According to the Badger Band website, the marching band became co-ed for the first time in 1974 with the addition of Paula Schultz ’77 (trumpet player) and Mary Anne Thurber (saxophonist). Technically, though, the band department repealed its “male” qualification in 1971 — one of the first Big Ten bands to do so. Schultz and Thurber were quickly accepted as part of the 170-member group, and the number of women members has continued to rise — today, making up more than 40 percent of the roster. The next milestone for women musicians came in 1898, when Dee Willems ’90, MS’96 was crowned (plumed?) the first female drum major. This year, another woman took the helm as drum major: newly minted alumna Justine Spore ’20.
UW Marching Band Goes Co-ed
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