Here’s the picture of the band that I used on Friday:
Grungy pointed out in the comments that this band is much too large to have been Rice’s and was probably the A&M band politely acknowledging the day’s opponent. He also noted that the 1938 Rice-A&M game was played at Kyle Field.
Well, hmmm. I admit that his argument is pretty persuasive but that doesn’t look like Kyle Field to me. Luckily, I have a lot to work with on this. Here’s a picture of the Aggie band of the same vintage that I know for sure was taken in College Station:
How do I know this? Because I sacrificed myself and went looking around at an Aggie chatboard. (Don’t do this, by the way. Trust me, you wouldn’t like it.) There I found these beautiful photos of Kyle Field in 1940 that were posted a couple of years ago by an A&M old timer.
Then I remembered that I had this wider angled shot of the even more impressive LSU band, which was clearly taken at about the same time from the stands at Rice Field. The trees are the same and Hermann Hospital, clearly visible in this second image, is also just barely visible in the first.
So my best guess is that the date on the first image is just wrong and the picture was probably taken in 1937 or 1939 when the game was played in Houston. Grungy’s certainly right about the size of the band in the first picture, though. A quick perusal of the 1939 Campanile (Thank you, Dara!) reveals that the Rice band only had about fifty members, although I’m sure they filled in with locals.