Alumni Relations

Published: 139 articles

Fall 2022 Events

Alumni Relations

8/20 First Night

9/23 @8:00pm Homecoming Fireworks & Laser Light Show (Homecoming – Alumni, parents, and friends | Cornell University)

9/24 @2:00pm Yale University *Homecoming Game (more information on band alumni events coming soon)

10/7 @7:00pm Harvard University

10/15 @1:00pm Lehigh University

10/22 @12:30pm Brown University (away)

10/29 @1:00pm Princeton University (away)

11/5 @1:00pm University of Pennsylvania

11/12 @1:00pm Dartmouth College

11/19 @1:00pm Columbia University (away)

Reunion Information 2022

Alumni Relations

We are so excited to be welcoming you back for Reunion! The Big Red Bands Luncheon will be Saturday June 11th from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Fischell Band Center. If you’re joining us, please fill out this google form. Performance itineraries are as follows

  • Fun in The Sun @ 3:10 pm on the Arts Quad

    • RT: 2:20 pm

    • Warm up @ 2:35 pm

    • Step off for Arts Quad @ 2:50 pm

    • Perform @ 3:10 pm

    • Step off for Fischell @ 3:25 pm

    • Back at Fischell ~ 3:40 pm

  • Cornelliana Night @ 8:00 pm – stadium

    • RT 7:30 pm

    • Warm up 7:40 pm

    • Head Outside 7:55pm

Indoor Drumline Travels Through the Ages

Alumni Relations

PercussionHey All!

My name is Skyler Krouse and I am the current President of the Cornell University Indoor Drumline. For those of you who don’t know, the CUID is a competitive percussion ensemble that performs a marching floor show featuring both a front ensemble and a battery in the New York State Percussion Circuit. This year, we are delighted to be competing Through the Ages, a musical traversal of time that takes its audience from the Ice Age to the Modern Age in a dynamic and engaging composition that is sure to delight all. Each act features a different musical style that matches the age it is representing with exciting visuals to match.

Last weekend, we competed in our first competition at Hilton High School in Hilton, NY and took home First Place with a score of 59.9! We are eagerly practicing for our next competition on March 19th at ESM High School in East Syracuse, NY. Wish us luck!

Much glove,

Skyler Krouse ‘23


Introducing Your 2022 Pep Band Managers

Alumni Relations

Zakir+7Hi All!

This is Aiden and Zakir, the 2022 Pep Band Managers. We had an early January election, despite that setback, everything is running fairly well. The semester started slowly while arrival tests and virtual classes kept us to limited numbers at limited events, but after those first two weeks, we are up and (almost) fully running! We have had amazing attendance at all of our events and have been sounding pretty good, in our, potentially biased, opinion.

While Cornell’s restrictions have lifted slightly, allowing us to perform at our standard 51 members for men’s hockey and at a variety of other events, some other universities have not eased in the same way. We were able to add a day trip to Colgate to our planned two overnight trips, the first to Union and RPI, the second to Quinnipiac and Princeton. Unfortunately, both of these trips had to be canceled since Union, RPI, and Quinnipiac all still have restrictions in place. We were fortunate to fit in a day trip to Princeton which was super fun!

So far we have cheered on men’s and women’s hockey and basketball, and we finally got to a wrestling match! We’re getting ready for playoff season as the Men’s Basketball team has reached the Ivy Tournament and will be playing Princeton in the semi-final, and the Men’s hockey team is looking to dash Colgate’s hopes in their quarterfinal series. While hockey has home ice and the backing of a Lynah that is back to full force, the basketball team, as well as half of the band, will be shipping up to Boston. We’re getting ready to pep the heck out of both events, Let’s Go Red!

As the weather gradually improves we’re getting excited about playing at other spring events. We look forward to playing at lacrosse and baseball games and taking opportunities to cheer on some more unique sports as well. The semester so far has been fun and the rest of the season is brimming with potential! That’s all from us for now!

