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Archive for 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.

August 16, 2008

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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

nschmi04 5 years, 8 months ago

Their is a fund in which concerned alumni, fans, etc. can contribute to. Being able to offer scholarships for band members is how we will increase attendance, sound, etc. Pony up!

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Raider 5 years, 8 months ago

239? Wow. It's a definite improvement over the last couple of years, but still pretty small compared to the rest of the conference. Hopefully they'll get bigger. UT, Tech, aTm, OU all have 400 plus.

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JayCat_67 5 years, 8 months ago

"You have 200 instant friends," San Antonio junior Shani Nisman said. "It's such a close-knit group."And they all show up for the "Tuba Bash", Bacchanalia at its finest :-D

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Brad Maestas 5 years, 8 months ago

That's great news. I marched on the drumline in '97 and I wish I would've done it longer. I also would've liked to had played in the basketball band but there was some serious tenure to contend with there. I'm wishing all the best to the marching band. Keep us proud!

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nobody1793 5 years, 8 months ago

I'd love to see the KU band do some of that funky high-steppin' Grambling sheite.

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JayCat_67 5 years, 8 months ago

Must be nice...I was marching Tuba during the two Bob Valesente years. 4 wins and the infamous "Toilet Bowl"KU 17-KSU 17 (Met my wife after that one though so I guess it was worth it)

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Kuku_Kansas 5 years, 8 months ago

I would love to see the KU band be as large as all of the other Big XII schools! The pre-game football tradition is a lot of fun to watch (when I'm not wrapping up my tailgating on Illinois St.)!Keep recruiting new members...Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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KEITHMILES05 5 years, 8 months ago

Good for the band. Keep up the good work to represent KU valiantly!

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