Tulane University Bands

The Spirit of the Green Wave

Help Sophie the VW!

It is game day. Newcomb Quad and the Berger Family Lawn are bustling with people sporting olive and blue while the sound of the Tulane University Marching Band fills the air. As the band leads the procession to Yulman Stadium, “Sophie,” a 1961 Volkswagen pickup truck fitted with a Green Wave logo, is an eye-catching staple within the parade.

Tulane alumni Patrick and Marian Maguire purchased the truck and restored it in 2003 before providing it to the new TUMB for Mardi Gras and football games.

“Sophie” soon became the band’s support vehicle, carrying its snacks and beverages on parade routes and during other performances.

“When we started 14 years ago, the band was small,” said Spanier. “We would basically pull a garden wagon with some water and granola bars and a first-aid kit, and that was it.”

As the band grew, so did the need for the trusty truck. Sophie trails the TUMB down St. Charles every Mardi Gras, carrying dozens of water bottles, granola bars, and emergency equipment, as well as becoming a safe resting point for injured TUMB members on the route. In 2014, the truck was converted from gas to electric power. Now its 15 batteries need to be replaced to fit the strenuous needs as a Mardi Gras support vehicle.

Contributions are being accepted through a GoFundMe page that has been started to support the truck’s maintenance expenses. Director of Bands Barry Spanier said the goal of $15,000 would cover new batteries and other general maintenance.

Consider donating to the GoFundMe and also come out to Bruno’s Tavern on Saturday, November 3rd to watch the Tulane Green Wave take on the USF Bulls. A Portion of proceeds will benefit the Sophie fundraiser!

 Photo by Zack Smith Photography

Photo by Zack Smith Photography