Brief History of CUTBA

The first meeting of former Tiger Band Alumni took place at the Clemson House on Friday, April 22, 1977. The attendees were Larry Sloan ‘74, Keith Snelgrove 77, Tony Stapleton’76, Jeff Tisdale ‘65 and Frank Johnson ‘66.

This impromptu meeting was followed up the next day with an official meeting at the Holiday Inn in Clemson to initiate this organization and to begin the structure and define the purpose of the new group.

In addition to the attendees of the previous day, it was attended by Dr. Bruce Cook, director of Tiger Band and Mr. Nick Peck, voice of Tiger Band. Larry Sloan was chosen as the first President of CUTBA, Frank Johnson was chosen as the first Vice President, and Keith Snelgrove was chosen as the first Secretary.

The first CUTBA Newsletter was distributed on November 7, 1977. A Board of Directors was established consisting of ten CUTBA members in good standing plus one representative from Tiger Band plus other exofficio Board members (including the Director of Tiger Band) to be selected by the CUTBA Board of Directors. Initially the term of office for each Board Member was indefinite, but later the terms were changed to be three year rotating terms for active Board Members, one year for the Tiger Band representative and indefinite for the ex-officio members.

A Constitution was written followed by a set of By-Laws.

The original purpose of CUTBA was stated “to provide good fellowship for former and current members of the CLEMSON UNIVERSITY TIGER BAND and its friends and supporters; to provide a medium for promoting and supporting music activities at CLEMSON UNIVERSITY; to provide a medium for supporting the interests of the CLEMSON UNIVERSITY TIGER BAND; and such other purposes as determined by the Board of Directors”.

CUTBA was first recognized by Clemson University as an official University organization in a letter from George Moore, Director of Alumni Relations to Larry Sloan dated July 5, 1978.

Joe Turner of the Alumni Association was instrumental in helping establish CUTBA’s goals and development during the early years. One of the first successful major projects undertaken by CUTBA in 1977/78 was lobbying to the University administration and to IPTAY to furnish new Tiger Band uniforms.

On June 30, 1982 an agreement was signed between CUTBA and Clemson University to award the “Clemson University Tiger Band Association Award” annually to the Tiger Band Commander annually on Honors and Awards Day.

This was a $200.00 cash award however it required an initial gift of $2,500.00 for the endowment of the award. At that time CUTBA only had $834.00 to donate so it was a couple more years before the award actually began.

The first partial scholarship was awarded to a Tiger Band student in 1988.

In 1983 CUTBA sponsored the first Alumni Band at Homecoming. There were approximately 60 participants in the initial Alumni Band.

To date the Alumni Band has continued to thrive and grow each year.

In 2006 CUTBA established the “Tiger Band Commitment” project. This was a goal to raise $2 million in two years for the scholarship endowment. This successful project actually raised over $2,300,000.00 in cash, pledges and bequeaths.

In 2008 CUTBA established the “Continue the Commitment” project. This project is currently ongoing. In 2007 CUTBA established a “sales website” in conjunction with a host firm in Greenville, SC for the purpose of raising additional scholarship money.

In 2009 the CUTBA Alumni Band first marched in the “First Friday Parade”. This has been an annual event since. In 2009 CUTBA established ten “Regions” around the southeast from Atlanta to Washington DC in order to allow more personal involvement from each CUTBA member and to continue the growth of CUTBA.

The original Regions and Regional Representatives consist of the following:

  • Atlanta – Chuck Allen
  • Charleston- Ben Adams
  • Charlotte – Kevin Wigington
  • Columbia – Stephanie Stanley
  • Greensboro – John Smith
  • Greenville – Calvin Pennington
  • Spartanburg – Molly Schaefer
  • Tri-County (Anderson/Oconee/Pickens) – Allison Wells
  • Washington DC – Dale Walsh

In 2010 the CUTBA Alumni Band first performed at the annual spring football game.

In 2010 the CUTBA Alumni Band performed at selected Clemson basketball and baseball games.

In 2010 the CUTBA Alumni Band first performed in the IPTAY spring Prowl & Growl events. This has been an annual event since.

In 2010 CUTBA set up a sales booth at the annual Clemson Reunion. The purpose was to promote Tiger Band and to raise money for scholarships.

In 2013, the Alumni Band celebrated its 30’th year of marching at the Homecoming halftime with a “300 for 30” campaign to march 300 Alumni Band members. In actuality, 382 Alumni Band members marched at halftime.

In 2014, CUTBA launched an upgraded website ( featuring media upgrades, the ability to make credit card charges for registrations, more powerful images, etc.

In 2014, CUTBA established the CUTBA Student Advisory Board. Its founding members consisted of:

  • John Bismack
  • Dakota Gray
  • Teague Albenesius
  • Lowndes Taylor
  • Blake Jenkins
  • Kimberly Breland
  • Emily Schaub
  • Dean Millare
  • Traivon McNair
  • Mitchel Colebank
  • Maria Zazzara
  • Scot Gilbert
  • Mindy Earnest
  • Megan Earnest
  • Jared Kleven
  • Michael Poda
  • Katie Ferguson

Over the years CUTBA has initiated many, many projects including the following partial list in addition to those listed above (Some are of earlier years and some are still ongoing):

  • High School recruitment for new Tiger Band members
  • Sponsoring “Bowl Patches” for Tiger Band members
  • Bruce F. Cook Award for the most outstanding graduating senior as voted on by the members of Tiger Band
  • Annual gifts (currently Tiger Band watches) for Tiger Band graduating seniors
  • Purchase and serving of various meals to Tiger Band members on game day
  • Annual gifts to Tiger Band members upon arrival to Band Camp
  • Sponsoring an annual Ice Cream Social for Tiger Band members upon the completion of Band Camp
  • Several partial scholarships as chosen by the Tiger Band Director
  • Selling CUTBA sales items for scholarship purposes
    -1. Pass in Review performances
    -2. Ninety Minutes before Kickoff performances
    -3. Reunion
    -4. Downtown Clemson retail stores
    -5. Stadium sales
    -6. CUTBA Sales Website
  • Manning the ticket booth at “Pass in Review” concerts
  •  First Friday Parade
  • Alumni Band at Homecoming
  • Spring football game
  • Baseball game Alumni Band
  • Basketball game Alumni Band
  • CUTBA general website
  • CUTBA Sales website
  • CUTBA Facebook site
  • Storage and maintenance of accumulated instruments for various Alumni Band performances
  • CUTBA mailed newsletters and emailed newsletters
  • Uniform Committee participation
  • Maintaining CUTBA membership lists
  • Auditing of CUTBA monies received
  • Special Projects Committee
  • Selling of Kappa Kappa Psi merchandise
  • Sponsoring and selling the Tiger Band CD currently produced every three years
  • Actively promoting the “Tiger Band Commitment” and “Continue the Commitment”
  • Beautification of the Tiger Band Practice Field and surrounding area in 2005
  • Furnishing a new Tiger Band Director’s Tower in 2009
  • Tiger Band Plaza

The financial status of CUTBA is stronger than it has ever been in our history. The leadership of our Board of Directors has been instrumental to our success.

The relationship of CUTBA with the Tiger Band Directors has always been and continues to be very close.

We continue to maintain close relationships with IPTAY, the Athletic Department, the Alumni Association, The CU Foundation, etc.

The trend of CUTBA is growing and the future continues to be very bright.

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