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Conducting the Night Away: Fall 2015 Conductors Share

Alumni Relations

Hey guys! 12118779_927608400644585_6470805701779054176_nI’m Vincent, one of the pep band conductors this fall. This semester’s been pretty fantastic in terms of events. We were asked to play a wedding, with the ever romantic set of “Buddy Holly,” “The Muppets,” and “I Want You Back.” We also got to play Davy in 3 at sprint football, in an exciting blowout against Princeton.

The highlight of this semester for me personally was Student Arrangers’ Day. We wanted to show off the talent of the members of the pep band, while giving said members a chance to hear their arrangements played in real life. We played twelve submissions, and so far have added two to the folder and are about to add a third. This will serve to keep the folder fresh and varied. The Day was a resounding success, and in a post event survey we sent out, every single person who responded said they would do it again in the future. That result is probably what I am most proud of from that day. We were able to learn a lot from running the event, and I’m certain thatif it’s done again in the future, it will be even better and more productive.

We will once again be travelling to Madison Square Garden over Thanksgiving break to play for Red Hot Hockey. The last time we faced BU there it was a very close and incredibly tense game until the last seconds. Additionally, the Lynah Faithful are even more intense when they’re filling the Garden. This event is sure to be a memorable one for the band, and I cannot wait to lead them through it.

I’m really pleased with how this semester has turned out for the band. My co-conductor Emily and I have rather complimentary tastes, so rehearsals have been inherently varied from the beginning. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I look forward to seeing what the band can still do before the end of the semester.

-Vincent Sheppard ’17


Hi Alumni!12105972_927623073976451_7281211925295170536_n

I am Emily, one of the Fall 2015 pep band conductors! You may recognize me from Band Notes last year because I was the one sending emails as Alumni Relations Chair. This year, I am actually writing an article that is more than just an introduction.

The fall has been going great so far! We have had a wide variety of sports and other events. Over the summer we were able to help out a local charity, Franziska Racker Center, by playing at an exhibition game with Cornell celebrities like Ben Scrivens ’10 and Joe Nieuwendyk ’88. We had a midnight debut at Big Red Blowout, played at two weddings, and most recently were played for a distinguished alum veteran Frederick Crow for Veteran’s Day.

Red/White this year did not fall on Homecoming, so we missed some of you, but the night was still a blast. When the marching band traveled to Princeton, we had a skeleton band, in multiple senses of the word (instrumentation and Halloween Hockey) and provided lots of spooky cheer and energy for Lynah.

The men’s team is looking pretty good this year. The band has played for shutouts (4-0 against Niagara), blowouts (5-1 against Colgate), and third period thrillers (4-3 against Princeton). We hope to see you there as Cornell takes on a classic rival, BU, at MSG. We should be in for an exciting game as well as an exciting spring!

As Vincent mentioned, we attempted the first ever Student Arrangers’ Day. In addition to this being a very fun, intense two hours of sight reading and conducting, we have play new arrangements and have some in the works that bring the BRPB into the 21st century while keeping some of our more quirky roots.

We have a ton of new members this semester, both from the marching band as well as pep band only. One fun thing we did was having a duct tape folder making party and ice cream social. In addition to being delicious and a good way to meet each other, most members now have duct tape folder that will survive the Ithaca winter, as well as the Ithaca spring, fall and summer.

Conducting the pep band this semester has been a wonderful, at times challenging, experience and a great way to give back to the band my senior fall! I look forward to finishing the semester strong with Vincent, and having a spectacular spring.

Emily Miller ‘16


Conductors Past and Present!


Section Shenanigans

Alumni Relations

Oh, we are the Trumpets; we’ve had a great year/Trumpets Homecoming 2015 We played Spanish Flea and our other cool cheers/ But only so much can be fit in this song And what we have to say will be a bit long…er: The loudest and proudest section in the BRMB has added a number of talented new members to its ranks! This year’s field shows included solos performed by Tim “Big Time” Coda ’16, Luigi Widom ’16, Pinto Smith ’17, and Chris Sanchez ’19. Under the leadership of Drum Major Michaela Olson ’16 and Pep Band Manager Pinto Smith ’17 (both members of the Big Red Trumpet Section), the Big Red Bands have experienced an exciting 2015 season. We’re looking forward to continuing our tradition of pride and excellence in 2016!


