Alumni Relations

Published: 126 articles

Post-Homecoming Update

Alumni Relations

It was a pleasure to see so many band alums for Homecoming this past weekend – both in-person and online. We trust that anyone who made it to Schoellkopf on Saturday will attest that it was a true thrill seeing the band back in action. Marching over 200-strong, the band looked downright dashing in their new uniforms - and the students exuded tremendous joy as they rocked out to “Everybody’s Everything” at halftime.

Not only was it a big weekend for the band, it was also a big weekend for BRBAA, as we ratified a new set of bylaws for our association. Over the past year, dozens of band alums provided feedback on our existing bylaws and met to craft new language. The result is a set of bylaws that moves BRBAA forward, committing the association to diversity, inclusion, improved communications, and greater involvement of the general membership. Many thanks to Emily Isenstein for her leadership on this project – and to the many, many alumni who joined her in making this a true team effort.


For those who are interested in learning more about what’s going on in the wild world of BRBAA, we welcome you to review the minutes of this past weekend’s meetings. Feel free to reach out to any members of the Advisory Council with questions or feedback. (Email addresses are linked in the minutes.)


For those looking to get more involved with BRBAA, we have two important invitations to extend:

  • With ratification of the new BRBAA Bylaws, there is a brand-new open position on BRBAA – that of Communications Chair. Please reach out to Brian Adelman (BRBAA Chair) if interested in taking on this role.
  • We have also created a Stewardship Committee, which is working to promote fundraising and engagement within the band alumni community. Please reach out to Tory Bredt (BRBAA Resource Chair) if interested in serving on this committee.


And lastly, the band is making music again! We’re hopeful that many of you will have occasion to hear the sweet sounds of the Big Red Band at some point this year. (Whilst longing, yearning, and maintaining appropriate social distance, of course.) The marching band’s planned trip to Yale has been canceled (due to restrictions imposed by Yale Athletics) – but the band does plan to travel for the events below. (Please note that this travel schedule is subject-to-change, given evolving policies around campus health and safety. BRBAA Events Chair Lauren Russo will keep us all posted regarding opportunities for fraternization at these games, where possible.)

  • Marching Band Road Trip! Football @ Harvard - Oct. 9, 2021 (game at 1:00 pm)
  • Pep Band Road Trip! Women’s Hockey @ RIT - Oct. 16, 2021 (game at 1:00 pm)
  • Marching Band Road Trip! Football @ Penn - Nov. 6, 2021 (game at 1:00 pm)
  • Pep Band Road Trip for Red Hot Hockey! Men’s Hockey vs. BU @ Madison Square Garden (game @ 8:00 pm)

Highlights from the 2021 Giving Day Town Hall

Alumni Relations

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Giving Day Town Hall – and to everyone who invested in the future of the band by making a donation. In the end, we raised $39,036 in a single day. Not too shabby!

If you weren’t able to make it to the Town Hall (or if you’re just eager to relive the thrill), here are videos of the stories, memories, and music that were shared:

  • Alumni Reflection Video (featuring Adara Alston ’99, Bethany Angeliu ’18, Kathryn Abbott ’12, Katherine Curtis ’19, Dana Muir-Preston ’07, Marshall Kohen ’90, Bill Welker ’73, Nathan Olson ’05, and Bri Bamford-Olson ’07)
  • Undergrad Reflection Video (featuring Amy Chen ’23, Keshav Ram ’22, Michael Bai ’24, Clover Moisanu ’21, and Christian Romero ’21) 

Looking Back: Reflections from 2020 Band Leadership

Alumni Relations

Hey Alumni!IMG_6512

My name is Christian Romero and I am the Big Red Marching Band’s 2020 Drum Major! I am a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Sociology and Performing & Media Arts. While it’s been great to do more conducting, I miss jamming, grooving, dancing, and moving with my fellow saxes.

This spring semester has been an interesting one. We kicked off our spring performance schedule a little earlier than usual with a small performance in the Tompkins County Library. This event was organized by our amazing Philanthropy Coordinators for mid-February and we were able to show many children in the area the joys of band! After playing a short set, we were able to share some band memories, show off each instrument, and give the kids a closer look at each instrument. Although the event wasn’t too long, the kids and the band had a blast and we look forward to partnering with the Tompkins County Library again in the future.

