Athletic Bands create excitement at every game
The UMD Marching and Pep Bands have a perspective seen through the eyes of faculty, students and staff, whether they practice in the classroom or perform at athletic games.
According to the current UMD’s School of Fine Arts website “Bulldog Marching & Pep Band,” “The UMD Bulldog Marching Band performs at all UMD home football games, Minnesota State Fair, and the Christmas City of the North Parade, as well as a number of other campus and community events [in particular]. This group is open to all interested students and may be taken for 1 credit. The UMD Pep Band performs at men’s and women’s hockey and basketball games.”
UMD Athletic Bands director Tim Broscious directs the UMD Bulldog Marching Band on Field Nine next to the Chester Park Building on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5 to 6:25 p.m.
“While this field has the full 100 yards of a football field, it does not have the width from sideline to sideline,” Broscious said. “Because of this, we try to get on the stadium field whenever possible to get used to that environment before game days. This usually includes about 30 minutes of time on Fridays and also Saturday mornings of game days starting at 8 a.m.”
UMD Athletic Bands senior captain Andrew Weisz, who is double majoring in entrepreneurship and organizational management and minoring in marketing personally as a business student, points out his favorite part when it comes to marching and pep bands at the institution for higher education.
“The bands are very active and you don’t have to be a major or a minor in music,” Weisz said.
Weisz also talks about how he feels about Broscious.
“He is a world-renowned musician and really cares for students, bringing support for both the Marching Band and Pep Band,” Weisz said. “He is a friendly guy who is always there to help.”
Two weeks prior to the school year, Broscious and the band have a two-week band camp, getting a jump start on the season in which they rehearse 12 hours each day.
“The band is a large part of creating an exciting atmosphere at games,” Broscious said. “In combination with the cheerleaders, the dance team, and the student section, we strive to keep the energy of the game high for the team as well as for the fans in the stands.”
“The UMD Athletic Bands have two main purposes,” the Bulldog Marching & Pep Band website says. “First, to provide support for the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Men’s and Women’s athletic teams through the playing of fight songs, participation in cheers, and enhancing the overall school spirit. Second, to enrich the University and community spirit, through participation in events such as parades and community sponsored activities. - No Experience Necessary!”
Broscious and the band frequently receive requests from various organizations in the school as well as the local community who ask for the band to perform at their events.
Broscious attempts to do as many of these as possible as they fit within their schedule.
“However, we are often times limited due to our busy schedule and budgetary with what we can afford to do,” Broscious said. “It's rather expensive to move us around from place to place.”
Broscious adds that the UMD Bulldog Marching Band strives to support Bulldog athletics, the University of Minnesota Duluth and their community through their dedication to achievement, discipline and each other.
They also strive to have a family and team environment as each and every individual plays an important part in the group.
“Your band mates will challenge you, support you, and celebrate you—and you will do the same for them,” Broscious said.
Broscious adds, “When you take the field as a member of the band, you represent UMD’s core values of learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence. Most importantly, you will become part of the Bulldog Marching Band family.”
Not only does Broscious himself coordinate the band during Homecoming, he directs various shows that they do at every game.
However, he has two graduate assistants who do a large part in helping to keep everything organized and running smoothly.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful group of student leaders who help to keep the small things running smoothly,” Broscious said. “As you can imagine, organizing 90 people for all aspects of the football game, from the Bulldog Walk, to the tailgating lot, to our pre-game and halftime shows, as well as what we play in the stands, is more than one person can handle.”
UMD will have a Homecoming football game on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Malosky Stadium, playing against Southwest Minnesota State University. It is free for students, but is 12 dollars for adults.
Throughout the day, Broscious and the Marching Band will perform a few times and then prepare for the game, changing into uniform and having a warm-up at the Chester Park building about 90 minutes before kick-off.
“[The big day] includes the Homecoming parade on Saturday morning, as well as the Bulldog Walk and Tailgating lot as we do at every home game,” Broscious said. "Then we will have our traditional pre-game show featuring the Rouser and Fight Song for the school as well as some American medleys.”
Broscious and the band will then walk over to the stadium as a unit where they reassemble for the Bulldog Walk, leading the football team through the tailgating parking lot and they enter the stadium.
“We then head into the stadium to get situated in the stands before we go out onto the field for pre-game,” Broscious said.
He confirms that his band’s halftime shows this year will not only feature a decades theme, but Homecoming does focus on the ‘80s, performing “Tainted Love,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Creep” and “Enter Sandman.”
Broscious also said that the band remains in the lot, performing a few songs for the fans that are there.
“During the game, we play some songs between plays,” he said. “Half-time is our featured event in which we perform a new show each week.”
As a Plainview, Minnesota, native having transferred to UMD from Minnesota State University Mankato, Weisz has been involved with the UMD band for three years, being a percussionist, a drum set player for Pep Band and drumline for Marching Band. But he has also been involved with band since 5th grade.
After graduation, Weisz hopes to start his own business, relating to music. He does not plan on retiring anytime soon.
“I enjoy working with local orchestras and use tools and skills that the bands have provided me,” Weisz said. “I will never stop being involved with music.”
“For those of you who are interested in performing in one of our excellent Athletic Bands,” the “Bulldog Marching & Pep Band” website says.
In addition to football, UMD Men’s Hockey will play against Michigan Tech on Friday and Saturday in Houghton, Michigan, while UMD Women’s Hockey will play against University of Wisconsin on Saturday and Sunday in Madison. UMD Women’s Basketball will start on Oct. 30th, followed by UMD Men’s Basketball and Christmas City of the North Parade in November. The Marching & Pep Band will be featured at all of these events.