  12186590_891430650952793_6344380049654656248_o The Big Red Horns saw an explosion of new members with 6 freshmen and 1 sophomore joining our rank(s). Our numbers went up 16, warranting the creation of Rank * (star)!! As section leaders this was extremely exciting! We also ran into the issue of not having enough instruments for the first few weeks, but a big Thank You to one of our lovely alums Sam Dean for loaning us her personal horn! Thank you to our Alumni for their continued support and (baked goods)! And Thank you to all of horn section for their continued dedication to the BRMB” Flutes

    The Big Red Flutes had a great season! We had a great group of active new members this season, and can’t wait to continue having them around. We continued the tradition of Fall Fancy Flute during rehearsal towards the beginning of the season, and we all looked fabulous. With parading, we have officially continued with the addition of the ripple at the end of the cadence. Overall, it was another great season filled with flove (flute-love) and fun!



The Big Red Tubae have had a great 2015 season! We gained three freshman, a junior transfer, and a sophomore, filling ranks Hammer and Sickle. This year the power bottoms not only sounded great, but pinwheeled and gate turned too! Many thanks to the seniors, Josh Reichler, Jordan Silver, Graham Bastian, Marek Kwaśnica, and T$. And now announcing your 2016 Fearless Leader, Lewis Haber!

The guard has had an amazing Fall marching season! This year we welcomed 4 freshmen students as well as one sophomore transfer. This has been a season of growth and hard work for the colorguard. We worked with Showcomm to put more drill in our shows, and had a lot of fun marching through the band during Star Wars! During the four shows of this season we have also incorporated a swing flag solo by Rachel Langley, ’16, a swing flag duet by Amanda Morrison ’17 and Toni Sassano, ’19, a short dance routine, and two rifle routines. Our dedicated members have had fantastic attendance at morning rehearsal and music rehearsals. We also have brand new show silks to show off! But on top of our hard work inside and outside of band, we still know how to have a lot of fun! IMG_20150919_174322 

Da Bones are having a great year! We welcomed 12 new members to the section. In fact, there were so many new tones that we got two new instruments this year – Purity and Chaos. As part of the sci-fi show, we marched Back to the Future arranged by bone alum, Beaker (’94). Keeping the arranger tradition alive, a current underbone worked on a new cheersheet, which debuted at Red/White Hockey and has become a favorite for starting goalie Mitch Gillam. Outside rehearsal and games, we’re enjoying the new house on University Ave, with its porches and awesome attic. Despite the new location, we continue to recognize time honored traditions like Hawaii 5-0, Guy Fawkes Day, Night of the Unknown Bone, and bone piling. As the season ends, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this year’s bone apparel, Bone mittens, and looking forward to Grand Bonecoming next year. saxpyr2015

The Saxes have had the best season. We had an amazing, dedicated crop of freshmen, including enough tenors to fill up rank & and beyond! In addition, our Bari corps grew, and we have finally acquired a new Pickles (Cucumber? We’re working on it.). We also took ARCH 1102: Advanced Sax Pyramiding to finally pull off the sax coliseum, and then took to Montreal and Buffalo in some exciting games before thousands of people! Through games, events, and looong bus rides, the sax section has spawned what are unequivocally the dankest of memes (and memers) in the band. Finally, we are proud to have our co-section leader, Sergio Preciado ’17, as the new drum major for 2016!


12022498_1060048980671864_5714167681649612431_oThe Clarinets had a fantastic season! We welcomed an impressive class of 11 freshman plus one sophomore transfer who augmented the spamming of dank memes in the GroupMe. We started out the season strong by winning the Scavenger Hunt, although we didn’t catch a live squirrel (goal for next year?). We also added a few new events to our calendar like pumpkin carving and laser tag as well as introduce the new “Move JB” during parading. Overall, we had an amazing year filled with two-hour lunches, toot tickling, and lots and lots of fun!! The end of the season also ends our two year reign as section leaders and we just wanted to thank the current and past section members for their phenomenal support. It’s been our absolute honor and privilege to lead the section for the past two years.

  The Drumline abstains from BandNotes. But will still managed to get a picture of them. 12194807_891429920952866_9010340934925627944_o

Senior Perspectives: Thank You Band

Alumni Relations

12080319_883881781707680_8760907732699337326_oWhen I came into band as a transfer student, I could not imagine what I would gain over these past 3 years. Not only have I improved as a musician but I have also gained perspective of who I am. Band has become a therapeutic thing for me, where I can escape the stresses of the intensiveness of Cornell. I can just be myself in the company of the best friends a person could need. Leaving this organization is the hardest part about graduating. I will miss the raw school spirit, the silly traditions, and Pudgies pizza. However, I will always have the friendships I have built. Thank you Big Red Marching Band members and alumni, keep being you.

