Monthly archives "April 2015"

Conducting Down the Days: Senior Conductors Share Perspectives

Alumni Relations

IMG_0156Hey, band alumni!

It’s me again, Anita Mbogoni ’15. I’m a senior Biology & Society major,and I’m thrilled to be serving a second semester as Pep Band Conductor. Additionally, I served as Alumni Relations Chair and Clarinet Section Leader in 2013.

I could not have imagined a better final semester with the Pep Band! We welcomed a bunch of new members this semester (read: freshmen who realized that they missed band once marching season ended), and added a few new songs and cheers to our repertoire (hint: Taylor Swift and Shakira might grace the pages of our folder these days). As usual, the Pep Band was essential to the intense atmosphere at hockey games – including victories against Harvard and Union (senior night) at home and against Colgate and Union on the road during the regular season – and during the postseason for both the men and women. We also supported our stellar basketball squads, and look forward to traveling with our men’s lacrosse team as they begin their postseason campaign.

Whether we’re supporting the Big Red, playing a quick set on Ho Plaza, or performing Pachelbel’s Canon at a wedding, I’m constantly blown away by the band’s energy, enthusiasm, and spirit. Every conductor probably feels this way, but I have never heard the band sound better than it has sounded this semester. Sadly, I can’t bring the Pep Band with me to grad school, but I know that I’ll treasure the memories of this past year forever. The Pep Band is definitely the part of Cornell that I’ll miss the most. It’s been an awesome ride, and I’m honored that I had the opportunity to spend two fantastic semesters in front of such an amazing group of people. I can’t wait to come back and visit Ithaca as a band alumnus. See you (CU?) all at Homecoming!

-Anita Mbogoni ’15


Hey there, alumni!photo (1)

My name is Paul Jackson, a senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I’ve been the luckiest member of the band since I’ve been spending my last semester at Cornell doing something I’ve always dreamed of doing: conducting the Big Red Pep Band. I was the treasurer for the pep band in 2013 and one of the Sax section leaders in the marching band last year. I had a blast working in those positions, but I don’t think anything quite compares to leading the pep band at events and rehearsals.

I had to hit the ground running this semester, starting off with a hockey road trip to Union and RPI even before classes began. It was quite the rude awakening how out of shape my arms were at the beginning of a semester — working with Anita to cover 4 hockey and 2 basketball games each weekend was quite the workout! Even throughout the semester, the band has wowed me time and time again as they keep putting on a spectacular performance. With new songs like “Game of Thrones” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” introduced to the music repertoire, the band has turned heads in Lynah and Schoellkopf as we show off our fresh new sound while still keeping up with the classics.

I can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been and will always remember moments (both big and small) from this semester. I’ve loved each moment, from playing at Downtown Crossing in Boston before our game at Lynah East to having a blast at the band’s very first tennis match! I will sorely miss it all next year when I head to Princeton next year for grad school. Oh, if only they had a half-decent band…

-Paul Jackson ’15

The Old Michaela is Out and the New Michaela is In!

Alumni Relations

Hey, all! It’s me again—Michaela Olson, your 2014 and 2015 drum major! Emily has gone over all of our wonderful spring events in her article, and I went over all of the past fall in my last article, so I’ll keep this one (fairly) brief. As a refresher, I’m formerly of the trumpet section (and still spend a lot of time there for pep band!) and currently studying Materials Science Engineering. The band has been plenty busy with our regular spring activities (spring concert, Cornell Days) as well as an addition of sesqui-stuff (and I’ve been plenty busy with learning how to spell sesquicentennial) to commemorate Cornell’s 150th anniversary. Charter Day weekend is coming soon, and I’m excited for the band to continue to be a part of the big celebration.

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Head(Manage)ing on an Adventure: Spring Semester 2015

Alumni Relations

emily Hey everyone! My name is Emily Isenstein and I couldn’t be more thrilled to serve as theBig Red Marching Band’s Head Manager in 2015! As a flute in Marching Band and a horn in Pep Band, this organization has sure kept me busy over the last few years, and I can’t wait to give back to the group of people that has given me a family and a home here at Cornell. After serving as Fundraising Chair and Treasurer these last two years, I have a pretty good idea of how things operate, but I’m sure this year will be quite the adventure!

In March we eased the Band back into things with our annual appearance at Hotel Ezra Cornell, where we help commence the entirely student-run program at the Statler. At the end of the month, I was able to work with Pep Band Manager Henry to put on the Band’s first ever live-streamed concert for Cornell’s inaugural Giving Day! We spent a lot of time figuring out how set up the cameras, but the day was a roaring success and we managed to raise over $26,000 for the Band in a mere 24 hours! Thank you again to everyone who supported us!

