Spencer Short – Staff Writer
Anyone who has attended a Dordt home football game recently may have noticed a lot brassier sound coming from the home side of the field. Although the pep band club has been at Dordt for years now, there has been a push this year by President Hoekstra and other administrators for the band to become a more solidified part of the Dordt athletic experience.
Pep band, headed by music education majors Nate Van Holland and Holly Tanis, has received blessings from both the administration and Dr. Onsby Rose, a new professor of music. Rose, although taking more of an oversight position in the pep band, has years of experience in conducting and performing with athletic bands during his 26 years of teaching at various universities, such as the Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina.
“We plan on playing around seven or eight events a semester… It’s mostly going to be football, but we will also be playing at some basketball and even volleyball games,” said Rose. “It’s an exciting opportunity and I believe it is a very valuable part of [the] university.”
So with all this hype built and administrative support behind them, where do Nate and Holly see themselves taking the pep band in the future?
“We’re trying to get a bigger game presence,” said Tanis. “We’re really trying to organize better and get more people to sign up. Even though we have the administration behind us, it’s more of a support push.”
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest from Onsby, he’s more present than the directors in the past,”said Van Holland. “He wants to try and get some sousaphones for us… along with maybe offering scholarships to play with the pep band at some point.”
Along with these broader, entire band focused visions, Rose has also showed a desire to take Nate, Holly, and other members of the band to some form of training or just sit in on a pep band practice for a larger university. Not only would this be helpful for a student’s musical education, it would also be a time to see what it’s like in the ‘big leagues’ and how one might transfer over those skills to a smaller group.
Currently, there are a little over 30 current members in pep band, and they are always open to having more people join in on the excitement. Practices are every Wednesday at 8:15 P.M. in the band room. Whether you’re part of Campus-Community Band, Concert Band, or just want to see if you can still play your high school instrument again after all these years, the pep band is open to you.
“Pep band is just a good time,” said Van Holland. “You can come, hang out with your friends, laugh, and play some awesome music while having fun at the same time. It’s just fun.”