-Katie Shaw ’16


As a band senior, it’s funny to look back to the beginning of freshman year and think that I almost didn’t join band. After coming from a competitive high school marching band and winter guard, I was ready to look into new activities in college and leave my marching days behind. Fortunately, I ran into someone who was going to auditions and ended up going with him, and I’m so glad I did! Marching band has been the definitive part of my college experience (what’s a studying?) and I can’t imagine what my life at Cornell would have been like without it.

What stands out to me about band the most looking back is how welcoming band is to all different kinds of people. I have never seen a group that is as accommodating and friendly to everyone who seeks to join, and I don’t know that I will ever come across one again.

Some of the highlights from my four years have been parading through New York City, the football team’s miraculous victory at Penn two years ago, performing at the sesquicentennial Big Red Birthday Bash, and going to perform at the Buffalo Bills and Alouettes games. I’ve also had a lot of fun this year writing flag and rifle routines as colorguard captain.

In the coming spring, I am currently considering joining indoor percussion so I can spend my final semester dancing, spinning, and spending more time with lovely band people!

-Sarah Acre ’16



Seniors at Red/White Hockey

Freshmen Perspectives: Band New and Shiny!

Alumni Relations

Jessi Hersh’19 and Tone Fam

I recently told my old band teachers from high school, “Plot twist! I’m doing band in college.” My old high school didn’t have a marching band. They made the concert band pretend to be a pep band, and we begrudgingly played at games the football team didn’t want us at. When I graduated, I had decided that was all, band is over. So when one of my friends told me that he had gone to the first day of auditions and that I totally should too, my response was a firm heck no. But the promise of two hundred free friends ended up being too enticing for a freshman, and I found myself following chalkings to the band room. There I played bananagrams with a bunch of strangers, and got my first taste of what the BRMB was like: fun times, cool people, and lots of inside jokes. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go to First Night or not, but my roommate convinced me that I might as well try it out. I’d only been playing the tone for a year and a half, and I had trouble with most of the songs we played.
Between me asking “wait what did she say?” five times between every set, and me screwing up anything other than a whole note, I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for marching band. But after singing songs at the Nines and seeing everyone come together for the Alma Mater (I still don’t know any of the words), my opinion began to change. And after going to Bone House to hear stories from all the upperclassmen and meet the people in my section, I had decided that band was one of the best decisions I could have made. Sure, I struggled to learn to march, and then to march while playing. But now I don’t even think twice about dropping the word “bone” in front of phrases, and I can at least play all of the quarter notes in songs. I get to trick people into thinking that I’m an avid sports fan because I talk about the football games and the hockey games. I get to tell stories about the unique things I’ve done, like marching at an NFL game or meeting alumni at bonecoming (and then explaining what bonecoming is). But mostly, I get to brag about all my friends from band and how they’re some of the nicest and most interesting people on campus. – Jessi Hersh ’19



Pay no attention to the man in the Yale Sweatshirt.

I never did band in high school – I had a short stint of playing the oboe back in seventh and eighth grade, but really, I let the super good guy next to me carry the both of us. I wouldn’t even describe myself as musical. I surprised myself when I joined the Big Red Marching Band, convinced by my sophomore pre-orientation guide, and I doubted that I’d stay past First Night. But a senior sax told me, “Just try it for the first month or two. It’ll be great!,”and I thought “Why not? I have nothing to lose.”
Little did I know back then, that a “month or two” was the entire marching band season. I can’t imagine my life here at Cornell without band anymore. My love wavers ever so slightly during cold rehearsals/Saturdays, but sax tag is quick to warm me up. Band is a family.  I’ve never met a person in band that isn’t super friendly and into having a good time. It’s awesome going to rehearsals after a long day, to blow off steam, marching, and run around with a hundred awesome people.

I will eternally be grateful for the kind of organization that the Big Red Marching Band is, one that doesn’t take itself seriously, and has extra instruments and people that will make extra time you teach it to you. The kind that stuffs you with baked goods and takes care of you. The kind that does awesome shows in places I couldn’t have imagined going. Band established their presence from day one of O-Week, but I don’t think enough people here at Cornell know just how serious we are when we say that we’ll take anyone into our family. I was just one of the lucky ones that got to find out.

