College Traditions: Midnight Yell Practice at Texas A&M
Midnight Yell Practice, known locally as Midnight Yell or Yell Practice, is a tradition at Texas A&M University. Midnight Yell is similar to a pep rally. On the night before each home football game, Midnight Yell takes place in Kyle Field at midnight; two nights before each away game, a Yell Practice (not at midnight) is held near the Quadrangle on the south side of campus. At midnight on the night before an away game Midnight Yell is held in or near the opponent’s city.
Besides exciting the crowd, Midnight Yell introduces the student body to any new yells and to practice changes to existing yells. All yell practices are led by the Yell Leaders, a set of five students who are elected to one-year terms by the student body.
Yell Practice began in 1913, while A&M was still an all-male military school. Several companies would gather together to “learn heartily the old time pep.”
The first Midnight Yell was held in 1932. Two freshmen asked the senior Yell Leaders to hold a midnight practice so that students would be motivated for the upcoming football game against archrival Texas Longhorns. The Yell Leaders said that while they liked the idea, they couldn’t authorize a Yell Practice at that hour. However, they said that they just might “show up” at the campus YMCA Building that evening around midnight. The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band met them at the YMCA, and soon the bulk of the student body had gathered. The cadets used railroad flares to light the event, and a tradition was born.