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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Musicians jump on the KU bandwagon

Athletic success pumps up band

Russell Dettmer, a Kansas University junior and second-year member of the KU Marching Jayhawks, tries on his uniform Friday in Murphy Hall. Interest in marching band has increased dramatically this year on the heels of stellar seasons in football and men's basketball.

Russell Dettmer, a Kansas University junior and second-year member of the KU Marching Jayhawks, tries on his uniform Friday in Murphy Hall. Interest in marching band has increased dramatically this year on the heels of stellar seasons in football and men's basketball.

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For the first time in a decade, the small but proud contingent of Marching Jayhawks has exceeded 200 members.

Scott Weiss, Kansas University director of bands, said he was thrilled to see such a positive turnout. The Marching Jayhawks band, which has lagged behind other Big 12 schools in the number of students, had 239 show up for registration Friday.

Last year, 177 musicians were in the athletic bands. Weiss has his theories for the increase.

"Great football doesn't hurt recruiting at all," he said.

The Jayhawks' Orange Bowl victory against Virginia Tech, coupled with the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship, has led to more students who play instruments showing an interest in marching band.

Weiss said the university has also increased its recruiting efforts, including 52 band clinics over the past year that urge prospective students to get involved in marching band.

And for those involved, it's a commitment of passion.

In-state students involved in the Marching Jayhawks pay up to $350 while out-of-state students pay up to $680 to participate in the one-credit-hour course. Members rehearse three days a week for two hours.

Emma Willis, an Oskaloosa senior and mellophone section leader, said it was definitely the people and the hand they played in the college athletics experience that made the sacrifice worth it.

"We felt like we battled for those championships with them," she said.

Joe Nasternak, a Kansas City, Kan., senior and tuba section leader, said he thought it was definitely the mix of increased recruitment with a bang-up athletics year that contributed to the increased involvement.

But for quite a few, that sense of family and friendship kept them coming back.

"You have 200 instant friends," San Antonio junior Shani Nisman said. "It's such a close-knit group."

Comments

KU1979 5 years, 11 months ago

Great news! The KU Band is an important part of the game day experience and I'm elated that their numbers are up. See you in 2 weeks!

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joepattern 5 years, 11 months ago

Thank God.It was embarrassing last year. Clapping for the fight song would consistently get ahead of beat because the beat simply wasn't audible.

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5DecadeHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes. Great News.Let's keep the momentum growing. Not only do we want a large band, but we want quality sound and precision marching.Rock Chalk Jayhawk also means that the band needs to ROCK THE JAYHAWKS IN THE STANDS!!!

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beebe1 5 years, 11 months ago

The photos don't seem to show as much black as expected from some comments. And maybe we can get a little 'bluer' as time goes on.Remember, memorizing music (and marching) involves a lot of 'muscle memory' -- hopefully an example for the basketball team's free throw shooting. (They did pretty well by the end of the year!)

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sevenyearhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

That is simple acoustics ... and wouldn't be helped if the band had 1,000 members.Ever hear the echo of the PA system?Think about it.

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kuclass2013 5 years, 11 months ago

sorry bad link, just search "kansas marching band 1988" on youtube

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sevenyearhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Low brass, kicks ass! :DI heart band ...

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eastcoasthawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Link worked fine. Wow. I remember when Foster (I believe) wrote that trumpet feature back around 1979. Fun stuff and great memories.

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