Bands Alumni

Traditions - "Georgia On My Mind"

Erin Killey, 2007 Georgia Soloist

Since 1981, the Marching Leathernecks have "wowed" audiences with their rendition of "Georgia On My Mind" as arranged by longtime band director Dale Hopper. Usually, "Georgia" is performed with the band forming two lines in front of the field/performance area. The first part of the song includes a trumpet solo performed by a annually-chosen member of the Marching Leathernecks trumpet section and is a position of honor. The front line of the band faces away from the crowd for this portion of the song, before turning around in the middle and letting loose with a wall of sound.

To honor the many performances of "Georgia On My Mind" by the Marching Leathernecks, Dale Hopper...the man who made this song a tradition at Western Illinois University, and the many Georgia Soloists over the last 40 years, here is a list of the soloists, as well as links to performances of the song throughout the years.

Year Soloist Video (if available)
1981 Matt Lee  
1982 David Kisting Metamora Marching Band contest
1983 Stephen Hawk Homecoming 2009 Postgame Performance
1984 Dan Moore  
1987 Robert Seymour  

Karl Hammond
Eric Johnson
(1-2 performances)

Hammond - Home Football Game, Fall '88
Johnson - Home Football Game 11/26/88 (video of Wranglers Danceline)

1989 Karl Hammond  
1990 Bill Hardy  
1993 Jeff Loper  
1994 Jeff Loper  
1995 Jeff Loper  
1996 Jason Sivill Homecoming Post-Game Show (both Sivill and Loper on "solo")
1997 Jason Sivill  
1998 Jason Pool BOA Regional in St. Louis
Canton Friendship Festival Standstill
1999 Jason Pool Home Football Game in November
BOA Regional in St. Louis
2000 Travis Lopez BOA Regional in St. Louis
2001 Travis Lopez  
2002 Travis Lopez  
2003 Bob Hanerhoff  
2004 Bob Hanerhoff  
2005 Nathan Haley  
2006 Nathan Haley  
2007 Erin Killey  
2008 Erin Killey  
2009 Mike Amano Family Weekend "Pregame at the Ashtray" Performance w/ Alumni Band, 10/17/09
2010 Mike Amano  
2011 Tyler Montgomery Family Weekend Game Halftime
2012 Tyler Montgomery  
2013 James Whelan  
2014 James Whelan  
2015 Jeremy Henman  
2016 Jeremy Henman  
2017 Austin Dunaway  
2018 Austin Dunaway Halftime Performance in October 2018
2019 Lane Harmon Halftime Performance in September 2019 (Family Day)

Photo: 2009 Marching Leathernecks