Humbly yours,

Aiden Thomas and Zakir Ahmad ‘23


Notes from the Office: Introducing Your 2022 Head Manager

Alumni Relations

BellaHey Alumni!

My name is Bella Burgess and I’m the 2022 Head Manager for the Big Red Marching Band. I am a junior majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences in the College of Human Ecology and minoring in Healthcare Policy and French from Purcellville, VA. I am a member of the clarinet section and a former clarinet section leader. I am so excited to be leading the band this year alongside our 2022 Drum Major, Zack Kozma.

We have big plans for this year! This spring, we will perform during Cornell Days, and host a Spring Concert in the commons for the first time since 2019! This fall we will travel to Brown, Princeton, and Columbia for the first time in four years! It will be the entire band’s first marching band trip to these schools and first Sy Katz Parade. After hearing so many of your stories about the Sky Katz parade I couldn’t be more excited for the band to attend and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the parade.

Our fundraiser involving the previous uniforms is finally coming to fruition after much hard work and dedication from many previous Head Managers and Uniform Chairs. I am so excited to give these uniforms a new life and share the special memories they hold with bandies past and present. Stay tuned for more updates!

Additionally, we recently split the Philanthropy Coordinator and Diversity Chair position into two separate positions: Philanthropy Coordinator and Diversity Chair. Zack and I are excited to continue promoting diversity and inclusivity within the band and making the band a welcoming and comfortable environment for all Cornellians. We have continued to receive inquiries about joining band all year and have welcomed a handful of new members already this semester.

I hope to see many of you this June at reunion and this fall at Homecoming and on our away trips. Fingers crossed we will be able to play together once again! If you haven’t already follow the BRMB instagram page, and facebook page to stay up to date with what’s going on in the BRMB!

Go Big Red!

Bella Burgess ‘23

Notes from the Ladder: Introducing Your 2022 Drum Major

Alumni Relations

ZackHey Alumni!

My name is Zack Kozma and I am your 2022 Drum Major! I am a junior in CALS studying Ecological and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Plant Biology. Before taking the podium, I spent time on the field and in the stands playing saxophone alongside the best section in the Ivy League. Prior to that, I was the drum major for my high school marching band in Randolph NJ. Outside of band, I am an undergraduate researcher in the Gandolfo lab focusing on paleobotany. I hope to continue research after my time at Cornell by pursuing a Ph.D. in wildlife conservation.

Bouncing back from 2021, a year still recovering from the impacts of  COVID, we have had high energy and great experiences. We started off strong with a parade around the Arts Quad in celebration of Mardi Gras and our mascot Touchdown’s new Mardi Gras outfit. We played some jazzy tunes including the “Saints go Marching” cheer and “Friend Like Me”. In Cornell spirit, we also played MYOC and NCFS, to celebrate Big Red. In preparation for events in the near and distant future, we have rehearsals planned to review not only our favorite songs in the folder but also songs that might need a little more attention. These will be kicked off with a rehearsal the day before Giving day to get our members and you all excited for our highly anticipated Livestream! After Giving Day we are set to perform for Cornell Days and Spring Concert. If you are in Ithaca or around during those events definitely stop on by, say hi, and join us in celebrating Cornell and our band!

Looking towards the fall, September 23-24 is Homecoming! This will hopefully be our first full Homecoming since 2019 so I hope to see you all there, celebrating our school and coming back home! In the fall we will be traveling to Brown, Princeton, and Columbia. This will be the full band’s first time attending these away trips and we could not be more excited. While I am excited to get the chance to see family back in Jersey when we visit for the Princeton game, I am personally very excited about the Colombia trip. Parading down 5th avenue has always been a dream, especially with it being the 50th year of the Sy Katz parade. We have a lot of exciting events coming up and I hope to see as many of you as possible whether that be away or in Ithaca.

Go Red (Dammit)!!!

