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It's been a pleasure being your Communications Coordinator
By: Meg Ennis
Thank you UCMB and our loyal Newsletter subscribers for this opportunity to serve as the 2017 Communications Coordinator. I have really enjoyed putting together these newsletters each month. From now on, my fellow cymbal and friend Marie Randle will take over. You all are in very good hands! Happy New Year!

Also, thank you to all of those who participated in the UCMB student elections, you have played an important role in shaping the future of our band. You're all wonderful, be proud of yourselves. It takes an incredible amount of courage to present in front of your peers.  You all had great ideas and it's awesome to see how much you care about this organization. Regardless of the results, everyone who ran has shown great leadership skills and tremendous passion for the betterment of the UCMB and I encourage you to stay involved with Council. Congratulations to all of our new officers and reps!
  • President: Meghan Wood 
  • Vice President: Kyle Korb
  • Treasurer: Noah Mayzel
  • Historian: Ellie Tripp 
  • Secretary: Owen Logios
  • Alumni Liaison: Lucy Littlefield
  • Social Coordinator: Sara Linton
  • Communications Coordinator: Marie Randle 
  • Merchandise Coordinator: Gabby Rodriguez
  • Senior Reps: Rik Emery, Rebecca Germain, Martha Gancarz & Joe Ludemann
  • Junior Reps: Gillian Foley, Brett Simms, Rachel Szendrey & Jimmy Thurston
  • Sophomore Reps: Garrett Collins, Logan McDonald, Spencer Walker & Natalie Wong

Freshman vs. Senior Perspective on Last Game 
By:  Sydney Cotto (Sr. Tuba), Garrett Collins (Fr. Sax), & Ellie Tripp (Fr. Sax),

Q: How do you feel about the season coming to a close?

Sydney: It is a very bittersweet feeling for me. It’s sad to think that I won’t be coming back to UConn or the UCMB next year, but at the same time, I am happy with how this season ended (though a bowl game would have been nice too). The last football game at Rentschler field, followed by the NESBA exhibition the next day in Lawrence, Mass. were two of my favorite performances I’ve done with the UCMB. Going to Fenway was so much fun, and even though it was pouring rain, I think the band made the most of it. We looked and sounded great and marching back to the buses with a ton of UConn fans cheering us on was an incredible time.

Garrett: I'm still coming to terms with the fact that the marching season is over. I still fully expect that we’ll be hauling out to some outlandish locale to March an exhibition show this weekend. It's been an incredible season, and it's really opened my eyes to the rigor of a college band, and I LOVE IT. The music was fun and challenging, the people were wonderful, and the performances were spectacular. Though I'm not sure I'm ready to be finished with Fusion Symphony, I can't help looking forward to Band Season next year.

Ellie: I was sad for the season to come to a close, it went by so fast. The last exhibition show was my favorite performance of the season, and knowing that was going to be the last time this year the 2017 UCMB would do an exhibition made me extremely sad. However, I’m beyond grateful for all the memories and friends I’ve made this year that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life. Even though the season’s over, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop playing music or stop being involved in the band.  

Q: What was your favorite part of this season?

Sydney: Besides all our amazing performances, my favorite part of this season was actually preseason. I really enjoyed getting a different perspective, as a Band Captain this year, and being able to meet all the new members and help integrate them into our band, as well as being able to work with the full band and getting to learn for myself how the DMC team would work together to help everything run smoothly. Also, with the tower being added it was cool to finally go up there and watch the band work. Preseason sets the pace for the rest of the season and I think this year was really productive and set us up for success. It was a fun preseason for me since I was able to work and talk with different sections.

Garrett: Without a doubt, my favorite part of the season was the NESBA exhibition. Coming from a high school that marched on that same field for four years, coming back to Lawrence was very surreal. A large part of the reason I chose UConn was because of the fabulous performances I've seen from the UCMB on that field, and finally marching there as a part of this band--knowing there was some kid out there in the stands like me who was going to be inspired by this performance--it was absolutely incredible.

Ellie: My favorite part of this season was the weekend we went to Metlife and Lyman Hall.  Performing at Metlife was an experience unlike anything I’ve done before, and the fact that we had another exhibition prior in the day made it all the better. I feel that the long bus ride, changing on the cramped bus twice, and staying up to 4 in the morning made the band more united. Sharing experiences like that weekend further strengthen our bonds.

Q: Do you feel like you have learned anything during your time with the UCMB?