The band then had their first music rehearsal to prepare for our annual Giving Day Concert in mid-March. We practiced some of the more difficult concert songs as well as our newest concert song, Brooklyn (dance break included)! The Giving Day Concert itself was a very bittersweet moment for everyone involved. Prior to the event we were a bit stressed, as we did not know if it would actually be able to occur, but once we finally got the okay and found a way to operate under university guidelines we did everything we could to make the event unforgettable. The band dressed up in uniform and we added an extra pep band and marching band set than what we usually have. By evening song we were all left feeling very emotional. The event was even more special having so many alumni tuning in and sending us support!

As the university started to shut down and classes moved online we did all we could to keep the band spirit alive. Showcomm and I were able to devise a schedule where we would send out our new show music to the section leaders to be distributed to the members of their section. In addition to sending out music, we also worked with our publicity chairs to create a social media series called Music Mondays. We created this series to share some of our favorite songs with newly admitted students since we were not able to hold any Cornell Day performances. Marissa and I also held our first HM & DM Office Hours via Zoom as a way to reconnect with some of our members. To close out the semester we made a video honoring our graduating seniors and worked with BRBAA to host the first Big Red Bands Town Hall.

The fall was just as eventful as the spring semester. With university protocol changing throughout the semester we focused our efforts on online events. We kicked off the fall by recruiting new members with chalking, a virtual clubfest, and a more active social media presence. We got interest from about 100 new members and welcomed them through a virtual First Night. The rest of the semester we focused on finding ways to get the new members involved in band and to meet other members. We hosted office hours every week, set up a weekly speed friending system, held zoom events with other Ivy bands, created the “BRMB Olympics” (ran by 3 band seniors), did virtual music performances, and hosted various other zooms as a way to keep everyone connected.

Throughout the year we also took time to reflect on what it means for us to be a truly inclusive organization. As one of the largest student run organizations in the Ivy League we felt it as our duty to take a more active role in addressing what is going on in our university and the world around us. In order to best support our Black and Indigenous band members of color we decided we could no longer shy away from these conversations of racism and human rights. While we have by no means fully addressed the issues of racism in our university and our organization, we have started a dialogue that will without a doubt contribute to the band becoming an even more inclusive and anti-racist organization.

While the year was not what we expected, I think we still were able to make the band special for all of our new members and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to welcome so many new faces into our band family. Thank you all for your continuous support and thank you to Marissa, Lynn, and all of our band leaders for all your work and remaining adaptable throughout this difficult year. It’s been an honor to serve as your Drum Major. While I never would’ve guessed everything that this year had in store, I’m proud of the band for coming out stronger. No matter what happens the band always wins!

Chris “Feel free to reach out to me whenever!” tian Ro “I’ve got a lot more free time now that I’m not running a band” mero

Christian, Marissa, Lynn, and the rest of the 2020 BRBAA Advisory Council at a virtual meeting.

Christian, Marissa, Lynn, and the rest of the 2020 BRBAA Advisory Council at a virtual meeting.

HEY ALUMNI!134516991_884012359004122_1060642780115902928_o

My name is Marissa Gailitis, and I had the pleasure of being the 2020 Head Manager!  I have completed two years of my degree in Environment and Sustainability with a concentration in Environmental Economics through the College of Arts and Sciences, but I decided to take a gap year in New Zealand half way through my term due to COVID-19.  In the band, I am a proud member of the Drumline (Bassi Bois for life!!).  2020 came with a unique set of challenges that forced us to think creatively and come together as an organization.

We began the year with a goal to increase events channeled towards giving back to our Cornell and Ithaca communities by further establishing the role of the Philanthropy Coordinator (“Phil Coor”, formed in 2019).  We began working towards this goal with a Tompkins County Public Library Event, put together by the 2020 Phil Coor, Kai Chen ‘21 and Arya Saksena ‘22.  At this event, the Band pursued our love for playing in libraries by performing a small concert for children and their families at the Tompkins County Public Library in the Ithaca Commons.  We completed the afternoon with an “instrument petting zoo”, where children were able to get up close to the instruments to learn how they work.

In February and March, we began rehearsing for Giving Day.  There was also talk of not coming back to campus after Spring Break due to the pandemic.  Just a day before the event, we were given the first of many event-limiting guidelines put forth by the University.  We worked with these guidelines by ensuring that no more than 100 people would be in attendance at the event by requiring students to RSVP before attending and by managing the number of people in the band center at the door.  With these guidelines changing every couple of hours, we had no idea if we would be able to move forward with our event until about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled livestream.  The University closed for the rest of the semester the next day.

When we were told to leave campus, we began asking ourselves the question that would haunt us for months to come: if we aren’t together, how can we still be a band?

