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November 11, 2002

Brothers duel for Cyclone, Hawkeye marching bands

From: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA Nov. 11, 2002

Courier Lee News Service

RUDD - Call it the Brandau "Battle of the Bands."

Tom and Tim Brandau of rural Floyd County are part of the state's biggest sports rivalry.

Tom is a senior at Iowa State University. Tim is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Both are members of their respective university's marching band.

"And we get to go to the games for free," Tom said. He plays trumpet and studies mechanical engineering.

His brother, Tim, plays alto saxophone and is majoring in biomedical engineering.

Tim's musical success is impressive considering he was born with a hearing impairment. At the age of 3, Tim was the first child in Iowa to receive a cochlear implant.

The brothers find themselves in the middle of something special this season as the two schools each enjoy a resurgence in the football programs. The Hawkeyes are fielding their best team in years, and the Cyclones have one of the best squads in school history.

For Tom, ISU's revival has been a welcome one. When he started as a freshman Iowa State was struggling but showing signs of improvement.

"It's been pretty exciting to be a part of that," Tom said. "Football is totally different at Iowa State now."

Tim, meanwhile, is enjoying his first year at Iowa.

"I'm loving Iowa City," Tim said. "There is so much hard work that has to be done, but there's great excitement to be in the band."

Iowa's marching band includes about 240 pieces. Iowa State's has nearly 265.

Not surprisingly, the season highlight so far was the Iowa-Iowa State game. Last year, the game was postponed following the events of Sept. 11.

This year, as a tribute, an American flag from New York was brought onto the field. Both bands lined up together in a special formation and played the national anthem in unison.

"That was pretty cool," Tom said. "It was a special moment."

It also didn't hurt Tom much when Iowa State pulled off a memorable victory.

Their mother, Suzie, keeps busy traveling to see her boys perform. She said she's watched Tom's band for several years. After he graduates she will switch over to Iowa full time.

Despite the divide, both Tim and Tom insist the rivalry is a friendly one.

Their mother makes sure it stays that way, at least at her house.

She's banned even talking about the subject when the family is together.

© The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 2002