We are grateful that our yearly operating budget is provided by both the School of Music and the Athletic Department, but not all of our goals for our program can be realized with this funding. Student scholarships, new instruments, and a forthcoming uniform purchase are just a few of the ways that we hope to provide the very best experiences for our MSOM members. We always appreciate the additional support of gifts from those interested in investing in the future of UMD Bands.

Marching Band Alumna Pledges $250,000 Estate Gift for Marching Band Students

The Mighty Sound of Maryland is delighted to announce a $250,000 estate gift to establish the Dotty Reitwiesner Marching Band Student Support Endowment. Alumna Dotty Reitwiesner '78 has generously pledged to create this future endowment through her estate plans.

This endowment will be the first of its kind for MSOM, and will support undergraduate students of all majors who are actively enrolled in MSOM at the University of Maryland. This endowed fund will provide financial support for costs associated with educational expenses or expenses that may prohibit ongoing participation in the marching band.

"Establishing this fund will allow band members the opportunity to spend more time studying and enjoying their college experience without having to work. Marching band requires significant dedication, and it is my goal to assist a student or students to allow for that dedication."

Dotty arrived on campus in 1974. She fondly recalls being able to arrive on campus early for MSOM's early week gave her a leg up on knowing her way around campus.

"And then there was that red marching band t-shirt I so often wore. No matter where I was on campus, if another student was wearing a band t-shirt, we would smile or wave or sometimes even talk. Being in the marching band gave me an identity; I wasn't just another face in a sea of faces on that large campus"

While Dotty had played piccolo in high school, there were a limited number of piccolo spots in the Maryland Band, so she learned to play the alto saxophone. In her junior year, she switched to the peckhorn, an e-flat alto horn. Dotty was fortunate to attend bowl games during all four years in the marching band. She also pledged Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary band sorority, and joined the staff of The Sournote, a newsletter written entirely by students and distributed on band away trips. Dotty served as editor of The Sournote and donated physical copies to the University Archives, which are now available in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library.

During most of her time at Maryland, Dotty held a part-time job. She was grateful to work in the band office during her sophomore year, though by senior year she worked 30 hours a week in the auxiliary police station office and took mostly evening classes. Dotty reminisced, "While that experience and the development of interpersonal and business relationships helped me in my career, I could have been so much more successful in college if I had been able to spend less time working."

A longtime annual supporter of MSOM, Dotty recently began thinking seriously about her estate plans. "I never had children, and when I considered where my inheritance should go, it seemed appropriate to try and help others in some way. I decided the real way to help others who come after me would be to donate my money to the band." In making this gift, Dotty reflected,

"My best memories of college were not the courses I took (but I do remember a few very fondly) but my time in the band; the trips, the weekly parties, and the relationships. On the large campus, I was part of a very select group. I hope future members are able to continue to be welcomed in the band and be a part of it. My wish for future marching band students is that they can enjoy their time at the University of Maryland and if circumstances allow in the future, to give back as they are able."

MSOM is very grateful to Dotty for this future endowment. While it is the first of its kind created specifically for marching band students, she now joins other alumni who have helped establish endowments for the wider UMD Bands Program.

This includes the John E. Wakefield Band Performance Scholarship, Peter Bjerke Band Scholarship, Ken and Joan Isman Endowment for Band Operations, Michelle Elmore Twirler Fund, Anne Turkos Mighty Sound Flute Fund, Thomas R. Shipley Mighty Sound Timpani Fund, and most recently the L. Richmond Sparks Mighty Sound of Maryland Endowed Fund.

If you are interested in creating a lasting impact for MSOM or the UMD Bands Program, either during your lifetime or through your estate planning, please contact Norah Quinn McCormick at


Hear More From Dotty About Why She's Giving


Gifts of any amount are helpful. Halftime sponsorships and section sponsorships for the season are available and welcomed. If you would like to know more, please contact Norah Quinn McCormick at or 301.405.6485.