Dr. Mills Reflects on the Year, Meet the New Upper Leadership, Winterguard, Upcoming Service and more! 
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2016 Season Wrap-up 
By: Dr. Mills 

It may seem odd to be “wrapping up” our last season as we are building the next, but great work deserves celebration and accolade, and the UCMB 2016 season certainly deserves celebration! Mr. McNeill and I often say our goal is to have the “Best UCMB Ever” each year. That sounds a bit egotistical, but when you consider we are constantly building on the great work our members and staff does each year, that should be the expectation.

The real evaluation of a season is about the people in the band, but to talk about the incredible contributions of each of our members throughout the band would take far too much time and space, so I’m only addressing the visible product of the band. But my memories and feeling of success is centered on them!

The season started off with two fantastic additions to our staff: Jessica von Villas was hired as Assistant Director and Emily Collins came on board as our Administrative Assistant. No two people are more perfect for the jobs they do and the difference they have made already is nothing short of incredible. Everything in our band runs more smoothly because of them and that will only improve with time as we learn to utilize their talents to their maximum level.

Our preseason went tremendously well, we had over 325 eager, enthusiastic and capable members, and the instrumentation was close to ideal. Every section had capable student leadership, and each one just took off! We sailed through musical material, basics, and drill. We got a big lift from a rehearsal at the Rent and a special drone video that went viral. That memory (especially the “Ace of Spades” and “Rock On” formation shots from 400’ up) is still available on the UCMB YouTube channel.

A longtime dream of mine to have a monster band with a powerful brass section wailing with Desperado by Glen Frye and the Eagles, so this kicked off our show with the biggest sound that moved the stands back, before proceeding into a burning arrangement of The Heat is On then on to Motorhead’s Ace of Spades. This was one of our most powerful and effective show openers ever!

The Earth Wind and Fire Show was certainly a musical favorite. People loved In the Stone, Sing a Song, and Let’s Groove Tonight. It provided a great, warm, fun, happy contrast to the power and edge of the part 1 and part 3. And, “edge” there was in the David Bowie salute. Let’s Dance was a nice start that set up a fiery, explosive version of Fame that rocked our audiences and segued into an unexpected choral tribute that bathed the audience in awesome sound and color before ripping it up again with a reprise of Fame even hotter than before. Jeff Weir’s drill for these tunes was one of his very best and our band marched the dot’s off the page!

Of course the “Rockquiem” shows weren’t our only shows, our Salute to the Troops on Military Day, Our “HOPE FOR A CURE” support for Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and our Star Trek, Star Wars show on Band Day were all top notch. To say our season was a great success would be an understatement.

Every facet of our operation was at it’s best: on field performance, in-stands performance, spirit, enthusiasm, and most importantly work ethic. The 2016 UCMB was awesome!

The Metronome 
By: Terry Xia 

What is a metronome?

For those of you who may not know, a metronome is a device that is used by almost all musicians to keep tempo. What is tempo you may ask? Well, tempo is how an ensemble can stay in time with each other. This is usually measured in beats per minute, or “bpm” for short. Metronomes typically emit a clicking sound, meant to be heard by drumline. The drumline then will set the tempo for the ensemble.

Some may think that the use of a metronome is unnecessary if a conductor is present. While this may be true in concert ensemble situations, situations involving a larger area of space (for example, a marching field) requires a metronome to practice with for consistency, so that all members, including the drum major, are used to the correct tempo.

Furthermore, different listening situations at different parts of the field contribute to the need for a metronome. This involves very complex physics that may be too hard to understand, but to summarize: sound travels at over 1,000 feet per second. While this may seem fast, it is actually much, much slower than the speed of light, which is just under 1 billion feet per second.

What does this all mean? This means that if all members are looking at the drum major for the tempo, then people will be in time with the drum major from where they are standing, but as a whole, they are out of time with each other. This is because the audience is generally in the front, where the press box is. Ensembles generally play towards the press box, so if a flute standing at the front sideline and a bass drummer standing on the back hash both watch the drum major for tempo, the audience will hear the flute come in slightly before the bass drum.

So, if you have ever wondered why drumline members are in the back, or why people closer to the front sideline are told to never watch the drum major, this is the reason why. Drums are extremely loud, and also articulate, which is why ensembles are told to listen back for tempo. This is also why metronomes are put in the back of the field. So, in a marching ensemble, metronomes are necessary for a drumline to get used to the tempo they need to be playing at, so that members of the band are able to listen to the drumline for a correct tempo. If no metronome is used, then the drumline could be inconsistent, leading to the band unsure of what the correct tempo is, and that’s how those nasty sounding tears in music sometimes happen.

These are generally what a metronome is ideally used for, as far as marching bands are concerned. For more information, please refer to “Bill Bachman Marching Band Ensemble Technique”.

Brag about Band: Lessons Learned from the UCMB Career Fair
By: Thomas Ropes

The UCMB Career Fair, being the first of its kind, was admittedly not so overwhelming. A handful of band alumni came to support their fellow current members of the organization, but it was just that: a handful. Much less full than the Spring Career Fair here at UConn that fills the Student Union Ballroom and overflows to the room next door. So, naturally, I began to wonder if arriving was really worth it; would one of the very few band alumni standing in front of me be offering a position that would be relevant to my Economics major?