Sydney: Don’t take anything for granted and cherish every moment, because it will be over before you know it. Through the UCMB I have learned so much about what it means to be a good leader, and I have become more confident in my abilities to teach others and be an effective communicator. One thing I find very important though is that the more you put your efforts into something, the more you’ll get out of it, and for me, that’s become true within the band and in my personal life as well. There’s just so much that I will take away from my time in the UCMB and utilize in my life outside of the band.

Garrett: When I first came to the UCMB I was expecting my four years experience of high school band to be enough to take me through my freshman year in the marching band. Boy, was I wrong. This season alone I feel as if my playing and marching ability has improved dramatically by just being a part of this ensemble. The proud and rigorous marching band culture that the UCMB has instilled in me has done wonders for my individual ability, and I’m looking forward to continuing to improve in the coming years as a result of being with this band.

Ellie: I came to preseason not knowing a single thing about marching or what to expect in a marching band, especially a college marching band. By the end of the week, I had learned more music and new techniques than I ever had in my entire life. I had also learned an entirely new way to perform music. I also learned how to adapt quickly to new changes, as we often had to do before performances or memoize multiple songs within a week or two.

Q: What are your thoughts on this season as a whole?

Sydney:  I decided at the end of last year that I was going to come back to the UCMB for my 5th year and it was the best choice I have made. This has been one of my favorite seasons in the UCMB. Being a band captain was a great experience because this band was so dedicated and willing to work to make the band better every rehearsal. Fusion Symphony was such a fun, and a more challenging, show to perform and I think that made the band more motivated. Watching our performances at exhibitions and football games still blows me away because we looked and sounded great all season long. I am super proud of this band and am so glad that I get to end my time with the UCMB with such talented and dedicated people.

Garrett: I absolutely loved this season. The music was phenomenal, the band was great, and the people were even better. It was a fantastic experience getting to know everyone in the band, and working together with all of them to put on a performance at such a high level was a wonderful privilege. I honestly did not expect a show of this caliber for a freshman year experience. We’re gonna have a hard time topping this season next year.

Ellie: This season was simply amazing. I don’t have any other marching band seasons to compare it to, so for me, it was absolutely wonderful. Every moment I spent performing, practicing, or playing made me happier than I’ve been in a long time. The show, itself, brought joy to anyone in the audience who saw it, and that’s enough for me to say we had a successful season.

Q: What are you looking forward to most for next year?

Sydney: As sad as I am that I won’t be in the UCMB next year, I look forward to hopefully coming back to football games and getting to watch the band from a different perspective. I hope that they have an amazing show and they continue to become “the best UCMB ever”, though this year is going to be tough to beat.

Garrett: I'm looking forward to preseason and meeting the new first years. I want to make them feel the same sense of a home with the UCMB that I felt the band this year. On the whole, I could not be more stoked for band season next year.

Ellie: Next season, I’ll be an upperclassman to someone, which is something I haven’t experienced in the UCMB yet. I’m excited to transfer the knowledge I’ve learned this year onto someone who hasn’t learned it yet, or someone who didn’t come from a marching band background, like me. I’m also very excited to continue bringing happiness to people through our performances.


Sydney Cotto, Tuba player
Super Senior Year Vs. Freshman Year

Drum Major Reflection
By:  Tim Paproski 

Over the past two years, so many people have asked me this question that I’ve lost track: “What’s it like being the drum major of the UCMB???” Well, for starters, it means being asked questions 24/7 (boom, roasted!). But really though: It’s INTENSE. Like, really intense. Along with the rest of the DMC team, you are responsible for the execution of EVERYTHING. Plan for what will happen, plan for what won’t happen in case it does (it usually will), be controlled and confident, know everything about what’s going on, say goodbye to any and all free time, and be prepared to be dissected and scrutinized. It’s a LOT of work. However, I would not change any part of my drum major experience, the highs, and the lows, for anything. Over the past 2 years, I’ve got to dedicate my heart and soul to this band, learn a lot about what it takes to run a successful band program, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and what is really required of a true “leader” and what I can do to bring myself closer to that.

In addition to all of that, though, this position comes with a lot of unique opportunities and privileges. As a drum major, I hold a unique perspective on UCMB performances; I get to experience it both as a performer and as a listener. By performing, I don’t just mean visual performance to the audience by the conducting, gestures, and the turn-show-bow thing that we do, but we are actively participating in the musical performance of the ensemble as well. As drum major, you may not be contributing by producing sound, but by keeping time and making different gestures (including my world-famous facial expressions) to influence the articulation, dynamics, phrasing, and overall emotion of the music, you still have a voice and a sound in the music. Because of my physical location being raised and between the band and the audience, I get the immense privilege of hearing the sound of the band as the audience gets to hear it. On the podium, I was able to hear ALL of the sections and parts individually, and then hear how all these parts fit together and create a single sound for the band; let me tell you, that sound was really cool and REALLY good.

