In addition to producing this fun-sized band by hand, Lang also made models of notable band directors like Col. Richard Dunn and Col. Jay Brewer ’81 that are housed in the center today. He even sculpted a facsimile of the first Aggie bandsman to serve as Corps Commander—the Texas A&M Foundation’s current president and CEO, Tyson Voelkel ’96.
To clarify, the figurines don’t actually march. “People come in and say, ‘You know, they used to move around the table,’” said Lisa Kalmus ’93, the center’s curator. She chuckled. “They never have! I don’t know where that idea came from.”
Instead, current band members in the Center Guard—the center’s student assistants—meticulously arrange the models one at a time to mirror the band’s most iconic formations throughout history. The figurines can even replicate the ever-impressive four-way cross…sort of. “We can show them marching toward each other, but they don’t bend enough to fit in that tight space like the band does in real life,” Kalmus explained.
Rather than start by placing each piece in its final position, the cadets prefer to organize the miniatures in a big block and slide them into formation from there as they would on the real Kyle Field. The task came naturally for Justin Partlow ’07 when he was in the Center Guard. As a drum major, he spent most Saturdays leading the real Noble Men of Kyle with the same attention to detail he gave to their scaled-down doppelgangers. “Caring for these miniatures was a really neat opportunity to preserve the history and legacy of the band,” he said.