History and Traditions
History of the Florida Atlantic University Marching Owls
The band was formed and began marching in the fall of 2002 under the direction of then Director of Bands, Dr. George Sparks. The group first took the field on September 7th at Miami Dolphin Stadium versus Bethune-Cookman College. The band, consisting of 65 wind and percussionists and 20 auxiliaries, originally dressed in a Caribbean-style shirt, a wide-brimmed straw hat, and khaki pants. Ms. Angela Couture served as the band’s first drum major.
In 2003, Dr. Sparks took a position as director of the arts programs at Florida Atlantic University. The band went through the season without a permanent director and was then rendered inactive, causing them to miss the 2004 football season. That same year, Dr. Kyle Prescott was hired to be the new Director of Bands at Florida Atlantic University. His first goal was to hire a new Associate Director of Bands and director of the marching band.
In 2005, Christopher Chapman was hired as the new director of the band, and relaunched the group with new traditional uniforms and equipment. During that time, Florida Atlantic University moved from Division 1-AA football to Division 1-A as member of the Sun Belt Conference.
In 2006, Dr. Sean Murray arrived in Boca Raton and the marching band officially adopted the title, Marching Owls. In 2007-2008, the Owl football team appeared in a postseason bowl game for the first time at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Marching Owls were also in attendance thus marking our first bowl game appearance.
In 2011, construction was completed on the 30,000-seat, open-air FAU Football Stadium. The first game on October 15 against Western Kentucky featured the Marching Owls and established the current pre-game traditions.
Asside from regular season performances at the FAU Football Stadium, the Marching Owls travel to various college stadiums throughout Florida. They have recently performed at UCF, FIU, University of Florida, and the University of Miami. The band is currently under the direction of Dr. Marc Decker.