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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Peek into the Pride of Arizona

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the marching band, pom line, and cheer squad, among others, practice their performances and formations. Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the Pride of Arizona band, pom, guard and cheer, among others, practice their performances and formations. The Pride began their practice at McKale Field and worked their way over to the Arizona Football Stadium this Wednesday, September first.Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the Pride of Arizona band, pom, guard and cheer, among others, practice their performances and formations. The Pride began their practice at McKale Field and worked their way over to the Arizona Football Stadium this Wednesday, September first.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the marching band, pom line, and cheer squad, among others, practice their performances and formations. Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the Pride of Arizona band, pom, guard and cheer, among others, practice their performances and formations. The Pride began their practice at McKale Field and worked their way over to the Arizona Football Stadium this Wednesday, September first.Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat In preparation for the upcoming season of home football games, the Pride of Arizona band, pom, guard and cheer, among others, practice their performances and formations. The Pride began their practice at McKale Field and worked their way over to the Arizona Football Stadium this Wednesday, September first.

The Pride of Arizona marching band members will do something they have never done before at the football game on Saturday. They will be marching double time at 240 beats per minute, the fastest ever.

This year’s band will debut with a performance of Muse’s “”Knights of Cydonia”” and “”Time is Running Out,”” continuing its trend of unconventional rock music.

Scott Matlick, a graduate teaching assistant and previous interim director of the marching band, recalls the early days in 1996 when the band was first beginning to experiment with non-traditional sounds.

He remembers them playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was “”unheard of at the time.””

Last year the band played Aerosmith. Matlick said this year they decided to play Muse for a fresh change of pace.

“”Because it has been around for so long, I think students expect and look forward to (the music),”” Matlick said. “”Other college bands don’t do this or as much of it. It’s something students feel a great sense of pride in.””

One such member, Jake Thompson, has been active in music since the first grade and has been a member of the band since his freshman year.

Thompson, a management information systems senior, leads the tenor drums section in the band. The tenor drum is a set of six differently pitched drums mounted together on a frame. It is one of the few sections that will cut people if they do not reach a certain standard, he said.

“”Some things we look for are timing ability, technique and learning at a quick pace,”” he said. “”We tend to get new music and not have a lot of time to learn it.””

The section is the smallest, consisting of only three other students.

“”It’s kinda cool being the smallest section, because we can get close to one another,”” Thompson said. “”It’s how my section seems to work. You can’t have as many people in a percussion section to make it sound good.””

Keeping track of his section’s sounds and organization has kept him on his toes.

Band camp­­ — the week before school — is a vital time for members to develop their routine for the upcoming year, and for some a time to learn new instruments.

On the first day of band camp her freshman year, Rachel Bennett’s director asked her to switch from playing the familiar piccolo­­ — a higher-pitched version of the flute­­ — to the French horn, which she had never played before.

“”I was petrified. It was a big decision to switch to horn,”” said the physiology senior.

The band is on the field at 8 a.m. and does not finish until 10 p.m.

They practice breathing techniques, build endurance and learn everything necessary for them to open the main show.

Her decision to go out of her comfort zone and try something new brought her an exciting challenge.

There are 16 players in the horn section. Bennett describes the group as a melting pot of personalities, with diverse individual and instrumental backgrounds, all coming together to be a good section.

“”We never settle for just OK. We always push for the outstanding and going above and beyond,”” she said.

On average, a band member spends 20 hours a week playing with the full band, and that does not include required individual practice or sectionals.

“”Unless you are in band you don’t know what it’s like to hold an instrument for a long period of time and do the marching band, but it is like a family,”” Bennett said. “”It’s inspiring and everyone is encouraging you.””

Band members look forward to the energy of game day and the chance to rally the crowd for the football team.

“”I really appreciate how much the students appreciate the marching band,”” Thompson said. “”The enthusiasm as we come on the field is really powerful for me.””

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