We began to try to answer that dreaded question by hosting band bonding events, like band-wide Zoom calls and virtual events for each section hosted by section leaders.  Some of these sectionals were movie nights with Netflix Party, hang-outs over Zoom, or even performing virtual cheers!  Additionally, we were able to work with BRBAA to host a Big Red Bands Zoom Town Hall, where we connected with Bandies past and present, reminisced on the old days, explored how the band functions logistically, and went over the current state of the band.  Upon hearing about the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black individuals, the Band also came together to stand with our communities by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, providing resources and ways to help the cause through our many social media platforms.  We also began to re-explore ways we can make the Band a more inclusive environment for everyone.

Upon hearing the changes to the Fall semester, we had many questions.  Can we still perform while social distancing?  Can band still happen this Fall?  Should band still happen this Fall?  To answer some of these questions, we formed a COVID Committee to brainstorm ways to keep Band as safe but active as possible the Fall ‘20 semester.  It was a tough call, but at the end of the day we decided to stick to virtual events through the semester to maximize the safety and comfort of our band members.

Months after being away from campus, I finally found an answer to the question that haunted me last March.  Although we may not be able to play together for a little while, the Band will always be a Family because we stand together in times of need.  Instead of viewing the virtual changes to the Band as a negative, I am thankful to view the situation as an opportunity for the Band to bond more as individuals and look towards other things that bring us together.

Managing the Band in a pandemic has certainly been a learning experience, so I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned from 2020:

  1. Just because you don’t know what’s coming does not mean that it won’t turn out alright
  2. Even if we are apart, the Band will always stand together
  3. You can take us away from our instruments, but we still won’t be quiet
  4. The flove is real
  5. The Band always wins!

Now some shout outs:

Thank you so much to Christian and Lynn for being the best co-leaders I could have possibly been paired with!  The band is so lucky to have had such passionate and hardworking leaders, and I hope you enjoy retirement and the rest of your senior year!

Thank you to BRBAA for working with us through all the difficulties that came with 2020.

Thank you class of 2024 for being absolutely wonderful, I can’t wait to get to know you guys better in person!

And of course, Thank You Band!  2020 was definitely a memorable year with many ups and downs, but thank you for staying with us through it all!

Good luck to Carey, Oliver, Cups, and the whole of 2021 Bandstaph!  I can’t wait to see what you guys will accomplish this year, I have faith that all of you will do amazing things!


With Flove, Drumstix, and Surgical Masks,

~Marissa, 2020 Head Manager

Hey Alumni!!78171087_3234436029961799_7848815483741536256_o

My name is Lynn Jeannoute and I had the utmost pleasure of being your 2020 Pep Band Manager! I am a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in business. I am originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey, and play trombone in Marching Band, as well as Pep Band. Before assuming my role as Pep Band Manager, I was one of the pep band historians for two years!

Everyone on the pep band board has been really great this past year despite the circumstances, especially all of our new board members who brought with them a really great spirit and enthusiasm onto the board and all did amazing jobs in their new roles.

This year ended up being really crazy but also started off similar to many others. Both hockey teams had amazing seasons and the pep band was able to cheer them on at all of the men’s games and most of the women’s games as well! Last spring we were able to go on two overnight trips for the Princeton/Quinnipiac and Yale/Brown games and also take a day trip to Colgate. These trips were super fun and everyone had a great time! Unfortunately, the end of the hockey season took a hit due to COVID-19 and all the playoff games were canceled, but both our teams were ranked No. 1, which was incredibly exciting.

Even though there is a lot of hockey in the spring, we still make time to attend some other events. The pep band was happy to be able to go to most of the home wrestling matches and a few basketball games as well! A lot of the band members really enjoy wrestling and basketball. It’s really great being able to support our other amazing teams on campus.

As I mentioned earlier, our in-person semester was cut short due to COVID-19, so we weren’t able to go on any playoff trips or do any of our usual end-of-the-semester events like last rehearsal and conductor elections. This was definitely a bummer for all of us, but I’m super grateful and happy that we got to have such an amazing first half of the spring semester.

Also due to COVID-19, the Ivy League had decided to cancel sports for the Fall 2020 semester. This led us to the question: “If there are no sports, is there still band?” We spent so many months trying to figure out what band would look like for the fall semester and how we could bring people together virtually. In the end, we decided that even though we could not meet in person or play together normally, we could still foster a fun and supportive environment for all our members. We did this by holding virtual events throughout the semester, including holding office hours each week, rotating hosting between the drum major, head manager, and pep band manager. Even though we weren’t able to meet in person, we were still able to meet the new members and interact with each other safely.

