Tax Night! A Columbia University Marching Band Tradition in New York City

What’s better than hurriedly preparing your tax returns and rushing to the Post Office to get them off with an April 15 postmark date?

Being serenaded by the Columbia University Marching Band as you do it! In another tradition that the band has carried out for years (like Orgo Night) every Tax Day the band heads out to the 34th street Post Office in New York City and plays on the street for all the people scrambling to get their returns in before midnight.

While usually not a typical marching band, Columbia University Marching Band plays mostly music on Tax Day, forgoing its usual scripted jokes or marching sequences for loud, upbeat music to help perk up the last-minute tax filers. Songs like “The Final Countdown” and other pop music hits (see the main page for some video posts) keep things lively, and the band – out on the street – is a stable, energizing force amid the chaos of mail trucks whizzing by and people scrambling to get their financial information off to the IRS.

The Columbia University Marching Band plays as mail trucks whiz by on Tax Day, April 15.

Of course, some things stay the same regardless of the venue. As with the band’s Orgo Night tradition, the Tax Day performance usually features a playing of Columbia University’s fight song, with instrumental and singing versions of the song ringing up and down the street.

So on this – or any – April 15th, if you find yourself with 30 minutes to spare and your choice of Post Offices to drop your tax returns off at, choose the one at 34th Street for some good music and tradition. Or, better yet, file your taxes the day before and spend the night listening to great live music on Tax Day from the Columbia University Marching Band!

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