Beyond the Playbook: UMD bands march to first student lead season
The roar of the crowd, the blast of the goal horn, all sounds at UMD sporting events that pale in comparison to the music that flows from the instruments of the UMD pep and marching bands.
The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) pep and marching bands have been a part of Bulldog athletic experience since 1975.
For the first time since that season, the bands no longer had an official band director, nor was it an actual course. Leading to a full student led and run campus life program this year.
“We have a bunch of mini directors, we’ve kind of been passing off different roles to different people and we have a team of about 15 to 20 student leaders. Each of them have their own little roles that are basically adding up to what in the past would have been the Director of Athletic Bands job,” said President of UMD Athletic Bands Justin Mortensen.
None the less the campus bands haven’t misses a beat. Welcoming back veteran instrumentalist, freshmen who have never played before, and even non music majors from every college within the university.
“If you’re worried about like jumping into the group, jumping into the rehearsals and that sort of thing. One of the best decisions I ever made as a freshman was joining the marching band because it’s a built in network of people that you can then rely on,” claimed Recruitment and PR officer Ethan Goulson.
Like anything new, finding your place or even instrument can be daunting. Luckily these students from different backgrounds have created one of the strongest team bonds on campus.
“I don’t really think it’s the instrument that you play that matters, as much as the group of people who you get to be with. So no matter what instrument you play, you find a family here,” stated Vice President of Athletic Bands Sophia Fenske.
A group of individuals playing as one who without, athletic events just wouldn’t feel the same.
“I think that there’d be like a little hole in the activity, if we weren’t there. The sound of a band is something that can’t be replaced by a recording and live music never fails to make someone smile,” concluded Fenske.