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Posted on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 5:19 p.m.

EMU Marching Band featured in regional 'Hawaii Five-O' promo

By Staff

Surf’s up for the Eastern Michigan University Marching Band, which is appearing on regional promotional ads for the new "Hawaii Five-O" television series, set to debut this month on CBS TV.

The band appears in the musical, action-packed ad, along with members of the Detroit Fire Department and musician Ty Stone, each performing a version of the famous Five-O theme from the original hit television series. A crew from the local CBS affiliate, WWJ TV, filmed members of the band playing the Five-O theme on July 13, around the pond area at Eastern Michigan.

About 25 members of the band, dressed in full uniform, performed for the crew of CBS officials as the campus echoed with one of the most famous TV theme songs of all time. The ad has been airing around the metro Detroit area, including on Detroit Lions broadcasts during the exhibition football season.

The new "Hawaii Five-O" debuts Sept. 20, and the ads will continue through September, said Andrew Cotitsas, a writer and producer for WWJ TV who participated in filming the spot.

“They did an awesome job,” Cotitsas, an Eastern graduate, said in a prepared statement. “It made me wish I had never quit marching band.”

“It’s great exposure for the university and the band program,” said drum major Chad Mielens, a senior music education major from Bay City. “These kinds of opportunities don’t happen often.”

CBS requested each of its 14 network-owned affiliates, including Detroit, to find a musical group that could play the theme for consideration in the promo ads. The marching band from the University of Southern California was selected for the nationally aired spot.

The “Hawaii Five-O” series and its distinctive theme song were a network fixture for more than a decade, from 1968-80. Actor Jack Lord’s signature phrase, “Book ‘em Danno,” which often ended an episode, became part of the decade’s popular lexicon.

The show featured a fictional state police unit run by Detective Steve McGarrett, played by Lord. The theme music, composed by Morton Stevens, became especially popular.