CSU-Pueblo Band Day featured more than 340 band students from visiting high schools and CSU-Pueblo who performed before and throughout the ThunderWolves football matchup against Adams State College on Sept. 18.
The event allowed regional high school bands to observe and play with the CSU-Pueblo marching band, said Alan Mills, director of bands and assistant professor of music at CSU-Pueblo.
Cañon City High School, Pueblo South High School and Pueblo County High School were chosen by Mills to march during halftime. Each band contained approximately 80 students, he said.
Even though the third annual event was a “great success” and was “definitely the strongest showing” compared to previous Band Day events, Mills said he wasn’t surprised to see the high school marching bands do well.
“The only one that I hadn’t seen before today was Pueblo County, but the other two bands I’ve been out at the rehearsals ahead of time and knew what they were able to do,” Mills said. “I thought they were great.”
Mills also said he was optimistic about the future of the bands that performed during halftime.
“I think there are great things going on at Cañon City, the program is going in a great direction,” Mills said. “Pueblo South did a fantastic job, there’s always a strong program over there and Pueblo County is a very strong program too, and they did just a great job.”
Band Day also combined the ThunderWolves Marching Band in a “massed pep band” with 104 high school students from regional high schools. The massed pep band played the pre-game show before the football game and performed in the stadium stands throughout the game.
Crowley County High School, Rocky Ford High School, Pueblo West High School, Pueblo Centennial High School, Sand Creek High School, Palmer Ridge High School, Colorado Springs Christian High School and Springfield High School all participated in the massed pep band.
Canon City High School was the only high school band that took part in the halftime show, pre-game show and in-stands performance throughout the game, Mills said.
Allowing visiting high school students to be involved with the pre-game show was a first-time experiment this year, Mills said.
“I think they all had really good showings,” he said, “and they all left here feeling really good about what they did.”
Aside from being able to showcase their skills, Mills said Band Day also gives high school students a chance to be part of the college band experience. This exposure is something he said he believes will potentially lead high school students to CSU-Pueblo when they graduate.
“One of the residual effects that we hope come out of this is that the students enjoy their experience while they’re here,” Mills said. “Sooner or later, when it comes time for them to graduate from high school, maybe CSU-Pueblo is a school that they might consider whereas they might have otherwise not considered it.”
Next year, Mills said he would like to include more students in the event performances.
“Depending on how the schedule goes next year, I might try to expand on that pre-game so that more of the students can do a little bit more with those pre-game festivities,” Mills said. “There’s different options to make the day grow bigger and bigger.”
The ThunderWolves Marching Band will perform at the pep rally on Oct. 1, as well as the Homecoming game against Chadron State College on Oct. 2.
Those looking for more information about Band Day or the ThunderWolves Marching Band may contact Mills at 719-549-2521.