“Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing, Fast, Furious and Foaming at the mouth, Bold, Blue and Bitchin’, it’s the Pride of the Regents of the University of California, the Spirit of the Davis campus, the California Aggie Marching Band-uh!”
The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! showcased live music and a variety of activities on Sunday in Davis Central Park for its 11th annual fundraiser.
The Band-uh-thon is held once a year in order to raise money for fall events, said event organizer Nova Maldonado. The money earned is spent on gas, plane tickets and other travel expenses in order to follow and support UC Davis football, in which they predict to travel over 14,000 miles during the fall season.
“We’ve even given our plane tickets to the football team before and driven,” said Maldonado, a junior art studio major.
The fundraiser took place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and featured several booths. These included a silent auction of themed gift baskets, a table for making maverick hats, and a dunk tank where participants had the opportunity to purchase balls and dunk a Band-uh! member. The main event included a raffle, in which contributors such as Zia’s Delicatessen donated free passes for food. A variety of Band-uh! merchandise, wine glasses and stuffed animals were also included among the prizes. UC Davis Band-uh! merchandise and food were also for sale.
However, despite the central location, activities and free live music, the turnout was not as good as expected.
“I’m kind of disappointed,” Maldonado said. “Advertising wasn’t as good as it should have been. We [put up fliers] and signs downtown, that’s about it.”
The Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! was founded in August 1929, and has acted as the UC Davis pep band ever since. The group is completely student-run and is an all-volunteer organization in which students do not receive any credit or compensation for their participation, according to the official website. Since their founding, they have gone on to travel to Europe, represent California at the Seattle World Fair and record multiple albums.
Now, composed of approximately 100 to 150 members, Band-Uh! is recognized by the staff, students and locals as a major supportive element to almost every school sporting event, according to Maldonado.
In past years, the Band-uh-thon has been held in the E Street Plaza in front of Baskin-Robbins, said junior human development major and Band-uh! drummer Amanda Saindon. The move to Central Park this year was meant to give participants more space and a place to sit in the grass to enjoy the free music and atmosphere. She pointed out that because the square downtown where they performed last year was much smaller, the turnout only looked bigger because there was less space.
“We’re having a lot of fun even though it’s very hot,” Saindon said. “None of us [has] gotten heatstroke yet.”
For more information about donating to the Band-uh!, go to camb.ucdavis.edu/camb/about/donating.php.
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Did you know? (About Band-Uh!)
The “Band-uh-thon” name isn’t original in its use of the “-thon” ending. Other variants on this morphological theme include “bike-a-thon,” “dance-a-thon” and the ever-popular “drink-a-thon.” These titles use “-thon” simply to denote their activity of choice sustained for a long period of time.
As you might have guessed, the most common “-thon” word is “marathon,” the undisputed etymology of the morpheme, according to UC Davis linguistics professor Raúl Aranovich.
“Marathon is originally a single word,” Aranovich said. “But because we have so many compounds formed with Greek roots … the ending -thon is reanalyzed as a root.”
In fact, the city of Marathon does not break down its name into smaller morphemes, so “-thon” by itself has no historical meaning. However, the story behind the word’s current meaning and the morpheme’s sense of an endurance test is a dubious legend and source of classical debate.
According to popular myth, a request for help and/or the victorious news of the legendary Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. was relayed by a herald who ran all over Greece, a fabled 150 miles in two days. The distance between the city of Marathon and Athens is roughly the standardized distance of the modern marathon.
In honor of this heroic herald, we use the city’s name to refer to an extended period of running, and we use the latter half to refer to an extended period of pretty much anything, including the wild antics of the Marching Band-uh!