Another goal we had this past year was trying to promote diversity and inclusivity within our organization. We want band to be a safe place for everyone to feel welcome and appreciated. This year we tried to build on these values by addressing things head on and fostering discussion around social justice issues. Though we took some progressive steps this past year, building an inclusive community is an ongoing process and there is still a lot to be done. We can all participate, regardless of leadership position by continuing the dialogue and holding each other accountable.

Through the continuation of the pandemic, many things are still up in the air, but there is one thing that will always be certain and that is the band always wins. The Big Red Bands is composed of some of the smartest, kindest, friendliest, and most passionate people at Cornell and I am confident that we will continue to come together to make the best of whatever situation we come across in the future.

Good luck to Cups and the rest of next year’s leadership team, I know that you will do amazing things this year! Thank you to the BRBAA council and the rest of the alumni for your never-ending support. Thank you to Marissa and Christian for your help throughout the year; I could not have asked for a better leadership team to get through this strange time with! Finally, thank you band, it has been an honor being your PBM this past year.


Lynn Jeannoute, 2020 Pep Band Manager

Notes from the (Virtual) Office: Introducing Your 2021 Head Manager

Alumni Relations

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My name is Carey Lau, and I’m the 2021 Head Manager for the Big Red Marching Band. I’m a junior Biology & Society major and a Global Health minor in the College of Arts & Sciences. I’m also from Freehold, New Jersey, and I’m a member of the very lovely clarinet section! Outside of the Big Red Marching Band, I’m also a Cornell Chimesmaster (ding!) and work for the Center for Teaching Innovation. I’m so excited to lead the band along with Oliver Matte, our 2021 Drum Major!

Although the band hasn’t seen each other in person for several long months, we’ve managed to stay connected through Zoom and social media. We plan to continue our virtual events this spring, with Zooming with other Ivy bands, HM/DM/PBM Office Hours, speed friending, and more! We’re also planning a virtual music tutoring program and more virtual performances to keep everyone musically engaged. If you haven’t already, follow the BRMB Instagram to stay up to date with information on events like Giving Day and more performances this spring! Later in the semester, we’re planning to host some small in-person, socially distanced rehearsals on Schoellkopf Field with specialized instrument masks, if permitted by Cornell’s COVID-19 guidelines.

This spring, we’re also anticipating the arrival of our new uniforms! Our wonderful uniform chairs are planning a fundraiser for the band involving the old uniforms, so stay tuned for more information and a survey about the fundraiser in the coming weeks.

Additionally, Oliver and I are working with Melissa Montejo ‘23, our Philanthropy Coordinator and Diversity Chair, to better address diversity and inclusion within the band through related training for Bandstaph, EARS discussions for band members, COVID-19 mental health workshops, and more. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to help our band evolve and grow, even as we spend much of our time apart.

This fall, we’ve got our fingers crossed in hopes of traveling to Yale, Harvard, and Penn for away games. If we don’t end up seeing our alumni on the road this year, we hope to see you at Phonathon this fall!

Although we may be spending much of our time apart this semester, I’m so excited for the opportunity to help the band stay connected, welcome new members during Spring Club Fest, and plan lots of exciting new events for our members. Please continue to stay safe and healthy, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our alumni again on the hill! It’s going to be another great year with the BRMB!

-Carey Lau ‘22


Notes from the Ladder: Introducing Your 2021 Drum Major

Alumni Relations

Hey Alumni!oliver2

My name is Oliver Matte, and I have the fortune of being your 2021 Drum Major! I’m a Computer Science major through the College of Engineering, and I’m from Minnesota. I’m also a drummy boi, where I play the tenors! When I’m not doing band related stuff, you can find me on the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team, and this summer I’m going to be interning with Amazon! I am thrilled to get to work with Carey Lau, our Head Manager this year!

The current state of the band is an optimistic one. Though we haven’t been able to have any in-person music activities for a while, we are excited to be trying out some new ideas this semester to allow for more music engagement! We are currently working on music education Zoom events to help people remain involved with music before we’re allowed to meet again.

Once we do have the go-ahead to do more things in person, we also have some plans on how to approach rehearsal. These rehearsals will have to be limited to 10-20 people depending on location per Cornell policy, so we are planning to make our rehearsals this spring more section-based. I plan to work closely with the section leaders to ensure that the new members get to experience a slice of the band experience, as well as start to get familiar with some of our more well-known music and our marching technique. This will hopefully give us a better-prepared class of sophomores next year than there would be otherwise. Of course, these rehearsals would be limited in size, so we’re also planning to give virtual opportunities to get the same sort of practice for those who aren’t able to make it to rehearsal or for those not in Ithaca.

