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Band not cause of apathy

By Kim Pederson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
December 6, 1999
Talk about this story

To the editor,

As a member of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band, I am appalled by Bryan Rosenbaum's attack on our directors, blaming them for the lack of spirit and enthusiasm found by crowds at football and basketball games. For him to state that life is sucked out of such crowds based on the music that we play is completely absurd.

Since I am in the band during football games, it is hard for me to speak from a "student" perspective since, as Mr. Rosenbaum stated, we are stuck off in the southeast corner of Arizona Stadium. However, I am not a member of the Pep Band and I attend the basketball games using my Season A student tickets. When the Pep Band plays "Bear Down" before enthusiastically entering the arena, there is hardly the reception Mr. Rosenbaum says will occur if they play more traditional school songs. I agree with Mr. Rosenbaum's opinion that students need to get more involved, learn school songs and sing them with pride when the band plays them. My friend and I shouldn't have to feel funny because we are the only ones in our area singing "Bear, Down Arizona" and clapping along. Why blame this problem on Mr. Rees, the director, when, no matter how many times the band plays "Bear Down," the students still don't get up and sing?

Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that many students are either apathetic about being at the game or very upset at the fact that they have to sit so far away from the court. Due to our lottery system, many die-hard fans cannot go to games because their names are not on the list. Instead of them, people who really don't care about basketball get to go...and they don't cheer because they aren't excited. I do not think this is a problem to blame on the band director's choice of music.

Furthermore, the students who sit near us in the upper rim of McKale seem to enjoy the "alternative" songs that Mr. Rees arranges for the band to play.

They add a bit of spice to the genre of traditional marching band music and appeal to many in the college crowd. It is not fair for the powers that be to pump in music over the loudspeakers because every week, the Pep Band puts in practice in order to perfect the many songs in its repertoire. Plus, I don't see that this canned music does a better job of getting the crowd excited. On a whole, this marching ang pep band program is very unique because we don't only play traditional songs. We take pride in being different. Why be like so many other bands out there?

Next time you notice an apathetic crowd, please don't blame it on the director's choice of music. Instead, examine the other factors that lead to this problem.

Kim Pederson

Political science junior

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