Bring in the Noise
Pep band, comprised of all band members, attends some of the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games where they play music during timeouts and at halftime, hyping up both the team and the crowd. According to senior pep band member McKenna Brannan, the music they play at games is a mix of new and old pop, rock, stand tunes, and school songs, picked by band director Bernie Gerstmayr, with the goal be ing to make sure that the energy level stays high and that everyone enjoys the music.
Some examples of songs they play are “Victorious,” “Build Me Up Butter cup,” the school fight song, and “Hey, Baby,” which is a band tradition to perform. Pep band students learn most of the music during marching season but they also spend some time in class learning songs to play.
The crowd reaction feeds the band’s energy, and the band delivers their enthusiasm right back. “They love when we play. Many of the spectators will cheer for the band after we played a piece during a break in the game,” sophomore pep band member Tanadol Lawpattanapong said.
“The crowd always gets hyped, especially the super fans. Our energy added to their energy makes the basketball games more enjoyable for everyone,” sophomore pep band member Blake Snyder said.
The basketball players notice a difference in the atmosphere when the pep band is in the stands, too. Sophomore Rachel Kent, a member of the girls’ varsity basketball team, feels like their presence creates a bit of an intimidation factor towards opponents. “When the band is at our home games, it creates a different atmosphere that says, ‘this is our territory’ and we all gain energy from that,” she said.
Rachel’s brother, senior Randy Kent, who plays on the boys varsity basketball team, agrees with her. “At my games and when I go to the girls’ home basketball games, the band makes it re ally loud in the gym. Then all the super fans have to cheer even louder, and the whole gym is just brought to life.”
Along with the basketball players, members of the football team view the band in the same light. “Pep band makes the spirits in everyone shine out and go crazy with enthusiasm during our games,” sophomore and varsity football player Tony Mondo said, “especially when we are about to score a touchdown or we already have. The crowd goes absolutely crazy and the energy stays on our side of the field and not our opponent’s side.”
Varsity football player junior George Markakis thinks the pep band has a key role in games but has the capability do even more to rile up the crowd. “I like the music that they play but sometimes they need to sound a bit more explosive with their song choices to really erupt the crowd,” Markakis said.