The Virginia Pep Band

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The Virginia Pep Band was a “scramble band” formed in 1974 bringing unique musical style and light-hearted tomfoolery to the UVa football field during half-time shows. Modeled after Ivy league scramble bands, the Pep Band played traditional UVa pep songs and performed comical skits, usually with the opposing team as its subject. They debuted on September 21, 1974. [1]

In 1993, the UVa Athletic Department tried to take control overseeing the band attempting to censor the Band’s mildly offensive shows. Students were outraged, saying the Athletic Department was stifling their right to free speech. After a revolution that caught national attention, the Pep Band was reinstated for the last football game of the season against Virginia Tech.

In 2003, the Athletic Department again tried to take charge of the Pep Band in order to establish an official Marching Band. The Pep Band was banned from all athletic events and their instruments were locked away.

Although the Virginia Pep Band no longer performs at any varsity sporting events, the band continued for many years performing at Rugby and Ice Hockey Games, as well as for other clubs and Charlottesville events. [2]

1974 performance


Documentary film

Rosalia Films is in the process of creating a documentary called Pep Banned. [3] [4] On November 11, 2023, 140 Pep Band members reunited on Lambeth Field for a "final performance." Clips from this reunion and interviews from Pep Band leaders will be the main focus of the documentary. [5]


  1. Web. Pep Banned: The pep band’s 30 years of scrambling on the edge, Ed Miller, News Article, Charlottesville, Virginia, Spring 2021 Issue, retrieved April 4, 2021.
  2. Maxwell, James. "History of the Pep Band." Web. Aug. 2005. <>.
  3. Web. Pep Banned, Website, Rosalia Films, retrieved April 4, 2021.
  4. Web. Wake-Up Call: The Story and Tales of the UVA Pep Band, Rick Moore, Podcast, Charlottesville Podcasting Network, March 21, 2021, retrieved April 4, 2021.
  5. Web. Pep Banned ... The Movie, June 17, 2024

External Links

The Virginia Pep Band