Preseason Reflections, Story Behind UCMB Fusion, Alumni Spotlight, and more! 
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Why Do Marching Band?  
By: Kyle Cielo 

Marching band is beautiful. It's funny because so many people have asked me why I spend all those hours in the sun sweating and marching on a black top, 3 days a week, 6-7 hours total. Why am I doing this when I could be relaxing in a cool room somewhere else watching TV or whatnot. My answer every time usually goes along the lines of: "Why not?"

Why do athletes practice hard every week? To improve and better themselves; to win games. It may not seem rational all the time but it's for the love of the sport.

For us, it's for the show. We don't win anything but the satisfaction that we're giving these people a great time in the stands and that we're doing better than before. It's for the people who need to hear some amazing music at halftime. It's because we're the people in the background working to give the world what we've spent weeks preparing for it. There's something great about putting all your hard work and effort into play when you step on that field. And I've done it for practically 8 years of my life in a row. I've done it so much that whenever I'd take a step onto the field with the UCMB, everything would just freeze for a second. It's just me in a band of 300+ people, in front of a couple hundred fans with the sky as my ceiling and the ground pushing off behind me at the perfect moment and I'm asking myself in such a silly way: "Why am I here?" I do it for the love of music and marching and there's no doubt that I never regret doing it.

Come Support the 2017 UCMB!
Come out to support the band and experience UCMB Fusion, trust me you won't want to miss it!

Fri, Oct. 6

UConn vs. Memphis

Sat, Oct. 7

Family Weekend Showcase @ Jorgensen Center of Performing Arts

Sun, Oct. 8

New England Collegiate Marching Band Festival @ Worcester, MA

Sat, Oct. 14

USBands @ Lyman Hall High School

Sat, Oct. 14

Yamaha Cup @ Metlife Stadium

Sun, Oct. 15

Homecoming Parade

Sat, Oct. 21

UConn vs. Tulsa (Homecoming)

Sat, Oct. 28

UConn vs. Missouri

Sat, Nov. 4

UConn vs. USF

Sun, Nov. 5

New England Scholastic Band Association Championship @ Lawrence, MA

Sat, Nov. 18

UConn vs. Boston College @ Fenway Park

Preseason Freshman Year vs. Senior Year
By: Alysha DeGennaro & Kyle Cielo & Meg Ennis 

The Questions

  1. What's your name, year, section, major and hometown?
  2. What was your favorite part of preseason?
  3. What were your thoughts during New Member Weekend?
  4. Do you have any advice for future band members for preseason?
  5. How did you feel during Convention (nostalgic, scared, excited, etc.)?
  6. What is your favorite part of the sequence?
  7. What was racing through your mind during the circle ceremony (whether it was your first one or last one)?
  8. What's your favorite stand tune to play? For any particular reason?
  9. How would you describe your section?

1. Alysha DeGennaro, Freshman Class of 2021, Color Guard, Chemistry, Cheshire, Connecticut
2. My favorite part of P
reseason was Convocation. I don’t want to give anything away for future members, but walking into Jorgensen was something I’ll never forget. I think it’s the first time I felt like I was actually part of the UCMB and I couldn’t have been more excited. I could feel the school spirit and pride as soon as I entered the room, and that was something like no other.
3. During New Member W
I remember my first thought being about the size of the band. I realized that the freshman class was already bigger than my whole band from home and the guard was bigger than my guard ever was. This made me very excited to add the returning members and start learning the show. I knew that being involved in the UCMB was going to be an experience like no other, and so far it’s been absolutely amazing.
4. My advice to future band members for preseason 
is be prepared and on time. I felt like I was always ready to go, and it took a lot of unnecessary stress away. Just do what you came here to do, and give 110%- nothing less. Always remember what you give is what you get.
5. Like I said previously in the second question, Convocation was my favorite part of preseason. I felt very excited to be a part of the UCMB, and every day going to practice I still feel the same excitement as I did when I was being welcomed into this band family.
6. My favorite part of the sequence is hearing everyone shout “Hip Hip Hooray.”
7. The whole time I was just wondering what was going on. I wasn’t nervous, and once again just excited to be an official member. The Circle Ceremony was something I’ve never really seen before, but it was definitely fun.
8. Since I’m in the guard I don’t play the 
stand tunes, but I honestly love listening and dancing to them all!
9. My section is incredible. The first time I met them I knew I was in the right place. Transitioning from one guard to another is super hard, but they know how to make me smile and laugh. I can’t say thank you enough for welcoming me into your group and making me feel like a part of a family.

