The band is often recognized as one of the best bands in NCAA Division 1 hockey because of their sheer power and energy, and their firm roots in tradition. Ironically, Michigan Technological University does not offer a degree in music. They have been featured in Inside College Hockey and are periodically mentioned when sportscasters discuss the tradition of the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The band was formed in the fall of 1928 as the Michigan Tech ROTC Band, under the baton of E. E. Melville. Their purpose was twofold: as an official part of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology's ROTC organization, they provided music for all military functions. They also functioned as a circus style band, playing at various athletic and community events. In later years, they would drop the ROTC affiliation, and simply became the Michigan Tech Band, then the Michigan Tech Pep Band. In 1957, under the direction of B. Franz Schubert, the pep band officially became a university course. The Huskies Pep Band is currently under the direction of Michael Christianson, and now maintains a membership of close to 300.
The Pep Band is currently banned from the Northern Michigan University football dome and has been since the mid 80's. The band was formally requested by NMU's athletic director (in writing) never to appear in their stadium as an opposing band ever again, because they took away the home field advantage. In 2008, the band attempted to circumvent this by crashing the yearly NMU-MTU football game without instruments; without instruments, they are not an opposing band, they are just excited fans. The band was refused seats and were forced to set up camp in the end zone, where they received more television airtime than the NMU band.
Chief among the band's traditional is the entry into the performance area. They are known for a distinctive drum cadence and playing Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the main theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, as a warm-up before beginning the pre-game or other songs.
The band's certain trademarks consist of excessive taunting of the opposing team (especially the goalie at hockey games or the free-throw shooter at basketball games). Some of the band's cheers and taunts have been blacklisted or banned due to their level of offensiveness.