That brings me to this season. While I can’t really tell you how the forms looked or anything like that (my visual experience for the show consisted of a weird combination of Kayla’s hands, Justina’s hands, and Terry/Ethan/BJ’s hands and feet), I can tell you that we sounded REALLY GOOD. Fusion Symphony has to be one of the best-written marching shows I’ve ever heard, and I was able to very clearly hear all of the lines of the different songs (especially in Part 1) fit together and make a completely new sound. While the videos of our show are very, very good and the audio on them is excellent (shoutout to our brilliant media team!), nothing can compare to the raw power and emotion that I experienced the UCMB producing in every single performance this year. To go out there on the field with my own emotion, my heart, and my intensity, and to see 290 of my friends who love music and are as passionate for this band as I am out on that field, all moving in unison and breathing together to give their all to every note…well, it’s just magical. As a Senior this year, every performance was a special moment. With this being my second year as drum major, I didn’t have to learn and practice the mechanics of game days and exhibitions, where we move, how we get started, and so on like last year, so I was able to relax and take it all in a little more than before. When I did, I was able to tap into the emotion and power of the band and enjoy each little moment a little more each time.

My favorite musical moment, hands down, had to be the entirety of Firebird. When everyone was playing backfield, and really soft but still intense, I literally felt the contained power of the band at my fingertips. Then, when the whole band turned around…WHOA. Let me tell you, that push made a 2x4 to the face feel like a feather in comparison, because every single person was giving it their all, every step, every note. THAT is why this season was such a success; we got a little more intense in our rehearsals this year, but boy did it pay off because you ALL bought into it, wanted to succeed, and gave it everything you had every time. The 2017 band was definitely one for the books. However, my favorite moment and the biggest privilege that I had this year was doing the “show off the band, and bow!” at the end of the show. Hearing the crowd roar and turning around to see them all on their feet cheering for this band, for all of you, made me so proud to be a part of this organization, and I hope it made all of you feel proud as well. I could never stop myself from smiling each time because of how immensely proud I was of our performance and of each and every one of you. I will remember those moments for the rest of my life, and I hope that I am able to surround myself with as dedicated and caring friends as all of you are in future aspects of my life.

UCMB, thank you for letting me be a part of your symphony. Rock on!

Band Captain Reflection 
By: Bridget Grenier   

I have to admit, I was not too sure what I was getting myself into when I got that fateful email in mid-April of 2017. I had a general idea of what Band Captains did, but I never had a clear-cut image of their role within the band was other than helping the band as much as possible. And that’s what I wanted to do.

The roles of the Band Captains are impossible to list in a short article such as this. Other than copying music, we make the lives of everyone else in the band as easy as possible, coordinate communication between upper leadership and directors to section leaders, and facilitate learning of music and drill on the field. Fortunately, all of this doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one individual. Working with the other three Band Captains this year was a great experience. We were all able to bring something different to the table and used our individual strengths to better the band as best we could.

Having the privilege of holding this position, among other things, put the UCMB into perspective. Being on-field leaders can be challenging when you have 300 people to look out for. I had to be hyper-aware of what was going on on the field at all times during rehearsal, and through this, I got to have a more holistic image of what the band really is. The most rewarding part of being a Band Captain is watching everything finally come together. From fixing little things such as cohesive facings to being able to critique the band at a larger scale up on the tower, I was so fortunate to see the hard work of each individual come together to produce one UCMB. Watching all of the section leaders put in countless hours to ensure the best for their section and their band was truly inspiring. And the same goes for watching the members grow as not just marchers and musicians, but as people. Knowing that I got to be a part of and lead such an amazing group of people is the most humbling experience I could ever ask for. I can’t wait to see it all happen again next year!

Section Leader Reflection
By: Marie McColgan 
I never thought I’d be in a Collegiate Marching Band, nevertheless, a leader within the band.  My high school band “marched” during the Memorial Day Parades, but that’s about all the marching experience I had before coming to UConn. I remember getting an email with information about joining the band, but at the time I thought it would be too much for me to handle. Around Halloween my freshman year, one of my friends from high school (Becca DiSarro, Tuba) convinced me to audition for the hockey band since she was joining. I loved playing the games, so a few months later I filled out a membership application to join the UCMB.

