This year marks the largest pep band alumnus Jordan Held has seen in his seven years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Held was a member of the band from 2007 to 2012, and after two years of being the assistant director and having an immense passion for the group, he decided he was ready to take on an even larger role. When the director position became vacant two years ago, Held jumped at the opportunity to lead the band.
“To be involved in an athletic sport and to help create such a great environment for teams, the families, the community and to be recognized as helping the players succeed and achieve greatness—that is just a great feeling,” Held said.
The band currently has 104 students, allowing the group to split and play at two sporting events simultaneously.
While pep band is offered as a one-credit course, the majority of students involved are non-music majors who volunteer to play out of their love of music.
“The whole band is a family,” said Nick Verheyen, junior music education major. “It’s a bunch of kids from around the university that like playing music, liked doing pep band in high school and kept playing.”
Band members are dedicated and follow teams as they travel during the playoffs. Last year, a group of pep band members followed the men’s basketball team to the national championship in Virginia to cheer the team to victory.
While the band has always played at hockey, basketball and football games, this is the first year that it will be playing at select volleyball games. Held said he also has interest in playing at baseball games in the future.
Keaton Galezio, junior music education major and pep band member, said the band pumps up the crowd in ways that recorded music can’t.
“It’s just a fun atmosphere. The crowd really gets into it and the band has a lot of fun playing,” Galezio said.
The band has already played at several sporting events this season and plans to play over 40 more this year.
Although they have already started performing, they always welcome newcomers who want to join, Verheyen said. If students are already planning on coming to the sporting events, the band is a great way to enjoy the game while sharing music and having fun with others.
“It’s a good time to get involved in your school. What other way to become a good Pointer than to join the pep band,” Verheyen said.