College of Arts and Humanities

Tiger Band Kidz Klub to offer young Tiger fans up-close look at ‘The Band That Shakes the Southland’


Tiger Band rehearsals are loud and exciting, and local children can experience them through the Tiger Band Kidz Klub, an after-school program open to children ages 1-13 and their parents. The club offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Tiger Band. Membership is free, and meetings are held at 5 p.m. each Friday before a Clemson home football game on the band’s practice field at Cherry and Perimeter Roads, next to the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Families can observe and listen from the practice field sidelines or from the John H. Butler and Bruce F. Cook Tiger Band Plaza. Tailgate chairs and blankets are optional. The first Kidz Klub will be on September 15 before the game against Florida Atlantic University the next day.

Tiger Band Kidz Klub has been a cherished tradition for many Clemson families including Walker Massey’s, who is preparing to introduce the program to a second generation.

“My children are now 23 and 20, but I think I started taking them when they were in elementary school,” said Walker Massey, designer for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. “I think I started eaves dropping on practice before I knew there was a formal public invitation. When I left campus, I could hear the band and decided I had to bring my children. I particularly remember when my son was in sixth grade and he picked the trombone at Edwards band. He thought it was very special to stay after practice to meet the trombone players and have a mini private performance and Q&A from them. My first grandbaby is due this Fall and I’m very much looking forward to taking him next year!”

A man on a ladder directs a row of students tossing rifles into the air
The Clemson Tiger Band rehearses as the sun sets behind their practice field.

Children who attend the event get to meet Tiger Band musicians and get an up-close look at their talents and instruments. Kids can even help the band practice the “most exciting 25 seconds in college football” by playing the roles of the Clemson football players, and they receive a gift each week.

“The Tiger Kidz Club has been a very special part of our family’s Clemson tradition,” said Erin Allen of Central. “My nine-year-old son, Sammy, has been attending this special event since we moved to Clemson eight years ago. When my daughter, who is six, joined our crew, we happily included her in the festivities. We have countless videos of our chubby-cheeked toddlers chanting C-L-E-M-S-O-N as passionately as their little arms would allow. Tiger Band practice and Kidz Club have always been a place where our whole family can meet up and spend time together before the busy weekend. It’s a tradition that I hope to continue for many years to come.”

A row of sousaphone players rehearse under a bright orange sunset
The Clemson University Tiger Band sousaphone section rehearses at dusk.

Tiger fans and their families who are in town on Friday evenings, as well as families living in the Clemson community and area, are encouraged to take part.

“This is a fun way for families to experience what it’s like to be in Tiger Band and to involve their children in music education,” said Mark Spede, Clemson’s director of bands.

The band practice field is located at Perimeter and Cherry roads next to the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts parking lot. Please be aware that the Tiger Band Kidz Klub cannot be responsible for unsupervised children.