Two weeks before classes started, band members at CSU-Pueblo are already starting their preparations for the upcoming season.
Members started early in the morning and ended late in the evening all to work on learning songs they play as well as working on marching in time for parades, and halftime shows.
When the crowd hears the band play the excitement is contagious, and the music leads to excitement regardless of what team is coming onto the field.
There is a mutual respect between rival bands even when they are playing against each other in games, and it creates an electric atmosphere for players as well as spectators.
Alan Mills, the instructor of the band said, “I feel that the band adds a lot to the environment of any sporting event and can be both motivating to the home team as well as intimidating to the away team.”
“Certainly, we are still cheering for the home team even if they are losing.” Mills said.
Erin McFarland, 20, a junior and music education major has been a member of the band for two years. McFarland said, “I really like the music selections that Mills picks out. He really likes to engage the audience.”
McFarland explained that the bands upcoming performance of “Bad” will engage the audience and make a lasting impression.
Mills also explained he believes the band demonstrates good sportsmanship all the time, and considers it an important social value.
The music department offers a marching band service award scholarship for its members. The scholarship includes: tuition, course fees, and related expenses associated with participation in the band.
A student can earn $3,700 to help them with their education if they stay for four years social skills and to have fun and be a part of a group.
McFarland said, “I really like the new scholarship program. It really helps with the stresses of the extra’s you have to pay for. It is also nice because it helps with the recruitment of more students in the marching band.”
Mills said, “Some CSU-P students may not understand being a part of the band helps pay for college credit, and is open to all students, regardless of academic concentration.”
At least one year of high school experience on an instrument is preferred, but not necessary. Exceptions came for some auditions for instruments as well as for the color guard.
“Being a part of the band is a lot of fun. Especially if you are new to the college,” said McFarland. “You spend so much time with these people that you make tons of friendships before the school year starts.”
McFarland and Mills, both agree, the band works hard and towards a common goal; providing a wonderful show on the field, and pleasing the audience that came to watch.