By: Kirsten McIlvenna, Vanguard Staff Writer
The football players aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the new stadium. Marching band members will also get to stretch their legs on the new synthetic field.
“It looks good and is good to march on too,” said William Wollner, associate professor of music and band director.
He said that the new field will make it much easier for the band to navigate. The lines on the field won’t fade or disappear or be affected by weather.
He said it will be nice because “there isn’t a sousaphone marching out there hoping not to step in a pothole.”
The band got a chance to march on the new field for the first time this week during the three-day band camp where it practiced basics and drill.
Stephen Poleni, music education sophomore and piccolo/flute player, said the new field makes it a lot easier to march because it is easier to know where you are on the field.
“It’s just cleaner overall,” he said.
But the turf isn’t the only thing new for marching band this year. Members will be play new music in their first show called “Current Pop Hits.” Some of the featured songs are “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga and “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.
Breanne Kerner, music education sophomore and piccolo player, said she is most excited for the music this year.
“I love when we play music that really gets the crowd pumped up,” she said.
The music is selected over the course of the summer by the band director and drum majors.
“I kind of like to get the drum majors involved because they will know what students will like,” Wollner said.
He said that the music is usually 50 percent new and 50 percent from their music library that they have been adding to for more than 30 years.
When selecting music, Wollner said that they consider three things: if the band will want to play it, if it has a good arrangement and if the crowd will enjoy it.
The band is bigger than ever this year at 95 members compared with the mid 80s range that it has been.
“We are always striving to hit that 100 mark,” Wollner said.
Many members are music majors, but not all. Wollner said that the group is pretty diverse.
He said that one of the hard things for new members to get used to is that the band does a new show for each game. Most high school marching bands only do one show all year.
During band camp, the goals are to work on the basics, learn pre-game and start on the first half time show.
The band will perform at each home game including homecoming and the nationally televised game against Ashland in October.