Zack Kozma ‘23

Your Spring 2022 Band Notes

Alumni Relations

JHMeHey Alumni!

My name is Justin and I’m a junior studying Nutritional Sciences in the College of Human Ecology. I’m a member of the clarinet section and a former section leader and fundraising chair. My name is Megan and I’m a junior studying the ethics of silence and Information Science in the College of Arts & Sciences. I’m a member of the flute section and a former secretary, fundraising chair, and uniform chair. We’re so excited to be your 2022 Alumni Relations Chairs!

Giving Day is March 16th and we’re happy to be bringing back the livestream concert! We have had an incredible year getting back on the field and sharing our Big Red spirit! Help us #InvestInTheFuture at Give to Big Red Band | Cornell Giving Day 2022. Your support keeps the music alive #RememberTheBand!

Please feel free to reach out to us at and – we want to hear your stories! We look forward to meeting you and your return to the hill! Go Big Red Go!


Megan Chang & Justin Han ‘23


…and now, presenting the only REAL Band Notes in the Ivy League!

BRBAA Updates – Spring 2022

Alumni Relations

The BRBAA Advisory Council held its spring meeting on February 19, 2022.
Minutes from the meeting can be seen here.

Some highlights, takeaways, and dates to note include:

  • There will be a BRBAA General Membership Meeting on Saturday, March 12 at 1:00 PM EST. Action items include confirming Kayla Altland ’10 as our new Communications Chair and ratifying a new Elections Procedures Document.
    • You can read Kayla Altland’s candidate statement here.
    • There are currently four proposed Elections Procedures Documents available for review - versions 2, 3, 4, and 5. If no new document is ratified, we will continue to operate under the provisions of our existing EPD.
    • The only differences between the proposals relate to (1) how voting is conducted (be it exclusively in the form of e-voting – or a hybrid of e-voting and in-person voting), and (2) whether voters will confirm a slate of officers or vote on individual positions.
    • Versions 2 & 3 allow for e-voting only; versions 4 & 5 allow for hybrid e-voting and in-person voting.
    • Versions 3 & 4 ask voters to confirm a slate of officers; versions 2 & 5 ask voters to vote on individual positions.
  • Giving Day is on Wednesday, March 16 and will include a livestreamed concert c/o the undergraduate bandies. (Plans are also in the works for a post-Giving Day Trivia Night. Stay tuned!)
  • Reunion will be held in Ithaca this summer from June 9 – 12. The band alumni reception / luncheon will be held on Saturday the 11th.
  • Homecoming will be in Ithaca on September 24.
  • The 50th Anniversary Sy Katz Parade in New York City will happen immediately after the Columbia game on November 19.

Notes from the Ladder: Your 2021 Drum Major

Alumni Relations

IMG_7159Hey Alumni!

My name is Oliver Matte, and I had the fortune of being your Big Red Marching Band 2021 Drum Major! I am a junior in the College of Engineering, and I study Computer Science. Conducting has been such a joy, I have loved being able to lead the band through such unique times.

The spring semester was quite a fun one! Though we had a slow start while we were still navigating how to handle the university’s COVID policies, we were able to get back to rehearsing towards the end of the semester. We were also able to host some of the more important activities for the Class of 2021 that were not able to happen last fall, these being Senior Concert and Non-Sectarian.

As we went into the summer, we were unsure what band would look like in the fall, but our optimism never faltered! We started to plan our trips for Yale, Harvard, and Penn during the upcoming semester, and we were in close contact with administration to ensure that these would be able to happen. Towards the end of the summer, the band was given the okay to travel to every location, provided we follow safety protocol. We took this opportunity and made some further adjustments to ensure that we could bring as many people as we could on these trips.

In coming back to campus, we had to make sure that our transition to in-person activities would once again be safe and fun for everyone involved. We made sure that we had proper protective equipment for everyone, and were able to host First Night outside! This meant that we could welcome all of the new members in the same way we usually do, which was fantastic. For the first few weeks, rehearsals and events were held outside to ensure proper COVID protocol and safety for all of our members.