1. Kyle Cielo, Senior, Baritone, Materials Science & Eng., Newington, CT
2. Personally, I love the day everyone gets together to sing the Alma Mater for the first time as an entire band. It's one of the first days when people from different sections are put together and are able to socialize. It also brings us together for a mutual passion in music and a time to relax from marching for a while. Especially when all 300+ members of the band sing along; it truly sounds beautiful. Also I just really love singing.
3. I was a bit nervous at first. Obviously, if you've never lived on a campus before you still have to shake off that feeling of being homesick after a while. But once I got used to it, I realized I was making so many new friends in the span of two days. There's just something about band kids that truly helps us bond easily together.
4. Starting off with the obvious things: PLEASE don't forget to bring sunscreen, a water bottle, sunglasses, sneakers, clothes you're comfortable sweating (profusely) in, and a ton of socks. (Trust me I forgot to bring enough socks one preseason and let me tell you it was not a fun time for me at first). In addition, take some time in preaseason to get yourself accustomed to different aspects of the band whether it's seeing how leadership works, logistics, our media team, etc. You're going to have a lot of time to see how the band works in the future but there's no harm in finding out in that first week.

5. I felt pretty nostalgic and a bit bittersweet during Convocation. I mean, every year it's usually the same thing, but it's just crazy to think just 3 years ago on a cool night I was in those seats after what seemed to be an extremely long parade route to Jorgensen while getting used to holding my baritone the entire time. I didn't know what to expect and now that I'm here I realized there was no way I would ever be able to know. And I can't wait until all the new members realize they won't be able to expect all the great experiences they'll have in the UCMB.
6. My favorite part of the sequence? "Hip, hip, shoulder, shoulder, hold." Now you may be thinking: "Oh it's totally because we don't move at that part" and I would respond to that saying: ".....well, yeah". But despite that, I believe the first part of the sequence is crucial because you start off focusing on posture and hip movement; something that a lot of people overlook from time to time.
7. My first circle ceremony? Honestly my first thought was that I kind of wanted a glow stick but other than that it made me feel important to be joining this band. It wasn't like "Hey come join us a week before school to march and sweat a lot in the sun". It was more welcoming and something that gave me the feeling of truly "being the U in UCMB". (And then going back to marching and sweating a lot in the sun). My thoughts going through my last circle ceremony ever was that this band did a lot more for me than I ever thought it would. I believe it brought out a part of me that I'll always be happy about. It made me proud to choose to be in marching band in the first place.
8. For me this is the band equivalent of saying what's my favorite ice cream because they're all so good because you know #bandislife and #icecreamislife. But if I could choose one it would be Cold Hearted; it's a classic and I just absolutely love the low brass part in it.
9. Ahh the baritones. Switching to brass after playing clarinet in high school was a big transition but the baritone section always helped me feel at home no matter what.

The baritones are an ecstatic group of people; we're a bit crazy and eccentric at times but that's what makes me love every single one of them. We may be silly most of the time but we're humble (I can't count how many times people have either never heard of a baritone or mistaken us as a mellophone). We may not be an instrument everyone knows but when we're out on the field marching, trust me, we make sure people out there know who we are. I believe what really brings us together is our inclusiveness, unity and, of course, our love for seedless watermelons. All day, every day.

Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Churchill
By: Sam Morales 

Q: Tell me about you! What are your interests, where are you from, and why did you originally decide to be a part of the UCMB?

A: My name is Lauren Churchill, formerly Lauren Sansoucy when I was in the UCMB. I am from Griswold, CT where I live with my Husband Ray, 9-year-old daughter, Sydney, My father-in-law, and our cock-a-poo, Eddie. I love spending time with my daughter, who most people say is my “mini-me”.  If that is true, then she is definitely the upgraded version! She is a beautiful, funny, outgoing, kind and musical, 9-year-old who brings such joy to my heart and my life. Most of my free time is spent with Syd doing one of her many activities. It is a busy life we lead but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I am in my 13th year of being the High School Band Director at The Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, CT where I have the pleasure of working with 3 other music teachers who are also University of CT graduates.  I stay connected to UConn by hosting Music Education Majors as interns every fall and usually take a student teacher each spring. Last spring, I had the pleasure of hosting the incredible Robin Patrick and this spring I will have the joy of working with Tim Paproski. I love being a part of this incredible moment in a soon-to-be teacher’s education! When I can fit it in, I am a trumpet player by trade. As a band director and a mom, I don’t get much time to play for “myself” at this point in my life but when I do, I really love to play and gig. It reminds me of my musical self. For now, however, I am completely content with my snapshots of personal musical experiences and instead, get my “musical fix” through listening to my daughter’s piano lessons and working with my students at school.

