Despite budget cuts that did not allow funding for the UM Grizzly Marching Band to travel to Bozeman for the annual Brawl of the Wild, private funds came through to send the band to the game.

Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands for the University of Montana, Kevin Griggs, said the band trip to Bozeman was just one of the many budget cuts forced on the university system.

“With the budget cuts at the university, the athletic department had a number of decisions that had to be made and this was one of the sources of funding that was cut at this time,” Griggs said. “It normally costs about $18,000 for the marching band to travel to Bozeman. There was a time when we would drive over and spend the night, but that hasn’t happened for quite some time. Now, we just travel over in the morning, play at the game and drive home that night. The bulk of the money is actually spent on tickets for the game for the band members.”

Griggs said without official funding, he asked to students to get creative.

“They took it upon themselves to get the word out, and finding ways to raise money, and it’s been a great outpouring of support from the community,” he said. “One of our former band members started a Go Fund Me page, and has raised almost $14,000, and I’m sure we’ll have the rest by the date of the game. There are even some band parents in Bozeman that have kicked in to get the band to the game.”

Griggs said having the band at the game in a hostile environment is just another way to have friendly faces in the stands.

“Sometimes the MSU fans are very nice,” he said. “But, we have taken some steps to make sure that nothing really crosses the line.”

The Brawl of the Wild will take place in Bobcat Stadium on the MSU campus on November 18 at noon, and the UM Grizzly Marching Band will be there.

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