As for the fall, Showcomm and I have started discussing some ideas about how to create a show that allows newer members to learn the music we already know while allowing the older members to focus more of their energy on the newer members. Enter the Folder Show (working title). For this show, we plan to use songs that are already in the folder in order to help ease the transition into marching band for two student classes that will have less BRMB experience as a result of the pandemic. More info will come on what other show ideas we come up with! If the college lets us have a fall season, you can be sure to see us at Yale, Harvard, and Penn!

I am more than excited to get to lead the band this year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!


Oliver Matte, Drum Major, Class of ‘23


Your Spring 2021 Band Notes

Alumni Relations


Picture1My name is Liam Tully, and I am honored to serve as your 2021 Alumni Relations Chair. I am a sophomore in the School of Hotel Administration from Mobile, Alabama, and I am a proud member of the only REAL saxophone section in the Ivy League (and Rank $)! Outside of band, I am an assistant director for Hotel Ezra Cornell as well as in the Hotel Leadership Development Program.

As disheartening as it was to halt all in-person band events last March, return to our homes, and adapt to the reality of a virtual college experience, we have found so many ways to stay connected and deepen our relationships as a band family. I especially want to give shoutouts to Christian Romero ‘21, Marissa Gailitis ‘22, and Lynn Jeannoute ‘21 for working tirelessly to recreate the fall marching band experience as authentically as possible.

It is a pleasure to work alongside Oliver, Carey, and the rest of the Bandstaph to make this year as great for you as we can. We hope to bring back in-person experiences in the year ahead, so we will keep you updated of exciting events to come. If you have any questions or suggestions, I encourage you to reach me at I am looking forward to getting to know many of you over the course of this year, and GO RED!

All the Best,



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

Your Fall 2019 BandNotes

Alumni Relations


Dear Big Red Bands Alumni,

As we celebrate another successful season of the Big Red Bands, we are excited to share some of our best experiences with you. We’ve brought our Big Red spirit to games in New Haven, Philadelphia, and Cambridge as well as Ithaca and are looking forward to finishing out our semester with some final band events. We’d like to thank you for your support during our annual Phonathon and at all of our performances- we couldn’t do all that we do without our alumni!

We’ve loved serving as your 2019 Alumni Relations chairs, and look forward to passing the role down in December.


Julia Klopfer ’20 and Diane Sutyak ’20

And now presenting the only REAL BandNotes in the Ivy League!

Your Guy on the Ladder: Notes from the 2019 Drum Major

Alumni Relations

Hey Alumni!

buckets It’s your guy on the ladder, Buckets, here to tell you a bit about how our marching season has been going!  From Day 1 of recruitment, all hands were on deck as we chalked for the first time in recent memory without any rain washing away our beautiful art.  We auditioned 140 new members, with a high retention rate shown in our 160 member Yale trip and 140 member Harvard trip attendances by the band. All these new members is what has kept me bright-eyed and spirited as I truck-away at finishing my pre-vet requirements and submitting my applications for the next phase of my life.

And now to go into the shows for the year.  Our celebration of 50 years of Women in the Band included a show centered around the power women hold and the impact they have had on our organization.  Keeping in spirit with this, our very own sax section leader Kyra Butler ’20 arranged the pregame song of “Woman” by Kesha. Halftime consisted of “Confident” by Demi Lovato, and an arrangement of “Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” by Aretha Franklin done by ShowComm member Josh Mooney ’20.  The turnout for homecoming was incredible, and we dedicated “Natural Woman” to all of the women in the band the past 50 years and added it to our concert folder. During our trip to Yale, we were blessed with the opportunity to perform in Herald Square. Seeing the empire state building above and conducting in a spot I grew up visiting throughout my life was an experience I will never forget.

The second show we performed was that of the Empire State Show.  The Band takes the audience on a tour around New York State, starting in the Adirondacks with “Welcome to the Jungle,” for pregame.  As halftime approaches, we move to New York City, where we perform an arrangement of “Brooklyn” by the Youngblood Brass Band done by former Head Manager (’14) Alex Settle ’16, and finally come back home to Ithaca with “Bare Necessities.”  We performed this show at Harvard, and showed them who is boss, even during their 100th anniversary of their band’s existence. During the Harvard trip, we performed in Quincy Market, and even with the rain, the Band persisted and sounded great in yet another iconic location, making memories for the books.

