Latest News

Introducing the New Alumni Association Officers

Alumni Relations

At the 2014 Homecoming meeting of the Big Red Bands Alumni Association, the following slate of officers for 2015-2016 was approved:

Chair: Lowell Frank ’99, ’03
Vice Chair: Rosemarie Potocky ’06
Treasurer: Brian Adelman ’09
Secretary: Scott Pesner ’87
Resource Chair: Nick Janiga ’00
Events Coordinators: Adam Drenkard ’11 and Lauren Mangano ’11

Four at-large Advisory Council members will be appointed. Please contact Lowell Frank if you are interested.

Describing this Swinging, Magical, Incredible(s) Season of Love

Alumni Relations

Hail to thee, our Alma Mater!

Hey, all!

Michaela here, your 2014 (and, as recently determined, 2015!) drum major. This fall was such an incredible season for the Big Red Marching Band! As it is Cornell’s sesquicentennial, the band has been extra busy with a bunch of extra events to celebrate our home on the hill. Certainly, the season has been a memorable one! First Night started off with an incredible amount of energy (seriously, I don’t think I ever stopped smiling), and was a dynamic welcome to the wonderful Class of 2018!

Our first road trip of the year took us to NYC to play in an event for the sesquicentennial. The band made a powerful appearance at the Lincoln Center, parading into the theater and blasting Davy and My Old Cornell for all to hear. The show also featured the Glee Club, a rather dapper Ezra Cornell and A.D. White, and the real star of the show (other than the band, of course): a miniature Hot Truck that drove across the stage! Along with that, the band made a guest appearance on the Today Show and got to see the Empire State Building lit up red and white for Cornell. Over all, a rather successful trip to the city!

drum majors

Too many drum majors, just one mace!

The first field show of the year was the Broadway show. Pregame featured memorable tunes from West Side Story, while halftime resounded with songs from In the Heights and Rent. The band then took the show on the road, performing it a second time at a rainy day at Harvard (but certainly, we didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits!). The night before the Harvard game, the band played a concert in front of Quincy Market—something that was extra special for me as someone who grew up just outside of Boston and dined at Quincy Market many times as a child!

The second show was performed at homecoming. Filled with dazzling trumpet solos, the jazz show was a huge hit! Georgia on my Mind was one of my favorite songs of the year, and the absolute wall of sound it created during pregame was a huge hit with the alumni. Halftime continued with It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing), followed by a crowd favorite, Emerald Eyes. The band finished the show with creating a giant 150 on the field in honor of the sesquicentennial, and all of the alumni soloists joining in created an absolutely amazing sound!

When the band returned from Brown, they enchanted the audience with the magic show, which featured Fantasia’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, themes from Harry Potter and Night on Bald Mountain. This show definitely contained the most challenging music of the year, but the band pulled it off with amazing flair! The final show of the year was the Pixar show, opening with driving music from The Incredibles, then slowing down with You’ve Got A Friend in Me and music from Cars.

This year also contained the memorable Sy Katz parade through the streets of New York City. With the melodies of Cornell Victorious still echoing in the air form the first (and, sadly, only) win of the season against Columbia, the band quickly made its way into the heart of the city to parade and concert in front of the Cornell Club. Standing atop that (extra) tall ladder and seeing all of the people there to watch is something I’ll never forget.

This whole year has been an absolute thrill for me. Life atop the ladder is even more incredible than I ever imagined, and I am beyond honored and thrilled that I’ll be doing this for another year. I know the season hasn’t even quite ended yet, but I’m already so excited to welcome the Class of 2019 (don’t worry Class of 2018—you guys will always be dear to my heart as well) into this wonderful family and only REAL marching band in the Ivy League!

-Michaela Olson ’16

Current students and Alums storm the field at this year’s Homecoming performance of Emerald Eyes!

Broadway show on the road at Hahvahd!

