It's 9 feet in diameter, custom-made, cost approximately $35,000 and it is hitting the field this fall. It is the biggest college football marching drum in existence. It's MU’s own, the Big MO.
Kappa Kappa Psi, a band fraternity, organized the fundraising efforts that paid for the new Big MO.
Kappa Kappa Psi President Sara Miller said the community and other sponsors have been supportive in the fundraising efforts and she was humbled to see everyone joining together in this immense move.
“Everyone wanted to be a part of something this big and this integral to our school and make an impact,” Miller said.
After some initial difficulties finding someone to take on the project, the fraternity found Neil Boumpani, a professor from Barnesville, Ga., who designs custom percussion instruments and constructed the new Big MO.
“It was a big task and like many ventures, adaptions needed to be made along the way," former Kappa Kappa Psi President Will Ryan said.
With the new drum's daunting size, it will take special training and tutorials to teach the drum’s handlers how to properly use it. As it is a new and relatively expensive drum, they want to keep it in the best condition possible, Miller said.
Kappa Kappa Psi and the university have taken measures to ensure the new drum stays as-is for as long as possible, including insurance that goes along with the drum as well as liability forms for all handlers of Big MO.
“Everyone’s pretty excited,” said Miller, who mentioned that onlookers were “awe-struck” at the large drum.
The old Big MO is currently on display in the MU Student Center and is expected to remain there, Ryan said.
The 6-foot drum gave crowds an impressive and memorable show for more than 30 years in Marching Mizzou. Miller said students were surprised to see the old Big MO as they walked past.
While it will remain a piece of Mizzou’s history, it seems the band's feelings are less than reluctant to take on the responsibility of a drum the size of the new Big MO.
“It’s what will keep the crowd alive during the games," freshman Holly Doeer said. "A new era calls for a new beat.”