Two weekends ago I was asked to fill in for a fellow trombonist in the Georgia Southern Hoop Troop basketball pep band. Both the Eagles’ men and women’s basketball teams made it to the SoCon tournament in Ashville, N.C. Both lost in the second round.
I’ve filled in before with Net Squad Pep Band, the pep band for volleyball. I’ve also marched two seasons with the Southern Pride Marching Band; in high school I was a part of the Upson-Lee Marching Knights. As basketball season fades into baseball season and other spring sports, a thought has crossed my mind: more high school and collegiate sports need marching bands and pep bands.
Take golf, for instance. A hole in one would be much better if the band began playing the fight song at fortissimo volume when the ball dropped in the cup. Imagine, echoing through towering pines, while a player squares up to his ball for a crucial, make-or-break shot from the rough, is the reverberation of some sort of heinous brass sound to the tune of “Living on a Prayer.”
I know what you’re thinking. And I agree. A golf course is too big for one band to cover. That’s why I suggest that golf pep bands be divided into several bands.
Each of these bands could be the size of quintet. These pep bands would ride around the course on John Deere Gator tractors much like old Dixieland jazz bands. The trombones, of course, “tailgating”, a term that originates from when trombones were made to sit on the tailgate of a truck so their slide wouldn’t hit anyone in the head. It, of course!, carried over into pre-game festivities because of the nature of trombonist.
Let’s not forget about tennis. That sport was made to have a band play between faults. No more of the hushed crowd atmosphere. For home games, during each set, the band would strike up and play “Thunder Struck.”
The sport that needs a marching band the most is baseball. Yes! Of course. What would be better than at the seventh inning stretch the marching band taking the field?
At home plate, the drum major conducts; a screaming crowd sounds like Shea Stadium when the Beatles played. And in the outfield, the band plays John Fogarty’s “Centerfield.”
Security guards chase down screaming girls trying to rush the tuba players for a kiss. In the stands, they’re holding up signs that read, “We love the saxophones!” People have their favorite section, and argue about them frequently. Then, bobble head dolls, trading cards, marching band action figures… But it all goes horribly wrong when a trumpet player makes the comment, “We’re bigger than football.” Oh, no.
Before long we can add marching and pep bands to all sorts of extracurricular activities. Chess matches, debate clubs, spelling bee contests. Indeed. Viva La Marching Band!