I’ve had a lot of trouble deciding to talk about in my first blog post. I wanted it to reflect all of the great times that I’ve had here, to accurately depict my UD story, but I had no idea where to start. It wasn’t until last week’s Homecoming game that I realized what one of the most integral, fundamental parts of that story is – one of the reasons that I came to UD and the first reason that I fell in love with this school: the UD Marching Band (UDMB).
When I started my college search I was pretty opposed to UD. My older sister went here before me and I wanted my own life outside of her shadow. She played clarinet in the marching band, so all throughout high school I would come down to visit her and watch their shows at the football games. Coming from a high school where marching band was an obligation, with 60 or so haphazard marchers with questionable talent and an all time low morale, seeing a band that was not only skilled but had such an apparent and contagious love for each other and for their school stuck with me throughout my college search. Ultimately, it was one of the main reasons that I decided to apply to (and later attend) UD.
My two years with the UDMB were incredible ones. For those that are unaware, the season begins a week before students return to campus, with grueling 8 AM-11 PM daily rehearsals in the intense August heat. Yet, throughout all of the sweat and exhaustion, there are never complaints (even when we faced tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes my freshman year!). The bonds formed during this time are invaluable; some of my closest friends are from the baritone section freshman year – including all five of my roommates.
In addition to all of the other Homecoming festivities, last week’s football game marked the arrival of the alumni band, a day to celebrate all former members of the UDMB, ranging from last year’s graduates to those that graduated forty years ago. Even forty years later, they still encapsulate the Fightin’ Blue Hen spirit and love for UD. It was with this incredible group of people that I was able to watch UD’s full show for the first time this season at postgame.
If you’ve never stuck around after a football game to catch the UDMB’s postgame show, you’re missing out on an unforgettable experience. The field is abuzz with energy and excitement, despite the band having been practicing and performing continuously for eight hours prior. As you watch all of their hard work and dedication come to beautiful fruition, you’ll find yourself mimicking them; you’ll stand a little taller, your chest out, your ribcage expanded, and your eyes shining with pride. For any prospective student or musician on campus, I highly recommend the UDMB. For me, my friends, and for everyone else that passes through the organization, the UDMB becomes your family, your sanctuary, your home. They will be with you whenever you need them, and in my life, I’ve loved them all.