A longtime favorite of Minuteman Band fans and alumni, at Homecoming you'll often hear chants of "eighteen twelve" from the stands as the band sets up for halftime.
Two signature aspects of every Minuteman Band performance includes cannon fire in the music and the band singing in Russian.
The band uses 3 mini cannons firing 20 gauge blanks. The origins of the band singing in Russian dates back to Andy Salvador '89. He recalls "being at Old Chapel one day and overheard Thom and George talking about how they'd like to sing it, but can't find the words or music anywhere and I as a little old freshman said, 'Oh, i have that in my dorm... would you like me to go get it?'" Andy's high school band had performed (and sang!) the tune.
"1812" was first performed at halftime in 1984, and again in 1985, 1988, 2000, 2009, 2011, and 2017.
During President George W. Bush's inaugural in 2001, the band gave a performance in Baltimore where the guns of the USS Constellation were fired in time with the music's cannon shots. In 2002, a recording of the UMMB performing "1812" was included in the compact disc series "Marching for Freedom, Music of the American Spirit," a post-9/11 fundraiser for the Salvation Army.