History and Traditions
History of the Florida Atlantic University Marching Owls
After establishing a football program in 2001, Florida Atlantic University's president Anthony Catanese instigated plans to start an official university marching band the following year. Then Director of Bands, Dr. George Sparks, pulled together an impressive 85 piece band for the season. The Marching Owls inaugural performance was September 7, 2002, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The band wore a Caribbean-style shirt, a wide-brimmed straw hat, and khaki pants.
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 act was to hire a Director of Athletic Bands who would lead the Marching Owls and Parliament Sound Pep Band.
In 2005, Dr. Christopher Chapman was hired as the first Director of Athletic Bands, 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. On December 21, 2007, the Marching Owls traveled with the football team to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. This was the bands first performance outside of Florida.
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 Florida International University's Riccardo Silva Stadium, the University of Miami at Hard Rock Stadium, and the University of Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. In 2018, Dr. Marc Decker arrived at FAU and is the current Director of Athletic Bands.