win the World Series next year, will Cal Band play at their victory parade?

If they'll have us! We definitely have some A's fans in the band too. Keep an eye out for the Bernie as it's a regular part of our pre-game March Up!

18. The California Marching Band was also represented at the 2010 parade. What can we expect, if anything, from future partnerships with the San Francisco Giants, or other major entities?

We're always looking for ways to get the band out and in these super fun performances. Three years ago we played down in Candlestick at a 49ers Game. Unfortunately we had to turn down a Monday Night Football performance with the Raiders this year because of some hectic schedules. We've done major parades with the Giants twice, and look forward to the inevitable Bay Bridge World Series next year! This past weekend we entertained about 50 Pixar employees with our halftime show and look forward to keeping it up! Keep an eye out because Cal Band is going places!


19. Who do you want to punch in the face?

This guy named Frank Cohen. The dude really rattles my cages.

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