That wasn’t a triangle or another percussion instrument coming from the Clemson University Tiger Band Sunday, it was wedding bells.
The band celebrated a day before the Tigers take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, as two members got engaged on the eve of the College Football Playoff.
Like the college football powerhouse it accompanies, the Tiger Band has been getting used to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The band practiced at the New Orleans arena Sunday.
As the practice drew to a close, band photographer Christopher Sloan addressed the group of musicians and performers. Sloan is a 1997 Clemson grad was the Tiger Band Commander in 1996, and he started speaking about family, tigernet.com reported.
Before long, Sloan dropped to one knee and proposed to Tamara Bowen, his girlfriend and another photographer with the band.
According to tigernet.com, the couple began dating after the football game against Notre Dame a few years ago, so their relationship is tied to Clemson football.
As Bowen fought off tears of joy, Sloan slipped an engagement ring on her hand. After hugging and kissing his fianceé, Sloan had another surprise in store.
He approached Bowen’s 9-year old daughter Peyton, who was on hand and almost as overcome with emotion as her mother. Sloan proceeded to take a knee in front of Peyton and asked her if she would be his daughter. Like her mother, Peyton also said “yes,” and Sloan placed a ring on her right hand.
Sloan hugged the little girl, before they both approached Bowen for a family embrace. All the while, members of the Tiger Band looked on and applauded.
The Tiger Band enters the Sugar Bowl in much higher spirits than their previous postseason game.
Before Clemson defeated Miami in the ACC title game, the band learned its performance time was being dramatically reduced on the championship platform. The Tiger Band was only permitted to perform during the pregame, and for only 6 minutes.
While it was benched at halftime, the Miami Band of the Hour saw it’s spotlight significantly reduced, also to 6 minutes.
The decision to limit the band performances was made to create time for other halftime and pregame activities, including sponsorship recognition, collegemarching.com reported. The ACC made the change behind closed doors at the conference’s October meeting.
There will be no such issues on Monday. The Tiger Band reported on Twitter both bands will perform in the pregame and halftime.
“So everyone is clear, the @CFBPlayoff is VERY supportive of the bands. Both bands will be performing at Pregame and Halftime with plenty of time for sponsors and Kendrick Lamar. A great example for other bowl games and conference championships in the future! #LetThemPlay.”
Clemson will play Alabama for the third season in a row in the College Football Playoff. The teams split wins in the past two national championship games, and the winner of Monday’s contest will advance to this year’s title game on Jan. 8 in Atlanta.
The Sugar Bowl is scheduled to kickoff at 8:45 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.