Big changes are occurring on the CSU-Pueblo campus and as the year is coming to an end, faculty, staff and students alike are getting exciting about the fall semester.
One big thing new to the campus will be a marching band to provide school spirit at games and pep rallies. As of now, the marching band does not currently exist, but soon the first step of the process will begin, hiring a new director of bands.
Right now, CSU-Pueblo has a concert band which was established in the fall of 2002, according to Mark Hudson, chair of the music department. The new addition to the music staff will take place in July of this year, he said.
A second concert band, and a pep band will also be added to the program. The addition of the three new bands is possible because of Dan DeRose and the Friends of Football and their desire to provide a complete university life experience for CSU-Pueblo students, said Hudson.
The music department is currently in the midst of a national search for a qualified and energetic person to join the faculty and build this part of the music program as Director of Bands.
Although the band will exist through the music department, it will be open to any students who wish to continue with marching band activities or pick it up as a new hobby, said Hudson. Many of the music students will likely participate he said, but actually a lot of the band will consist of students from other areas of study.
“The new Director of Bands will need a year to recruit and build the marching band, as the football coach needed a year to build the team,” Hudson said.
Hudson also said that the band may be able to travel to important away games but that all depends on the availability of funding.
There is a lot of interest in the new band so far, according to Hudson.
“I have been told on numerous occasions that this new program and expansion of our department is the talk of the state in the music education community,” Hudson said.
There have been many calls from current and prospective students for information about the group, said Hudson. The new addition has also attracted a number of new students who want to be in on the marching band from the start.
Hudson said he thinks this new addition will definitely help build school spirit.
“The key to this entire effort (football, wrestling, marching band, pep band) is to bring more fun to our campus and students,” said Hudson.
“I sincerely hope everyone takes full advantage of this opportunity to enjoy attending and supporting CSU-Pueblo and brings their friends along,” he said.
There will be auditions of some kind to kick off the start of the 120 member traditional style marching band but the nature and timing will be determined by the new director, said Hudson.
The band will be a for-credit University course and students will enroll for one credit per semester. The hope is that the band will be a quality marching ensemble that will entertain and provide fun environment for students and fans supporting athletics, said Hudson.
Beginning in the fall of 2009, the marching band will attend all home games, according to Hudson. Until then, the marching band will begin entertaining fans as best they can.
Hudson hopes to establish a pep band to begin supporting the team and also begin helping CSU-Pueblo fans have fun the first year the football team will play (2008). The band will then be expanded into the full marching group later on, Hudson said.
The department also plans to have guest bands, including the Pride City Marching Band, to entertain the fans for pregame and halftime for the first year until the full band is established.
Some people think that all of these changes in the school will only benefit the athletic department, but according to Hudson, other departments, like music, should take advantage of the times as well.
“It’s an exciting time and full of opportunities,” Hudson said.