Illinois State University’s band program has a rich history dating back 100 years, when the Normal University’s Varsity Band first appeared at sports and games in the early 1900s.

Today, hundreds of students from all majors participate in Illinois State’s concert, jazz, and athletic bands, including the Big Red Marching Machine. (The marching band had been around for decades, but the BRMM name was coined by Ed Livingston after he was appointed director of bands in 1977.)

Today’s BRMM has 265 members across all sections, including musicians, color guard, baton, and dance. As the BRMM prepares to take the field at Hancock Stadium again this Saturday for the Redbird football game versus Indiana State, the STATEside crew pulled together some historic photos of the marching band in action over the years, with some help from the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more information about BRMM, visit

Ryan Denham can be reached at