A week before homecoming, however, COVID cases started to spike around campus. Luckily the band was largely unaffected, but for safety reasons we had to change much of our traditional homecoming activities. The administration wanted to make sure that we were safe, which unfortunately meant that our homecoming was not able to be held in the same way it usually is. Even though this news was disappointing to many, I am proud of the way we pushed forward and continued to adapt to make sure that we could continue doing what we loved.

After Homecoming we were planning to go on our bi-yearly trip to Yale. Unfortunately, under their protocol, they did not want any outside bands coming to visit, so we were unable to visit them. Instead, we decided to have the first ever band “field day” which ended up being a super fun time for everyone involved! Along with this, COVID cases started to reduce around campus, meaning that we could loosen some of the restrictions for our members.

The next big thing planned was our trip to Harvard. Everyone was extremely excited for our first trip of the year. The night before the trip however, we were informed of a scheduling error by the transportation company, meaning that we did not have buses for the trip. We tried to find any possible alternative, but unfortunately there were no achievable alternatives.

After this we had a series of home games. Though the football team did not win very often, the band was able to have a fun time and put some incredible shows on the field! As the year progressed, we still tried to keep our rehearsals outside as much as possible to aid with COVID safety. With the year getting colder, we did have to start doing more activities and rehearsals inside, so we restocked on protective equipment to be able to do these activities safely.

The next big thing that we had planned was the trip to Penn, and we made certain this trip would happen! Between talking with the bus company (multiple times) and talking with Penn to make sure we were allowed onto their campus, we knew this trip would happen, and that it would be a fantastic experience. And it was! The band was able to perform the first away show of the year. Although some scheduling mishaps on Penn’s side prevented us from performing our pregame show, we were still able to do halftime, and the show turned out incredibly well

As soon as that first trip was cancelled, we started getting into talks with athletics, bussing, and hotel companies to see if we could plan a trip to Dartmouth, a trip that has not been done for many years. Through weeks of effort, we were able to plan the trip, and the band had a fantastic time! This was our last away game of the season, and we were able to perform our whole show! Along with this, we were invited to play with the Dartmouth band in the 4th quarter, and both bands had an awesome time! This was definitely a highlight of the season for many of our members.

Finally, our year wound down with our last game, which led into our Senior Concert. Additionally, we were able to hold Non-Sectarian for all of our seniors (this happened to be very fortunate timing as the university shut down all campus activities due to a spike in cases the day after this event!)  It was so great that we were able to give the Class of 2022 the events they deserve this year.

This year has been unlike any other in BRMB history. It has had so many ups and downs, especially dealing with the pandemic, but when I look back on our season, one thing stands out to me. The band spirit is still alive, and it is stronger than ever. It shows how amazing this band is, and proves to me that we can overcome anything if we put our minds to it. Thank you for letting me be your Drum Major, and it has been an honor.

Oli “Carry the spirit with pride.” ver Ma “How lucky we are to have such a strong thing binding us together.” tte


Notes from the Office: Your 2021 Head Manager

Alumni Relations

IMG_0453Hey Alumni!

My name is Carey Lau, and I served as the 2021 Head Manager of the Big Red Marching Band! I’m a senior majoring in Biology & Society and minoring in Global Health in the School of Arts & Sciences. I’m so grateful for this amazing opportunity to lead the band during this unique year!

Looking back on the spring semester, it’s amazing to see how far the band has come. Oliver & I planned a whole slew of virtual events, including Second Night, HM/DM Office Hours, game nights (Tetris is a band favorite!), and a series of music workshops, including sessions on how to read music and how to conduct for our new members. Later in the semester, we worked with our advisor Megan Ramey to create Covid policies for the band. Beginning in April, we were approved for outdoor, socially distanced rehearsals, capped at 30 students. We wore personal protective equipment, including specialized face masks designed for use with instruments, as well as bell covers or instrument bags. Later in the semester, we were approved for 60 students at rehearsals. We were even able to host a Senior Concert and Non-Sec for our Class of 2021 seniors, a few events they had missed out on during Fall 2020.

