There have been a lot of rumors and deliberations over the idea of a GU Marching Band. For most involved, this group would represent an exciting opportunity to bridge the gap between the arts and athletics at Graceland. Many current and prospective students think that a marching band is long overdue, but in order to have a band you have to have players and support. In order to answer a few questions and clear the air about the facts regarding this new group, I have asked Dr. Adam Groh, the Chair of Visual and Performing arts as well as percussion professor on campus to answer a much needed FAQ about the Graceland Marching band.
As of right now, the goal is to have a marching band in the Fall of 2016. The drumline has been in existence for the last three years, attempting to lay a foundation for the rest of the band, and we are hoping to launch the full band in the fall semester.
Brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments will all be a part of the marching band.
Uniforms have been ordered and should arrive at some point during the fall semester. GU already owns wind and percussion instruments necessary for the marching band.
Marching bands range from 15 students to almost 500. I can tell you that our long term goal is to have 100 students involved in the program. In the meantime, we know that it will take a few years to grow the program to that level, but we are optimistic that there will be significant enrollment very soon.
The marching band will perform at all home football games, community events, and other events on campus. Long term plans also include splitting the band into smaller pep bands for other athletic events. The band will also represent GU off campus by performing at high schools and band festivals throughout the region.
All students, regardless of major, are welcome to participate. In fact, this is one of the things that we are most excited about. We’ve already had numerous prospective students, with interest in a wide variety of majors, inquiring about marching band.
As I said above, we’ve had a lot of interest from both prospective students, as well as students who are currently on campus. We know that many students who participate in marching band during their high school years are passionate about this activity, and we’re hoping that they want to continue to perform.
We have already seen a positive impact on recruiting, even in previous years when marching band was just in the planning stages, and we are optimistic that those trends will continue or even increase.
I will be the director for the marching band, but I’ll be collaborating with other music faculty who will be assisting with various aspects of the program. We envision this new program creating even more interest in our other musical ensembles, and the entire department is committed to supporting it.
The band will play a wide variety of music, especially in the popular music realm. We’ll do classics like Queen, Michael Jackson, or Journey, all the way up to the most recent pop music being played on the radio currently. We will also mix in traditional Graceland music, like the alma mater and fight song, as well as some classic pieces from the symphonic and jazz repertoires.
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