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PEP BAND IN FULL SWING

BRAXTON MOORE ‘19 | NEWS EDITOR • Over in the Pep Band by fellow Wabash students, Holstine Senate. From there, the club was able to purchase new

the squeaking of sneakers in Chadwick Court, or the voracious roars of the home crowd out at Hollett Stadium, the Wabash College Pep Band can be heard playing loudly in the stands and firing up both students and fans in attendance. While the motley crue of Wabash men, professors, and members of the Crawfordsville community have only been commonplace at Wabash sporting events for around two years, they have already established the pep band as a cornerstone for school spirit for years to come. While the pep band as an institution has seen both periods of diminishing interest and enthusiastic revival, current leadership within the group hopes to establish the band as an organization that will hold a permanent fixture at the college for years to come.

Pep Band President Lucas Holstine ’18 spoke about how he first got his start with the group, as well as his vision for the band moving forward. “When I first came to Wabash, I was coming to play for the Brass Ensemble, and I remember asking Dr. Peter Hulen, who was conducting my interview, if there was an active Pep Band on campus, to which he replied that there wasn’t,” Holstine said. “It was then that I decided that I wanted to be part of the movement to bring a Pep Band back to Wabash College again, and to help others continue their musical career beyond high school. My goal is to create a sense of stability within the Pep Band; I want the Pep Band to be more than a surge of interest, and for it to remain a permanent fixture at Wabash College.”

In addition to focusing on increasing participation

also took time to relay the positive impact that his involvement with the Pep Band has had on his college experience. “Being in the Pep Band at Wabash has taught me that if you want to make a change, all it takes is a group of committed individuals to make it accessible, especially at a place like Wabash,” he said.

While the group has experienced rises and falls throughout Wabash’s history, the Pep Band was searching for funds to buy extra instruments and equipment to meet the needs of additional members. Pep Band Treasurer Christopher Barker ’20 echoed Holstine’s sentiments, and relayed the particulars of how the group came to be formally recognized as a group eligible for funding through the Student Senate.

“When I started in the Pep Band last year, it was still a fairly small group, there wasn’t as much student involvement as we see now,” Barker said. “Prior to college funding, we had only received funds from two generous alumni donations. Initially the idea was proposed by Pep Band Director Jim Swift to use paint buckets as drums which were provided by Dave Morgan and Campus Services. With these donations we were able to buy two snare drums and one larger bass drum. At the start of this year, we needed to formalize the Pep Band as a student organization on campus to receive funds from student leadership. We assembled a budget for equipment and instruments, and we can now propose future requests to Student Senate.”

Pep Band Drummer Alex Pittsford ’20 worked in partnership with Barker to obtain funding from Student instruments and drumsticks to account for the rising number of members in the band. Pittsford talked about how the Pep Band has positively affected his Wabash experience, and how the Pep Band has allowed him to utilize his love for music in a way that encourages school spirit at Wabash.

“I got involved with the Pep Band during my freshman year at Wabash,” Pittsford said. “While I never played in my high school band, I played the drums at home. I knew that the Pep Band would be a great opportunity to continue my interest in music. As we began to grow in numbers, we needed Senate funding, which was approved, and that allowed us to buy more equipment and to be more formally recognized as an institution on campus. The Pep Band has allowed me to continue to grow my musical passion in a way that is both fun and also helps support the Wabash teams that I love.”

With formal recognition of the Pep Band as a certified student organization on campus, the band hopes to see more students utilizing their own musical talents for the sake of exciting the Wabash home crowds. Students who are interested in joining the Pep Band can speak to a current member, and can ask about bringing in their personal instruments, or the possibility of funding an instrument or equipment through Senate funding.

“It’s the best thing to see the student body getting into the music that we play at these sporting events,” Pittsford said. “It is really exciting to be a part of a band that helps build the electric atmosphere that we experience at
our games.”