The University of California Marching Band is one of the oldest college marching bands on the West Coast with over 100 years of tradition. The strength of that tradition certainly depends on the support of our donors. You may have been asked to give to the Band over the years, but, if you have never done so, now is the perfect time to consider a gift to the Cal Band.
Our annual operating budget is approximately $500,000, covering our instruments, travel costs, uniform cleaning, audio-visual equipment, and other expenses. Our funding comes from a variety of sources including the University, endowment income, performances, Athletics, and, primarily, private donors. For many years, student registration fees covered 25% of our operating budget. That figure began to diminish in the midst of the state’s financial crisis. Student registration fee contributions supported only 7% of our operating budget in 2011.
On behalf of the University administration, former Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer responded to our request for additional financial support by allocating $90,000 per year to the Band into perpetuity. This commitment will make up for the reduction of registration fees in previous years. In addition, EXVC Breslauer offered an additional $50,000 per year to the Band for the next three years if we can match that figure in new donor contributions. This is an exciting opportunity for the Band, and one we hope to bring to fruition.
Why the Cal Band?
The Cal Band is one of the few remaining student-run marching bands in the country. Unlike most other college bands in which staff dictate policy and performances, the Cal Band decides these aspects through committee and popular vote, thus allowing members to become involved in shaping the Band’s present and future while honoring its great tradition. Our members run rehearsals, choose our repertoire, chart our field shows, organize our trips, plan our fundraisers, coordinate our social media, and more. This creates a unique opportunity for our members to familiarize themselves with the workings of the University and gain valuable work experience and résumé material.
The Band tirelessly imparts the California Spirit. We perform at every home football, basketball, and volleyball game, and typically at least one contest for most Cal sports every year. Our minimum weekly time commitment in the fall is eight hours, but often extends to over 20 on game weeks. In the spring, we travel to both Men's and Women's Pac-12 Basketball Tournaments, as well as every NCAA Basketball Tournament our teams travel to. We also perform at over 150 other events every year, for the University, alumni, or anyone else in our musical performances and the California Spirit. Whenever there is an important event on campus, the Cal Band is there. Over time, this dedication creates a bond between current members and band alumni, who embody the "Once a Band member, always a Band member" role.
How Can I Help?
If you have never given to the Cal Band, please consider a gift that will be doubled by the University's matching program and help ensure our future financial stability. We are approximately $20,000 short of our goal, which ends at the conclusion of the spring classes, in approximately eight weeks. Our officers would welcome the opportunity to speak with any of you about this fundraising campaign.
All donations to the Cal Band are tax-deductible as allowed by law. If you would like to make a donation to the Cal Band, you can either use an online form or send a check to the Band.
To donate online, please visit our Give to Cal page (all three funds are eligible for matching).
If you would like to send a check to the Band, please make the check payable to "UC Regents – Cal Band" and send it to:
72 Cesar Chavez Student Center MC 4280
Berkeley, CA 94720-4280
For more information, call (510) 643-2662 or visit our website.
For additional information regarding giving gifts to the Band or the University, please visit UC Berkeley’s University Relations web site.
Thank you and GO BEARS!