By Ayden Pugh, The Circuit.
Benedictine College is beginning its first collegiate marching band in its 159 years of existence. The pursuit of this new program started early in summer 2017 when a Benedictine College alumnus was hired to recruit for the band program.
Sean York, the recruiter for the band and director for the BC Drum Corps, was hired by the athletic department to recruit 40 first-year students for the 2018-19 school year.
“The Marching Band will technically be a sport,” York said, explaining that the Marching Band would be reserved for athletic events.
Theodore Hanman, Benedictine’s Director of Instrumental Music and current band director,
Hanman explained that the marching band would technically be under the auspices of the athletic department, as well as under the jurisdiction of the band program and music department.
“That’s what we need to see more of at this level [is] departments working together, especially departments like athletics and any other extra curricular departments working in the academic setting,” he said. “We need more community, as it’s one of our most important goals as a college.”
The ideal goal is to have the Marching Band on the football field for next year’s football season, but Hanman explains that there’s more to prepare than just recruitment.
“We will march next year— definitely street marching and march to the stadium. But whether or not we do a half time show depends on numbers.”
York and Hanman both agree that even if there are one hundred players in the Marching Band, they may still reserve themselves for performing on the football field.
Having now been involved in both, York expects the same best quality for Marching Band as he does for Drum Corps.
“Every sport in the athletic department is high quality,” York said. “The Marching Band won’t take the field until it is as good quality as the rest of the programs. We want to have the best marching band of any small college in America.”
York and Hanman both explain logistically why a marching band is necessary for Benedictine College.
“We’ve always had a Drum Corps to teach marching band to our music education students, but it’s pretty difficult to sell the music education degree without having a marching band,” Hanman said.
“Our music education degree is both vocal and instrumental, but we are graduating people here who have only experienced marching band through the Drum Corps.”
As a department, Hanman believes that the lack of marching band has lost them some music education majors and now hopes to see an increase.