Remembering Ed Livingston
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 2:19 pm

Edward Livingston is not a well-recognized name in current students in Illinois various marching bands, but it should be.  Mr. Livingston was Director of Bands at Illinois State University from 1977-1984, during which time he created the Big Red Marching Machine (at that time the largest college marching band.)  He also revitalized “ISU Band Day” into The State of Illinois Invitational Marching Band Championships, which continue to this day.  Mr. Livingston passed away at the age of 77 on May 23, 2012.   He is survived by his wife of 29 years and two daughters.


Current ISU Timing and Penalties Judge Frank Bischoff had this to say about Mr. Livingston:

Ed Livingston became Director of Bands at Illinois State University in about 1976 or 1977. One thing he looked at changing was the so-called “ISU Band Day”, a relatively modest event. Ed consulted with a number of high school directors and decided to re-invent the event he inherited. He wanted to host a “really big show”, creating a prelim and finals structure,with as many bands as possible. He wanted to fill the ISU stadium seats and give away a store’s worth of trophies.
By fall of 1978 he had two contests (D-C-B and A-AA) on the field in one day for 50 bands, plus 5 bands from each contest in an evening ‘finals’. The west side of the stadium filled three times, and he gave out 3 tables’ worth of trophies. The event was a success beyond his expectations. (The show even ran on time.) Then in spring, he went back to the high school directors and asked,“OK, now what do we need to do differently?” In this way his contest continued to evolve through the years.
Ed Livingston hired me in spring 1977 for the “all-new ISU Band Day” on the recommendation of directors such as Dale Hopper, Ed Jones, Doyle Heffron, and Bruce Hammitt. Now Ed is gone; he was a good host, and a showman. The event Ed re-created continues to this day, and yes, Ed, you can say “ISU Band Day” is a “really big show”.
(full article)