CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 25, 2015) – The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has received a major gift from longtime supporters for 115 new marching band instruments and a full set of newly designed uniforms with a sleek, reinvented image. The Frost Band of the Hour will debut the instruments and uniforms at the Hurricanes’ opening home game at Sun Life Stadium on September 5.
Alumna Judi Prokop Newman, who earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1963, and her husband, Robert Newman, made a significant donation this summer to support the equipment and uniform purchases, Dean Shelly Berg of the Frost School of Music announced. Judi Newman is also a University of Miami trustee and Frost School of Music advisory board member. Robert Newman is an honorary alumnus and member of the University of Miami’s Entrepreneurship Programs Advisory Board.
A special recognition ceremony with the Newmans will take place on November 21, during the Frost Band of the Hour’s University of Miami football halftime show at Sun Life Stadium.
Robert and Judi Newman are longtime and beloved major supporters of the University of Miami; their gifts include one that named the 72,000-square-foot Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. The Newman Alumni Center opened on October 10, 2010, and has become one of the most popular gathering places on the Coral Gables campus. At the Frost School of Music, the Newmans are major donors to the William Hipp Endowed Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the former music dean. They also provide substantial support to the school’s annual Winter Wonderful holiday gala, benefiting music mentoring scholarships for the Frost School’s Shalala MusicReach Program.
The 2015 Frost Band of the Hour is taking marching band to new heights with its custom musical arrangements, inventive drill choreography, and a revitalized focus and energy. The Newmans are excited to contribute to the growth of UM’s pageantry arts under the visionary leadership of Jay C. Rees, professor of music and director of athletic bands.
New York costume designer Michael Cesario fashioned the new Band of the Hour uniform for manufacturer Fred J. Miller, Inc. (Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment). Cesario is a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, best known for popularizing a new era in the look of modern bands. FJM’s revolutionary “Cesario Collection” is recognized for comfort, innovation, craftsmanship, and performance.
Cesario’s distinctive look for the University of Miami highlights the school’s green and orange colors, complemented by an asymmetrical shape with crisp tailoring for impact, versatility, and shimmering style. Even the white feather plume of the shako hat is tipped in orange. The band’s drum major, also known as field conductor, is similarly outfitted in white.
Rees worked closely with Cesario to create a uniform that is “slimming, eye-catching, and representative of who we are today.” He praises the designer’s work and vast experience for Broadway, television, theatre, drum corps, and marching bands across the country.
“The Band of the Hour’s new uniform adds excitement to our field choreography, and it sparkles under the lights,” said Rees. “It is constructed with a durable, washable fabric and removable parts, making the care and cleaning much easier for our students.”
Rees not only promises to excite audiences with the band’s sleek, sophisticated appearance but with the group’s sound impression as well. “We take pride in bringing entertainment value to the college football experience,” he said.
Along with new uniforms, the Frost Band of the Hour will be marching with new instruments purchased through Jupiter Band Instruments and Mapex Marching Drums. The Frost School’s bulk order of marching brass, woodwinds, and drums is one of the largest ever placed in the history of the instrument company.
The order of 96 new Jupiter wind instruments includes marching French horns; marching trumpets; pro line trumpets; marching euphoniums; trombones; four-valve and three-valve sousaphones; and alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Nineteen new Mapex marching drums include snares, multi-tenors, and bass drums.
“Jay Rees is one of the most dynamic and innovative athletic band directors in the world,” said Dean Berg, “and this magnificent gift from Judi and Bob Newman will empower a sound and style befitting the great work of Professor Rees and his students.”
The Frost Band of the Hour is the marching and pep band at the University of Miami. It is the largest and one of the most exciting, visible, diverse, and involved student groups on the UM campus, performing challenging custom musical arrangements and contemporary drum corps-style drill design. For more information about the Frost Band of the Hour, visit www.bandofthehour.org.