On the road with pep band
On the road with pep band... well... at the arena with pep band. On Friday, January 10, the pep band played at the girls hockey game. Unfortunately, they had a rough defeat, 1-3, but they had full support from their pep band and wonderful fans. Members of pep band say that they keep fans about as excited as the game itself. Mr. Andy Nelson, the band director, agrees saying, "It's an important tradition and kids work hard to make it happen."
Nelson is quite proud of the band's success. He states, "pep band creates energy at the games. It is the ultimate representation of school spirit." Therefore, he tries to make it easy for band students to participate in pep band. He has cut the required amount of events to 6 for winter pep band, which is down from 8 last year.
But, if a student participates in a varsity sport at that time or is a varsity statistician or cheerleader, then it is cut to only two mandatory pep band events.
Besides the required attendance, pep band only plays for half of the game. That is a benefit for the students in pep band who either have other plans or want to sit with their friends at the game.
In the winter season, the pep band plays for both girls' and boys' basketball and hockey games, two games for each. In the fall season, they play for football and volleyball. In pep band, students are required to wear jackets for football and hockey games and the traditional polo for basketball and volleyball games.
A typical pep band appearance starts around 6:30 p.m., depending on when the varsity game starts, and ends 90 minutes to two hours later. As always, there is chaos before the game.
Some members arrive close to performance time and are unable to find their coordinating jacket or polo. If they are unable to find their own, they simply " borrow" someone else's and then begin to search for their music.
So, what does the pep band play?
The music collection is made of soft rock, easy listening, greatest hits and many enjoyable classics.
Some of the band's favorites include; "Devil with a Blue Dress," which is especially for the french horns; "Centerfold," power to the flutes; "You Can Call me Al," although no one really knows who that song is a shout out to; "Carry on My Wayward Son," "The Hey Song," "Oye Como Va"; plus many other selections, including some that band members themselves don't know so well, such as "Chameleon."
Playing songs that are unfamiliar can be a trying experience at times, but the pep band always seems to get through it.
Each of the sections has strong musicians who can keep the momentum going without the crowd noticing any minor mistakes.
Without everyone working together the pep band would not be as successful or effective. The pep band adds to the excitement of the game for the spectators, as well as the athletes.
Senior Natalie Arnold, a varsity cheerleader for boy's basketball, states, " It is much more fun to cheer when the pep band is at the game. The pep band adds to the atmosphere of the crowd. Everyone is more excited when the pep band is playing."