Managing Pep: Any Way You Want It

Alumni Relations

michelleHey everyone! I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by, it seems like just yesterday I sat on Skype for a few hours’ worth of elections. I’ve had an incredible experience getting to know lots of different members of the band and have been extremely fortunate to work with four awesome conductors throughout the year, with Anita Mbogoni ’15 and Victoria Dye ’16 conducting us this fall! The fall semester hasn’t been exceptionally busy for the Pep Band due to Marching Band, but we definitely have had a few unique events. We played two songs for a wedding that took place at the farmer’s market and we also took over for the marching band at the football game at Colgate! Throughout the semester, we also supported the women’s field hockey and volleyball teams, the men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the men’s and women’s hockey teams. We’ve been fortunate enough to gain a few new members this fall and held our annual “Hockey 101” event to teach the new members the traditions of Lynah. We had a really exciting homecoming weekend since the Red/White hockey game fell immediately following the football game. We were glad to have our alums in the white band (white band is far superior), thanks so much for coming out! Our only two road trips this fall were to Colgate for football and to Madison Square Garden for Cornell versus Penn State hockey in the Frozen Apple game on November 29th.  Our social chairs also planned our first ever Pep Band Board Game Bash, where we all brought board games to play together and had snacks, which proved to be a great success! We also plan to co-host a charity skate event with the men’s and women’s hockey teams on December 12th. Elections for new leadership will take place on December 7th and I look forward to working with the newly elected manager for 2015. In 2015, the pep band will travel to Union and RPI on January 16 and 17, to Dartmouth and Harvard on February 14/15 and to Brown/Yale on February 27 and 28. We look forward to seeing you! I wanted to just end by thanking Alex and Michaela for being so fantastic to work with this year, I’m happy that the bands have been able work so closely and easily together! I’ve really had a great experience and I appreciate everything that the Big Red Pep Band and Marching Bands have done for me. Good luck to everyone next year!

— Michelle Yanda ’15, Pep Band Manager ‘14

Anita and Victoria – Pep Band Conductors

Alumni Relations

Hello Big Red Bands alumni! My name is Anita Mbogoni ’15, I’m a senior Biology & Society major, and this semester I’ve had the great honor of co-conducting the Pep Band. Some of you may remember me from last year, wanitahen I served as co-Alumni Relations Chair, and as Clarinet Section Leader. It was great to see so many of you at Red/White, and at the Frozen Apple hockey game at Madison Square Garden!

The Pep Band has sounded wonderful this semester! Though I once thought that I would be more rehearsal-oriented, I’ve come to look forward to our many events even more than I look forward to Mondays at 4:45 in the band room. The high level of energy – and the HUUUUGE wall of sound – that the band puts forth for the crowd is absolutely amazing, whether we’re playing at a Sunday morning field hockey game, a mid-week basketball contest (we won our home opener!), or in Lynah on a Friday night.

I’m very involved on campus, but nothing else is quite as fun, exciting, and rewarding as conducting the Pep Band has been this semester. As my time at Cornell comes to an end (less than 180 days until Commencement… scary), I know that I’ll have fond memories of my time in the Big Red Pep Band for many years to come.

-Anita Mbogoni ’15

Hey alumni! My name is Victoria Dye, I’m a Computer Science major in the class of 2016, and I’m lucky enough to be the other (younger) half of this semester’s pair of pep band conductors! As with many experiences in the band, nothing quite prepared me for the surprises it had in store for this semester. In the midst of meeting excited new members and getting ready for the start of hockey season, we found ourselves travelling to Colgate to play for a varsity football game, having more than 20 past conductors at the homecoming Red/White hockey game, and even playing at a wedding!

Maintaining our reputation as the best pep band around has been no easy task, but the band has, of course, been up to it. This semester, along with attending a wider variety of events, we’ve seen a variety folder additions, from new arrangements like “Crazy in Love” and “Come On Eileen” to revisiting old songs like “Sing Sing Sing.” No matter how difficult our music and rehearsals get, I’m constantly impressed with the band’s ability to put together a performance that gets everyone excited, no matter the event. That characteristic is what sets us apart from other (lesser) pep bands – we always know how to put on a show and, whether I’m waving victoriamy arms or playing as loudly energetically as possible on my trumpet, I’m proud of the role I play in that.

From the first time I sat out and listened to the pep band (it was the Alma Mater before Senior Night hockey), I have never gotten tired of hearing this band play. I’ve enjoyed my time as conductor immensely – not only do I get to listen to the band, but I get to share my enjoyment of what is probably the most fun you can have at Cornell with current members and alumni alike. More than anything, though, I look forward to watching and hearing the band continue to improve and always enjoy itself, and I hope you’ll all be there to watch it with me.

-Victoria Dye ’16

 The Band plays Halloween Medley on Halloween!


