The University of California, Berkeley marching band performed at the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday, giving the show – which featured Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay – a special Bay Area touch.
The surprise performance was a long time in the making, according to Berkeley newspaper The Daily Californian. Back in December, the halftime show production team had contacted the Cal Band director, Robert Calonico, about the possibility of a performance.
The newspaper reported that “most band member slots for Cal Band performances do not fill up quickly,” but that the Super Bowl was an exception. A whopping 195 players out of 220 opted to perform, which required a vigorous training schedule.
“I was actually eating lunch with some other people in the band, and we were all freaking out about playing in the Super Bowl,” said student director and mellophone player Stephen Ramaley. “It’s such a huge performance. It’s watched by millions of people all over the world.”