Fanfares And Academic Regalia

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Today’s opening convocation , at Grove City College, started off with a FANFARE…trumpet fanfare that is (did you notice the bold print…). Every year we start the opening convocation with a 7 trumpet fanfare that announces the procession of the academics from across the quad. When the procession arrives at the chapel, the trumpets lead the procession down the center aisle and announce the beginning of the ceremony from the front of the chancel area.

As we were progressing today, I thought it might be fun to explore the meanings about academic regalia worn at all of these types of ceremonies in today’s post. All official academic ceremonies such as graduations will have the teachers/professors all “fussied up” in some type of robe/garment. The visitors love to see the regalia and those that have to be in the pagentry usually can be found prior muttering something about having to wear them…

In brief, those with master’s degree will have a hood of 3 and 1/2 feet in length and the inside lining of it will have the colors of the university that bestowed the degree and the trimming (binding) of the lining will usually depict the discipline (arts/science, etc.). The master’s degree will also have long tams (fangs) that extend almost a foot from the bottom of the hand.

The doctoral robe will have piping (or belting) on the sides of the robe itself and the hood is full 4 foot in length and the robes do not have the arm tams. The hooding remains similar to the masters and doctoral costumes that include mortar caps may have a gold tassel on top. Doctoral robes also tend to be made of velvet or include velvet as a large part of the materials that make up the robe and cap

Although becoming rare in the U.S. anymore, some bachelor degree holders will have an academic robe with a 3 foot hood in the back.

There are many other ins and outs about academic costumes and regalia; you could devote an entire book to the history of the modern regalia used by institutions today (some have). Each country does something a little differently with regard to academic costuming so expect a lot of variation at a cosmopolitan school, college or university.

There is a great article about academic regalia at the Academic Costume Code & Ceremony Guide. If you are interested in this type of information, it’s a very informative and concise guide.

[tags] academic regalia, trumpet fanfare, academic robes [/tags]
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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is an industry innovator, education clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator at Grove City College, he made the move into industry in 2018.  As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in various roles over his tenure including the Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Assistant and Associate Chairs of Music and Music and Fine Arts, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Director of Jazz Studies, Stage Manager, and he finished his tenure as the Director of Bands where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Bands, and various small ensembles.

He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association,  a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries. He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website

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