Around the Band: Section Shenanigans Part 2

Alumni Relations

The Big Red Flutes had another great season! One new thing we tried this year is Fall Fancy Flute. During an early September Tuesday rehearsal, the flutes dressed up in their best attire (formal dresses and suits) andflutes marched the rehearsal like nothing was different. (What can I say, we are super classy.) Musically, we had important roles in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and we even had a “solo” part for us in “The Incredibles.” Ok, we all played the solo because why would we deny the band and audience any flute sound? Finally, in order to celebrate the sesquicentennial at the last home game we did 150 flute ups! It was a full band effort, but we made it! Thanks for a great year!


The Saxes have had an awesome season. This year we had a HUGE freshmen class of more than 20 new saxes!  Additionally, we have introduced two new cheers into ousaxesr repertoire: Game of Thrones (Anita Mbogoni ’15) and Seize the Day (Courtney Stokes, PhD).  This has also been the season of many sax solis.  In the Broadway show, the saxes were featured in “Seasons of Love”, and in the Pixar show, Ben Siper (’17) and Sergio Preciado (’17) blew the audience away with an awesome duet in “The Incredibles”.  Thanks for an amazing season saxes!


The Clarinets had another amazing season. We got an awesome class of freshman (plus a junior transfer) who created a new tradition of all ordering strawberry smoothies after Thursday rehearsals from Libe Cafe, much to the bewilderment of the baristas. We’ve continuclarinetsed our long-standing traditions of laying down during Throwdown and Move 99 while parading, while also formalizing a few new ones, most notably: “Scatter-9” during Firebird and the “Swag-Surf” while parading. All in all, we had a great year full of shenanigans, laughter, and glazed ho’s!


2014 was a fantastic year for the only REAL Horn section in the Ivy League. We graduated our horn mommas of two years, but we’ve been under the strong leadership of our two horn dads, or “manmoms” as they are commonly known. This year, we have welcomed three freshmen and a junior transfer (the third straight year we’ve added a transfer studhornsent!) and they have all been fantastic additions to our horn family. We’re also proud to say that we are one of the best represented sections at pep band, as almost every single one of our members is active in the Big Red Pep Band. Whether it’s spontaneously creating new parade moves every game day, losing our voices at Lynah, pickle dancing or laughing at our absurd jokes, the horns will continue having wacky, yet memorable adventures with our band friends.

It was another exciting year for Da Bones of the BRMB! We were happy to welbonescome 10 new bones (and tones) to the section in August. Among them was the long awaited appearance of Chopper! We continued traditions like Talk like a Pirate Day, Night of the Unknown Bone and the weather during Hawaii 5-0 was actually a bit chilly.  Additionally, we’ve announced the relocation of Bonehouse. After 10 years in the current Bonehouse, we’re look forward to a fresh start at our new house, as well as the rest of the exciting events in the coming year.

The Big Red Tubae had an excellent 2014! We started the year with six new members (five freshmen and a junior transfer), making us quite possibly bigger (and uglier) than ever before. With the record growth in the past couple years, Rank ? was even reinstated, so that the tubae once again form ranks Hammer and Sickletubas! Many thanks to seniors Nate Floro and Kevin Mollica, who guided us through the trials and tribulations of 2014, and will be sorely missed. Looking to the future, Istvan Burbank ’17 is taking the reins as Liaison, and we couldn’t be more excited for next season!



The Trumpet Section has continued to be as loud and proud as ever. We were lucky to have a great group of new members join our ranks this season, bringing great new energy to the section! We held up our tradition of excellent performance on the field. This year our soloists included Melissa Harbert ’15, Schwegger Htrumpetsolmes ’15, Tim “Big Time” Coda ’16, Luigi Widom ’16, and Pinto Smith ’17. The Trumpets are also proud to have one of our own start her second term as Drum Major; congrats Michaela!

The Guard had a great season!


The Drum Line is still too cool to be in Band Notes!

drummers II


Freshmen and Seniors Share

Alumni Relations


We asked freshmen to share why they stayed with the band, and if they had any favorite traditions. Here’s what they had to say!

Well, I found the band when you guys hounded me on move-in day (so I guess you all found me?) and decided to stay because it quickly became my home. With the Big Red Band, I am unafraid of being myself and am surrounded by genuine friends who care about each other. I love meeting everyone, getting creative, and just chillin’. It really brings the whole band together! Marching band is and forever will be a passion of mine!

