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New Hopkins Pep Band Brings Spirit to Sporting Events

Lily Meyers ’20, Assistant Arts Editor, Anushree Vashist ’21
This year, Hopkins’s frst ever Pep Band performs at sporting events.
The Pep Band is an instrumental ensemble which, unlike other ensembles, performs to energize the crowd at sports games. Band conductor Chris DeVona explained, “Hopkins started a Pep Band to show our support for the athletics program and promote school spirit from students and fans at the games.” Hopkins students with a passion for playing music have an opportunity to learn and play songs in a low-stress environment in the Pep Band. Ian Dailis ’20 refected on the musicians in the group: “Since this is an extracurricular open to everyone, it only pulled the people who would love to play in a band. It is a lot more cohesive, fun, and the pieces come together easily and well.”

According to DeVona, “The Pep Band plays all sorts of fun music from pop songs to rock anthems, ska tunes, and classic hits.” Liz Bamgboye ’20, Pep Band saxophonist, enjoyed playing the piece Seven Nation Army, while Dylan Sloan ’18 was fond of All the Little Things by Blink-182 because “it has a great spirited, upbeat vibe to it and it’s a lot of fun to play.”

For many of the musicians, playing in the Pep Band provided a performing experience different than one they might normally experience during a concert. Sophia Colodner ’19 was surprised by the difference, saying, “It’s really fun and high-energy to play at sports games, because, surprisingly, it feels less scary than playing at a concert.” Bamgboye observed a difference in the goal of their performance, saying, “It feels different, but it’s a good type of different. The people there are not exactly at the game to hear you. They’re there to cheer on the team. You are not there to show off your skills. You’re there to hype up the crowd. It’s kind of refreshing.”

The band debuted at a Girls Varsity Basketball Game on January 6. Gigi Speer ’18, a member of the team, thought the band was encouraging, stating, “I loved that the Pep Band could make their debut at our game, it really hyped us up during warmups and time outs and I know the whole team enjoyed it. The Pep Band at our game was exciting and made it feel like we were playing in college or something. Amazing!”

The members of the band have high hopes for the ensemble in the future. Sloan said, “Of course we’re working on fne-tuning and expanding our repertoire, but the most important thing is performing! I hope we can perform at a variety of school events and draw some crowds. I encourage everyone to come out and hear what we’ve got!” Dailis wishes for the “expansion of the [Pep Band] program” and hopes to “play at more games” and “have a larger song selection.”

The Pep Band is still growing and, according to DeVona, “is open to anyone who plays a band instrument, and we’re fexlible with time commitments. Come enjoy playing music and sharing Hopkins pride!”
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