Halftime Magazine|November/December 2019

The University of Southern California ( U S C )Trojan Marching Band (TMB) has many nicknames:
Christine Ngeo Katzman

The Spirit of Troy, Hollywood’s Band, and selfproclaimed as “The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe.” For the past 50 years, “The Man on the Ladder,” Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, has taken deliberate steps to form a unique persona for the band that created these monikers and much more. In this follow-up article from his 40th anniversary, Bartner talks about the defining moments of his career and the legacy that he leaves behind.

Halftime: How will you be celebrating your 50th and final year with the TMB?

Bartner: In June [2019], we started a Trojan Marching Band Alumni Association, which is affiliated with the university. We’ve had various groups and events through the years, … but now we’ve made it an official organization. … The great joy to me is to sit down with these “kids” (I call them kids even though some marched in the ’70s and have already retired). It’s great to reminisce and talk about their experiences in the band. …

I’m really excited about the … album … released at Homecoming [Oct. 19]. It’s a fourpart commemorative album of 50 years. … It comes with a … pull-out that has my 50 greatest moments … [with] pictures of each event and a blurb explaining what it is. … The album was recorded by the current band. … The object was to get the ambience of what the band sounds like on the football field [and] in the stands. We wanted that live sound. … It has that excitement that I want to be part of this last album. …

The other major project … [is] a coffee table picture book. … How did the making of “Tusk” come by? How did the Olympics come by? How did the Academy Awards happen? Why do I do certain things with the band? … Because of [Los Angeles] and our Hollywood reputation, we have [a lot of] stories. … We’re trying to embed the behind-the-scenes stories. [This authorized biography is being written by USC alum Christy Stansell.] …


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November/December 2019