– Stephanie, Guard

I decided to stay in the Big Red Marching band due to the great atmosphere that it provided. On First Night, I decided that the band was the place to be. My favorite band tradition was meeting Josh.

– Erick, Tuba

During orientation week the band covered campus with “JOIN BAND! FREE HUGS! 200 INSTANT FRIENDS!” chalkings. Those chalkings weren’t kidding! Being a part of the Big Red Marching Band means joining a community of crazy-friendly-happy people. What’s not to love?

– Kristen, Flute

Marching band has become really important to me because it is a family away from home. Although I did not initially intend on joining, I can assure you it was the best decision I have made since coming to Cornell. I have found a place that makes me feel like I belong here.

– Grey, Bone

I decided to stay in the Big Red Marching band because of all the great music we get to play, but more importantly, I stayed because all of the people in my section (and in band in general) are so amazing and supportive! Ellen Patridge is the best!!!

– Kari, Percussion

I was originally unsure about doing marching band, but First Night and the awesome people of the trumpet section changed my mind. Oh and music and band are pretty cool, too. It’s hard to choose a single favorite tradition…. the parading traditions are the best (BRING THE NOISE).

- Mary, Trumpet


We asked seniors what thing they will miss the most, and if they have any favorite memories. We got some amazing responses!

One thing I’ll miss? The people. Always having friends around to have fun with not just in rehearsal, but for any activity. I feel that people in the band make any activity, regardless of what it is, about ten times more fun. My favorite memories? One of the two that I can think of are playing at the Montreal Alouettes game my junior year. It was my first time in Canada, and we performed maybe the best we ever have. The other was the last game my junior year, Jeff Mathew’s final game. Penn(SUCKS) had come back to make it 42-41 with a minute left, but on the extra point, the band screamed at the top of our lungs “SLIP AND DIE” and we blocked it, and we won the game.

–Andrew, Horn

More than anything else, I will miss the people I’ve met through the BRMB. For me, playing music is only a tiny part of what band is; the friends I have made and kept through my four years are something so much bigger than any show we could march. In particular, I will miss the Big Red Tubae, the best (and ugliest) friends anyone could ever have.

– Nate, Tuba

I’ll miss my trumpet family! We’ve all gotten to be really close so it’ll definitely be hard to be away. Love em!

– Michelle, Trumpet

Important Homecoming Times

Alumni Relations

Greetings Everyone!

Homecoming is only two days away! Here are some fun band events on the big day which alumni are very welcome to attend and participate in!

Friday, October 17th

Big Red Bands Alumni Association Annual Meeting

  • Where: Kaplan Family Room, Bartels Hall (above the basketball court)
  • When: 3:30 – 4:45 PM
  • What: Band updates, alumni association updates, approval of the budget, and election of new officers

Saturday, October 18th

  • 10:30 am – Morning rehearsal at Alumni Field. Join us in practicing this year’s Homecoming song “Emerald Eyes.” Instruments and music folders can be picked up at the Fischell Band Center.
  • 12:30 pm – The band parades our team from the Statler.
  • 1:05 pm – The band leaves for the Ho Plaza parade.
  •  2:00 pm – Tailgate Concert.

Hope to see you all there!

Anjum & Emily.

Homecoming Music

Alumni Relations

Hello All!

Homecoming is just a week away and we are as excited as you are for both Football and Red-White Hockey! If you plan on playing music with the band, you can find the sheet music for most of our songs at this link:

The song for this year’s Homecoming is “Emerald Eyes.” Fun fact: this year marks the song’s 30th anniversary!

We are all extremely enthusiastic to welcome our Big Red Marching Band Family and can’t wait to meet you. Till then, happy practicing!

Anjum & Emily.

Homecoming Football Tickets

Alumni Relations

Breaking News!

Cornell is offering discount Homecoming football tickets to alumni this year! To purchase your tickets, just follow the link below:

We are also arranging the reservation of a few rows in the stands behind the band for our marching band alumni so please come and join us, regardless of what the seats on your tickets are. As a reminder, please be sure to register yourselves for our Homecoming Tailgate in the official email we sent out if you haven’t done so already. We want to organize this special Sesquicentennial Homecoming to bring the utmost enjoyment to our alumni!


Anjum and Emily.



Book Your Hotel for Homecoming 2014 Now!

