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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA remembers Don Haskell, voice of Pride of Arizona for 25 years

Rebecca Noble

Senior members of the Pride of Arizona wave farewell to the crowd after their final half time show during Arizona’s 56-35 win against ASU in Arizona Stadium on Nov. 25, 2016. Don Haskell was the voice of the Pride of Arizona for more than 25 years.

Don Haskell, the voice of the Pride of Arizona Marching band for 25 years, will be remembered at a memorial held by the Fred Fox School of Music on May 4, in Crowder Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Haskell passed away April 23 after a long battle with many illnesses, according to KGUN.

Jay C. Rees, former director of over 20 years for the Pride of Arizona met Haskell when he began at UA in 1993. At the time, Haskell was working at Casa de los Niños and had just begun being the voice of the Pride of Arizona.

“Don was one of the first people we met in Tucson, he was such an incredibly friendly, funny and wonderful guy,” Rees said.

Throughout all of his years, before performances, UA football halftime shows and countless YouTube videos, Haskell’s voice would echo in the Arizona Stadium in front of thousands and quickly became a well-known voice for the band and UA community members.

RELATED: Meet the Pride of Arizona’s new director, Chad Shoopman

“I worked with Don closely through all of my years, and he was so much more than just the announcer,” Rees said.

Aside from announcing, Haskell worked behind the scenes fundraising for the band, getting sponsors for events, and worked in community outreach and involvement.

Haskell retired in 2009, but continued to produce fundraising events in Arizona and California for nonprofit organizations.

“Don really enriched my life and my experience at UA but also I think it really enriched and enhanced the experience of all the students and band program itself because of a higher level of community engagement we had because of him,” Rees said.

Abby Hill, senior drum major of the Pride of Arizona, met Haskell her freshman year and worked with him in setting up gigs and recruiting students, and she got to work more closely with Haskell her last three years as drum major.

RELATEDMeet Abby Hill: The Pride of Arizona drum major hoping to make a difference

During rehearsals, Haskell would set up his chair next to the podium and work with Hill while she ran through the show to make sure his script was in order before the show.

“Don is a very lighthearted fun and super caring person, he always knew how to lighten the mood and knew what to say or do to make a situation better,” Hill said.

“While he was in hospice care, myself and Jeffery, the other drum major, went to visit him a couple of times and we would walk into his hospital room and the first thing he would say is how is ‘how is the band, how is everything going.’”

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