Needing little introduction, the DUMB trombone/baritone/sousa section — henceforth commonly known as the “DUMBones” — is a pillar of musical integrity upon which all other sections must depend, not unlike the ancient yet still-standing columns of the Parthenon. Consecrated as a living monument to the glory of marching band, the DUMBones prefer to avoid outlandish and superficial claims of section superiority, badassery, or mythical virility. Rather, actions speak louder than words (although not as loud as our wall of sound), and we leave you to draw your own conclusions.

“Sit down. Be humble.” –Kendrick Lamar

The ’17-’18 Bones taking a knee at Ford Field before Duke’s win over NIU at the Quick Lane Bowl.

DUMBones of 2012-2013 "Surfing" ... Surfing is a privilege reserved for the DUMBones.

DUMBones of 2012-2013 “Surfing” … Surfing is a privilege reserved for the DUMBones.

2019-2020 Bone Gals


DUMBone History

The Bonehistory is a long and engrossing tale, passed orally down through the generations to be recorded in this most sacrosanct of histories.

Bones have traditionally been the dominant force in band politics since 2006. Beginning with our illustrious and much-beloved fellow Bone, Tiny, whose grace and love of apples earned her the devotion of the band (much like Queen Elizabeth I), bones held an uninterrupted chokehold on the band presidency. Tiny passed her rule on to Baby Boum, who ceded to Scotch upon his graduation. Scotch, in turn, ruled for two years consecutively, and was a critical force in the bid to get all brass players stipends. Yay, Scotch! Scotch graduated on to greener pastures, and Bonepresident Cujo stepped up to fill the void, earning presidential fame by flooding the band listserv for the 2010-2011 season with a near-biblical deluge of email and new recruits.

However, even the bones recognize that extended terms in office can lead to a certain degree of creative stagnation, and in benevolent trombone character, the bones realized that the election for the 2011-2012 year would be a time of change. Focusing on the greater good of the band, the bones wholeheartedly endorsed the campaign and election of Freckles, hailing from the Trumpet section and promising great aptitude at band leadership. Although the proper trombone reign has ended, both former President Cujo and former Treasurer Beef managed to finagle Duke into business school admissions for 2011-2012, and will hence be able to enact a puppet government should the bones decide officership leverage is called for.

The trumpets frequently boast this officer turnover erroneously as a “trumpet takeover,” incorrectly citing their dominance of both sound and officership. However, a political scandal of non-native trumpet players undermines their presence, with President Freckles being a recent switch from flute, and VP Scott being a bassoon player. Seriously, are bassoons even a real instrument? Bassoons are basically like car mufflers: they just reduce your overall sound output and you technically don’t even need them.

Other politically inclined Bones include: Speedo, who was Vice President 2014-2015; Jedi, who was Drum Major 2008-2010; BAM!, who was Section Leader and Secretary 2009-2010; Cujo, who was Secretary 2008-2009 and Class Wars Monarch 2009-2010; Nips, who was Section Leader 2007-2008; Boum, who also held the title of Section Leader 2008-2009; Scotch, who was also Secretary 2007-2008; and Beef, who was Treasurer 2008-2010, Section Leader 2010-2011.

For a number of years, the Bones departed bureaucracy and entered into a period of political minimalism, electing instead to make our presence felt on the IM field, the DUMB Fantasy League, and with flawless attendance to football and basketball games. Following in the great footsteps of Twister and Colonel (circa ’16-’17), contemporary Bones capture what it means to be a Bone via the best avenue possible: keeping our sound Gucci with as little effort as possible. “It’s one thing to be a Bone, but it’s a different ball game entirely to make it look easy.”

This demonstration of innate flawlessness evolved further with the 2017-2018 season as veterans Chip (voted GREATEST marcher of all time) and Encore (voted SEXIEST man alive) instilled record-breaking attendance throughout the section for all home sporting events. Furthermore, rampant passion for sports (go Wolves) permeated the Bones as hot takes from the NBA to the Olympic Curling Trials flew around the section.

However, the pivotal 2020 election season saw the Bones once again rise to power in a decisive political takeover. Scar was reelected to his second term as Secretary, with Silver joining him as co-Secretary. Tuna, with his finance knowledge and progressive stipend revision platform, rose to the ranks of Treasurer. Sky and Ghost were successfully elected co-Social Chairs, rounding out the Bones’ electoral dominance. Lastly, DCI veteran Gator was appointed Drum Major as a rising sophomore, ensuring crucial Bone representation on the podium.

Silver continued as Secretary in 2021-2022 before going on to become President in 2022-2023 while other Bones controlled many of the lower offices, re-confirming the Bones’ ability to dominate the elections whenever they see fit.

Finally, as the sun rises on our 2023-2024 season, a new chapter of Bone history will begin. Known formally and colloquially as “βνε BS,” the Bones hope to culminate the many facets of Bone History into one resounding initiative: being the best of times (impeccable form, sound, and attendance always) and the worst of times (wild idiocy throughout). The past and the future look kindly upon the Bone Empire; the only thing left to do is add your page to the tome of our history. So what exactly are you waiting for?

