On Sept. 15, 1980, the Golden Band from Crusaderland kicked off the Popcorn Festival parade downtown. That afternoon Orville Redenbacher himself came to the VU vs. Wittenberg football game aptly named the Popcorn Bowl. Wittenberg won the game and received a travelling “Orvie” trophy presented by Redenbacher. Director J. Klein had the assistance of several students on the Band Staff including: J. Jan, B. Black, K. Hessel, M. Meyer, T. Madden, P. Clikeman, T. Carlson, R. Jensen, B. Knepper, & C. Anderson.
The marching band was under the direction of J. Klein in 1981. Members of the Band Council included: C. Winters (president), R. Jensen (vice president), L. Morrison (secretary/treasurer), B. Black, K. Hessel, C. Marton, & R. Maassel. Members of the Band Staff included: T. Carlson, R. Jensen, C. Winters, T. Madden, K. Hessel, D. DiNola, T. Walters, P. Clikeman, P. Rahn, B. Black, J. Jan, & Y. Pritchard.
In 1984, the marching band was sponsored by the Athletic Department under the direction of Dr. John D. Brick. They played for home football games marching to the theme of the “Spirit of the University.” Graduating seniors included: Carol Brown (Biology), Kathy Foster (Nursing), Gordon Fisher (Music Education), Peggy Glennie (Speech & Drama), Carol Hess (Chemistry), Eric Preuss (Music Merchandising), & Don Prough & Mary Shelly (Business Administration).
Dr. John Brick continued as the director in 1985. The marching band assisted by John Steincamp and field commander Steve Edminston, performed for all home football games. They had a half time feature. They transformed into the University Band during basketball season and in the spring, they gave a concert. Graduating seniors included: Barbara Boyd (Latin & Greek), Douglas Buck (Mechanical Engineering), Richard Davies & Ralph Johnston (Electrical Engineering), Pat Gienke (Nursing), & Joanne Polite (Early Childhood Education).
The Marching Crusaders were under the direction of Dr. Thomas Trimborn in 1986. They performed during half time at home football games. During basketball season, they transitioned to the University Band and when that was over, they put on a spring concert. Brian Smith (Journalism & Theology) was the only graduating senior.
In 1987 the Crusader Marching Band performed on Saturday, September 6 in the 8th annual Popcorn Festival parade. According to the yearbook, the weather was perfect and the band gave an “awesome” performance.
The University Band marched in the Popcorn Fest parade in 1988. They entertained at football games with their own take on the music video for Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al. The Pep Band also performed for basketball games.
In 1989 the marching band played for home games and parades and even took a trip to Dayton, OH. The color guard spent the year preparing to compete in the 1990 Winter Guard International Olympics under the direction of Lesley Trostrud. Kristine Carlsson was in charge of sewing for the color guard, Jonna Pabst served as vice president, & Lesley Trostrud as president.