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Saturdays are for the Band

For college marching bands, game day is the sabbath.

8:30 AM – Rehearsal

For the Pride of the Mountains, a game day begins before most college students are even out of the bed. On a chilly Saturday morning, the band spends hours preparing for the intricacies of a college football game. Much like a theatrical production, a game is all about timing, and the band plays an integral part in making sure that the schedule stays on track.

Drum major talks with friends.
Band director gives direction to students.
Student plays instrument.
Band director communicates to other directors.
Rhythm section waits for rehearsal to begin.
Student sets up stage on field.

Even after 3 months of intense training and rehearsal, a Saturday morning rehearsal is still full of fine-tuning and instructions from professional and student staff members. At no point in a season is the Pride of the Mountains content with the product on the field. There is always room for improvement, moving every performance closer to perfection.

Band student watches marchers.
Student plays instrument.
Students play their instruments.
Instructor assists students.
Colorguard student smiles towards the stands.
Drummer plays for the halftime show.
Colorguard student poses for halftime show.

Last-minute details and announcements are a big part of wrapping up a game-day rehearsal. No football game is the same and making sure that all 535 students are on the same page as the staff is incredibly important for a successful day. 

Band director talks to students.

1:30 PM – Warmup

One of the most traditional moments for the Pride of the Mountains happens two hours before kick0ff. The warmup is about more than just getting ready for the afternoon of performing. Hundreds of fans gather in the center of campus to watch all of the sections within the band prepare for gameday.

Student listens to band director.
Drummers laugh at each other.
Student leader directs students.
Student plays saxophone.
Young fan watches the band warm up.
Band student hypes up his bandmates.

While warmup plays a crucial role in preparing students, it also provides a chance for fans to get an inside look into what goes into managing a game-day for the Pride of the Mountains. It is full of technical preparation, tradition, and entertainment. The number one priority for the entire day is entertaining the fans that travel from near and far to witness the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band.

Band director watches drumline.
Band director directs students at warmup.
Student helps bandmate put on uniform.
Student helps bandmate put on uniform.
Student takes photo with family.
Band students take photo together.

3:30 PM – Kickoff

All of the small details that are planned and rehearsed come into play when the band finally makes their way to the stadium for game day. The band is not only there to put on their highly anticipated halftime show, but also to support the football team with pre-game entertainment and music in the stands. Students and staff with Pride of the Mountains work closely with athletics staff to ensure that everything that goes into creating a stellar game-day environment goes as planned.

Band student communicates with game day staff.
Band students play in the stands.

5:00 PM – Halftime

While the band never truly knows the exact time that halftime will commence, they are always ready to go when it happens. For the Pride of the Mountains, entertaining fans during their halftime performance is what makes all of the longs rehearsal hours worth it.

Like the rest of the football game, halftime is meticulously planned to the second and the band has a short window to get on the field, setup, and perform. It takes an army of students and non-marching staff to ensure that this can be done safely and efficiently.

Student sets up sound equipment.
Student waits for performance to begin.
Students setup drum major podium.
Violin player shouts after solo.
Band student is surrounded by colorguard members.
Colorguard student poses.

It’s all smiles from students as they wow the crowd with a performance that they have put countless hours into. It’s a rewarding 12 minutes not only for them but for the staff and student assistants who pour their lives into creating a memorable moment for all catamount fans.

Band students play on stage.
Front ensemble student plays instrument.
Band students watch marchers.
Front ensemble student poses at end of show.
Saxophone players perform halftime show.
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