Situated in the corner of the WildCat gymnasium, members of Randolph College’s first-ever pep band rock out to “Wipeout” during a basketball time-out. It is the band’s second appearance at an athletic event, and the crowd sings along to the music.
The time-out does not last long, but the band members take advantage of every second, finishing to cheers from the crowd.
“The intent is to generate more school spirit for the athletic program,” said Tim Brown, assistant women’s basketball coach and head of the pep band. “We bring people into Randolph who are well rounded and strong academically. This gives them an opportunity to showcase their gifts and talents, and it’s something fun at the games.”
NCAA rules only allow music to be played during time-outs, making basketball, with its longer breaks, the game of choice for the pep band.
“A live band has more personal charm than the recorded music they sometimes play during time-outs and halftimes,” said Olivia Felo ’11. She plays the guitar in the band. “It also will bring students to athletic events who might not otherwise attend them.”
Randolph College’s pep band includes a unique mix of staff and students and instruments. The band has about 10 musicians, who play everything from Rock On New pep band generates school spirit at athletic events percussion (on a trash can) to the French horn. Light on woodwind instruments this year, the group hopes to add more variety next year.
“The band is interesting because of our size and our instrumentation,” said Patrick Glynn ’12, a trumpet player. “For all of us, it’s a learning experience, and we are having fun learning together.”
For some of the musicians, including Bob Lanning, resident director for Main Hall, the chance to play with a group again was a big draw.
“I was in the pep band in high school and had a blast,” said Lanning, who was happy to pick up his trumpet again. “This will bring about more school spirit and hopefully have a big role in keeping the audience at events involved.”
Ana Morales ’10 agreed. She had not played her trumpet in 10 years and was happy for the excuse to start playing again. “The pep band will bring a lot to the College,” she said.
A longtime band member in high school, Shawnee Felts ’13 missed playing her flute and wanted to cheer on the WildCats with music. “My favorite part is being on the ground floor of the start up of the pep band and knowing I’m starting a new tradition,” she said.