The flutes, like any other section, have many traditions. Some are so old that I'm having problems tracking down their origins. However, here is the beginnings of a history of the fun and crazy things we do. Anything that happens twice, becomes a tradition. New traditions are established fairly often, but the band tends to have a hard time letting go of old traditions.
Flute boxers were introduced in 1997, when Michelle Tuorto-Collins ('98) was section leader. Each year during the fall season, the flutes get together as a section and design boxers with various fabrics and crafts. After the halftime show of the last football game, as a unified section, everyone DROPS THEIR PANTS to show off their work to anyone who is more interested in looking at multicolored underwear than in the nail-biting, death defying action of the football team.
Rehearsing is hard work. Especially in the mornings, or after long days of classes, or anytime really. When all the flutes get really tired (Cornell students? Tired?), the section will lie in a circle, each person laying their head on the next person's legs, allowing everyone to get some much needed rest.
Every once and a while, the flutes can often be found actually watching the football games (*gasp*). The flutes, at one point
long ago, needed a way to show their appreciation for the football team when they (actually) (finally) scored a point. And so the
flute-ups were born.
Another, not-to-be-named section does push-ups when our football team scores. The flutes, who are a tad bit more creative and
less driven by testosterone, came up with something fun. We throw a member of the section in the air for each point our team has,
whenever we score. At times it does get a bit excessive, and there are stories of a Homecoming game where our team (amazingly enough)
scored so many points that the flutes had to take a break in the middle of flute-ups, just so that the poor flute wouldn't get
dropped by the section.
Legend has it, the flutes used to go lie down next to the trumpets and lift their instruments once for every point, each time we scored. This would've been changed in the mid-1990's.
When it gets cold in Ithaca (Cold? In Ithaca?), the section will huddle together in a huge mass for warmth. The section then travels everywhere that way, occationally absorbing other random, unsuspecting bandies.
Once upon a time, there were four flute ranks. The flutes held Ranks A, B, C, and D, because Show Comm realized that they had to give the first four letters of the alphabet to a truly amazing section. Or maybe I'm biased?
Around 1999, four ranks became three. Now, I'm not entirely certain whose decision this was, but the story I was told is that there just weren't enough flutes to fill four whole ranks. So, one of the ranks was retired. Rank C was retired. Not Rank D, the fourth rank, but the third. The flute section now holds Ranks B, A, and D.
In 2016, Show Comm made the (heartbreaking) decision to retire one of the flute ranks. Rank A was gotten rid of, which led to the Flute Domino Incident of Homecoming 2016 known as "Flominoes". By the end of the season, Rank A had returned, which just goes to show that no one should mess with our ranks.
In 2018, the flutes got a large class of freshman nearly doubling the size of the section. This led us to bring back a fourth rank, Rank U, pronounced Rank "C". This is because U looks like C fallen over, alluding to the Flominoe incident of 2016. Hopefully, there will be no more tumbling flutes for awhile.
Unlike other ranks, when Flutes are assigned that rank they usually stay in that rank for their time at Cornell. This leads to a bit of rank pride. If you're interested, check out the Rank D Theme song!Want to Know More History?
Check out these stories: "Before the marching band included women" and "American Sign Language in the Big Red Marching Band OR I Love You!"