Groundbreaking set for $1 million marching band plaza

The Clemson University Tiger Band Association raised more than $1 million to build the Tiger Band Plaza. Construction is set to start in 2013 at the entrance of the marching-band practice field off Perimeter Road.

The Clemson University Tiger Band Association raised more than $1 million to build the Tiger Band Plaza. Construction is set to start in 2013 at the entrance of the marching-band practice field off Perimeter Road.

— The Clemson University Tiger Band Association is hosting a groundbreaking celebration Saturday for a brick gateway that will adorn the school's marching-band practice field.

The association has raised more than $1 million for the project. Construction is set to begin in 2013.

Members will celebrate at 12:15 p.m. Saturday — three hours before the Clemson-Maryland football game kickoff — at the site just off Perimeter Road near the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

All money raised above the Tiger Band Plaza's building costs will go into a scholarship fund for band musicians.

"The groundbreaking brings to fruition a huge commitment by many people over the last few years," Clemson band director Mark Spede said in a news release from Clemson. "Once finished, it will be an incredible gateway to the Tiger Band practice field and a new destination point for all Clemson fans."

Tiger Band Association President Ed Evans said that the plaza will create a legacy for band alumni.

"Band alumni, both young and old, can participate in this legacy," Evans said. "By purchasing a brick, their contribution to Clemson and Tiger Band will be preserved forever. Each graduating Tiger Band member will be able to add his or her name to the plaza."

Donations for the project are part of Clemson's $1 billion Will to Lead capital campaign.

Founded in 1977, the Tiger Band Association is the Clemson band's fundraising arm for special projects, programs and scholarships.

Members play in the 30-year-old Alumni Band and march with current band students at the First Friday Parade and the homecoming game.

The band aims to attract 300 alumni for this weekend's festivities. To learn more about band events, visit www.cutba.org.

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