Our third show was the Rockin’ Through the Generations show, where the Band took you through 3 generations of people found at Cornell and the songs they grew up listening to.  First we started out for pregame in the 80’s, the generation many of the bandies’ parents grew up in, and performed “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. For halftime, we moved into the millennial era, our recent grads, and performed “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy, and closed with a Gen Z favorite of “Believer” by Imagine Dragons.  Both performances of this show were done at home, so we enlisted help of our Indoor Drumline President and Bell Subsection Leader Elena Fernandez ’20 to put together a front ensemble featuring a drum kit, adding a fun element to the show.

The final show we performed was the Victory Show.  We started the show off with “Victorious” by Panic! at the Disco for pregame.  For halftime, we performed the infamous “Sweet Victory” as seen in the famous Marching Band episode from Spongebob Squarepants.  For the second song of halftime and our senior song, we performed “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox 20. This show was performed in part during our final trip to Penn on November 9th as well as two weeks later, the 23rd, during the last game of the season, followed by the traditional senior concert.

It is hard to believe that the very position I have devoted so much of my life to the past year is soon to come to a close.  Having the honor of being the Drum Major of the ONLY real marching band in the ivy league has given me the greatest of moments I could have never even thought of.  I have gotten nostalgic and sentimental almost every game so far, and am sure I’ll be even more emotional as the season comes to a close.

Thank you Jill, section leaders, show comm, librarians, all of bandstaph, the trumpet section, and most importantly THANK YOU BAND for giving me experiences of a lifetime and for giving me a reason to always be longing and yearning and always returning to my old, Corn-ell.


~ Justin “Buckets” Kozma


Thanks for the Memories: Notes from the 2019 Head Manager

Alumni Relations

HEY ALUMNI!Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 3.13.36 PM

This past year has given me experiences that I will remember for a lifetime! I am a leader in other organizations on Cornell campus, and I can truly say that there is no other group that comes close to encompassing the Cornell pride and spirit as the Big Red Band does at all of our performances.

The start of the season began with new recruitment events as move-in transitioned into a 2-day event with recruiting outside of Barton Hall no longer possible. With the Orientation Steering Committee, we developed a new strategy to recruit members, which brought us nearly 150 students to auditions. With the Nines closed, a new tradition began of holding First Night in Willard Straight Hall with food provided to members by Shortstop Deli and paid for by the Band. Vice President of Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi made a special appearance at our first night of performances and shared his meaningful band experiences.

We had an exciting marching season with multiple exciting and fulfilling travels. Our first trip involved a performance at Herald Square before the Yale football game. Next, we celebrated the 50th Year of Women in the Band at Homecoming where our Show Committee designed The Women Empowerment Show. The following week we attended the Harvard football game in Boston with a concert at the Faneuil Hall. We then had 3 home football games, which included one under the Friday night lights. We travelled to UPenn at the beginning of November and closed the season at our final home game against Columbia where we ended the football season with “Cornell Victorious.” All of our trips this semester had an attendance of approximately 160 band members!

Outside of football games, our first Philanthropy Coordinator Oscar Tendilla offered numerous community service opportunities to band members early in the fall such as building homes through Habitat for Humanity. The Drumline dawned a new, all-black percussion set this season. The Uniform Committee is in the final stages of selecting a new uniform that the Band will wear for the next decade. Our relationship with Neil Adams, Ithaca College Instrument Repairman, was strengthened over the past few months. The Big Red Band is so grateful for Neil’s work on repairing our instruments and approximately 30 instruments that were previously unusable are now in working condition.

Throughout the semester, it was necessary to ensure administration’s expectations of the Band were upheld. Numerous traditions were reformed with our advisor to ensure our new members were given the most positive experiences in an inclusive environment.

I encourage alumni interested in the operations of the Band to reach out to the BRBAA council. Student leaders go to the council for support throughout their time overseeing the Band. Through the BRBAA council, you can voice your opinions and truly ensure that they fulfill their purpose of supporting a student-run Band.

I will always be supporting my successor and cheering on my underclassmen! Being Head Manager of the Big Red Marching Band was the most challenging position I have ever taken on, especially during a time of change on Cornell campus. As a first generation student, the Band gave me a sense of belonging and a home during my first month at Cornell. I will forever remember watching the Band empower female leaders!


