Titan band drums up Homecoming blowout

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Tommy Bravos, Staff Writer

 

The Illinois Wesleyan University homecoming football game saw fans of all ages cheering the football team on, but the most dedicated fans were the ones playing in the band.

IWU’s pep band, otherwise known as the Titan Band, spent Saturday, Oct. 10 at Tucci Stadium. Wearing Titan green and playing on decorated instruments, the band endured the chilly weather and helped boost morale at the homecoming game.

“We get comments all the time about how our enthusiasm and presence motivates the team to do well,” band conductor Megan Koch said. Along with two others, Koch leads the band in pep music and rallies the crowd to cheer. “It makes the games more fun and the crowds more engaged.”

Whenever the IWU kicker launched the ball across the field, band members jangled keys and made quite the racket with their horns. If the Titans gained yards, the band played one of their pep songs, the most popular ones being “Mambo at Sea” in b-flat, “Breadfan,” “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That” or “My Songs Know What You Did.”

When IWU scored one of their many touchdowns, the school fight song echoed through the crowd, while a few band members ran the IWU flag on the field.

Titan Band is made up of IWU students, regardless of major, and they rehearse once a week for an hour. There are a limited number of paid positions, but most students play for the experience.

“I’d most definitely do it if I wasn’t paid. It’s just a fun time, and it makes me appreciate sports more,” junior John Gelasi said.  “I don’t normally get to show this school spirit,” he added.

Sophomore trombonist Grace Ricks said the same. “I always have a blast playing. Even if the team doesn’t do well, it’s still fun to play for them,” she said.

“Whether we win or lose, having the band play is great,” senior running back Anfernee Roberts. He was one of many football players dancing to Titan Band’s peppy music. “It makes the atmosphere more energetic, really pumps us up,” he added.

It was clear that the IWU team was full of spirit on Saturday, Oct. 10, as they trounced Millikin by the score of 54-13. Sophomore Jack Warner threw for five touchdowns and junior Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore ran for two scores. It couldn’t have gone much better for the Titans, as they essentially had the game wrapped up by halftime, when they led 35-13.

The Titan Band cheered from start to finish, their spirit never once wavering. When the Titans return home on Oct. 31 to play the Cardinals of North Central at 1:00 p.m., the band will be there, infused with as much team spirit as ever.