Right when I got settled into being an upperclassman within the section, I was taking on the role of section leader alongside Lillian James and Karalyn Meineke for my senior year. We were so excited for the season, with high hopes for the show and the football team (rip bowl game). We only had two new members this year, who caught on so quickly during New Member Weekend, it wasn’t an overwhelming transition into being a section leader. The clarinet section excelled with their section jobs this season. We basically had a 24/7 hype man and planned hang-outs on the regular. One of my favorite things we did as a section was Drill Assessment. We’d make dinner and go through the drill as a section. The section leaders would go through in advance catching spots we’d need to cover, we even made PowerPoints with screenshots from the drill videos compared to screenshots from the UDB app, which was a little extra. We laughed at our silly mistakes then talked business about how to improve them. I’m sure no one else in the band noticed, but Dr. Mills actually complimented us several times during the season. Thus, we were confident enough in our forms to make something that looked similar to a diagonal in America.

I’m so proud of what we accomplished as a band, but more of what the clarinets accomplished as a section. The show was hard, requiring engagement in music and drill at all times, and we excelled. What amazed me the most was how we came together, even when things didn’t happen as planned. For instance, marching into Fenway, switching between lines of 8, then to 6, then 4, back to 6, down to 2s, then in a single file at one point. Part 3 was the enemy of the clarinets for a couple weeks when we were first given the music. I sat down for 4 hours one night and typed all of Part 3 into MuseScore so the clarinets could slay Despacito. Even though the time I spent in marching band was a mere three years, I feel as though the experiences and friendships I made will impact the rest of my life.

UCMB President Reflection
By: Meghan Wood 
As 2018 settles in, I’m getting more and more excited to return to campus and be back with the band! Our end-of-season banquet in January is one of my favorite nights of the 
year because it’s a time for the UCMB to gather again, catch up, and look back on an incredible season. Banquet also marks the beginning of new terms for our recently-elected class representative and officers, and I am so honored to be beginning my second term as President alongside the 2017 officer board! Thank you to all those who participated in elections for our upcoming positions - I am so excited to continue working towards making the UCMB the best it can be and supporting our members.

As our return to Storrs gets closer, I wanted to recognize the 2017 class representatives & officer board for their incredibly hard work over the past year. Thank you for your dedication to the UCMB, for taking your positions and running with them, and for working to further this band on top of classes, rehearsal, work and everything else! It’s truly been an amazing year working alongside all of you, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes you!

To the 2018 class reps & officer board: I can’t wait to get started! Thank you for taking these steps to get even more involved with the UCMB. I am so excited to start working towards your goals and to get to know many of you even better.

These positions are important to the UCMB, but are not by any means the only ways to make a difference this coming year. If you are interested in getting more involved, there are countless ways to do so!

I hope that 2018 is treating everyone well so far, and I can’t wait to see many of you soon; whether at banquet, at rehearsal, in class or somewhere else! TUP!

... are you ready for it?

Hey Band! It's crazy that the fall semester has already come to a close and that the holiday season is already in full effect. This past marching band season flew by but was definitely one to remember. A quick reminder that the annual band banquet is: Saturday, January 20th, 2018! It is in Rome Common's Ballroom in South Campus and starts at 5 pm and goes until 10:30 pm! It is important to remember that this night is about you. It is to honor of all the hard work and dedication the members and the staff of the UConn Marching Band put forth this past season to make it the best UCMB ever. This season was amazing. Out of this world, amazing. Put on your dancing shoes and get excited. I look forward to seeing you all there. A meal survey will be coming out shortly from the sophomore representatives as well as a song request form. Start memorizing the lyrics to Piano Man now! It has been a pleasure planning your banquet. Thank you for such an outstanding season! We would also like to take a moment to introduce the 2018 season's sophomore representatives: Spencer Walker, Garrett Collins, Natalie Wong, and Logan McDonald. Congratulations! 


Your 2017 Sophomore Representatives: Kyle Korb, Gillian Foley, Hunter Stuart, and Nick Ottalagana! 

Got Alumni News? 
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Current Staff
Editor: Meg Ennis
Staff Writers: Sydney Cotto, Ellie Tripp, Bridget Grenier, Tim Paproski, Garrett Collins, Kyle Cielo, Marie Randle, Oliver Kochol, Samantha Morales, Annie Clark, Alysha DeGennaro, Brooke Ellis, Gillian Foley, Sammi Swistak, Meghan Wood, Karalyn Meineke, David Kerr, Chloe Vollaro, Joe Stickles, and Jake Bavarsky

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UConn Marching Band · 1295 Storrs Road, Unit 1012 · Storrs, CT 06269-1012 · USA

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