Alumni Relations

Welcome to Fall 2014 and a new semester of band-filled fun and excitement!

Recruitment and First Night were a complete success and may I say on behalf of all the previous years’ band members how thrilled we are at the turnout we received! The Big Red Marching Band is currently busy with Band Camp and working hard to give a show-stopping performance at this season’s Homecoming, scheduled for the weekend of October 17-18, 2014. Homecoming is one of Ithaca’s most jam-packed times of the year as throngs of Cornell alumni, friends, and family make a beeline for the campus. Roads are blocked, hotels reach maximum capacity, and many times there is unfortunately no place for people to spend the night.

To avoid such a mishap, our Big Red Bands Alumni Association Events Coordinator Kathryn Abbott has reserved a block of rooms for Homecoming 2014 at the Fairfield Inn (359 Elmira Rd., Ithaca, NY). If you plan on coming, please make a reservation by 4:00 pm on September 19, 2014 so as get the group rate. We have 20 rooms total – 5 standard king rooms, and 15 standard queen rooms, both having a rate of $249/night. The block is 2 nights, with check-in on Friday, October 17 at 3:00 pm and checkout on Sunday, October 19 by 11:00 am. All room rates are subject to local sales tax and occupancy taxes, and individuals are responsible for making and paying for their own reservation. The hotel does not have any roll-away beds available.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please email Kathryn Abbott at You are of course, also very welcome to email the Alumni Relations Chairs, Anjum and Emily (see the “Governance” tab on the top left corner for our email addresses).  We are hoping to see MOST, if not ALL, of our Big Red Band family at this year’s Homecoming!

Looking Forward to the Fall

Alumni Relations

Reunion was a blast! It was so good to meet those of you who came up to Ithaca for the weekend as well as hear your stories from thDSC_1371e band in the past.

Here are a couple of our favorite pictures from the luncheon:

If you could not make it up for reunion, never fear. The band has a busy fall planned and we will be playing in several locations!

The Big Red  Bands Coming Soon to a City Near You!

Sesquicentennial Event in NYC, 9/13: SSSSH! The band will be participating in the New York City sesquicentennial event at Jazz at Lincoln Center, but it’s a secret so don’t tell non-band alumni. If you’re interested in attending, the evening event is sold out, but you can register for the afternoon event here.

Quincy Market Concert and Harvard Game 10/10 -10/11: We will also be playing a concert at Quincy Market Friday evening at 7:00 pm. The band will of course be playing at halftime and a post-game concert at the Harvard game. Kickoff is at 1pm on Saturday. If you are in the area come check us out.





Homecoming,10/17-10/18: It’s a special Homecoming this year as we celebrate the sesquicentennial in Ithaca We’ll start with a tailgate on the Katz-Vanneman Plaza right outside of the Fischell Band Center beginning at noon.(register below) Then join us for a halftime celebration (we’ll be performing “Emerald Eyes.”) Additionally, the stars have aligned and also that evening is the Red/White hockey exhibition. Football and Hockey, what more could you ask for?

Register Here l See Who’s Coming

We have also reserved a room block for band alumni, which will be available for reservations through 9/16. For more information, click here.

Brown Game 10/25: The band will be in the Providence area for the Brown football game the weekend of October 25th. Kickoff will be at 12:30 pm.

Columbia and Sy Katz Parade, 11/15: The band will travel back to New York Columbia football game and the Sy Katz Parade. Football kickoff will be 12:30 pm and the parade will start around 5:00 pm at Rockefeller Center and work its way down to the Cornell Club-New York. The parade is always a great time and will be even greater with our alumni in attendance!

Frozen Apple at Madison Square Garden. 11/29: Last but not least, the pep band will be traveling to NYC as Cornell takes on Penn State in hockey game! The puck will drop at 8:00 pm!

For more photos and information and updates about the bands please check out the Big Red Bands Facebook page.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

We hope to see you at one (if not all) of these events sometime this fall!

Emily and Anjum

Greetings from your 2014 Alumni Relations Chairs

Mike Stuhlmiller

emily-anjum-topWell, we survived the “Polar Vortex” and the “100 Year Winter.” We may have spent a good portion of the semester huddled up in Lynah but never fear; we can finally hear birds and detect no snow, for now. In case you needed another sign that spring was here, it is time for the spring edition of Band Notes! Allow us to introduce ourselves: Read More →