Sharing Game Day with the SMB

Jim and Sherry Bradow build Spartan memories through new donor recognition program in the MSU College of Music.

Jim and Sherry Bradow were the first donors recognized at the inaugural Spartan Marching Band Game Day level for the 2016 MSU vs U of M football game.
The MSU Spartan Marching Band is a 300-member ensemble directed by John Madden, professor of music and associate director of bands.
Jim Bradow got the opportunity to conduct the Spartan Marching Band during their ritual pre-game performance at Adams Field.
Taking a moment to pause for a photo: Kevin Sedatole, director of bands; Sherry and Jim Bradow, game day sponsors; John Madden, SMB director; James Forger, dean MSU College of Music; Rebecca Surian, senior director of advancement.
Sherry and Jim Bradow, center, lead the SMB to Spartan Stadium.
Sherry and Jim Bradow enjoy the 2016 MSU football game vs U of M from the sideline.

A new donor recognition level for fans of the MSU Spartan Marching Band gave two long-time Band supporters a lifetime of memories in a single day.

Spartan alumni Jim (B.A. ’75) and Sherry (B.S. ’75) Bradow were the first donors recognized at the inaugural Spartan Marching Band Game Day level. Coordinated through the MSU College of Music, this new donor recognition level provides participating donors the chance to select a home football game and sponsor the SMB for the day.  The new recognition level includes the opportunity to conduct the SMB at Adams Field on game day as well as leading the Band on the traditional and highly attended “March to the Stadium” along the Red Cedar River.

“I don’t think smiles left our faces the whole day,” says Sherry.  “It was all just so memorable, and a gorgeous October day, too.”

The Bradows had several reasons for making the Spartan Marching Band part of their gift to the Empower Extraordinary campaign. First, they say they recognized the SMB is an important part of the overall Spartan football game day experience and admired the talent, dedication and work ethic of each member in producing top-flight shows. Second, the Bradows say their support ties into their broader vision of supporting MSU students who demonstrate Spartan values through their high ethics, moral character and leadership. Finally, Jim and Sherry cited their daughter Susan’s experience with the SMB as motivation.

Susan Bradow Holsapple (B.A. ’04) was in the SMB Color Guard all four years, and served as captain her senior year. Being a member of the SMB meant everything to Susan, Sherry says, particularly since her daughter had marched throughout her final two years of high school while battling serious illness.

Susan came to MSU healthy, Sherry explains, but had further medical complications her sophomore year.

“John Madden was very kind and accommodating,” says Sherry of the SMB director. “She had her setback around the time of 9/11, so being able to perform on the field at Notre Dame after that tragedy was one of her most memorable moments of college.”

The recent game day gave the Bradows additional moments to add to their Spartan memories. Both Sherry and Jim led the SMB to the stadium shortly after Jim had climbed the ladder to conduct the Band in playing the MSU Fight Song at Adams Field. The two saw their names printed in the game day program, and had the chance to meet and greet MSU dignitaries before, during and after the game.

“It was a magical experience,” says Jim. “It’s just heartwarming for us to help provide the SMB with additional financial resources to continue to create outstanding musical performances, provide a home for its members to enjoy rich experiences, and provide a strong base of values and leadership that will help ensure future success following graduation.”   

For information on how you can support the College of Music, or to learn more about the Spartan Marching Band Game Day Sponsorship, please contact Rebecca Surian, senior director of development for the College of Music, at or by calling 517-353-9872. 

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