It’ll be Kewpies instead of Tigers at Faurot Field on Saturday, as the Hickman High School marching band performs at the Missouri football game against Southeast Missouri State University.
Marching Mizzou will be marching in the Missouri Bicentennial Inaugural Parade in Jefferson City and will be unable to perform its pre-game and halftime shows. With the help of a police escort, Marching Mizzou hopes to be back at Memorial Stadium for the third and fourth quarters.
Hickman won MU’s marching band festival, Champion of Champions, in 2019, and as the reigning champion, the band was recruited to fill in.
Hickman performed at Missouri football games in 1980 and 1970.
Tom Sweeney, associate director of bands at Hickman High School, said students are excited for the opportunity.
“Everyone is thrilled,” Sweeney said. “It’s a very rare opportunity that a high school can fill in for a collegiate band, especially at the SEC level.”
The game against SEMO is MU’s Family Weekend game. On a Mizzou Facebook post announcing Marching Mizzou’s parade performance, parents and friends of band members expressed disappointment. Commenters remarked that because it is family weekend, many of them bought tickets in advance with the expectation that they would see Marching Mizzou for the entire game.
To accommodate its absence, the band has worked with Mizzou Athletics to reserve the Nov. 13 game against South Carolina for band parents to return and see Marching Mizzou’s full performance. The band will still hold its annual family picnic for families to enjoy.
“We certainly understand any disappointment, not being able to see us perform to our fullest extent,” said Amy Knopps, director of Marching Mizzou. “We are trying to be as accommodating as possible.”
Hickman was given three weeks to prepare for its performance. In addition to rehearsing its own halftime show, which it’ll perform for Mizzou’s pre-game show, the band is preparing the MU fight song, Missouri Waltz, national anthem, player’s tunnel and tunes to play in the stands.
Hickman will give its pre-game performance on the field and will perform from the stands for halftime. There will also be footage of Marching Mizzou’s Jefferson City performance shown at the game in its absence.
“It’s a great opportunity for Hickman High School. The Bicentennial parade is historic for us, and it’s great way for us to represent the state of Missouri,” Knopps said. “It’s a great story of collaboration with multiple entities, not just at Mizzou but in Missouri. … We’re all working on this together.”