Cal Marching Band Director Dies

Robert Briggs, who served as the director of the UC Berkeley marching band for 22 years and flat-out breathed John Phillips Sousa, died last week at the age of 81. According to the Trib, Briggs came to Cal in in 1947 and immediately got busy with the band, only taking a break to fight in Korea. (Well, that’s not quite true. While technically in the war, Briggs spent his time directing an Army band in Okinawa.) Briggs returned to California and ran Fairfield’s Armijo High marching band, then rose through the ranks of UC Berkeley’s marching band community. After being named director in 1973, Briggs oversaw the integration of women into the band and served until his retirement in 1995.

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