-Yeolim Jo ’19


How many chalk drawings are there!? Plastered throughout North and Central campus, urging passerby to be ‘boned and get saxy, the hundreds of messages had one message: JOIN BAND! After finally talking to some bandies holding instruments and signs, I finally realized this was too much fun to pass up. I still tell people today, if you need friends, just join band for a month, no music experience necessary. Yet, when I think about to how wild my first weeks were at band, sometimes I’m surprised I stuck with the band. I had never marched before, drill sheets looked like a foreign language, I could barely play any of the music that the whole section could belt out perfectly. But none of that mattered. Band is more than just gym credit and playing Davy a few thousand times: it truly is a home, a home for me. I mean that emphatically; seeing the seniors crying during the Senior Concert was emotional for the whole band. I already feel so close with the Bones after a few months, what about after a few years under the same roof?

And what an enthralling few months so far with the Big Red Marching Band. First Night brought the silly nonsense known as aardvarking, whirlwind horn moves for Pinball Wizard, and pizza delivered via dumbwaiter. Shows were new and exciting, and even though I continually forgot which way is right and left, circling Luigi for his epic Lord of the Rings trumpet solo is one of coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. Going on the road from Montreal to Buffalo Bills Stadium is probably what made me fall the hardest for the band: playing the grossest, funniest Mad Lib games possible, stuffing as many people as possible into one poor coach bus bathroom, and discovering how much I take Pudgie’s pizza for granted (seriously, Canada, it’s just bread,sauce, and cheese how could it go so wrong?). Tuba Halloween made charity fun and possibly painful for the poor tuba players who serenaded us with some Meghan Trainor while being pelted with change.

Yet, perhaps the finest moment I’ve had in band was just yesterday, at the last home game of the year in the Empire Bowl. For bones, that only means one thing: Hawaii Five-O day. Tropical bathing suit and Hawaiian shirt under my uniform, I was ready to sprint in 40 degree overcast weather. I just didn’t know we would do so barefoot, and it’s probably a good thing I couldn’t feel my feet after a half-minute. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly that this was the game I invited my parents to. I just remember as we all took off around the track, thinking how absolutely insane and crazy and perfect this was. And I feel that every time I turn on my band playlist and throw on some Everybody’s Everything or JCS: my pride to be part of something as unique and zany and downright fun as the Big Red Marching Band. My freshman college experience has been overwhelmingly positive because of Band. I know in the ensuing years, I will continue to make countless memories with my section and the band as a whole. Maybe I’lleven finally learn the words to Davy other than the BALLS BALLS BALLS BALLS part.

- Matt Barker ’19

Homecoming 2015 Information

Alumni Relations

Hey Alumni!

Homecoming is about a week away! 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, you can register through this link:

On Friday, September 18, the annual meeting of the Big Red Bands Alumni Association will be taking place at 4:00 pm in the Rowe Room of the Statler.  All alumni are welcome, so please consider coming with questions!

Here is some information regarding what will be happening on Saturday.

Homecoming Schedule
Saturday, September 19

• 10:15 am – Morning rehearsal at Alumni Field. Join us in practicing this year’s Homecoming song “Pinball Wizard.” Instruments and music folders can be picked up at the Fischell Band Center.
• 11:30 am – Alumni Tailgate and Luncheon at the Fischell Band Center
• 11:50 am – Band Performance at Touchdown Statue Unveiling
• 12:20 pm – Band parades team from the Statler
• 1:00 pm – The band leaves for parade to Ho Plaza
• 2:00 pm – Tailgate Concert
• 2:25 pm – Step off for Pre-Game
• 3:00 pm – Kickoff
• 6:00 pm – Post-game Concert and Reception at Fischell Band Center

We are very excited for reuniting with old friends, reminiscing about band memories, sharing stories with underclassmen, playing great music, and watching football! If you plan on playing music with the band, you can find the sheet music for most of our songs at this link:

If you would like a prepared folder or just a copy of the Homecoming song, please let us know when you register. If you also are looking to use a school instrument on game day, please contact a section leader so that they can plan accordingly. You can find the list of Bandstaph positions and Section Leaders on the band website:

For the football game, we are arranging reservation of rows in the stands behind the band for our band alumni. Please come and join us, regardless of what the seats on your tickets are. You could purchase tickets ahead of time here:
The promotional code is HCALUMNUS. Discounted tickets will be available until Sunday, September 13th.

We are all extremely enthusiastic to welcome you back to our Big Red Marching Band Family and can’t wait to meet you.

Hope to see you next week!
Jeff Crosby

Homecoming and Fall 2015

Alumni Relations

Hi Alumni!

