In fall of 2003, the Soundwave Pep Band performed as a sixty-piece marching band ("The Spirit of New Orleans"), directed by student leader Ryan Guillory and comprised of students, alumni, and community volunteers. It debuted in the Homecoming parade at Tad Gormley Stadium on October 11, 2003 and at the final two home football games that season at the Louisiana Superdome. To punctuate that historic year, the group marched in its first Mardi Gras parade, Le Krewe D'Etat, on February 20, 2004. Soundwave was able to rally enthusiasm in the community, and to show the potential of such an ensemble. This was critical in building support for the return of a marching band to Tulane.
With the momentum that Soundwave had created, the University re-established an official marching band program. The Newcomb Department of Music provided a home for the new program, authorized it as a credit course, and hired Barry Spanier as Director. Soundwave donated instruments and equipment that had been purchased through generous donations from alumni and other Tulane fans. Funds raised specifically for marching band uniforms were also donated to the Department of Music for this purpose. Mr. Spanier began laying the foundations of the new program in fall 2004 and spring of 2005, purchasing uniforms and instruments, scheduling facilities and fields, getting music arranged and recruiting students for the new endeavor. With a returning core of Soundwave members and a new freshman class, the first band camp with 25 members was held in late August of 2005. The final day of band camp was Saturday, August 27. Hurricane Katrina made landfall two days later. All of Tulane evacuated from New Orleans and its students spread across the country to attend fall classes at other institutions. Members of the new TUMB were tracked down and contacted by band staff and student leadership from Soundwave. It was determined and planned for everyone (who could) to meet in Houston for the Tulane vs. Rice football game on November 12, 2005. The effort was spearheaded by Ryan Guillory and collaboratively coordinated by the TUMB, Soundwave and SWABO (Soundwave Alumni Band Organization). With the help of Houston area's New Caney High School which loaned us instruments and rehearsal space, plus plenty of enthusiastic support, a Tulane Band was able to perform and support the Green Wave football team for the only time that fall season. This served as the singular opportunity for Tulane students and staff to re-connect and to perform during the Katrina semester, and to keep the momentum going.