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Graceland Marching Band Looks To Be a New Staple in Lamoni

Graceland Marching Band Looks To Be a New Staple in Lamoni

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.

Will there be a marching band next year? If not, when do you think there could be one?
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.
What kind of instruments would be involved?
Brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments will all be a part of the marching band.
Does Graceland already have the instruments/ equipment to make this happen?
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.
How many students are needed to make a 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.
At what kind of events would marching band perform?
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.
Would this be open to all students or just music majors?
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.
Do you already see a big interest in a marching band at GU?
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.
How do you think this will change the recruitment outcome for the music department?
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.
Who would be in charge of the marching band, and why?
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.
Are you looking into repertoire yet? If so, what kind of pieces would the band play?
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.
 As a music major I am happy to see such a solid plan in place to create a new musical group on campus. Marching bands can add an element of pride and cohesiveness to a university unrivaled by any other club or organization. I have been amazed at the kind of performances put on by the drumline and can’t wait to see what Dr. Groh does with this new and exciting group.

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About Corey Oiler

I am a junior at Graceland University majoring in Music Performance and Publication Writing and Design. I like to focus my writing on live performances and events in the Shaw center at GU. Music is my passion and I want to share it in every way I can.

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