Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 00:10
The beat of drums, the chants from the cheer squad, fans responding to the players’ on-field efforts is the atmosphere surrounding this past weekend’s homecoming game.
“I was very pleased of how it went for such a small group,” said Cherlyn Suderman, a member of the newly formed pep band. “We had some mighty sound and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.”
Ryan Ruda, vice president of student services, says having a pep band is extremely important in building a home-field advantage for the football team.
“The pep band also sets the tone for the team,” he said. “It kind of helps to get the team a little bit more excited to take the court, or to take the field and it gets the fans into it too.”
The pep band did not play in the first few home football games. The group was without a director until recently when Casey Hands was tapped to organize the group and bring music and enthusiasm back to the games.
Hands said he was contacted by Ruda and offered the task of directing the pep band after learning that Hands had Division I experience.
“I definitely enjoyed my time up there [Kansas State University] and being involved in those athletic bands. I think I will enjoy it just the same here at GCCC,” Hands said.
Hands, who played in the Kansas State marching band for five years, also has a minor in music.
“I am used to being in front of people,” he said. “When I was in the band I was a section leader. I had been in leadership rolls. I was in charge of a horns section that was larger than this pep band. Definitely I have instructed people before.”
Hands said he will be working with pep band members and encouraging them to pay attention to the game so they can be more excited and ready to play.
“If they are struggling in defense, we are going to do a defense and tap with the drums. And it takes watching, and paying attention to get more excited about the game,” Hands said.
One of his goals is to recruit more members and get to at least 20 to 25 members by the next home football game, which is Oct. 20.
“I have put up posters, I put up some flyers to give out during the pep rally, I have put it on social networks on any of the community college’s pages I have posted it. Texted, called, talked to people about it. I would ask people in class if they play an instrument,” Suderman said.
Members of the band have a staplen to play in the band. Students who play will received a 20 dollar payment for each game they play, the check will come in at the end of the semester. Members of the community who play will not be able to be paid.
Those with experience playing instruments and interest in participating can contact Hands at 254.415.8822 or Suderman at 620.277.6848.