Women at higher education institutions across the United States were granted equal rights for academic and athletic opportunities on their college campuses through the passage of Title IX in 1972. Although most consistently associated with women in sport, Title IX had lasting effects for music education and women’s participation in collegiate marching bands across the United States. Title IX prompted the Association of Women Students at Penn State University to lobby successfully on behalf of women instrumentalists’ right to audition and join the previously all-male instrumentalists of the Penn State Marching Blue Band in the fall of 1973. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the experiences of the first women instrumentalists to participate in the Penn State Marching Blue Band after the enactment of Title IX. Participants addressed attempts to assimilate in a coeducational marching band, the influence of prior performance in high school marching band, conflicting reactions toward media coverage, and positive reflections of their director. Findings paralleled Title IX’s history in higher education with its emphasis on historical pockets of hostility and exclusion on co-educational college campuses and the importance of student-based advocacy for the advancement of women’s rights.
Ferguson, Michquelena Potlunas
"The First Women Instrumentalists in the Penn State Marching Blue Band
After the Enactment of Title IX,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 36, Article 7.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol36/iss1/7