Chip (feat. Quinn Cook) (please click to enjoy)

National Championship Bones

National Championship Bones

DUMBone Prehistory

Natural selection of the greatest section

Natural selection of the greatest section

The origin and creation of today’s well-recognized DUMBone species is still something of a hotly-contested debate, sufficiently controversial as to precipitate several landmark legal battles including the Scopes vs. State trial in 1925 [1] and the Kansas evolution hearings later in 2005 [2].

Some groups maintain that the DUMBones were entirely a result of Divine Incantation, created on the Seventh Day shortly before God rested, hence their holy status.

Most current scientific authorities, however, now lean towards the theory of bonevolution. While the details are disputed, the leading hypothesis suggests that the DUMBones evolved via natural selection amongst the other DUMB sections. Starting with a DUMB common ancestor that participated in musical endeavors via percussive means (banging rocks together), the DUMBones gradually evolved by lacking traits such as reeds and valves which proved detrimental to survival. Luckily for the rest of the musical species, DUMB provided an isolated ecosystem in which the unfavorable mutations were not eliminated entirely via extinction and predators, but rather sheltered and allowed to continue habitation, albeit far below the DUMBones on the food chain.

The co-existence of DUMBones and their regular trombone-playing counterparts is another issue of speculation. Formerly, biologists believed the DUMBone and trombone to be slight variations of the same population: subspecies entirely capable of intermingling and producing young based on the biological definition of species. However, newer phylogenetic/cladistic methods suggest that the DUMBone may be sufficiently different as to belong to a different species group, sharing a common ancestor – Megalobone — approximately 1.5 million years back, and then differentiating by sympatric means once genetic change occurred and they were isolated within the population.

Bone Names and Taxonomy

A hallowed trombone tradition is the assignment of a “Bone Name” which stays with an individual for the rest of their Bonedom. Bone Names, given to new members during Bone Night (a tradition cloaked in secrecy), become the primary method of identification within the trombone section itself, and often the entire band.

While other band members have been known to acquire nicknames, only the Bone Name is a ritualized title given under exacting circumstances. The few. The proud. The bones.

DUMBones have the rightful position at the front of the parade block

Bone Roster 2023-2024

  • Web – 2023
  • Ivy – 2024
  • Mercury – 2024
  • Rider – 2024
  • Mac – 2025
  • Pine – 2025
  • Pit – 2025
  • Shield – 2025
  • Arc – 2026
  • Blue – 2026
  • Boulder – 2026
  • Anchor – 2027
  • Ash – 2027
  • Doc – 2027
  • Iceberg – 2027
  • Mix – 2027
  • YOU – 2028

Old-Fart (graduated and/or part-time bones)

Respect your elders.

Respect your elders.

  • The Dean – Faculty
  • Spur – 2026
  • Apollo 13 – 2025
  • Blaze – 2025
  • Flash – 2025
  • Hawk – 2024
  • Gator – 2023
  • Frost – 2023
  • Fanta – 2023
  • Ghost – 2023
  • Kronos – 2023
  • Quest – 2023
  • Silver – 2023
  • Stripes – 2023
  • CRASH! – 2022
  • Nile – 2022
  • Sky – 2022
  • Tuna – 2022
  • Siren – 2022
  • Wocky – 2022
  • Jester – 2021
  • Pitcher – 2021
  • Scar – 2021
  • Scarlet – 2021
  • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen – 2021
  • Flint – 2020
  • Pence – 2020
  • Phoenix – 2020
  • Stark – 2020
  • Private – 2020
  • Archer – 2019
  • Gill – 2019
  • Hypo – 2019
  • Chip – 2018
  • Encore – 2018
  • Eon – 2018
  • Hudson – 2018
  • Lilo – 2018
  • Colonel – 2017
  • Twister – 2017
  • Bond- 2016
  • Winnie – 2016
  • Speedo – 2015
  • Bullseye – 2015
  • Sparrow – 2015
  • Fetch – 2015
  • Pope – 2014
  • Valdez – 2014
  • Bronco – 2014
  • Alamo – 2013
  • Sasquatch – 2013
  • Squirtle – 2013
  • Tokyo – 2013
  • Foxy – 2012
  • Guv’na – 2012
  • Link – 2012
  • Cujo – 2011
  • Beef – 2011
  • Mega – 2011
  • Puff – 2011
  • Shoes – 2011
  • BAM! – 2010
  • Jedi – 2010
  • Scotch – 2010
  • Moses – 2010
  • Baby Boum – 2009
  • Dre – 2009
  • Tate – 2009
  • Tiny – 2007
  • Short & Sexy – 2006
  • Avenger – 1996
  • Slide Chalk – 198(?)
  • Sticky –
  • Balls –


Questions, comments, airing of grievances? Feel free to e-mail the current section leaders!

Rider —

Shield —

Pine —

Mercury —


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