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Managing Pep: The Good, The Bad, The Blizzards

Alumni Relations

Hello Beloved Alumni!ewww

My name is Henry Smith but everyone in band calls me Pinto! I am delighted to be the 2015 Pep Band Manager. A little about me, I’m a sophomore from the Boston area who is studying Industrial and Labor Relations. I also play trumpet in both marching and pep band. I’ve fallen in love with both but my love of hockey makes Pep Band just that much better. Coming into the manager position as a sophomore has its challenges but the band has been incredibly awesome on trips, at home and just in general. I have certainly been greatly helped by two awesome senior conductors, Anita Mbogoni ’15 (in her second straight conducting semester) and Paul Jackson ’15. They have been phenomenal in helping me where my youth leaves gaps and extremely cooperative in incorporating some of my ideas.

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Promoting the Band in a New Way

Alumni Relations

Hi All! This past year, a collaboration was born between two Publicity Chairs and a Historian to create an informational, promotional video for the Big Red Marching Band! Sarah Palmer ’17, Julia Cole ’17, and myself created this video as a way to give potential bandies a better understanding of what it means to JOIN BAND! As Publicity Chairs, Julia and I both encountered several common questions among prefreshmen and transfers alike. Things like … How is the time commitment? Do I need my own instrument? Why should I join band? Can I learn a new instrument? When are rehearsals? And so on.  Together with Sarah, we wanted to create something to direct attention, as well as to answer some of these questions.

Throughout the Fall Semester we gathered footage of the band at games, rehearsals, and in candid. Together with more formal interviews, we brought the video together this semester. We hoped to get perspectives from members from various sections and years in the band to create a general understanding of what it means to be a BRMB member! There were definitely struggles throughout the journey, but the end product is amazing! Take a look for yourself here:

We are very proud of our work and we hope the band will be able to use this video to attract more band members for many years to come! We hope you all enjoy it too.


Angie Estevez Prada ’17

Girls Just Want to Have FUNds: Pink the Rink Edition

Alumni Relations

Hello Everyone!

Sarah Palmer (Pefundraising2015p Band Fundraising Co-Chair) here to tell you the incredible tale of the band who dreamed, and succeeded, at defeating a hockey team.

The Pep Band stepped out of the shadowy section A and onto the ice for the annual Pink the Rink competition. Pink the Rink is an effort to raise money and awareness for the battle against breast cancer. The hockey team sponsors the event to help the student body get involved. Elizabeth Martinson (The Other Co-Chair) and I, both came to the realizations that as an integral part of the Lynah experience the Pep Band should make their presence known. We wanted to show how the pep band cares about Lynah and the important fight against a deadly disease. The Pink the Rink website clearly displays who has donated and how they compare to the others. The Pep Band was making a poor showing, several sororities were above us; it was embarrassing. Originally Liz and I simply asked the band to follow the links in our sassy emails to donate. We told them the prizes from winning the competition and hoped they would take the initiative. Soon we realized if we really wanted to make a difference we had to up the ante. We spoke to the conductors and secured a warm-up set for the Friday game. This formed another layer of competition between the sections, for a chance to pick three songs.

Pitting the sections against each other was the holy grail of fundraising ideas. Simultaneously we were tapping into the bands pride in the Pep Band, and their particular section. Like Monty Python and his knights the sections threw themselves into the noble quest. Liz and I made sure that the band was very aware of the standings of their section. Leaders were congratulated. Those who dawdled were playful taunted. “Your mothers are hamsters and your fathers smell of elderberries.” Not really, but we did have to overcome some French Canadians to win. Donations came in waves, usually following an email. Liz did a fantastic job of logging all the funds as they came in. The Pep band came out and represented our organization. Everyone who went on the fundraiser website could see the Pep Band proudly displayed. The competition got the bands blood flowing, but it was the overall display of altruism that won the day. This disease has affected many people and they converted their pain into donations for the cause. Liz and I never imagined that in a few days we would overtake most of the other organizations. Even once we passed them the Hockey Team still seemed like an impossible goal. They were a furry white tail in the distance, but in a flash this tortoise of a pep band overtook
them and crossed the finish line.

Liz and I are proud that as fundraising chairs for Spring 2015 we were able to bring the band into the Pink the Rink fundraiser and assert the band’s place in the Lynah Faithful.

-Sarah Palmer ’17