By CAITLIN KNOX
The Bands of Georgetown College have been around for 168 years; providing entertainment, quality music and morale boosts to our athletes. What would football and basketball games be like without our Grr… Band? How would the fans, distracted by their nachos, know that GC had scored without the tune of celebration in the background? Sporting events just wouldn’t be the same without them.
The “Fighting Tiger Grrr… Pep Band,” shortened to FTGPB or Grr… Band, is made up of an eclectic group of music majors, minors and electives. It is not a requirement for students, and you are accepted based on an audition or interview. “We look for a good ‘fit’ and students who are exemplars of our Five-Fold Band Tenets—academic excellence, musical achievement, spiritual values, leadership skills and commitment to Georgetown College,” says Dr. Pete LaRue. The Grr… Band as we know it came to us when LaRue became band director in 1993.
To the talented instrumentalists, it is a bonding experience. Playing for hours in the heat and never being able to sit with non-band friends during games can seem like a terrible time, but not when you’re practically family. “In all honesty, I really enjoy pep band,” says saxophonist Crystal Jackson. “It’s really time consuming and kind of crazy, but it’s fun.”
Senior Lauren Kohake has been playing flute in pep band since her freshman year, and she agrees with Jackson. “Pep band (and band in general) is like a family. We encourage each other musically, academically and spiritually. You can’t really understand Tiger Bands unless you’re a part of it,” she says. When asked what she remembered most out of her four years involved in Pep band, her favorite memories included: “going to basketball games in Frankfort, laying on the sidelines at a football game and going to Windsor Gardens to play for the residents.”
The Tiger Symphonic Band plans to have a concert on Nov. 19, with an apocalypse theme. Why base a concert on the end of the world? “Just in case the Mayans are right,” say LaRue, referring to the Mayan calendar theory that the apocalypse will hit this Dec. 21, 2012. Senior tubist and composer Evan Harrell will be premiering an original work; a piece that he wrote with the concert theme in mind. “The idea of writing about the end of the world, apocalypse, whatever you want to call it, seemed intriguing to me,” he said. Although his piece does not have a name yet, he describes it as “looking at the end of the world from the other side: redemption, opportunity, a clean slate.”
The Tiger Bands have been everywhere together—Dayton, Pittsburg, Nashville, Memphis, Savannah, Tulsa, St. Louis and Kansas City to name a few- and their director couldn’t be more proud.
“In hundreds and hundreds of performance settings over the years, I have always been consumed with pride regarding the e xtraordinary work and effort of the Band Scholars. They truly are a focal point of excellence, excitement and enthusiasm for our entire campus community.”