GVSU Marching Band wraps up season with Bandorama

GVL / Archive

GVL / Archive

Chanon Cummings

On Nov. 17, the Laker Marching Band will showcase music from its season at its sit-down concert, Bandorama.

John Martin, assistant professor of music and the director of the marching band, said he enjoys the great exposure that Bandorama provides and the support given from the athletics department.

“We’re bringing everything we’ve done together,” said Tim Priest, a junior majoring in music education and one of the marching band’s drum majors.

Last year, the Bandorama concert was held in the Kelly Family Sports Center and more than 800 people attended, Martin said.

“Some of the best highlights of this season come from the Saturday nights and the atmosphere that the team and band together create,” said Brianne Hooper, alternate drum major for the marching band. “We are fortunate enough to be a part of such a supporting university that allowed us to travel to a few away games this year to support our team.”

Thomas Duebner, another one of the marching band’s drum majors, said this year’s Bandorama performance is much different for drum majors than it has been in the past.

“Instead of conducting two or three pieces, we’re conducting the whole thing,” he explained. “It’s a lot of work.”

This year, the marching band has about 200 students with 90 to 95 freshmen, and next year the goal is to get around 240 to 270 total , Martin said, adding that the band played seven shows this year.

“We’ve been learning a show a week. It’s a lot of time and effort on the students’ part, and I try my best to give as much time as I can back to them,” Martin said.

Both Priest and Duebner said the best show of the season was the circle drill show, even though the band only had three rehearsals to get it ready and on the field.

“Half time at games is the best feeling of being a drum major—hearing the crowd react is amazing,” Priest said.

Feeling the atmosphere of Lubber’s Stadium on a game night and knowing that the marching band is directly involved with the creation of that atmosphere is a great feeling, Hooper said. The recognition, support and appreciation of the football players, faculty and fans add to the euphoria.

This year, events will be back-to-back with the last game of the season (unless GVSU makes the playoffs) and the marching band banquet on Saturday, and Bandorama on Sunday.

“It’s been a busy year and students are just trying to catch a breath,” Martin said.

Bandorama is free and open to the public. More information can be found at the GVSU website under “Events.”