We hope that you all have had a wonderful summer. For those of you that were around for Reunion, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all! Reunion was a blast and we love hearing all of the band stories that you all have. Now its time for the most wonderful time of the year: Band Season!

This fall we have a lot of exciting events happening. Read below to learn more.

Homecoming 2015:

Homecoming will be on September 19th this year. Come on over to the Fischell Band Center starting at 11:30AM  for a BRBAA Tailgate where you can talk with fellow Alumni and get to meet some of the new members of the Big Red Bands! We will have food, drinks, and merchandise for you all.

If you are interested in playing with the band during Halftime of the game versus Bucknell, please make sure to fill out the form below. This way we can make sure you will have music and an instrument if you need it for the game!

For directions on to the Fischell Band Center please see our previous post.

Away Football Games and More:

The band will be traveling quite a bit this year. We are very excited for this season and extremely excited for our trips to Montreal and Buffalo. Our schedule for travel this year is as follows:

  • September 26, 2015 at Yale
  • October 12, 2015 at Montreal (Alouettes CFL)
  • October 18, 2015 at Buffalo Bills (NFL)
  • October 31, 2015 at Princeton
  • November 21, 2015 at Penn

Pep Band and Red Hot Hockey:

 We are happy to announce that the band will be playing at Red Hot Hockey again this year. The game versus Boston University will take place on November 28, 2015 at 9PM.

BRBAA Event Chair Adam Drenkard is putting together a list for tickets near the band. The block is 20 barstool seats behind the band and 20 seats in the first row of the section in front of the band (includes the conductor seat). The section would be 219.

Ticket price: $29

If you’re AT ALL interested in getting tickets in this block, please e-mail Adam at( by September 1, letting him know

  • Ticket Quantity
  • Preference of barstool or front row
  • Your Phone Number

And that’s all the information we have for you so far! Please feel free to contacct us at or with any question!

Keep on the look out these next few months for more updates on the band and information on upcoming events. We will be posting Fall 2015 BandNotes in late November!

Hope to see you at Homecoming,

Angie and Jeff

Reunion Events!

Alumni Relations

Hi Alumni!

If you are planning on heading up to Ithaca to Reunion this year, June 4-7th, come out and spend some time with the band! There is more specific information in the Events Section, but here is an overview at where the band will be playing. Please be aware that times listed are report times for the band, the band will be playing at the events 30 minutes after the reported time.

Friday June 5th

  • 6:30PM – Class of ’80 Dinner (Pep Band)

Saturday, June 6th

  • 11:30 AM – All-Alumni Lunch* (Marching Band)
  • 2:30PM – 150 Fun in the Sun Parade (Marching Band)
  • 6:30 PM – Class of ’85 Dinner (Marching Band)
  • 7:30PM – Class of ’70 Athlete Recognition (Pep Band)
  • 8:15PM --Super Sesquicentennial Supper (Marching Band)
  • 9PM – Procession to Cornelian Night (Marching Band)

We will also be holding a Big Red Bands Alumni reception at the Fischell Band Center (Right behind Schoellkopf Football Field)  on Saturday, June 6th, from 11:30AM to 2PM. Directions to the facilitate are in the map below.

*If you are interested in playing with us at the All Alumni lunch please fill out THIS form  to let us know! Or fill it our right below!

We are super excited to see you all there!

Read More →

A Welcome from Alumni Relations

Alumni Relations

Hi Alums!

Its time for Band Notes: Spring 2015 edition. You got to hear a little about us Alumni Chairs in January.. but let us formally introduce ourselves.


Hi everyone! I am Angie Estevez Prada and I am currently a sophomore in the ILR School,  working towards minors in Law & Society and Inequality Studies. I am extremely passionate about women’s rights issues and politics. Fun fact about me: I am originally from Colombia, South America but have lived in a small town in North Carolina for most of my life. Band has been a huge part of my life since I was eight years old. Surprisingly, I thought about not doing band when I came to Cornell, but when I saw the chalkings around campus and the band being so passionate to recruit members during O-Week, I was sold! Currently, I am a member of the Big Red Saxes, but you can also see me carrying around a Horn these days too. Outside of band, I am involved in various women’s rights and empowerment organizations mostly a new organization on campus. I also help publicize Slope Studio, a free arts studio in Willard Straight. You can also find me blabbing on about the news of the day. Marching Band and Pep Band have been so great to me during my time here, and I am excited to have the chance to keep you all updated about band news and events!