I am originally from Wallingford, CT, where my dad was my high school band director. Although having my dad as my teacher brought many challenges, it also was an incredible experience and one that solidified my desire to become a high school band director! My high school had a competitive marching program which meant that my love for this type of group started even before I was a member of The UCMB. I remember my twin sister and I trying to decide on colleges. Marching programs were actually a serious factor in our decision. We also decided that no matter what, we didn’t want to go to the same college.

Ironically enough; we both ended up at UConn, both majored in music education, both spent our final season as UCMB Drum Majors (probably the most incredible experience to share with your twin sister) and are now both band directors at Independent High Schools in Connecticut. I suppose no matter how different we tried to be, we were always drawn back together. Joining the UCMB was never a question for me. It was just assumed that this was a group I must be a part of. Although the large time commitment was challenging with my heavy course load each semester, it was very much worth it. More than any class that I took or any other experience I had, The UCMB prepared me for teaching and leading my students.

Q: How has the UCMB changed over time, and how has it impacted YOUR life?

A: I graduated from UConn in 2005. This always seems like just yesterday to me until I meet high school students who were born after the year 2000. I find that as the students change, so must the UCMB. For instance, many of the traditions, such as pink name tags for the freshmen, or new members marching and singing to their meals have gone away and new things like new uniforms, rehearsal towers, and shiny silver brass instruments enrich the band. Although there have been many changes on the surface the core of what the UCMB is has not changed and that is what is truly important. This organization still represents honor and pride.  It is still a true family and support system for its members.   Through the UCMB, members learn leadership, teamwork, dedication and many other important lessons all through the vehicle of music. The UCMB truly helped to make me who I am today. This organization allowed me to grow as a musician, a leader, and a person. Although it has been many years since I graduated, I still feel very connected to this group as though they will always be “my people”. I stay in touch with directors and band members from when I was at UConn and I still feel supported by this band family. The UCMB helped me to gain the experience and confidence that I needed to be successful.

Q: What is your favorite UCMB memory?

A: There are so many memories that I could classify as my favorite but one that came to mind was in the trumpet section, preparing for this crazy trumpet part that Marvin McNeil had written for us. At one point in the show, the whole trumpet section had to stand shoulder to shoulder and play this insanely fast line then reach under our own trumpets and play on the persons trumpet to your left. It was insane trying to get more than 40 trumpet players to do this in sync and took weeks, but eventually, we nailed it! It was amazing. This was just one of those hilariously fun times that we had working toward an idea that Dr. Mills or Marvin came up with.  No section leader would dare tell Dr. Mills that it was too difficult or that we couldn’t do it. We would all just chuckle a bit and then say, “yup, no problem”. These were the times that brought us together and truly made us a section.

Q: What are your goals for the UCMB? What is something you hope to still see years from now in the UCMB?

A: My goal for the UCMB is that it continues to thrive and grow. I would like the university and the state continues to recognize this organization for the incredibly important powerhouse that it is and support it as such. They must protect this organization with everything they have. It truly represents the best in The University of Connecticut.  I hope that years from now, I still see traditions like the pre-game sequence, and “Hey Band”, seniors leaving their shoes on the field after the last game and most importantly the true love and respect that members and alumni have for the UCMB. Long after Dr. Mills retires and we alumni who still “feel” like it was yesterday that we were marching in the UCMB are grey, I hope that the open door for those who have come before and the integrity of the band remains as true as it is today. I always feel as though I have a home in the UCMB. I hope that that is always the case as the UCMB will always be an important part of me!

