Spat Camp Info

Welcome to all our new members and returning vets!!!

I'd like to start by welcoming any new members to the group. You're in for a great ride! And of course, to all you vets out there, I can't wait to see you again. I'm very excited for the coming year. We grew so much last year, we have a lot of great talent in the group already, and we'll be able to build upon that with all our new members.

I just wanted to give you all some basic information before we meet for Spat Camp. We will be having both flag and rifle again this year. Everyone will be learning at least some basics on rifle (don't worry if you've never even picked one up before, we'll start from the beginning with everyone). All new members will have to buy shoes and any vets can get new ones if they'd like.

We'll take care of just about everything else for you. Be prepared to work hard and have a lot of fun. For the rest of the season we will be having our weekly sectionals on Wednesdays, from 7 - 9pm. There will be some additional practices for the guard only, but we will try to give you as much notice as possible on those. There will also be additional practices for rifles (either for teaching new people, or for small groups in half time).

Hope you are all looking forward to starting as much as we are. If you have any questions, feel free to contact myself or one of the guard leaders. The summer's almost over, we'll see you all soon!

Schedule - 2009

MARCH 2009

Monday, March 23-Friday, April 4: Leadership Interviews and Auditions


APRIL 2009

Saturday, April 11: Drum Major Final Auditions & 2009 Student Leadership

Saturday, April 25: Spring Training


JULY 2009

Friday, July 4: Delano Fourth of July Parade



Wednesdays, August 5, 12, and 19: Pre-season Flag Practices

Friday-Sunday, August 21-23: Leadership Retreat

Tuesday, August 25: Spat Camp begins Rookies, Student Leadership, Percussion and Flagline report

Thursday, August 27: Vets report for Spat Camp

Sunday, August 30: Minnesota State Fair performance



September 2 or 3: New Student Convocation performance

September 8: Fall Semester begins - Regular rehearsals begin (M-Th, 4:15-6:00 pm)

September 8-10: Pep Band Auditions and Formation Northrop Auditorium

September 9: Regular Flagline Rehearsals begin (7:00-9:00 pm)

September 12 : vs. Air Force, kick off 6pm    

September 19: vs. California, kick off 11am   
September 25: Padelford



October 3: vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Home-Opener) kick off TBA    

October 10: vs. Purdue (Homecoming) kick off 11am  

October 31: vs. Michigan State, kick off 7pm      



November 7: vs. Illinois, kick off TBA

November 14: vs. South Dakota, kick off TBA

November 18: Rochester Indoor Concert, 7pm

November 21: 48th Annual Indoor Concert, 7pm

November 22: 48th Annual Indoor Concert, 3pm


December 6: Marching Band Banquet


In the beginning, around 1947, the Flagline was simply a line of flags used to represent the "Big Nine". They marched in the front of block band presenting each school's letter. Lined up in a row were Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Michigan State and Penn State did not join what is now the "Big Ten" until years later. The Flagline participated in pregame and halftime. They marched the flags through the Swinging Gates as the band played Battle Hymn of the Republic during pregame and surrounded the band presenting the flags during halftime.

Moving forward into the 1970s, the Flagline separated itself from the Big Ten Flags and took the first transition into what is now the Minnesota Color Guard. The Big Ten Flags are still around in the Marching Band showing the respect for fellow Big Ten Schools, but the Flagline continued to grow. They purchased new maroon and gold flags with the Minnesota Block M on them and began to choreograph simple routines to the school songs. They then marched and spun during pregame and halftime.

The Flagline has kept its name for over 60 years due to both traditions of the band and the traditional way of spinning to the school songs. However, over the last eight years the Flagline have moved away from the idea of a Flagline and moved towards that of a Color Guard; using more contemporary spinning techniques, including body movement, and adding rifles to the halftime shows.

In 2008, the University of Minnesota Flagline officially changed its name to the University of Minnesota Color Guard. Now, both rifle and flag are used for every halftime show. The Color Guard uses colorful flags and added body movement while spinning to add visual effect to the music played by the marching band. During pregame, they use 5 ½ foot poles with silks that they call, "M Flags" because it incorporates an "M" into the design. The "M Flag" has been used for the last 15 years while spinning our school songs. The Color Guard marches and spins through every aspect of pregame and still continue to march through the Swinging Gates. During Halftime, the Color Guard uses 6 foot poles and sometimes 6 ½ foot poles and rifles. The Color Guard has different silk designs that they switch between depending on the mood of the halftime songs. The Color Guard has grown tremendously since the 1940s and will continue to adapt to the new ways of spinning just as the band plays new music for halftime shows, but pregame will retain the traditions of the past.

Contact Us

INSTRUCTOR: Kelly Koski eMail me!

Rose Hennessy    eMail me!
Leah Boetcher    eMail me!
Kate Dutler    eMail me!
Patty Hamilton    eMail me!
Syressa Lewis    eMail me!

About Us

What We Do

We are the visual aspect in the Marching Band; we represent the music through choreographed spinning and dancing. We perform at every Gopher Home Football Game in pregame, halftime, and postgame show. We also perform in the annual Marching Band Indoor Concert. You can view our pregame and our Insight Bowl halftime performance on youtube.

Pre-Season Practices

The Color Guard holds three Wednesday night practices in August before the season begins from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. In-state vets and rookies are required to attend at least one practice. If you have never spun before, you are required to attend at least two. However, if you are from out-of-state, your attendances are waived, but please inform a leader. Leaders run these practices with the help of vets to teach the new members our school song routines. These practices are very helpful and will make the start of season run more smoothly. Plus, it's a great way to meet some members before spat camp.

Spat Camp

The season officially starts with spat camp, an on-campus, ten day learning period in late August. At spat camp you will learn the main marching techniques and fundamentals, the routines to our five school songs, and basic rifle moves. Rookies, drumline members, and the color guard come two days before the rest of the vets to learn the basics. When the vets arrive, marching fundamentals continue and teaching pregame will begin.


When school starts, we practice with the band every Monday through Thursday 4:15 - 6:00 pm and hold an additional sectional on Wednesdays 7:00-9:00 pm. If it is game week there are two more additional practices, one Friday night and one Saturday morning. Each week we split our time between learning new halftime music and drill and repeating pregame. Our extra sectional time is used to clean work and may include some extra marching while spinning practice.


The Color Guard is a part of the Marching Band which is a credited class at the University; students much be registered for MUS3480. If you are a non University of Minnesota student but are from a neighboring college you can still join as an extension course by contacting the College of Continuing Education (please contact the leadership for more information). The Color Guard is open to anyone interested in joining; experience is preferred but not necessary. If you are inexperienced you are required to attend the pre-season practices.

Last year we welcomed 21 members, 13 vets and 8 rookies. In addition to seeing everyone everyday at practice we added "Flagline Frolics", an idea from one of our vets, in which the guard gets together for a fun activity where we don't have to be on a field. They included trips to Ben and Jerry's for a vermonster, Applebee's for half-priced appetizers, and tie-dyed shirts.

If you have any questions about the Color Guard, please contact the leadership.


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