By CURT HARLER
A new tradition was started this year with the Blue Band. Called “Why-To Wednesdays,” the program was built around ABBA members sharing thoughts on why students should participate in the Blue Band and what participation will mean to them after graduation. Given the lack of opportunity to perform on the field, some students may have questioned their involvement. Why-To Wednesdays gave the students a longer-term view.
“The program was a roaring success,” reports Dr. Greg Drane, director of athletic bands. “The support from ABBA meant a lot to Blue Band members.”
Face it – participation in the marching Blue Band is a physically tough, musically challenging, time-eating endeavor. Few other activities require as much commitment on the part of student participants. In a year when Blue Band members never got to burst through the tunnel or perform a live halftime show, it became vital that members hear positive things about their involvement with and commitment to the Blue Band.
The messages sent by Blue Band alums were shared on Wednesdays after practice. The Drum Major would read a couple of comments. Video clips posted by ABBA members were circulated internally.
After practice each Wednesday, Blue Band members would gather around in what was almost a classroom setting to hear tributes from those who had marched before them.
“It became a solemn moment,” Greg says of the readings.