The Story Behind UCMB Fusion
By: Ben Koomson
Once upon a time, about a year ago I had an idea for a show. If anyone follows my tweets (@sonofkoom) then y'all know about #ucmbkanye. UCMB likes to do things no one has ever done so I thought this would be one of those things. A show dedicated to Kanye West. When the UCMB comes up with a show there's a big theme with songs related to that theme so dedicating a show to one artist was going to be tough. I thought we would be able to pull off a Kanye show because of his diverse discography. If y'all have listened to 808s and MBDTF then you know what I'm talking about. The show was just a tiny seed in my head until a trip to Six Flags with cymbals plus Lillian James and Brianna Walker. We were in line waiting for some clown attraction when I started talking about #ucmbkanye. We started shooting ideas back and forth when Lillian said we should start the show with a Taylor Swift song and a track of Kanye interrupting her (throwback to 2009 VMAs). I thought that was genius but some people in the audience and Taylor fans may not agree. I forgot a lot of things said that night but Meg Ennis and Lillian had some good ideas. Fast forward to spring semester, I knew the time to decide the show was coming up so I had to talk to my boy Marvin. I thought a PowerPoint would be a good way to show him my idea so I hit up my fellow cymbal and DMD major David Kerr. We worked on a PowerPoint (I told him what to do and he put it on PowerPoint). I think it took about 2 weeks to make. I know that's long for a PowerPoint but you can't rush perfection. There were some people who didn't like my idea because they don't like Kanye so I had to modify some parts of the show and PowerPoint. When it was all done we presented it to Marvin and he loved it. We had a couple of more meetings to discuss details like buying rights and all that jazz. In the end, he came up with the idea to fuse old music with new music because a Kanye West show would be hard to work around. If we had a name like Fusion Symphony it would be easier to get a larger diversity of songs. Fun fact: Marvin was not going to use black skinhead at first because he thought the title of the song was too vulgar so I was surprised to hear it in Part 2.
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!

Kicking Off Football Season: UConn vs. Holy Cross Recap
By: Annie Clark

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 31st, members of the UCMB could be spotted around campus heading to class wearing their little dog shirts, garment bags and shako boxes in hand. It was time for the first football game of the season, and they were prepared to make the mad dash to W-Lot to be on time for call.

Just as the rest of the band was arriving at 4:00pm, the early crew bus pulled out of the lot on its way to PAWS-ARF.   With the guidance the logistics team, returning members and new members alike jumped into the routine of unloading the trucks and vans, setting up the podiums, filling water jugs, and more (it’s a long list).   Meanwhile, the Husky Walk band marched around the lots and the stadium concourse, entertaining tailgaters with various tunes.  

At 5:15, the five remaining UCMBusses arrived, and it was time for dinner! Everyone’s favorite band-whiches made their season debut, including the classic Husky Peanut Butter and Jelly, and a new option, Italian Primavera.  A uniform change and parking lot rehearsal later, and it was show time!  The media team’s awesome hype video played as the band’s introduction, and soon after Krypton Fanfare thundered through the stadium.  Before we knew it, pregame was over, and the game was on!  

Our Huskies got off to a good start, scoring the first touchdown of the game and leading at the end of the first quarter by 4 points.  The second quarter was tough, and the despite our encouragement with chants of “Defense!” and plenty of Cheers 1 and 2, Holy Cross scored two touchdowns, leading over the Huskies 20 to 7 at halftime.

As the clock ran out, we donned our uniform jackets and shakos, and ran onto the field to start Part One of UCMB Fusion Symphony.  The crowd cheered when the first menacing notes of Beethoven’s Fifth rose through the seats, and when they recognized Kanye and Imagine Dragons thrown into the mix.  The fantastic low brass kept them cheering as they rocked out to Chicago, Another One Bites the Dust, Jaws, and other recognizable tunes with famous baselines.  Finally, Gabriella delighted the crowd with her flaming twirling performance to I Feel Good.  Just like that, the show was over, and it was time to return to the stands.  

The third quarter was a fight to make it down the field by both teams, but Connecticut prevailed in the final seconds, scoring a touchdown and brining the score to 20-14.  The band erupted in cheers and a loud rendition of the Fight Song to celebrate.  

Drumline then hyped up the student section with their rocking third quarter show performance from Part 1 of Fusion Symphony, complete with everyone’s favorite bass drop before Believer.  

Re-energized, the football team pulled ahead with a touchdown early on in the final quarter, leading 21 to 20.  They secured their lead with yet another touchdown, and the Huskies took the win with a final score of UConn 27, Holy Cross 20.  

The postgame performance consisted of more Part 1, and concluded with the traditional singing of the Alma Mater.  With our shakos worn backwards, we loaded the trucks, van, and buses.  From all around the stadium, the drumline could be heard triumphantly playing the “If” dance.

Around 12:20am the next morning, a weary UCMB pulled back into W-Lot.   With the first game, first win, and first major performance of the season under our belts, we shuffled home and hit our beds for some much-needed sleep.

The Pride Poll
by Oliver Kochol

Hey there, readers! Welcome back to another year of fun UCMB polls. Now that the fall has officially fallen upon us, us here at the Pride would like to know what is your favorite fall trend!

Vote Now
Follow the UCMB On Social Media!
Current Staff
Editor: Meg Ennis
Staff Writers: Kyle Cielo, Oliver Kochol, Samantha Morales, Annie Clark
Contributing Writers:  Ben Koomson,  Alysha DeGennaro

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