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A Look Back on the 2017 UCMB
By: Meghan Wood
 
            Beginning last spring, the 2017 UConn Marching Band began to form – Drum Majors & Band Captains, section leaders, recruiting team members, Directors and staff (including our wonderful Summer Staff) began emailing, calling, and working to confirm who would be a part of this year’s band. Oh, how we’ve grown since then!
            In July, after years of fundraising and planning, the long-awaited UCMB Tower was placed at our rehearsal field by W-Lot… just in time for our new season! During the summer UCMB Open House, some of our new members got their first peek into the band including meeting their section leaders, other new members and even some returning members in their section. Our show for this year, Fusion Symphony, was officially announced as well!
            August gave us our 2017 
preseason, when we welcomed members new and old to Storrs for a week of incredible work creating Fusion Symphony. The UCMB went digital this year, trading paper drill books for the UDB app and preseason was the perfect time to hit the ground running with our new technology! After just five days together, we performed our annual Concert at Mirror Lake and our performance season was born… just in time for our first Pregame and halftime performance at the game against Holy Cross.
            September held our Preview Show on campus, the Celebrate Mansfield Parade and the football game against East Carolina. We also officially welcomed Mr. Ricardo Brown to UConn as our new Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and loved learning to work with him (and learn some awesome dance moves along the way!).
October was a month filled with UCMB performances, including football games against Memphis, 
Tulsa, and Missouri; on-campus performances for our Family Weekend show and Homecoming parade; and three exhibition shows in three states (Worcester, MA; Wallingford, CT; East Rutherford, NJ).  The game against Tulsa was our Homecoming game, a strong tradition for the UCMB which allowed us to bring more than 150 members of the Alumni Marching Band back onto the field!
            Finally, November held an exhibition show at the NESBA championships in Lawrence, MA as well as football games against USF and Boston College - when the Band was fortunate enough to travel in its entirety to Fenway Park for the performance!
            Our show, Fusion Symphony, is a combination of old and new; time-honored pieces of music combined with 
some 
of today’s hits, and I can say both as a performer and a fan that this show was incredible. This newsletter is being sent out after we’ve completed our last performance of the season, and I have never been prouder to say that I am a member of the best band in the world. The hard work, dedication, leadership, innovation, and friendships that I’ve witnessed this year have been truly awe-inspiring. We performed our show for fans in three states, at seven football games, four exhibitions, and three at-home performances, but countless times for us. Thank you to the UCMB, family, friends, fans and the entire UConn community for constantly inspiring all of us to perform to our highest ability. TUP!

Get Involved with the UCMB 
By: Gaby Rodriguez

           Coming to UConn as an out-of-state freshman last year, I found it a little challenging to imagine myself comfortable so far away from Illinois. I had moved around before to different countries due to my dad’s job, but my family used to stick together no matter what. I felt that finding an activity that reminded me of home was my best option and I decided to give marching band a try. I had always been involved with my high school’s marching band by serving as section leader and uniform captain for three years. My low woodwind section was pretty much my second family at school and we all still keep in touch no matter how busy we get. My goal was to focus on growing as a musician and better person once the season kicked off, but I found myself overwhelmed trying to balance school, friends, and activities even more than I had in high school. Unfortunately, I was not able to help out the band as much as I had hoped. It came to a point when I just went with the flow and disappointed myself for not trying different things. The season flew by and next thing I knew nominations for next season’s o-board positions came out. This time I had convinced myself that it was my time to finally give back, but my shyness slowly discouraged me to let the opportunity go. It was frustrating to let myself down just because of self-doubt, but I made a promise that for next season I would definitely start putting more time in with the band. 
          Fast Forward to the present season and an opportunity arose. The merchandise coordinator position was soon to be vacant and they were looking for someone to take over for the rest of the season. At first, I thought that it would be a lot of work and there was no way I was going to be able to fulfill the job’s charges in so little time. Thankfully my friends convinced me to give it a go and as the season comes to an end I am happily working on finishing off my duties on a high note while planning to run for a full term for next year. Although I held my position for a few months, it helped me to get to know other sections while helping them out with what they needed. You learn to navigate easily through obstacles that can also be applied to your everyday life. In my opinion, my position has helped me become a better listener, communicator and problem solver among many more skills! It gives me a bigger purpose as to why I should continue getting involved with the UCMB. Coming up with ideas to make the band even better excites me as we strive as a group for success. In the future, I hope to bring more suggestions to improve our fast growing ensemble and continue in getting involved even more.
 

Life After the UCMB
By Marie Randle

            As much as we love our time in the UCMB at some point it has to come to an end. A few recently graduated UCMB members have agreed to give us an insight into what we might expect as we leave the UCMB and enter the real world.
           Some get jobs right out of college like Kevin Ellis and Niko Montminy from the Clarinet section. Both Kevin and Niko graduated last year and have successfully joined the workforce at BL Companies as a civil engineer and at Aetna in medical underwriting. As different as their lives are they are enjoying work and loving life. Kevin wasn’t able to come to any football games but managed to see us perform at the Lyman Hall exhibition and Homecoming. Niko, on the other hand, was lucky enough to score season tickets and has been cheering from the stands as we play our hearts out. While both miss everyone in the band and the fun time they had, leaving the band was a different experience for them. For Niko it took some time for “wait, I’m not in Band anymore” feeling to settle in. As he began to get used to it he realized he could continue helping the band through the UCAMB. While for Kevin it was time for him to move on and he appreciates all that band has done for him but he is on to the next chapter of his life. Kevin’s words of wisdom for you seniors “The days are slow but the years are fast. Make sure you go out and do something different whenever you can.” Niko’s “There’s still a lot more of life for you guys to explore: learn a new language, travel the world, teach music to those who wouldn’t normally have the experience. But you always will have the incredible support of your band family behind you and a home to come back to, both in the UCMB and in the UCAMB.”

