Many people have seen the CSU Marching Band performing on the football field during games, or the plaza during student events, but they may not know what it takes to be a part of it. Marching band requires a great deal of time and commitment, making it a difficult, yet rewarding experience.
â€œMy favorite part is watching all of our marchers perform because they are all so energetic and passionate,â€ said drum major Devon Aimes.
Starting in 1901 with just 13 members, today the band has 260, 75 percent of which are not pursuing a music degree.
â€œThey rehearse Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.,â€ said Band Coordinator Casey Mirick. â€œThey also perform and rehearse at every home game and multiple other special events such as the Homecoming Parade, Presidentâ€™s Address and the Denver Parade of Lights. They have also performed at halftime for the Denver Broncos.â€
Members also must attend band camp for the week prior to school starting.
â€œWe get acclimated to each other, set the standards, practice techniques, get used to rotations and connect as a group,â€ Aimes said. â€œThe first performance is at Ram Welcome, so we have to get them ready for that during band camp.â€
And while marching band is only a one-credit course, there are other rewards that come with being a part of the band.
â€œThere are scholarships available to every student in the marching band,â€ Mirick said. â€œSome students donâ€™t mind that the course is only worth one credit, though.
â€œIf it were more credits less people could do it,â€ said senior music education major Cory Bissel.
Bissel plays trombone in the marching band and participates in the â€œtrombone suicidesâ€ that many students anticipate at football games. There are 24 trombone players in the band this year, all of which perform this much-anticipated tradition.
â€œSome people take longer than others (to learn),â€ Bissel said.
â€œBloody noses, broken noses and hospital tripsâ€ are all part of learning the routine, he added.
The members of the â€œtrombone suicideâ€ line attend one-hour rehearsals every day for five days in order to get the routine down.
Being part of a family is the best part about being in the band, Bissel said. At the end of every rehearsal they put their arms around each other and sing the Alma Mater.
_ Collegian writer Emily Horn can be reached at email@example.com. _