Jill Crosby  ’21


Notes from the Pep Band Manager

Alumni Relations


I have had such a blast being Pep Band Manager! I am so grateful to have had this experience and have made so many amazing memories and gained really valuable experience leading such a fun group of people! Being the manager is so rewarding and I love watching how happy our performances make members, athletes, and all of the spectators in the stands!

Summer with the Pep Band was really nice – we played at reunion and the Racker’s Rival charity hockey game. We even had a rehearsal! Then, we got all ready for O-week and recruitment went great! Everywhere was all chalked up and we got over 100 sign-ups! Attendance at rehearsal and events has been outstanding and we have new members from all different years.

I am super happy that hockey season is starting up again. Everyone in the group is so hype and Red/White was SO amazing! The drumline has been performing the Big Red Rave before all of the Men’s and almost all of the Women’s games. We have some awesome AWAY TRIPS to look forward to:

Friday, December 6th: Men’s Hockey vs. Harvard (at Harvard)

Saturday, December 7th: Men’s Hockey vs. Dartmouth (at Dartmouth)

In addition to hockey, of course, this semester we have performed at Women’s and Men’s Soccer, Field Hockey, Volleyball, and Sprint Football. We can’t wait for the wrestling matches later this month! We also played at so many other fun events like Procrastinate at the Straight, ClubFest, and other graduation performances that we got paid for!

Our teams are preforming great this semester. As usual, our Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams are killing it. Men’s Soccer just beat Harvard 6-0 for a huge win. Volleyball is undefeated in the Ivy League, and Field Hockey is ranked top 25 in the country. It is so wonderful that we get the chance to play for these fabulous athletes.

I would like to thank my amazing conductors this semester, Bekah Koutereba and Casandra “Clover” Moisanu for their support, enthusiasm, dedication, and organization. Everyone on the Pep Band board has helped me so much and I am so grateful for their willingness to participate and their love of the Pep Band. It has been so much fun working with the Big Three! I am so happy with all of our members, new and old, and seeing people enjoy Pep Band makes the experience all the more worthwhile.

Although I am sad that I will not be manager anymore in a few months, I have loved this experience and gotten so much out of it and it really has been unforgettable. Alumni, if you are ever around for a game, make sure to stop and say hi! I am so excited to see someone take my place and I wish them the best of luck! Thank you again to the Big Red Bands for letting me have this incredible opportunity!

Natalie Parker ‘20


Section Shenanigans

Alumni Relations

The Flutes have nearly doubled iflutes 2n size in the past two years, becoming the second largest section in the BRMB! With nearly 40 members, we continued many of our old traditions, such as Fancy Flute, flute-upping, and stealing the Tubas’ hats during Power, while also adding new traditions, like Soup Sunday at Flute House and making cat puzzles during movie nights. With our season halfway over, we look forward to decorating our boxers for Penn and amoeba-ing to cope with the chilly fall weather! Thank you to all the alumni that joined us during Homecoming. It was wonderful seeing you all, and we send our flove to those who could not make it. <3



clarinetsThis fall, the Clarinets have continued to excel. We welcomed a group of wonderful new members to our section. We also won the scavenger hunt for the fourth time in five years. In celebration of Halloween, we carved some beautiful pumpkins. We had a super fun game night featuring Jackbox Games and the classic Jumbling Tower. Homecoming was a blast once again, as we reunited with our beloved Olds. Soon, we plan on having a clarinet crafts + Taylor Swift night. And to wrap up the semester, we will have our annual clarinet gift exchange. Stay tuned for more nifty ‘net news.




The Saxes have been working harsaxesd to foster a sense of community and friendship in the section, especially with the freshmen. From outings like apple picking at Indian Creek Farm or simply hosting a viewing of Over the Garden Wall to start off the fall. To make sure saxhouse is a home for everyone in the section we’ve been hosting a chill Wednesday night study session where we hang out and do our homework together. This also makes sure that no matter what there’s always a night where you can see the section even if you have a particularly busy week because in the following week you can come to saxhouse. We’ve also continued with the tradition started by Brian Scaramella ‘18 of rehearsing sax cheers after Thursday night rehearsals and have even gotten to reintroduce Benny Hill to our repertoire and add a brand new cheer, Megolavania from the video game Undertale, written by James Calano ‘22!