            Another path one might take after finishing undergrad is graduate school. It might be here at UConn or somewhere else completely. Paige Kingsley, another clarinet player, is attending graduate school here at UConn for audiology. Since she has been so busy with school she hasn’t had much time to come and visit but she made it back to the alumni game and has attended a few practices. Now that she commutes to school it is harder for her to see her band friends but occasionally has lunch with them. Much like Kevin and Niko, Paige misses the band and all the people in it. She enjoyed the support system the band offered and the pure joy of putting on a great show with friends. Although grad school has been taking up a lot of her time she enjoys it and highly recommends pursuing your passion even if it means a few more years of school.

            Last but certainly not least, I was able to speak to Emmy Cooper, one of last years clarinet section leaders. Emmy hasn’t gone to graduate school or found her dream job yet. She has many options of what to do now, the only tough thing left is to chose what she wants to do, a daunting decision at the best of times. Emmy is lucky enough that she lives quite close to campus and has a sister on campus so she sees band people quite often and has season tickets to the football games. Although it is different to experience the games from the audience rather than from the band she still enjoys the games and especially the band. Her best words of advice are “Cherish these next couple of months, they will be some of your most memorable of your college journey. But above all else, don’t be afraid of the unknown. It’s okay if you don’t have a fully-fledged plan or a plan at all for after graduation. Take the time, if you need it, to decide where and how you want to start.”

           Since I am only a sophomore I have two more fun-filled seasons to go in the UCMB but talking to these graduates has shown me that there is still life after the UCMB. You can always fall back on your family and help out in the UCAMB. There will always be plenty to do even after you graduate.

Winter Guard Is Around the Corner 
By: Gillian Foley  

          Hey, band! Have you ever wanted to try something a little out of your comfort zone but still related to the band? Consider joining the UConn Winter Guard! It’s exactly what you think it is. It is color guard…. inside… to recorded music…. The group competes around Connecticut throughout the spring semester. No experience is needed, just an open mind! Color Guard is a blast. You’ll learn not only spinning basic but, dance basics and some tricks along the way. You’ll finally be able to do a drop spin, pop toss, and 45 toss! Get excited. If you are not willing to commit to the entire season, still consider checking out our open spins where you can come learn and appreciate our art! We would love to teach you! December 2nd is the next camp! With any questions see Haley Hubbell or Emilee Wooldridge… TUP!
 

Fenway! 
By Meg Ennis 

 
         On the beautiful, Saturday afternoon of November 18th, the UCMB loaded the buses one last time this year to begin the trip to Boston. Everyone was sentimental since this was our last performance of the season, however, excitment soon began to take over our bodies. As we drove by that dirty water, the Prudential building, and the Green Monster it all began to feel real. We were actually going to perform at Fenway Park. America's most beloved stadium. The very stadium most of us grew up watching Red Sox games at. The very stadium that legends took the field. Even if you weren't a Red Sox fan, you would've still appreciated this performance. 
         The game was UConn Huskies vs. Boston College Eagles. I could give the score of the game, but it's not important. You care about the band, hence you're here reading this. The band definitely hit grand slams with the pregame and halftime performances! All the fans were screaming and cheering with statements of how well we performed. Even the announcers made a statement on national television stating, "the band is absolutely rocking the place, despite the unfortunate score."
          During the game, it also started to downpour, but of course, that did not affect our spirit or energy. We weren't even phased. We just slayed the oversized raincoat and kept doing our thing. And don't you worry, we may have lost the game but we still ended our stand tunes with Old Friend! 
 
Lawrence Recap
By: Alysha DeGennaro

 
          On the chilly Sunday morning of November 5, after a football game on Saturday and an extra hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings, the members of the UCMB were fueled up and ready to take on the day! Like normal, the UCMB gathered at W-lot to board the buses. Approximately 2 hours later, we finally arrived in Lawrence, Massachusetts for NESBA.
         After our arrival, we were given time to watch some performances from high schools across Massachusetts. Also during this time, the UCMB found Wendy’s across from the venue
sight and could be found fulfilling their appetites.
        Next up, was the actual performance. For all members, it was the last full run of Fusion Symphony, but it was especially meaningful for the seniors, as it was their last full run of their career with the UCMB. This performance was definitely one of the best, and the band was feeding off of the energy the crowd was providing. At the conclusion of the performance, the band gathered at the front of the track for the performance of “Old Friend”. The spectators loved this part, and it could be seen the band was having an amazing time.
          Following the performance, the band gathered for a speech from Dr. Mills and the singing of the Alma Mater. After a long weekend filled with band, band, and more band, the UCMB arrived back home in Storrs, ready for a good night’s sleep.

 
History Corner

The 2005 UCMB Show was "A Walk Down Broadway" with Drum Majors Aaron Burgess, Jon Gorky, and Tricia Rogers. 

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 ucmb.news@gmail.com with your news and get it published in future newsletters!
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Current Staff
Editor: Meg Ennis
Staff Writers: Kyle Cielo, Marie Randle, Oliver Kochol, Samantha Morales, Annie Clark, Alysha DeGennaro, Brooke Ellis, Gillian Foley, Sammi Swistak, Meghan Wood, Karalyn Meineke, David Kerr, Matt Chodes, 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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