Montana State University’s “Spirit of the West” looks for donations to Frisco, Texas

The Montana State University “Spirit of the West” Marching Band takes the field for their pregame performance before the FCS Semifinal versus the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Dec. 18, 2021.

UPDATE: Jan. 5 at 9 p.m.

According to the Montana State University Alumni Foundation's "Spirt of the West" fundraising page, the MSU Marching Band reached their fundraising goal to secure their trip to Frisco, Texas, for the FCS Championship game.

The band has raised $150,000 in private donations and will get a one-time investment in matching funds from the MSU Alumni Foundation Board of Governors for a total of $300,000 to support the marching band.

According to MSU Vice President of Communications Tracy Ellig the marching band hopes to leave for Texas on Friday to join the football team and Bobcat fans.


BOZEMAN, Mont. – While you may have your FCS Championship game ticket, the Montana State University Marching Band is hoping you can help them get their tickets to Texas as well.

On the morning of Jan. 5, the Montana State University football team will board their flight to Frisco, Texas, at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

The next day, several charter flights packed with fans will be heading down, but the “Spirit of the West” Marching Band hopes they will be leaving Friday with 180 of their student musicians.

The MSU Alumni Foundation’s Vice President of the Annual Fund Nick Lonardo said as of Jan. 4, there have been well over 800 gifts totaling $125,000 to help get all the band members and their instruments to Texas on their own flight.

The goal is to reach $150,000 as the MSU Alumni Foundation Board of Governors authorized a one-time investment to support the “Spirit of the West” Marching Band get to the FCS National Championship.

The match works so that for every dollar donated to the band will get matched by the Board of Governors investment up to $150,000.

So, if the foundation is able to reach $150,000 in private donations, they will receive matching funds for a total of $300,000 to support the marching band.

MSU Vice President of Communications Tracy Ellig said administrative staff have worked all winter break to help make travel accommodations because at the beginning of the season the estimated cost for a charter flight was only $80,000 but that price has more than doubled.

With the MSU allotment of tickets sold out for the FCS National Championship, standing room only tickets went on sale Jan. 4, while all charter flights for fans have been sold out, but even MSU Head Football Coach Brent Vigen said the band needs to be there.

“We need to obviously get the band down there so raising that money is pretty dang important,” Coach Vigen said. “It’s important that we get as many people down there, I appreciate the amazing support, hope everybody can find a ticket, I know that’s easier said than done but you know it would be great.”

You can help MSU’s “Spirt of the West” Marching Band reach their fundraising goal here.

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