Lauren Bird – Staff Writer
The students of Dordt’s music department have put together a pep band to accompany volleyball and basketball games throughout the year. This group will play at games on November 1 and 15, December 6, and January 17.
Dordt’s pep band is a student-run group, and is being led this year by senior Michael Groenenboom and sophomore Katy Wilson.
In addition to new leadership, which happens every few years when leaders leave, the group hopes to make several changes.
“We’re hoping to get more staff involved and we’d like to see if we can invite alumni to play with us during a game,” said Groenenboom. “We’re trying to get a more modern feel as well, which is why we’re going to be playing some new songs like ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams and ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ by The Black Keys.”
Groenenboom hopes that the more modern music will help the group connect with students. This and its unique atmosphere are what set pep band apart from other groups at Dordt.
“It isn’t the same formal atmosphere that you come across in other musical ensembles at Dordt. Since it’s a student-led group, you get a different dynamic than a group that’s led by a music professor,” said Groenenboom.
Both Groenenboom and Wilson are music education majors, and say that they were involved in pep band in high school.
“I played clarinet in pep band in high school. It was a really fun experience then, and I wanted to stay involved with this kind of music in college. As a music education major, I also knew this could be a great learning and leadership opportunity,” said Wilson.
Students don’t have to be involved in Dordt’s music department to participate in pep band. Students are able to rent instruments from the music department or bring their own instrument.
“We only rehearse 45 minutes each week, so the time commitment is not too huge. The atmosphere in rehearsal is fun and relaxed, and at the games it’s great to help get the athletes and fans energized and ready for the game,” said Wilson.
Pep band is a great way for students to support Dordt’s volleyball and basketball teams, or to be involved in a fun group that they enjoyed in high school.
“It’s an easy and fun way to be involved in music in college,” said Groenenboom. “It’s also a visual and oral way to support Dordt athletics.”
Dordt students and staff are invited to participate. The group practices every Wednesday from 8-8:45 in the evening.