So Your New ‘Nole is a Marching Chief…

What do you do now?!?

Meet Mike Woelfle–Mike serves as a member of the Family Connection Council and is dad to Jensen, a 2019-2020 World Renowned Marching Chief.

I know the joy of having a daughter who is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs. Check out her video on preparing the Marching Chiefs auditions — As you can see, they have been through a lot to get to this point. We are so glad to have them as part of the Chiefs family!

First Things First — a bit of background. The “Marching Chiefs” are the official Marching Band of Florida State University. They got their name way back in 1949, shortly after the University became co-educational in 1947 and added football. In 1953, the band saw the arrival of a new director, Dr. Manley Whitcomb, and arranger, Charles Carter, who changed the band in ways that persist to this day. Dr. Whitcomb brought with him the style of marching now known as the “Chief Step”, while Mr. Carter’s arrangements defined the band’s distinctive musical style. Mr. Carter also arranged “The Hymn to the Garnet and the Gold” for the band, which we’ll talk more about later. The Color Guard Auxiliary was added to the band in 1970 and in 1974 the Chiefs gained the title of being “World-Renowned” thanks to an international performance in Syria. In 2009, the Chiefs continued to set records for collegiate band size when they hit an amazing total of 460 members! Their longstanding slogan is that “Florida State occasionally may lose a football game, but never a halftime show”. Whether the game is won or lost, the Chiefs ALWAYS show up and do their job!

Whether you’re mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or grandparent—welcome to the club!

Marching Chief auditions are truly overwhelming and stressful. While there may have been little you were able do to help your student as they actually tried-out, know that you helped prepare them to do their best by doing everything possible to ensure that move-in went smoothly and that they are well-stocked with food and supplies for the week. You’ve endured camp and have probably had less contact with your ‘Nole, but they know you were there for them if they need you. Even if they don’t say it, your support and understanding gave them confidence in their ability!

If your ‘Nole found their name on that Block List, you might be wondering… “How do I become a #1 Chiefs’ Fan?”

Being aware of the following traditions is a great way to start:

  • Campus Crawl – takes place before the first home football game of the year, when the Chiefs walk around campus and play school songs as loud as humanly possible by the residence halls. As they do so, they are followed by friends, family, and other supporters. What results can only be described as truly inspirational (and a little WILD)!
  • Block Party – the Friday night before a football game, the Chiefs assemble a pep band and visit Collegetown to play various stand tunes. A crowd forms in the street between the restaurants and the fun ensues!
  • Continuity – Marching Chiefs rehearse the morning of each game at the Chiefs practice field as spectators watch.
  • Skull Session – The band assembles in the outfield of the baseball stadium and each section individually plays a prepared piece, followed by a full band sneak peek of songs from the halftime show of that week. The name originates from the fact that this is the band’s opportunity to get the music into their skulls. J Supporters sit in the stands and cheer them on as they do so!
  • March Over – Chiefs march in a parade block from skull session into the stadium while supporters line the street beside them.
  • Legacy Walk – Chiefs, pep band, and cheerleaders greet the football team by the Legacy fountain as they enter the stadium before the game.
  • Hymn to the Garnet and Gold Marching Chiefs remove baseball caps in the stands after the game and do an instrumental/vocal performance of the Hymn to the Garnet and Gold.
  • Prism Concert A variety show in the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall that includes musical performances by all concert bands, various ensembles (quartets, etc.), sections, and a full band performance by the Chiefs. Get your tickets early, they sell out quick!
  • MCATDT Stands for “Marching Chiefs All The Damn Time”. ‘Nuff said!

The Chiefs and Kappa Kappa Psi, a national music fraternity, also hold the Marching Chiefs 5k ( as a fundraiser in October of each year. This year’s race will take place on October 27th. All Chiefs participate in some capacity and many run in the race. Last year, Dr. Plack, the Director of Athletic Bands, actually ran the race carrying a musical instrument. Whether you run or just show up to support those who are, race day is a great day for the Chiefs.

Throughout the year, you can also follow the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs on Facebook at, Twitter at @fsuchiefs, and Instagram at fsuchiefs. The band’s website is

To close, the Marching Chiefs are not just a band, they are literally a way of life. Your new Marching Chief will make friendships and memories and develop skills that will last a lifetime. They’ll learn about themselves and become closer to their University than they ever thought they could be.

Go ‘Noles and MCATDT!!

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