Screen Shot 2019-12-06 at 10.42.20 AMThe Trumpets have been gifted an incredible class of new members this fall! We have some fantastic people joining our ranks, and I couldn’t be more proud or excited for the future of the section. Other than looking and sounding perfect all season, the Trumpets have expanded our repertoire for third quarter cheers. We’ve added some new arrangements, such as “Remember Me” arranged by Buckets ‘20, as well as bringing back some oldies like “Tetris” and “Monty Python”. Off the field, we celebrated the Autumn season with a harvest-themed feast while watching the series “Over the Garden Wall,” and we’re all looking forward to our holiday celebration later this semester. Both of these efforts are spearheaded by our lovely Andrew Ardizzone ‘20, the 2019 Hannah Sollecito Trumpet Mom. We had a lot of Trumpets in power this year (as they should be), notably Buckets “Justin” Kozma ‘20 as Drum Major, Spinmaster Peter VandeVort ‘21 as ShowComm Chair, and Mantis ‘22 as the finest warrior the band has ever seen. Thank you all for the best season a sappy senior could imagine!



The Horns have been having an amazing fall semester so far and look forward to our remaining games! We have four wonderful new freshmen: Caroline, Scott, Isaac, and Chris, none of whom like Hawaiian pizza. We will be sad to see our seniors Emma, Kelly, Emily, and Nile march their last show this season, and wish them the best of luck in thefuture! The horns continue to bond over Jackbox games and temporary tattoos on away trips and we now have our very own Horn Hub (Max and Daniel’s apartment) where we host all our wholesome horn events!



Da Bones are thriving amidst the boneschaos of the fall semester. We just saw many of you for the SECOND DOUBLE GRAND BONECOMING and I’m proud to say that we brought the service at The Pines to a damn near standstill. They say that the Ithaca infrastructure is still recovering from having the center of the universe being shifted to it for a weekend. If you couldn’t make it this year, no need to fret, the bones aren’t going anywhere any time soon (thanks to bone inertia) so we’ll catch you next time. This season we’ve welcomed many great freshmen into our ranks, including a large number of tones. Our first couple practices were so well attended that showcomm offered us another rank. Even as our football team…well… performs, the Bones have been killing it on and off the field, and we’re just as excited as ever for the start of hockey season. Peace and Bones!




The Tuba section now plays the tuning note instead of the trumpets. We have a newish website too, so be sure to check it out.







The Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 2.52.27 PMGuard is fully in the swing of things this marching season! We welcomed several new sophomores and one freshman this year, and sometimes we need to use more than 12 practice silks! This season started out with an awesome visit to Yale, and the day before that we performed on the streets of New York City outside Macy’s. Yale was followed by a Homecoming full of friends old and new, where our show celebrated 50 years of women in the marching band! The guard continues to hold the position of best 3rd quarter snack, most recently bringing an electric griddle and making fresh pancakes, which were very well received by all. From nose-booping to pineapples, one could say we have developed some interesting new inside jokes as a section, but tag-yourself memes still make appearances! Mac-n-cheese remains a strong tradition, and we’re so glad to be developing new ones every year. This season’s been a good one so far, and we’ve still got a ways to go! The guard is looking forward to the rest of the semester, and we’re excited for the future.

The Percussion section declines to provide information. They are not cool enough for BandNotes, evidently.

Senior Perspective

Alumni Relations

Being a senior in band feels strange, since this isn’t my first time being in this situation. I knew I was going to join band before I got to Cornell, since I had marched all through high school. But I didn’t know how much fun I would have in the Big Red Marching Band, or how it would come to define my college experience. When I walked up to the band room for auditions in August 2016, I was honestly a bit intimidated. There were so many people I didn’t know, and everyone was overwhelmingly friendly for a shy little freshman like me. But I decided to stick with it through First Night and beyond, and that was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at Cornell. Joining band, and specifically the sax section (the best section in the only real band in the Ivy League), gave me my first community at Cornell, and getting to know upperclassmen was especially helpful for me as I navigated my first few semesters.

The band has gone through a lot of changes in my time at Cornell, and sometimes it’s been hard to watch certain traditions fade away to make room for a new culture. Despite my nostalgia for the way the band used to be, I believe that these changes are truly for the best, and I’m excited to see where the band goes once I leave. What has most impressed me is that, amidst the external pressure for us to move in a different direction, the band internally has stayed intact. Above all, we want to preserve the organization that has given us each so much, and we want to make it as fun and inclusive as we can.

I’ve had (almost) four incredible years with the Big Red Marching Band, and I wouldn’t have wanted to live my Cornell experience any other way. It will be hard to see the band go on without me and my fellow seniors, but it will be equally satisfying to come back as an alum and see it flourish under new leadership. I can’t wait to wear my alumni sweater with pride!

Katie Sadoff ~20