And I am Jeff Crosby, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences.  I am currently a Psychology major, but I am still exploring in areas that interest me such as education and the medical field.  I am from Reading, Pennsylvania, a city that is known for the Reading Railroad in the Monopoly board game and the place where Taylor Swift was born and raised.  I also had the great pleasure of being raised right in between Hershey and Philadelphia.  One of the reasons why I chose Cornell was because they were the home of the only REAL Marching Band in the Ivy League.  I am currently a member of the Big Red Saxes for Marching Band and you can also spot me playing Tone for the Pep Band.  Joining the Big Red Marching Band was the best decision I made freshman year.  I am so excited to see where my journey as a member of the Big Red Bands will take me in my years to come at Cornell.  Even though my time on The Hill has just begun, I am ready to join Angie in being an Alumni Relations Chair to help give back to the Marching Band and Pep Band that have given so much to me already.

We are proud to present this semester’s Band Notes to you all. Included in this edition are tales of Managing a Pep Band through a blizzard, beating the hockey team for a good cause, and creating a brand new BRMB promotional video, as well as updates from our Head Manager and Drum Major! We look forward to seeing some of you for Reunion (June 4-7) and at Homecoming! Check for more information on our events page!

If you have any concerns, questions, or anything you want to let us know about please feel free to reach out to us at ake38@cornell and


Angie Estevez Prada ‘17 and Jeff Crosby ‘18

Updates from the Alumni Association Chair

Lowell Frank

Happy spring!  We’ve long since emerged from the winter that forced Ithaca enthusiasts to direct would-be travelers to Florida (and crashed a site in the process), and I want to update everybody on the latest happenings in the Big Red Bandiverse.

The Advisory Council had its first meeting of the 2015-2016 term on Saturday, February 21.  As a reminder, you can find the membership of the Advisory Council – made up of the Alumni Association officers, student leadership,  and at-large members (as well as advisors and other folks) – here.

The issues discussed in the greatest depth were Pep Band travel expenses and guidelines, punch-list items for the Fischell Band Center (including both functional and aesthetic additions), and acute Marching Band capital needs.

The discussion about the Pep Band was long overdue.  Historically, the Pep Band has never been skipped a postseason trip that the students have wanted to take.  In some years, this has lead to great costs, and in other years… less so (if you pay attention at all to the Band budget, the silver lining of any athletic heartbreak is the bottom line).  Things tended to balance out over the years.  Over the last decade, however, the number of NCAA hockey appearances (and tournament games out west – thank you, selection committee), the rise of women’s ice hockey in both stature and popularity, and a consistently strong lacrosse team have created financial challenges.  A rolling playoff reserve system based on historical data was implemented about 12 years ago, but has never allocated enough funding over its life, resulting in excess expenses.  There is also the issue of student well-being, although admittedly, how onerous the repeated travel is depends on who you ask.  There was a lot of good discussion, and we reached consensus on our recommendations for regular-season pep band travel as follows:

  • The Pep Band will return to staying with the host band for at least some of their hockey trips (pending risk management approval)
  • Given the popularity of the fall Thanksgiving game at Madison Square Garden, we will explore options for paid performances
  • The Pep Band will take four non-playoff trips each year: Harvard/Dartmouth, MSG, and two others based at the discretion of the students

Additionally, we will start a dialogue with the various team coaches about the pressures on the Pep Band to explore other funding options at playoff time.  We hope that team friends and parents would consider offsetting the expenses to allow for uninterrupted support during the various post-seasons.  Our goal is to both reduce costs and increase revenue as well as provide a guideline and expectation for the Pep Band from year to year.  Ironically, the main cause of the issue – the unprecedented success of Cornell’s sports teams – wasn’t apparent this spring.  Cue sad trombone.

Read More →

Alumni Beat: Spring 2015

Alumni Relations

Lena Grace Janiga, born April 7, 2015 in New York City, joins Kim Salsbury ‘02Nick Janiga ’00, and big sister Sofia in Brooklyn, NY.  In between changing diapers, tummy time and late night feedings with Lena, mom and dad are nudging Sofia, a violin player, to take up a more sensible marching instrument like trombone.

Congrats to Paul Husserl ’03, who wed Carlye Waxman, a registered dietitian whom he met in the Chelsea Market four years ago. They recently moved to Long Island, where Paul is in private practice as an OB/GYN.

Lowell Frank ’99, MD ’03 was named Director of the Cardiology Fellowship at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC.  You know, in case any of you are pediatric residents looking to apply.  Hit him up!

Got any interesting updates?  Let us know!


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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