Pep band hits a new high note in sports events

With a “rat-a-tat-tat” and an “oompah,” Guilford College’s pep band will play its way back onto campus for the 2014 – 2015 school year.

The band is open to all instrumentalists at any level of experience and to any type of instrument.

They will be performing on campus at men’s basketball games. The hope is to eventually branch out to other sporting events.

Assistant Dean for Career Development and Community Learning Alan Mueller, an instrumentalist himself, is in the process of reviving the band.

“When I got to Guilford, I knew there was a pep band, and I was thinking I could contribute,” said Mueller.

“It’s valuable for students to have artistic expression.”

Mueller’s goal for the pep band is to have an ensemble of 32 members and be self-sufficient so that its members can run it on their own.

The idea of having a pep band was originally conceived by Professor of Foreign Languages David Limburg.

Limburg believed a band was needed for instrumentalists, sports teams and fans.

“I felt there must be Guilford students who would like to play their instruments again,” said Limburg in an email interview. “A pep band is a very informal and inclusive way to get that going.”

“I also think the teams and the audience like to have some live music during games, if it is both loud and good.”

Having a pep band has the benefit of raising school spirit.

“Pre-recorded music can be tuned out by someone in the crowd,” said junior and previous pep band member Stephanie Byer in an email interview.

“But someone looking over and seeing the pep band having a great time playing fun music is energizing.”

A pep band provides an opportunity for non–music studies instrumentalists to play their instruments.

Byer is one of those people.

“It gave me the opportunity to keep playing my flute once I came here,” said Byer.

For athletes, a pep band can benefit the teams playing on campus.

“Live music helps fans get more involved and adds a little bit more to a home-court advantage,” said senior men’s basketball player Matt McCarthy.

For members of the audience, a pep band can be entertaining and positively affect the experience at sporting events.

“I always enjoy the band’s performances at games and look forward to it,” said Director of Friends Center and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies Max Carter in an email interview.

“It certainly adds to the atmosphere of the games.”

Being in a pep band is like being on a sports team: it is essential that its members be interdependent.

“Pep band allows you to be a part of a team, working together to make music and hopefully help other people have a good time as well,” said junior and previous pep band member Sydney MacDonald in an email interview.

By collaborating together, members of the pep band can provide an entertaining experience for fans while influencing camaraderie amongst the team, further enhancing homefield advantage.

Teams shine brightest when they receive support from their fans.

So when you attend a men’s basketball game at Guilford this season, be sure to cheer on the pep band.