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Bill Moffit and Patterns of Motion

Events, University Archives

On Saturday, April 20th, the Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band will be performing a very experimental, very groundbreaking “site specific performance,” a four-hour “deconstructed parade” at Discovery Green Houston.  Beginning at 4pm, the ambitious work from Daniel Bernard Roumain, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Troy Bennefield, En Masse, will last until 8pm.

This is not your father’s marching band.

While a deconstructed parade is a far cry from the military marching or corps style many associate historically with marching bands, this is not the first time the Spirit of Houston has pushed the boundaries of what a marching band is or what it can do.  For over two decades Bill Moffit wowed audiences with his revolutionary Patterns of Motion as he served as Director of the University of Houston Marching Band.  The latter half of the twentieth century saw his ideas and unique style permeate show bands of every affiliation across the country.

A prolific arranger as well, Moffit directed the Fanfare Trumpets at the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.  His hundreds of arrangements published as the immensely popular Soundpower Series, as well as patrons continuing to visit our reading room to pore over his Patterns of Motion, ensure that the unique Moffit sound and style can still be heard in stadiums across the country.

In addition to Patterns of Motion, the University of Houston Special Collections is also pleased to offer the Professor William C. Moffit Papers for study as part of our University Archives.  This collection is impressive in its size and scope, offering a look into the teaching, writing, and arrangement of Professor Moffit both at the University of Houston and also his time spent working with the Spartan Marching Band of Michigan State University and the Purdue All-American Marching Band.


“Texas Fite,” Oct. 31, 1976, from the Professor William C. Moffit Papers

Of particular note, Professor Moffit’s papers also include his personal arrangements of school fight songs from the University of Houston’s days in the old Southwest Conference.  So if you bleed maroon, green and gold, or your burnt orange gets boiling when you hear “Texas Fite” (pictured here), you are sure to find something to make your visit a memorable one.

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