Initially, this did not seem like the case. After all, half of the alumni were engineers, while a few were recruiting for more specific majors than Economics. So, although put off by the possibilities, I nonetheless pursued a conversation with one of the alumni. I was so afraid that I would be turned away by these people the second that I revealed my degree that might not be exactly what they were looking for. So, I decided to start conversations with the one thing that brought us all there in the first place: the UCMB. The result was a flurry of advice and sharing of memories that made me feel so welcomed and at home that it felt more like a high school reunion than a career fair. Comparing experiences with the marching band felt fulfilling; someone somewhere at some random company knew exactly what I had been through and why I was proud to be a member.

Of course, the conversation about the band alone was not exactly what I was looking for, which was a job. And more often than not, I would have these conversations with people that I knew full well could not offer me any sort of position at that time. But, I was given a plethora of information about how I can use my experience to my advantage. I don’t think many of us think about it all the time, but the marching band and the experience that comes along with it is incredibly unique. Not many people can say that they were a section leader for a section that had as little as five to as many as seventy members (depending on which section you hail from). Not many people can also say that they collaborated within their own sections, as well as with the rest of the band, in order to put on our shows. An intense amount of teamwork and communication is needed to be a successful band member, and teamwork and communication are both great things to put on your resume or to talk about during an interview.

The alumni revealed to me (and to the rest of the career fair attendees) a great amount of ways to hype up my band experience, such as: teamwork, communication, leadership (all of which were previously said), the ability to perform repetitive tasks, to follow directions, to change and adapt to a unique and diverse work environment, to take constructive criticism well, and to have adherence to the process by which we do things. These are just a few of the many that we’ve gained while in the UCMB that I never thought about.

All-in-all, the career fair was, to me, a breeding ground for bragging rights about the band. But the more I think about it, bragging rights are a huge part of the job application process. Sometimes it’s hard for us humble band members to find solace in boasting about the band. Will our future employers see the benefits of the experience, or will they think “so what you can march a perfect eight to five, I don’t need that in my company.” Now, because of the career fair, I have no shame in bragging, because the band really does offer very applicable skills to its members. I strongly encourage any member who will be in the band next year to attend, and also any alumni who wish to give back to our members!

Got Alumni News?
Are you an alumnus?  Has something exciting happened concerning you or other alumni?  If so, the Newsletter wants to hear about it!  Contact with your news and get it published in future newsletters!

Service Corner
By: Sam Morales

This month in Service World:
The sisters of Tau Beta Sigma have been planning an instrument play along at Union School in Union, CT. Starting Friday, April 07, Sisters will be visiting Union School, where UCMB alumni Adam Summerer teaches music, to play along with concert band, jazz band, and percussion ensembles. The project aims to provide older role models to students who are getting involved in music. Additionally, the Sisters have organized a reception closet cleaning jointly with the Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. Brothers and Sisters are currently working together to plan an instrument petting zoo next fall where elementary students can come to UConn and see a variety of instruments they could potentially play in their schools.

The Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi have continued their ongoing service projects including maintaining the practice rooms in the music buildings and organizing the uniform closet jointly with the Sisters of Tau Beta Sigma. In addition, some Brothers have spearheaded other projects, one of which will benefit the entire music program. The project entails taking old recordings from every performance here at UConn and upload the audio files into an organized drive so that everyone has easy access to them. Delta Omicron’s perspective member class, Gamma Tau, has taken on the task of cleaning out and organizing the infamous tuba closet in the music building. They will be taking inventory of equipment, reorganizing shelving, and marking instruments that need to be sent out and fixed.

Upcoming Service:
Be on the lookout for announcements about the annual brass cleaning at Dr. Mills’s house! Some band members will be posting spreadsheets organizing rides and times. The brass cleaning is expected to be happening during finals week. ALL ARE WELCOME!

Winterguard Recap
By: Ally Schaefer

On April first the UConn WinterGuard competed in their last show of the season at Trumbull high school for MAC championships. Under the direction of Lauren Hebert and alumni Erin Kelley the guard performed their show "Burned," a show about book burning and the loss of one's individuality. With a final score of 78.95, the WinterGuard walked away with 3rd place medals. Our seniors this year were Aliana Robichaud, Lauren Richdale, and Olivia DeFilippo. Thank you seniors for all your time and dedication that you have put into this program. Everyone in the guard is very proud of what they have accomplished this year and are excited to come back next year.

Huskython 2017
By: Aliana Robichaud 

For The Kids! That’s why on February 18th Hundreds of UConn students participated in an 18-hour dance marathon. The UCMB had it’s largest team ever with 45 members! Our huskython child was a 6 year old boy named Colin. “He has lots of energy, loves minions, and enjoys playing soccer” according to dancer representative and team captain Victoria Krasnick. On being the team leader, Krasnick said, “Being a dancer rep was a great experience that I will never forget. I enjoyed getting everything organized for the night of and was happy that I got to work a little more closely with our huskython child and family.” The evening started out strong with a small pep band playing in all the children and dancer representatives. Around midnight the team was in for a treat when the sisters of Tau Beta Sigma showed up with homemade cookies and energy bars for all the dancers. We kept up our energy with the hourly 10-minute morale dance and Zumba classes and performances. And it all came full circle in the last hour, when all the children returned and said their goodbyes. Looking to surpass last year’s everyone excitedly awaited the big reveal of the final balance, which was 836,174.52! Everyone may have been exhausted at the end, but no one would say it wasn’t worth it.

The Pride Poll
by Oliver Kochol

Now that weather is getting warmer and the summer is getting closer, us here at the Pride want to know what your favorite summer activities are!

Vote Now
Follow the UCMB On Social Media!
Current Staff
Editor: Meg Ennis
Staff Writers: Oliver Kochol, Samantha Morales,
Contributing Writers:  Aliana Robichaud, Ally Schaefer, Terry Xia, Dr. Mills 

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