Over the summer, Oliver & I began to plan for the fall semester, although we were uncertain about whether or not the band would be allowed to hold in-person events and what restrictions we would have to follow. Ultimately, we were approved to have outdoor rehearsals with masks, bell covers, and bags. Later in the semester, as cases around campus decreased, we were approved to have outdoor rehearsals without masks, and indoor rehearsal with masks, covers, and bags. It was great to finally meet some of our new members in person!

Our first game of the year was a home game vs. VMI, and our Homecoming game! Although some Homecoming and alumni events on campus were cancelled at the last minute due to Covid cases, we were grateful for the opportunity to perform for the first time in nearly two years. We also marched in our new uniforms for the very first time! The new uniform process began in 2019 and was later put on hold because of the pandemic, so it was exciting for the band to finally wear them.

However, Homecoming wasn’t the only event impacted by the pandemic. We did not end up going to Yale, as they did not allow visitors. Our trip to Harvard was cancelled the day before, as the bus company was experiencing a shortage of bus drivers. Additionally, the Harvard hockey portion of the trip to Penn was cancelled, as Harvard’s visitor policy changed at the last minute. However, the band spirit persevered, and we were able to plan some other fun events! Oliver & I planned a Field Day in place of the Harvard trip, and we even planned the band’s first trip to Dartmouth in many years. On the way to Dartmouth, we stopped in Boston for the night and performed at Faneuil Hall, which ended up being one of the most memorable performances all year. The game at Dartmouth was a blast as well, and we were given a warm welcome by the Dartmouth band. This trip was definitely one of the highlights of the season, and we were happy to make so many new friends in the Dartmouth band!

We also continued to promote inclusion and diversity throughout 2021. At the beginning of the year, Bandstaph attended a diversity training for student leaders, as well as completed a training on how students can help others through mental health crises. We also hosted an instrument tutoring program at the beginning of the fall semester, which made learning a first (or second!) instrument more accessible for students in the band. We also provided free menstrual products in both bathrooms in the Fischell Band Center. We also provided gluten-free options at games, and Pudgies even special-ordered vegan cheese for the band, so our vegan bandies could enjoy pizza!

Prior to DM elections, our wonderful Philanthropy Coordinator & Diversity Chair Melissa Montejo ‘22 hosted a Pre-Election Forum, where band members were able to discuss which parts of elections they appreciated and which parts could be improved. Ultimately, we decided to make a few modifications to elections to help foster a more welcoming and positive environment. We created a set of community guidelines that were emphasized and followed throughout the election process, and used an online form to submit questions. Although elections were quite long, they remained respectful, and we hope that these changes will continue making the band a more welcoming place for everyone.

We finished up our season with our last home game, Senior Concert, and Nonsec. The day after Nonsec, all student activities were cancelled due to the rise in Covid cases, so we were extremely grateful we were able to host the event in person. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to our seniors, but we know we’ll see them back on the hill soon!

Although we experienced many disappointments throughout the year, the band’s spirit, sense of community, and love for making music together was so inspiring as we kept pushing forward. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to serve the band in a year unlike any other.

Thank you to Oliver & Cups for being amazing leaders of the band this year. I couldn’t have asked for a more positive and spirited pair of students to lead the band with during this uncertain year. And best of luck to Bella Burgess and Zack Kozma, our 2022 Head Manager and Drum Major, and the rest of the 2022 Bandstaph! I know they will accomplish amazing things and continue to make the band the most fun-loving and welcoming organization on Cornell’s campus.

Flove always,

Carey “wow, what a year it’s been!” Lau